“Isn’t it nice that we’re all so different..?”
It’s such a grandmotherly thing to say that my friend’s grandmother actually used to say it all the time when we were kids (usually when we were complaining about something inconsequential and/or beyond our control).
That awesome grandmotherly advice carries over to all aspects of life, however, especially up here in Whistler. People flock here from all walks of life and all over the globe. On a simple stroll through Whistler Village these days you’ll sometimes hear upwards of 5 different languages being spoken and notice people and equipment related to any number of incredible sports and activities. Because even though we are all so different there’s enough awesomeness floating around this little town in the mountains that pretty much everyone can have the time of their life.
Of course, it’s also human instinct to categorize everything into understandable groups so The Insider is putting on our amateur psychologist hat and organizing Whistler visitors into four easy categories with activity itineraries to match. Think of it as a choose-your-own adventure, without all the hassle of choosing.
Thrill seekers are the core adventure lovers and the try-anything-once’rs. These people who come to Whistler with a desire to step outside their comfort zone and leap, wholeheartedly, into adventure. The thrill seeking crew likes their drinks stiff, their times fast and they sure as heck don’t care if there’s any gluten in their après meal. From big mountain ski tours to bungee jumps to backcountry ice climbs, Whistler was built by and for the thrill seekers. So seize the day, love the mountains, and live life with a side shot of adrenaline. Check out the Thrill Seeker Itinerary.
(Insider Tip: thrill seekers tend to like their solitude as well so we recommend coming to Whistler mid-week, when the weekend crowds are off at work).
On the surface this seems simple— you’ve either been to Whistler before or you haven’t – but don’t be fooled, there’s so much going on here that it’s easy to miss out on iconic Whistler experiences even after multiple visits. First timers can get overwhelmed and try to pack too much in so the trick is pacing and efficiency.
The Whistler Sliding Centre combines Olympic memories with 120 KM/hour public Bobsleigh excitement, that’s two unique experiences in one spot. On the moutains, Ski School packages teach you the skills but the instructors can also give you a great lay of the land. The best trick to doing that first time in Whistler right is to act counter-intuitively and slow down. You’ll never cram it all in to one visit so it’s better to just take it easy and enjoy each new thing as much as possible. There will always be more where that came from and more than a few Whistler “first timers” never got around to leaving. Here’s a list iconic Whistler sightseeing spots to get you started.
Luxury and Leisure
Not everyone wants to live on the edge of a cliff with their heart pounding like a drum solo. Lucky for them, Whistler is nothing if not accommodating. The natural terrain is already the best but in the past two decades Whistler has built up a Village, culture and activities list to appease even the most luxurious and/or leisurely guest. Spas, shopping, fine dining, museums, art galleries, live music- yup. Big adventure requires big relaxation if you want to keep life balanced.
And for those guests with a bit more expendable income there’s also the option for a private ice castle with a hot tub carved into the glacier or a $30,000 bottle of wine you open just because. From skiing with an Olympic gold medalist to donating $10,000 to the local Animal Shelter, Whistler has no shortage of exclusive, ultra-luxurious ways to “get your roll on”. Here’s a taste of the luxurious side of Whistler.
(Insider Tip: if you do want to donate $10,000 to the local animal shelter or Whistler Search & Rescue let us know here at the Insider. You’ll basically become an instant local hero and be treated accordingly.)
This is the most important group because if you don’t expose the kids to nature and all the awesomeness of having fun in the mountains it makes it that much harder for them to grow into perfectly balanced adults. The flipside of that is that traveling with children can go sideways quickly and turn even the best-planned vacation into a walking nightmare.
Luckily, Whistler is kid paradise (in fact- it’s where people go to avoid growing up). The pedestrian only Village makes for easy parenting (no running into traffic) and there is an entire dedicated family zone (with an outdoor ice rink) and weekly activities designed to amaze the little ones. As well, Whistler’s snow school program is probably the best in the world so even when the kids are away from you they will still be loving it. Here’s a list of more Whistler family ideas (but don’t show the kids unless you’re ready to hear “when are we going to Whistler” for the next forever)
And that is it. Of course those categories are just a guide and anyone can create your own custom Whistler adventure over at Whistler.com