The Summer Side of Whistler

As the days grow longer and the Whistler Valley warms up, it’s time to immerse your senses in summer. Take deep breaths of pine-scented air on an alpine hike. Listen to the high-pitched whistle of the hoary marmot, for which Whistler is named. Dive off a dock into the fresh, cool waters of one of Whistler’s immaculate lakes. Sip a locally brewed beer on a sun-baked patio. Taste the bounty of produce from local farms. Take in the sights of the craggy peaks, lush valleys, rushing rivers and clear lakes.

After a long, white winter bundled up in toques, boots and weatherproof layers, locals are ready to feel the sun on their skin and spend every possible moment outdoors — from patio dining to barbecues and camping, hiking to biking, lounging at the lake to festival-going. The mild climate makes it easy — long days of sunshine are warm, and often hot, yet seldom humid. It’s the kind of weather that’s perfect for every kind of outdoor adventure, whether you’re strolling along the Valley Trail or pushing your body to the limits in one of Whistler’s many athletic events.

Whistler offers countless summer activities that are accessible for the whole family — from children to youth to seniors — which means you can combine quality family time with adventures that are fun for everyone. Consider a breathtaking ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola; an educational tour to view Whistler’s black bears; a thrilling zipline or enlightening tree-top ecotour; or exploring one of the area’s waterways via kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard or whitewater raft. The valley’s extensive trail network, combined with Whistler Blackcomb’s alpine trails, offer hiking and mountain biking possibilities for all abilities.

While you’re here, stop and appreciate the sights of our neighbouring communities in the Sea to Sky Corridor — Squamish to the south and Pemberton to the north. For incredible sweeping coastal views of Howe Sound, Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief, ride the Sea to Sky Gondola. Spend the day hiking, taking in the spectacular vistas from the three viewing platforms or enjoy a snack and freshly brewed tea at the Co-Pilot Café. Pemberton is a bucolic town well known for its seed potato industry, set at the foot of majestic, 2,590-metre (8,500-foot) Mount Currie. Its Old West charm, unique cafés and outdoor recreation make it well worth a visit. Highlights include Nairn Falls, One Mile Lake and its scenic, yet challenging golf courses.

If you’re a golf aficionado, sign up for 18 holes at one of Whistler’s four local courses, and admire the views of pristine lakes and the towering peaks of Whistler’s “other mountains”: Armchair, Wedge, Rainbow and Sproatt. The four championship courses were designed by international players Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Arnold Palmer and Robert Cupp, respectively, to challenge your abilities against Whistler’s natural water features and terrain.

Whistler also has a full calendar of high-energy activities and sporting events to test your physical abilities and jump-start the adrenaline. Downhill mountain biking on Whistler Mountain is summer’s gravity-fed answer to winter’s need for speed. The latest technology in downhill bikes, protective armour, and starter-level trails makes it possible for everyone to give it a try. And you don’t have to be able to ride a bike to enjoy Crankworx, a 10-day mountain bike festival with some of the most extreme riding on the planet. Throughout the summer Whistler hosts a variety of popular events that embrace its mountainous terrain, such as the rolling North Face Whistler Half Marathon, wet and wild Tough Mudder and Tough Mudder Half, the phenomenally challenging Subaru Ironman Canada, the uphill climb of the RBC GranFondo Whistler cycling race, and the steepest
400 m running race in the world — the Red Bull 400, which sends competitors up the Olympic ski jump in the Callaghan Valley.

When you plan to visit Whistler, perhaps try to include a weekend when the Whistler Presents Concert Series showcases live bands and orchestral music at Whistler Olympic Plaza. Pack a picnic and lounge on the lush lawn of the plaza. For an exceptional weekend for the whole family, don’t miss the Whistler Children’s Festival, packed with hands-on art workshops, music, theatre and dance.

One of the most pleasurable senses to indulge in summer is taste. Many of Whistler’s chefs pride themselves on sourcing produce and meat from local farms, seafood from Pacific coastal waters, and artisanal foodie favourites such as gelato, kettle corn, roasted coffee, cordials, craft beer, wine and vodka from local producers. Stroll the Whistler Farmers Market in the Upper Village, and you’ll find a cornucopia of fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods and tasty treats, as well as one-of-a-kind gifts hand-crafted by local artisans.

It’s not too early to start thinking about summer. With a bit of research and organization in advance, you’ll be able to create the perfect vacation and immerse your senses in all that is Whistler — the scent of clear mountain air, as you experience the valley’s natural beauty, delectable wining and dining, heart-pumping adventures, and outdoor festivals and concerts. So, start your planning now and come back soon to treat all your senses to summertime in Whistler.

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