Photo Credit: Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane
While borders remain closed, it’s time to make the most of summer and the local adventures in your area. Whistler is Canada’s favourite year round destination to visit with something for every budget and what better time to explore than now!
With an abundance of fresh air and a plethora of outdoor activities, Whistler is naturally geared for social distancing. Just a short drive from Vancouver, explore what small businesses are doing to go above and beyond by implementing new cleaning standards to offering grab and go dining options.
Harmony Whistler Vacations has gathered up all the useful travel tips and advice to keep everyone happy and safe during your holidays. Whether it’s where to stay or what to do when you get here, we have you covered.
Why choose a Vacation Rental over a Hotel
Harmony Whistler Vacations prides themselves in offering completely contact-less check in each and every time. Enjoy the luxury, and privacy of having an entire home to yourself, some of our homes even have private hot tubs!
When staying at a vacation rental you have the choice to cook your meals at home in our fully equipped kitchens rather than dining out for every meal. Or choose to order in from some of our favourite local recommendations and pretend you cooked that meal while dining in the home.
No need to navigate through the lobby area that can be over populated with other guests at a vacation rental.
Bring the whole family, renting a home with multiple bedrooms and common areas to lounge around means you can enjoy each others company without trying to fit everyone into one hotel room.
SEA TO SKY
Whistler is approximately a 2 hour drive from Vancouver all the way up on the breathtaking Sea to Sky highway. This gorgeous drive follows along the edge of British Columbia, the Salish Sea, Howe Sound and all the way into the mountains of Whistler.
Places to stop along the way:
Shannon Falls – Located off of Highway 99, approximately 2 kilometres south of Squamish, Shannon Fall’s is BC’s third tallest falls at a height of 335 metres (1,105 feet). This is a perfect spot if you are looking for a quick adventure as the viewing platforms are just a short walk from the parking lot.
Porteau Cove – About a 40 minute drive from Vancouver, just before you get to the Sea to Sky Gondola, Porteau Cove is well known for its stunning views and marine life. It is also a popular dive spot!
Sea to Sky Gondola – Just 45 minutes from Vancouver, the Sea to Sky Gondola is the best way to view Howe Sound dotted with green islands, Stawamus Chief and the town of Squamish with the snow-capped mountains to the north.
Brandywine Falls – Brandywine Falls is a perfect stop for those travelling through the Squamish and Whistler area looking for a short walk to a spectacular falls. The falls itself drops approximately 70m and the surrounding cavern features rockslides that have crumbled from the walls over hundreds of years.
Alexander Falls – Alexander Falls is a very impressive 43 metre/141 foot waterfall just 30 to 40 minutes south of Whistler in the Callaghan Valley. Open year-round and located just before Whistler Olympic Park where several of the 2010 Olympic events were held.
LIFE IS BETTER AT THE LAKE
There are lots of different spots to spend those hot summer days at. Some beach locations offer kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals, snack stores, picnic tables with built in BBQs, volleyball nets, offleash dog parks and much more!
Lost Lake – Located in Lost Lake Park amongst biking and walking trails. The closest lake to the Village. A sandy beach with washrooms, concessions and docks as well as an off-leash dog area (Canine Cove) close by.
Alta Lake – There are several beaches located on this lake with kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals available.
Alpha Lake – Located in the Creekside area, this lake has docks, a volleyball area as well as a large off-leash dog area (Arfa Park).
Nita Lake – A small lake in Creekside area with dock, pebble beach and the lake is stocked full of rainbow trout for fishing.
Green Lake – The coldest lake in Whistler and not very swimmer friendly. However, it is a breath-taking beautiful lake with a float plane dock and a boat launch making it a popular watersports / wakeboarding spot!
Whistler is well known for it’s wildlife and it’s natural surroundings provide ideal homes for many different species. Please remember if you do come in contact with any wildlife to keep your distance and respect their home.
Bears – Every summer we get excited to see the bears come out of hibernation and start grazing on the flora surrounding Whistler. You may get lucky and spot one from the gondola or on the golf course however your best chances will be with Whistler Photo Safaris. Their award winning photographers can help with pointers and tips for a great photo while the educated guides know the bears individually and where they like to hang out.
Hoary Marmots – Hoary marmots are well known for the whistling sound they make when they feel threatened by danger. These curious animals, a common sight to see on Whistler Mountain, may be easily mistaken as an exceptionally large beaver or even a small bear.
