As far as British Columbia goes, many know us for our seasons. Right now, the leaves are turning red and orange hues, the sky goes gray and the smell of smoke and rain tells us it’s autumn. Our winters are mild here in Vancouver, filled mostly with chilly rain – but up top on our mountains, lies a blanket of crisp snow that visitors crave to venture out into. We have our springs, mostly rainy but filled with cherry blossoms and flowers. Our summers are mild as well – never really too hot and full of stable days to get out and explore our province.
When it comes to Whistler, many people consider it a winter getaway and never give it a second thought during the other seasons. For a long time, I felt this way too – I always wanted to go up to Whistler in the winter, but knew it was peak visitor times but felt like there was not much for me to do in the summer. However in the recent years, I’ve opened up to the idea of visiting during the summer time – there are many reasons that have changed my mind: beautiful scenery, the fantastic Scandinave Spa, Winemakers dinners on the mountain and less tourists (although, the village was bustling).
On an early Friday morning, my friends (and fellow bloggers Diana and Amy) and I loaded up our Ford Escape 2017 (lent to us kindly by the people at Ford) heading up the Sea to Sky highway and to Whistler for a quick weekend getaway. The Ford Escape was a nice car – not too large, but still quite spacious. Sitting in the back and front were equally as comfortable and I really loved the huge panoramic sunroof as we drove down the highway. I know I had mentioned this in a previous review, but I can’t stop raving about having plugs everywhere – sitting in the back I could plug in and get some work done on our drive up.
We stopped at some favourites including Mags99, Howe Sound Brewery. We also made a stop at the picturesque Porteau Cove. We sampled some spirits at Gillespies in Squamish and continued onwards to Whistler.
The amount of activities to do in Whistler speaks to the various walks of life that visit it. If you’re a thrill seeker, you can Heli-Ski, tear up the double black diamonds in the winter and go white water rafting or mountain biking at the Whistler Bike Park during the summer. If you’re a more laidback adventurer, in the summer there are many beautiful hikes that vary in difficulty, stand up paddleboarding or in the winter time, you can explore these hikes while snowshoeing. If you’re looking to relax and to sightsee, there is plenty of that available too: the Village is fun to explore, especially during the evening, the Scandinave Spa is the ultimate place to relax and with all the Olympic activities, you won’t be bored.
If you’re a foodie, I’d recommend checking out the Winermakers dinner atop Whistler mountain. Even if you aren’t a foodie, this dinner is so enjoyable – the company alone was worth the visit but the meal was beautifully crafted as well.
Our hotel, the Hilton Whistler is located right in the heart of the village (as with many other hotels) that made is easy to explore and upload to Whistler Blackcomb. The rooms have a nice view of the village and the mountains and are clean and comfortable.
One thing I do recommend regardless of the seasons is the Peak 2 Peak gondola. The gondola is the world’s first lift to connect two mountains from the top. It is also the world’s longest free span between ropeway towers. But besides the technicality of it all, it’s just a breathtaking view. I rode across in the winter and was in awe at how beautiful and how dense the forests between the mountains were, covered in snow that was relatively untouched by humankind. In the summer, the view is just as wonderful, with endless rows of green forest and snow sprinkled mountaintops. Our particular journey during the summer was overcast with fog but it made for a dramatic ride.
So what did this chicken do when she got to the other side? She ate at Christine’s. Christine’s is located in the Rendezvous Lodge, which has gone under major renovations to become a lot more efficient, modern and appeal to diverse tastes. Gone are the days of chicken strips and burgers (although, they’re still available) – you now have a wide variety to choose from: ramen, rice bowls, tacos and burritos to name a few. Additionally, if you’re looking for more of a fine dining restaurant, Christine’s is the perfect place. Perched atop the Blackcomb mountain gives it the perfect place to have a cocktail with dinner while marvelling at the view.
Our trip was full of great eats and a relaxing time at the spa – which I feel is the perfect getaway for myself. “Off season” is generally now until it picks up again when the mountains are ready to welcome it’s skiers and snowboarders – and I’m looking forward to explore even more during this time and then coming back up for the busy ski season!