Whistler has a very international feel (and no, we’re not just talking about the abundance of Aussies)—it is a world-class destination, offering activities for any and every type of visitor. Whether it’s your first time there or you’re looking to revisit your local getaways while borders are closed, Whistler is the perfect spot to satisfy your travel bug while staying safe and close to home.
Primarily known as a ski resort and mountain town, Whistler has it all: adventure, rest and relaxation, cleansing and pampering or getting down and dirty in nature. Food, shopping and sports enthusiasts will never be at a loss to fill their itineraries, and the surrounding mountainous landscape is truly stunning. Even strolling through the village is a whole vibe of its own.
If the experience of travel is really what you’re missing, the Pangea Pod Hotel is calling your name. Canada’s first pod hotel, this accommodation offering has all the things you love about travelling: central location, cosy home base, social atmosphere, a one-stop-shop for food, booze and sleep. As self-proclaimed boujee backpackers and social human beings, we honestly don’t believe there is a better place to stay in Whistler.
Pangea’s rooftop patio is one of the best spots in the village to enjoy a beverage while soaking in the surrounding mountaintop vistas. With a top-notch happy hour (make sure to try the espresso martini or, our personal favourite, the pornstar martini), the rooftop is a great place to sip as the sun goes down.
For guests, Pangea’s bar/lounge/café, known as the Living Room provides a welcoming atmosphere to pass through between the day’s adventures and nightly turndown. Even with mingling being discouraged during COVID-19, the vibe still feels lively, with others enjoying drinks or working from their laptops, fun music playing and a view of the bustling village streets below.
Travel lovers can get a taste of international flavour by dining at Pizzeria Antico, where the pies treat your tastebuds with a flava that is straight outta Italy. And don’t forget to immerse yourself in the ultimate dose of hygge (a Scandinavian word evoking feelings of comfort, cosiness and wellbeing) at the Scandinave Spa. Nestled in a spruce and cedar forest, this outdoor nature spa offers hot and cold pools, a steam room, sauna and plenty of relaxation spaces to get your body and mind in a blissful state. The spa’s location is the perfect setting at any season, but particularly when the leaves of the trees are changing colour all around you. Bring a book and leave your phone—it’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon.
Of course, Canada’s global reputation of boasting the greatest-of-great outdoors is at its prime in Whistler. That’s why getting out in the wilderness is a must. Hop into one of the 4×4 vehicles at Whistler Photo Safaris to try your luck at spotting some bears, and soak in the beauty of the old- and new-growth forests that surround you. Whistler is for escaping the hustle and bustle of city life and this is a great way to do it.
Skiing or snowboarding Whistler’s iconic peaks is non-negotiable during the winter and, during the warmer months, the mountains are perfect for biking, hiking and (careful and conscientious) back-country camping. There are lakes for standup paddle boarding and swimming, zip-lining and bungee jumping to get that adrenaline pumping, patios for day drinking and trails for exploring. An easy and rewarding hike will take you to the train wreck, where the vibrant graffiti makes for a great photo opp. Other experiences include taking in the views from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola or lighting up the night with Vallea Lumina.
As far as travel destinations go, Whistler’s allure is no secret—so get in while international tourism is at a lull and make the most of our beautiful British Columbian backyard. —Kellie Paxian