Bald Eagles – Located along the west side of the Squamish River, Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park is a 755-hectare park that was established to protect critical bald eagle habitat for feeding, perching, and roosting.
The easiest and best way to keep it local is by trying out the local breweries.
Backcountry Brewing – Located in Squamish, a brewery, tasting room and kitchen all in one, Backcountry Brewing offers new seasonal beers launching every week there is a style for every palate on their 12 tap tower.
Howe Sound Brewing- Opened in 1996, and located in beautiful Squamish, BC Howe Sound Brewing has set its’s place as on of BC’s favourite craft breweries, winning awards are the Canadian Brewing Awards, North American Brewer’s Awards & BC Beer Awards. They have a beautiful patio with views of the Chief, a great spot to stop on the way to Whistler.
Northyards Cider Co. – Northyards Cider Co. is a craft cidery, tasting room and kitchen located in Squamish B.C. Their ciders are produced using traditional cider making methods and made from 100% B.C. apples and other local fruit.
Coast Mountain Brewing – Located in Function Junction, focusing on complex, flavourful & sessionable beers, Coast Mountain hosts a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere built for the mountainside local and enjoyed by the tourist from far and wide.
Whistler Brewing Company – Located in Function Junction, Whistler Brewing Company, a 100% BC owned brewery, offers a wide range of beers including lager, IPA and their seasonal Grapefruit Ale.
The Beer Farmers – Specializing in approachable and balanced beers, The Beer Farmers have something for everyone from locally crafted lagers to ales, located in beautiful Pemberton.
Montis Distilling – Located in Function Junction, Montis Distilling not only produces gin but they can also help you produce your own custom gin. Become a Ginsmith with Montis Distilling.
Pemberton Brewing Company – Surrounded by the beautiful alpine peaks, Pemberton Brewing Company offers a variety of flavourful craft beers. Make sure you check out their brand new outdoor patio, tasting room, try a flight and fill up a growler with one of their in-house brews.
Pemberton Distillery Inc – Using the famous Pemberton potato and locally grown fruits, Pemberton Distillery Inc. produces Vodka, Gin, Absinthe, Schnaps, Liqueur, Whisky and Brandy.
SUP/ Kayak/ Canoe – Whistler Eco Tours has been bringing people back to nature since 2001. Experience the local flora, fauna, and geology of Whistler while gliding on top of the water. A visit to Whistler would not be complete without a paddle down the River of Golden Dreams!
Did you know when you book with us enjoy one free adult one hour Stand Up Paddle Board or Single Kayak rental per unit, per paid night stay. Reservation required. Non-cumulative and non-transferable. Unused admissions expire daily.
White Water Rafting – White water rafting is one of the most exciting and energetic activities you can do on holiday and Whistler offers everything you could want! Whether you’re looking a softer, family fun trip or to get as wet as possible over big rapids next to stunning waterfalls and glaciers Whistler has it available for you.
Volleyball – Beach volleyball is a summer necessity for many, and lucky for us, this fun sport is not hard to find at Whistler’s local beaches. Wayside Beach and Rainbow Park both provide locals and visitors with beach volleyball courts perfect for all ages.
Fishing – With many lakes, rivers and streams throughout Whistler and Pemberton, Fishing is one of the most popular summer sports. With over 20 years of fishing experience, Whistler Year-Round Fishing guides will select a water body that will give you the best chance of catching Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout or Cutthroat Trout (depending on the time of year).
Whistler has an abundance of trail networks whether you are looking for a casual day meandering on the Valley Trail Network or hiking one of the many famous local hikes to a beautiful lookout, we have something just for you. This is also a great social distancing activity that also gets you out and into nature.
Brandywine Falls – From the parking Brandywine Falls is just a short walk, about 15 minutes. You walk across the bridge and over the train tracks to get to the lookout point. The waterfall drops approximately 70 meters and is stunning in every season. There are also spectacular views of Daisy Lake from the lookout point.
Train Wreck – This favourite local walk is an important part of Whistler’s historical and cultural identity. Among tall cedar and fir trees are several railway carts that derailed in the 1950’s. The train wreck site is popular among graffiti artists and their contribution to this site ensures that each visit is unique. The walk is an easy 5 km loop that crosses a suspension bridge and offers views of the turquoise Cheakamus River.
Cheakamus Lake – Rated one of Whistler’s easiest hikes, Cheakamus Lake presents beautiful views of a turquoise lake surrounded by snow capped mountains and rich forests. This 16km round trip hike is an easy and relaxing way to get out into nature.
