This Month in Whistler: The Local’s List for October
Updated monthly, to keep things fresh.
Whistler is like an onion. Start peeling off the layers of the four seasons and the big happenings and you’ll find a host of ever-changing natural wonders, unique events and interesting things to see and do, particularly in off-peak seasons like fall and spring.
And just like that, it’s fall. The season of secret sunshine and gently curling clouds, where precipitation down low stokes anticipation for snow up high. There’s more going on in Whistler than you think, and with the slower-than-summer pace in October it’s a time to appreciate slow moments and explore at a gentle pace. Here’s The Local’s List for the month:
We’re going to the wild side:
- And reveling in those autumn leaves – bright in the sun, glowing on grey days.
- Seeing glimpses of the Canada Geese flying overhead, starting their migration.
- Waiting for the rains to raise the magical, weird and wonderful selection of mushrooms in the forest (did you know there are currently 865 fungi listed in the Whistler Biodiversity Project??). We are hanging out for the Fungus Among Us Festival so we can learn more about these fabulous fungi and their essential role in the rainforest.
- Waiting for cold, clear nights to watch the aurora dance in the skies over Whistler – and registering for this excellent observational astronomy course at the Whistler Public Library so we can learn more about the stars.
- And giving the bears plenty of space while they eat and prepare for hibernation, with bear tours running through to mid-October the best way to see them on the mountains.
We’re getting active and adventurous:
- Aiming for some high elevation hikes before the snow gets here – Garibaldi Lake and Skywalk being just two of our favourites.
- But we’re also ready for those beautiful mossy, misty low elevation hikes for rainy days where we can wonder at the waterfalls and talk to the trees – Cheakamus Lake, Ancient Cedars and Lost Lake are favourites here.
- We’re still out there paddling (the fall colours are beautiful from the water) – we’re just adding an extra layer or two before heading out.
- We’re a touch sad that the gondolas and trails on Whistler and Blackcomb are closed after Thanksgiving – but we’re stoked to know there are other ways to get those mountain views while the lifts are closed for maintenance…
- We’re busting out the trail bikes and going beyond the bike park. Last laps! Lifts closing Oct 9.
- And we’re starting to dream of winter adventures…with a little help from this year’s ski movies.
We’re eating and drinking:
- Coffee on sunny mornings – got to make the most of that glorious golden sunshine while the days are still warm. Moguls, and the Fix Café in Creekside have patios that capture the morning sun, and there’s plenty of seats in the sunshine around Whistler Olympic Plaza for takeout (Purebread, Blendz, Peaked Pies, Starbucks and Mt Currie Coffee Co. are all a short distance away – remember your own cup for a discount)
- Locally made bread, because fresh bread rocks. Grab a loaf at Purebread in the Village or Function, the café at Nita Lake Lodge and the Whistler Farmers’ Markets (open for the last weekend on Saturday and Sunday over Thanksgiving)
- With our friends and family at Thanksgiving.
- We’re making the most of the fall dining specials – with menus at places like the Rim Rock Café starting at $49, Araxi’s Prix Fixe Anniversary Menu starting at$36 and the BrewHouse with it 5 days 5 Ways Specials starting at $14.99 it’s a fabulous month to dine out. (Insider tip – grab the Pique newsmagazine once you get here and check out the specials).
- We’re sipping on La Petit Dank, the latest tasty IPA from Coast Mountain Brewing. Seriously tasty…and check out that colour…
We’re hitting the shops:
- Basically, all of them. It’s sale season and there’s deals on summer goodies like bikes, swimwear and golf gear, plus some cracking specials on ski gear, technical outerwear, backcountry safety gear and more. Time for a Whistler Village shopping spree!
- We’re definitely heading to the Whistler Blackcomb Turkey Sale on Thanksgiving Long Weekend – a huge amount of gear at great prices, all in one spot.
- Getting into the season of creativity and cozy reading with a visit to Armchair Books, purveyor of not just an incredible selection of reading materials but kids books, games, sketching materials and journals (just in time for Fall for Arts)
- We’re giving ourselves a pre-winter health tune up, including a trip to the physio and massage therapist to work on our alignment ahead of ski season plus some core strength with our favourite yoga teacher – we’re going to hit the snow strong and balanced!
We’re expanding our horizons:
- And planning a day or so to walk the Cultural Connector, visiting all the different arts and culture venues along the way (and finding some neat public artworks along the way). There’s a new $30 Cultural Pass available at the Whistler Visitor Centre for the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and the Audain Museum too, which is a discount on entry to both fantastic venues and a great way to spend a day out.
- Getting cozy with Cabin Jams, a night of music film and story made in the mountains with Patagonia skiing ambassador Leah Evans.
- Checking out the inspiring speakers at Whistler’s Celebration of the Girl. See Canadian Astronaut Candidate, pro-mountain biker, and 2017 Google Impact Challenge winner, Anita Naidu, cyberbullying survivor, youth advocate, and medical innovator, Vivian Tsang, and teen transgender activist and one of Vancouver’s 50 Most Influential People, Tru Wilson.
- With a Women’s Weekend Retreat at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler – hello, ‘me’ time.
- Learning all about the Art of Pyrography with local artist Kylie Millar – that’s using heat to create designs on natural materials like wood.
Happy BC Culture Days! I shot the Cultural Connector for the @gowhistler blog yesterday, this is the He-yay meymuy (Big Flood) sculpture by Xwalacktun outside the Audain, it’s unreal in-person. Post should be up in a week or two! . . . #humansforscale #joblove #bcculturedays #explorebc #5secondvacay #onlyinwhistler
We’re trying something NEW:
- Having a bite to eat at Fifi’s Bistro, brand new and now serving breakfast and lunch from the Upper Village.
- And going to see international athletes training at the Whistler Sliding Centre – that’s right, the ice is up and fast! Check out the schedule for This Week on the Track to find out when the athletes will be on the ice. Spectator entry is free.
- We’re going to take a new tour at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, including a Tour and Tea (perfect for cold fall days) or the Tour and Craft.
- And taking a wander to Whistler Creekside to see the brand new mural being created on the Whistler Creekside Underpass by Jessa Gilbert. Magic in the making!
. Winter is Coming . #creeksideunderpassmural . Today is the first day of the BC Culture Days Celebrations in #Whistler. Come check out the process on the Creekside Underpass and visit other local artists in and around the village this weekend to highlight the range of creatives in this community. . #progressisaprocess #getoutoftownvibe #whenimnotinthemtns #grannyonthecans @rmwhistler
We’re checking out these events:
- All Month: Fall for Arts events all over town
- October 11 – 15: The Whistler Writers Festival
- October 13 – 14: The Fungus Among Us Festival
- October 14: The 15th Annual Canine Wine and Dine Dinner hosted by the Westin and WAG – that’s a three course meal for you and your dog, all for a good cause!
- October 14: The Whistler 50 Relay and Ultra Marathon
- October 27: The 20th Anniversary Celebration with the Zero Ceiling Society of Canada
- October 31: Halloween! We’ll have a selection of events shortly for the big kids who like to dress up, keep an eye on @GoWhistler for more.
- Plus plenty more…
We’re definitely not forgetting:
- That fall is one of the most romantic times of the year…and there’s always something on and a reason to take a little trip to the mountains.
- All the reasons fall in Canada rocks
- Winter is coming – and we’re prepping like mad for opening day….
Well, there you have it – a short list with the flavours of the month in Whistler. There’s a ton more to discover. Don’t limit yourself to the tried and true, get out there and giv’r.