Firsts are special, they have the power to leave deep impressions and create long-lasting memories. To have experiences worth remembering is one of the biggest reasons we travel.

A skier makes their way down a steep slope on Whistler Blackcomb, a spray of snow behind them.
That pivotal moment. PHOTO GUY FATTAL

How do you create an incredible first trip to Whistler that you’ll remember forever? Here are our tips for your first time in Whistler in winter:

Ask a Local

We live in a time of unprecedented choice. Take the decision fatigue out of vacation planning and go straight to the locals. The articles in this blog are all written by local people, hence the term insiders, check out our guide pieces for how-to information on the top things to do and see.

The team at are Whistler veterans who live, work and play here so you’re getting information from people really in the know. Check out their itineraries for inspiration and the Ask Whistler initiative where you can text, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger your specific questions. You can also pop in to see them at the Whistler Visitor Centre.

Learn the History

The history of a place is my favourite place to start when choosing a new destination. That way, you understand the context and subtleties of a town, culture or experience you might otherwise miss. If you really want to get to know the area, there are two places you need to visit during your first time in Whistler.

First, the Squamish Lil’wat Culture Centre (SLCC), run by the Sk̲wxwú7mesh Úxwumixw and Líl̓wat7ul who came together to create a place for cultural sharing and education. Admission to the SLCC includes a guided tour through the museum with one of their Cultural Ambassadors, a welcome song, a short film and access to the exhibits. The Thunderbird Cafe is a great place to go for a coffee or lunch, and the gift shop has many unique gifts and mementos featuring local, Indigenous artists and artisans.

A family explore a canoe in the Main Hall of the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre in Whistler.
Connect to culture in Whistler. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

Second, the Whistler Museum is where you can learn everything from who dreamed up the ski resort to what happened with the Olympic bids – people are often surprised we tried more than once to host them! You can start digging into the past with our The People’s History of Whistler series.

A group of skiers stand in the sun on Blackcomb Mountain.
Just a taste of the archival gems that can be found at the museum. PHOTO WHISTLER MUSEUM

Taste the Region

We know taste and smell can play a huge role in memory, so why not surround yourself with a delicious variety, straight from the surrounding land? A lot of our restaurants focus on showcasing local produce and a farm-to-table experience.

A woman enjoys her dinner at a restaurant in Whistler.
Whistler tastes as good as it looks. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

For a casual, social atmosphere check out Hunter Gather. Looking for a quiet, intimate experience? Make a reservation at Alta Bistro. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, look no further than Araxi. We promise that Whistler tastes as good as it looks.

Check out some of our dining guides for a spoonful of Whistler’s culinary scene.

Insider’s Guide to Dining with Kids in Whistler

A Local’s Guide to Whistler’s Best Restaurants

Insider’s Guide: Vegetarian and Vegan Eats in Whistler

8 Grab and Go Dining Favourites from Whistler’s Main Street

Get Your Heart Beating

Oh yes, there’s nothing like an adrenaline rush to make a first stand out. Now, we’re not saying you have to head straight down the skeleton track or bungee jump off a bridge, but they are guaranteed to be unforgettable. If you’d like to warm up to that, try ziplining between mountains, snowmobiling through the Callaghan Valley or picking up speed in the bubly Tube Park.

For more activity ideas read, Outdoor Activities Off the Slopes and 7 Things to Do in Whistler in the Evening.

two people ziplining over snowy trees
Let go or hold on, it’s up to you! PHOTO THE ADVENTURE GROUP

Experience Awe

Awe does wonders for you, not only in creating memories but also for your overall well-being as it evokes feelings of joy, gratitude and a connection to something larger than ourselves. During your first time in Whistler, awe will be all around you, from frozen waterfalls to volcanic peaks, the phenomenon of alpenglow to the feats of the Fire & Ice Show performers.

One sure-fire way to experience it is to get yourself on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, not only for the views you but also to experience the engineering feat itself. It’s a testament to the Whistler spirit – if you can dream it, you can do it.

Peak 2 Peak gondola car against a snowy tree backdrop
The PEAK 2 PEAK has the longest unsupported span in the world. PHOTO ANDREW STRAIN

Do Something New

What’s the best kind of first? One that leads to a second, third, hundredth and so on. Whistler is addictive. If you listen to the voices around you, you’ll notice just how many people have come to Whistler for that one ski season and then ended up staying for life.

There’s so much to do here, from the obvious gravity-driven escapades to the more hidden gem variety in Whistler’s cultural scene, like learning to paint the landscape we all find so breathtaking. During your first time in Whistler, uncover a new passion by learning a new skill or create a new connection by putting your phone away and striking up a conversation on the chairlift or at après.

A couple taking a selfie in while snowboarding in Whistler
Photos are good, memories are better. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

There’s one thing we can’t help you plan for and that’s the unexpected, the magic and delight that comes with a first – it’s best left discovered in person.

Ready for your first time in Whistler? Head over to to start planning your trip or hit them up on Ask Whistler for help.

Book your winter trip now to secure up to 25% off lodging and 33% off rentals. Thinking about spring skiing? Receive a $75 après voucher for every third night booked.

Come experience Whistler Blackcomb’s extensive terrain and adventure at every turn to see why we're known as one of the best resorts on the planet. Secure your mountain getaway with for personalized service and the local knowledge of our Whistler-based team. Want to win a winter trip for two to Whistler? Check out our Drop In to Winter contest.


Nikkey got her start in Whistler as an outdoor guide and the habit of talking about the place has clearly stuck. Whistler’s general laid-back lifestyle and immediate access to fun is what’s kept her around. When not hanging out on the Whistler Insider team Nikkey works as a freelance creative for outdoor and wellness brands. Nikkey’s favourite Whistler animal is the marmot- she just wants to pinch those fluffy cheeks! (but never would because she respects wildlife and really likes having her fingers attached to her hands.)