Ancient Cedar Trail – Located just north of Whistler, the Ancient Cedars Trail follows a scenic, 5km round trip route that ends in a grove of massive old-growth cedar trees. Be sure to roam from the main trail at the viewpoint post for an excellent look at Showh Lake and the Soo Valley.
Crater Rim Trail – Located in the Whistler Interpretive Forest, Crater Rim trail loops around Loggers Lake passing impressive views and a lush forest. This trail loops around the upper ridges that surround Loggers Lake, which sits inside a volcanic crater.
Rainbow Lake – Located in Whistler, Rainbow lake is one of the area’s most scenic and pristine alpine lakes. When timed right in August, the wildflowers around the lake are in full bloom and the views on a clear day are spectacular, with Black Tusk visible in the distance. Did you know that Rainbow Lake is a source of Whistler’s drinking water!
Ascent Trail – Starting from the base of Blackcomb Mountain and ending at the top next to the Rendezvous Lodge, the Ascent Trail is a steep hiking trail that is 6.1km one way. With scenic forested sections and bridges over small creeks, this hike up the ski hill rewards you with incredible views of the Whistler area below.
Panorama Ridge – This 30km round-trip trail takes you through forests filled with Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir trees, meadows full of beautiful wildflowers, and rewards you with one of the most breathtaking panoramic views you could imagine at the summit. We recommend getting to the beginning of the Panorama Ridge trail (Rubble Creek parking lot) around 7am or 8am as it typically takes around 10 hours round trip to complete.
Wedgemount Lake – Rated one of the most difficult hikes in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Wedgemount Lake has an elevation gain of more than 1100 meters in just 7km. They say the best views come after the hardest climbs and Wedgemount is no exception. Surrounded by snow-capped, Wedgemount lake is a marvelous turquoise colour. If you hike about 10 minutes further you arrive at the base of Wedgemount Glacier. A small pond of floating ice sits at the base of the glacier.
It is officially patio season in Canada and whatever your mood or style, Whistler has a patio waiting for you. These are our top 10 picks:
#1 Table Nineteen – Recently renovated and conveniently located along the shores of Green Lake, offering a glacier fed lakefront setting with towering mountain views, Table Nineteen features Whistler’s BEST patio. Enjoy a refreshing beverage while relaxing in complete serenity.
#2 Stonesedge Kitchen – Embracing rustic elegance, effortless charm Stonesedge Kitchen is polished without being fussy. Discreetly tucked away off the Village stroll it is the perfect place to catch up and plan your weekend over dinner.
#3 Portobello – Featuring a ‘family style’ seating in a rustic, modern alpine setting, Portobello serves freshly baked bread, rich fragrant coffees, mouthwatering treats and a made-to-order sandwich selection. Located in the Upper villge, Portobello’s culinary team ensures the finest fare is perfectly created in front of each and every guest.
#4 Garabaldi Lift Co. (GLC) – Newly renovated and located above the Whistler gondola station, GLC overlooks the mountain bike park and is the perfect spot for apres drinks.
#5 Caramba – Mediterranean style comfort food with local influences, married with high energy service, within a very inviting and casual setting. Caramba Restaurant reflects Jay and James Pare’s vision of a truly fun dining experience. Wood Fired Pizza, Pasta and Seafood. Dine in or Take Out, and enjoy one of Whistler’s best appointed patios in summer!
#6 Beacon – Located in Whistler’s central Village Square, the Beacon Pub & Eatery is just a short walk down the Village Stroll from the main gondola base. Grab a cold one and beat the heat on one of Whistler’s best patios!
#7 Cure Lounge – Located in Creekside enjoy the views and tranquility of Cure Lounge’s spacious lakefront patio. Relish in their menu made from local ingredients and craft cocktails.
#8 Milestones – Located in the Upper village, Milestones large patio and beautiful backdrop of Blackcomb mountain makes it the perfect spot for a great time with the best people. Milestones crafts craveable favourites, each with a perfectly delicious twist. Whether you’re celebrating a ‘milestone’ or simply enjoying happy hour, they will make sure you have a memorbale experience.
#9 The Living Room at Pangea – Located in the Pangea Pod hotel, this roof top patio over looks the heart of the village. The Living Room at Pangea serves artisan flatbreads, hand-crafted cocktails, and delicious gourmet coffee.
#10 Longhorn Saloon – Stationed at the base of both Blackcomb and Whistler gondolas, Longhorn Saloon is the perfect spot to enjoy a cold beer and their famous nachos.
