Whistler, Canada is a world-renowned mountain resort destination located in British Columbia. Known primarily for its winter sports, Whistler also has plenty to offer in the summer months, along with a vibrant nightlife scene. The town has a rich history, dating back to its use by the Indigenous Squamish and Lil’wat peoples. With stunning natural scenery, endless recreational possibilities, and the opportunity for a good night out, Whistler is a must-visit destination for any enthusiastic traveller. Read our Whistler travel guide to find out more on the bustling resort!
Whistler, located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, was once home to the Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that the area began to attract settlers and tourists. In 1914, Myrtle and Alex Philip opened the Rainbow Lodge, which quickly became a popular destination for fishing and outdoor recreation. The couple later became instrumental in the development of Whistler into the world-renowned ski resort it is today.
Whistler’s rise as a skiing destination began in the 1960s, when a group of Vancouver businessmen formed the Garibaldi Lift Company and began building lifts on Whistler Mountain. The ski resort officially opened in 1966, and by the 1970s, Whistler had become a popular destination for skiers from around the world. The resort continued to expand over the years, with the addition of Blackcomb Mountain in 1980 and the merging of the two mountains under one company in 1997.
In 2010, Whistler co-hosted the Winter Olympics with Vancouver. The games brought international attention to Whistler and helped solidify its reputation as a world-class winter sports destination. The area has also gained recognition as a summer destination, with activities like hiking, mountain biking, and golf attracting visitors during the warmer months.
Despite its reputation as a tourist destination, Whistler is also a thriving community with a strong local culture. The town is home to a diverse population, including many young people drawn to the outdoor lifestyle and entrepreneurial opportunities. The Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations continue to play an important role in the area, with a cultural center and a number of events highlighting their heritage.
Whistler is known for its stunning natural beauty, including towering mountains, pristine lakes, and ancient forests. The town has continued to grow and evolve while maintaining its natural beauty and commitment to sustainability. It’s a unique blend of world-class amenities and down-to-earth charm, making it a favorite destination for tourists and locals alike.
- Hiking: Whistler is home to over 50 hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging mountain hikes. Some of the most popular trails include the Whistler Train Wreck Trail, the Rainbow Lake Trail, and the Joffre Lakes Trail.
- Whistler Village: The pedestrian-only Whistler Village is a great place to spend a day, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars to explore. The village also hosts events and festivals throughout the year, including the Whistler Farmers’ Market and the Whistler Village Beer Festival.
- Peak 2 Peak Gondola: Whistler is home to the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, which is the longest and highest lift in the world. You can enjoy a scenic ride on this gondola, which offers breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys below.
- Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre: The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is a museum and cultural center that celebrates the history and culture of the local Squamish and Lil’wat First Nations. Visitors can learn about traditional practices, artwork, and ceremonies.
- Nightlife: Whistler has a vibrant nightlife scene with a variety of options for visitors. There are numerous bars, pubs, and nightclubs to choose from, offering everything from live music to DJ sets to dance parties.
- Whistler is named after the shrill sound of the hoary marmot, a small furry animal that is commonly found in the region.
- The famous Peak 2 Peak gondola, which connects Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, is the highest and longest unsupported cable car span in the world.
- Whistler is home to one of the longest suspension bridges in North America, the Peak Suspension Bridge, which stretches 426 feet across Fitzsimmons Creek.
- Dress in layers: Even in the summer months, the temperature can drop at night, so it’s best to bring clothing that can be layered.
- Bring sunscreen and sunglasses: The sun can be strong in Whistler, so it’s important to protect your skin and eyes.
- Bring a water bottle: Staying hydrated is key, and there are many drinking fountains around Whistler to refill your water bottle.
- Try the local food: Whistler has a great food scene with many locally sourced ingredients. Be sure to try some of the local delicacies like smoked salmon or bison burgers.
- Don’t forget your camera: Whistler is a picturesque destination with plenty of photo opportunities, so be sure to capture your memories on camera.