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The British Columbia town of Whistler is best known for being an epic ski and snowboard mecca that’s beloved by powder hounds around the world. This is a favorite year-around destination among adrenaline junkies, but there are actually a wide variety of things to see and do in this scenic and unique towns. Regardless of what season you’re planning to be in the area, here are eight awesome things to do in Whistler.
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The main reason that people visit Whistler is to go skiing and snowboarding because of the excellent snow conditions, mountain scenery, and resort facilities here. There are over 200 trails at Whistler Blackcomb, a resort that spans over 8,100 acres. Here you’ll find long and winding mountain trails, terrain parks, and other snowy activities like tubing and dog sledding. After your days out in the snow, its fun to spend time in Whistler Village. Here you’ll find restaurants, bars, shops, art installations, and an ice skating rink.
However, Whistler isn’t just a wintertime destination because this is also a great place to go mountain biking too. The Whistler Mountain Bike Park has dozens of trails in several zones that will get your adrenaline pumping. Come here if you love epic downhill rides and have an intermediate or advanced skill level. You’ll need to buy a lift ticket to use the bike park, and the adult ticket price is typically around $68. You can also rent bikes in the park and take a lesson at the bike school if you’re new to mountain biking.
As the home to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Whistler also has an excellent sliding center for luge, skeleton, and bobsled sports. You can simply check out the facility or you can hop on-board the track for yourself to see what it’s really like. This is the fastest ice track in the world, and the track is 1,450 meters long. You can visit the facility for free between 9am and 5pm daily. Public bobsleigh and skeleton operations run from December until late-March. In the summer, you can join a one-hour guided tour for $10 per person to get a behind-the-scenes look at the facility.
The Whistler area is also a great place to take a hike, and one convenient and nearby destination is the Valley Trail. This is a paved pathway that is about 25 miles long and is easy to get to from Whistler Village. You’ll enjoy views of the lake and easy terrain that suits all skill levels. It also connects various Whistler neighborhoods, including Function Junction and Emerald. Another great hiking area is Brandywine Falls Provincial Park. This park is about 10 miles southwest of Whistler and has a 230-foot waterfall to see. It is free to visit this park, which is open from 7am to 11pm daily. Dogs on leashes are allowed to hike with you in Brandywine Falls Provincial Park. And if you enjoy waterfalls, be sure to also check out Alexander Falls, which stands at about 141 feet tall and is about a 15-mile drive from Whistler.
In the 1950s, train cars were moved to a location along a trail after they fell from a nearby railroad track. Today, the train wreck site is a unique hiking area where you can see the old cars in the wilderness. This is an easy hike that takes about an hour to complete and is dog-friendly. There are seven train box cars on site that have been painted by various artists over the years.
If you enjoy art, then definitely make a point to visit the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. This art museum has hundreds of works of art from British Columbia, including First Nations pieces and works by Emily Carr. The adult admission price for the museum is $18, and youth under the age of 18 are admitted for free. You can stop by to check out it out on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10am to 5pm and on Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 7pm. To get the most out of your visit, consider joining a walk and talk tour, which lasts about one hour. The museum also offers yoga classes, artist meet-and-greets, and other events throughout the year.
There’s also a lovely lake a little northeast of Whistler Village that’s a nice place to put in a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. In fact, you can walk to this park in about 15 minutes from Whistler Village. There’s a rental center in Lakeside Park to get your gear if you didn’t bring your own boat. Lost Lake Park also has about 15 miles of trails that are great for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. There’s even a beach here to relax on in the summer. If you’re traveling with a dog, bring your pup to Canine Cove, which is just north of Lost Lake Beach. There’s a great 27-hole disc golf course right behind Lost Lake Park as well that is easily accessible through Spruce Grove Park.
Another essential arts and culture experience for your time in Whistler is the Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre. This cultural center celebrates the traditions and contributions of the Squamish Nation and the Lil’wat Nation. Come here to learn about these people’s art and lives through both temporary and permanent exhibitions. Depending on when you visit, you may be able to make your own traditional crafts and listen to the stories of cultural center ambassadors onsite. Tours are offered for visitors and last about an hour. You can grab a bite to eat onsite at the Thunderbird Café, browse the gallery and gift shop, and an adult day pass for museum admission is $18. Consider planning your visit on a Tuesday or Sunday evening to enjoy an indigenous-inspired feast with a cultural presentation and delicious buffet.