Whistler is rated Canada’s #1 golf destination by Golf Digest. Whistler offers amazing playing conditions with beautiful mountain and valley views. The golf season has already started so contact us now to book your perfect round!
Nicklaus North – Just minutes from Whistler Village, Nicklaus North is nestled between Green lake and the River of Golden Dreams.
Whistler Golf Club – Situated adjacent to Whistler village, the Whistler Golf Club was designed by Arnold Palmer and is truly a “Whistler” brand that offers stunning views of Whistler and Blackcomb, uncompromising course conditions and friendly staff.
Fairmont Chateau Golf Course – Traversing creeks and ponds, the Fairmont Chateau Golf Course creates a fun and challenging course for players of all levels with elevation changes of more than 400 feet.
Big Sky Golf Club – With an incredible natural setting ,surrounded by lakes & rivers, Big Sky Golf Club sits at the base of Mount Currie in the Pemberton Valley.
Whistler Blackcomb is officially re-opening for business. Below are just a few activities to take advantage of during your stay.
Downhill Biking – Whistler Blackcomb is know to be home to the ultimate gravity-fed downhill biking experience, drawing mountain bikers from across the world. All levels and abilities catered to with four mountain zones, green trails, technical double blacks, jump trails and more.
Sightseeing – With Stunning 360-degree views of Whistler Village, mountain peaks, lakes, glaciers and forests ride the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Watch the machinery in action and learn about the record-breaking lift in the Viewing Gallery.
Hiking – In the height of summer, there are over 50km of trails to access, all of which you can connect with the Guinness World Record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.
Via Ferrata – Via Ferrata is a combination of hiking and climbing on Whistler Mountain. Feel the exhilaration of climbing to the top of Whistler Peak with the safety of a professional guide and specialized climbing equipment.
Other Fun Activities
Whistler has something for everyone, keeping social distancing in mind. Below are a few more of the great activities
Bungee Jumping – Whistler Bungee provides an exhilarating, adrenaline filled rush by jumping 160ft (50 meters) over the glacial fed Cheakamus River. Surrounded by basalt column cliffs and old-growth forest, Whistler Bungee is regarded as one of the most scenic bungee jumping sites in the world. Rain, shine or snow, satisfy your adrenaline fix all year round!
ATV/ RZR / Jeep Tour – Experience the beautiful mountain terrain and incredible views by ATV or RZR. You will be climbing up the mountain through old growth forests on an incredible 4 wheel adventure. Or if you are looking for something a little less extreme or an activity for the whole family, how about a Jeep Wilderness tour? Book today with Canadian Wilderness Adventures.
Vallea Lumina – The new multimedia nighttime forest adventure combines the natural beauty of the Whistler coastal rainforest with a plethora of lights, lasers, sounds, projections and other technological magic to create an interactive forest walk guided by the story of two missing hikers, and some mysterious stardust.
Heli Ice Cave Tours – Take off from Whistler in an A-star helicopter to the infamous Head-Line Mountain Holidays Ice Cap. Once landed, you will travel by snowmobile, snowbuggy or snowmachine to a complex of natural ice caves. Specializing in exclusive, luxury-based holiday experiences Head-Line Mountain Holidays provides amazing service and comfort.
The Sliding Centre – Visit the Whistler’s Sliding Centre for a true Canadian experience. In the summer, visit the Sliding Centre for an incredible tour and adrenaline rush on a bobsled (summer version). Check out their website here to book your next sliding activity!
Forged Axe Throwing – Your competitive edge and inner lumberjack will swing into overdrive when learning the art of Axe throwing. The friendly and experienced staff at Forged Axe Throwing will ensure you have the most fun possible with a variety of different challenges.
Ziplining/ Treetop Tours – Fly like an eagle over the Fitzsimmons Valley between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains with a Zipline Tour with Ziptrek.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Start planning your Whistler vacation today!
Operating since 2014, Harmony Whistler Vacations is Whistler’s locally owned & operated boutique Vacation Management company. We are dedicated to helping guests discover their inner adventure through our CONCIERGE SERVICES and 24 /7 support to deliver the perfect Whistler vacation. We manage over 60 vacation VACATION RENTAL PROPERTIES in Whistler and carry the highest standards for our homes. Our small team will always provide unparalleled service and deliver a personable experience for our guests. Our goal is to make you feel at home in the mountains so that you can create lifelong memories with family and friends