Insider’s Guide to Whistler Creekside
Whistler Creekside was actually the site of the first gondola in Whistler, which was built in 1966 and part of a failed, but tactical, attempt to host the 1968 Winter Olympic Games (visit the Whistler Museum for the full story). It was so popular that eager skiers would sometimes have to wait up to three hours to get a ride, so the Garibaldi Lift Company said that if you hiked to the mid-station you got to ski for free – nice.
Although Whistler Village might have taken over as the hub of the resort’s operations, Creekside is a hidden gem. Only a five-minute drive from Whistler Village, it has its own laid-back charm with the Creekside Gondola whisking people up the mountain, easy access to lakes and parks along the Valley Trail and it’s own retail and restaurant scene right on your doorstep.
Here’s our Insider’s Guide to staying in Whistler Creekside.
What to Do in Creekside in Summer
Whistler Mountain Bike Park
Creekside has great access to the Whistler Mountain Bike Park via the Creekside Gondola. You can grab your pass (and a face covering if you don’t already have one) from the Can-Ski Creekside store and for rentals, Coastal Culture Sports (located right next to Tim Hortons) can kit you out with bikes (downhill, cross-country and valley trail), padding, helmet and gloves. If you’re opting to bring your own bike they can tune that up for you too.
Head to the Lake
Creekside has three lakes within short walking distance – Alpha, Nita and Alta. Alpha Lake has tennis courts, an off-leash dog area, a small kids playground, grassy areas for picnics and lounging, and a dock.
Please remember to pack out what you pack in (be bear aware) and if it’s too busy to distance appropriately, come back another time.
Go for a Paddle
From Creekside, you’re close to Lakeside Park on the shores of Alta Lake, where you can rent kayaks (single and doubles), canoes, pedal boats and paddleboards.
Cruise the Valley Trail
Check out the XC Bike Trails
Whistler has a huge network of cross-country trails and in Creekside, you’re closest to the trails around Cheakamus and Westside. If you do head out on these trails, know that Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA) manages them and that donations are appreciated to keep them in tip-top condition!
Take a Trip to Function Junction
You can take the Valley Trail south to Function Junction and check out Whistler’s two local breweries, purebread bakery, Art Junction art gallery and the Train Wreck hiking trail. Read more in Is Function Junction Whistler’s Coolest Neighbourhood?
Head to the Spa
Creekside is home to one of Whistler’s favourite spas where you can book a massage, facial, wrap, scrub, wax and nail service – you can even add a glass of Champagne to your mani-pedi!
Where to Stay in Creekside
Nita Lake Lodge is Whistler’s only lakeside hotel and it’s a stunner. You could opt for a room with a lake view or go for one of the mountains on the other side – what a choice. For the summer months, they have complimentary lake toys (paddleboards, canoes and kayaks), Valley Trail bikes and tennis racquets available for guests.
They also have some yummy dining options on site. If you don’t opt for the bed and breakfast package, you can order a la carte at Aura (currently only open for breakfast), or for a more casual option Fix Cafe is a great place to grab a house-baked treat or sandwich (get it to go for a lakeside picnic).
The Cure Lounge & Patio has one of the best outdoor patios in Whistler, not to mention a delicious cocktail list and varied menu including salads and share plates as well as pasta and flatbreads.
A great option for families, small groups, or people contemplating a longer Whistler stay are the stylish and modern condos at Evolution. They have full kitchens, large living rooms and in-suite washer / dryer facilities, making it really feel like a home away from home. First Tracks Lodge is a similar option, with a bit more of a mountain, chalet charm feel.
It has a fantastic outdoor, heated pool with two hot tubs and a games and media room for the kids (big ones allowed too). Location-wise it’s right at the base of Whistler Mountain next to the Creekside Gondola.
Where to Eat and Drink in Creekside
Creekside really spans the gamut on the eating front, from fine dining options like Rimrock Cafe and Red Door Bistro (book in advance) to more laid-back options like Creekbread, Cure Lounge, Samurai Bowl and Southside Diner. There are also cafe-style eats at Bred, Fix Cafe and Confetti Gelato (plus a Tim Hortons and Starbucks) and pub-style at Roland’s Pub and Dusty’s Bar & BBQ (currently only serving grab and go options).
Here’s a visual tour courtesy of people who have been, tasted and snapped a pic!
Affectionately known as Ed’s Bread by the locals, this organic bakery, run by a local couple is famous for its artisan loaves and sweet treats (vegan and 100% plant-based).
On the other end of the spectrum, Southside Diner is famous for its pancakes, burgers and bacon milkshakes. Need we say more? And if you’re still hankering for some eggs a bit later in the day, breakfast is served for dinner at this charismatic diner.
Made from 100% organic, Canadian wheat and with toppings like maple-fennel sausage, BC grown mushrooms, and applewood-smoked bacon these stone-fired pizzas are delicious. Creekbread is open for take-out only on Mondays and Tuesdays, and dine-in by reservation Wednesday through Sunday (dinner only).
A firm favourite with the locals, Rimrock Cafe consistently wins the “if someone else is paying” category and is a great option for a special dinner. There’s also French cuisine with a West Coast twist at Red Door Bistro. Both of these options are popular, so book in advance!
Confetti Gelato is the place to go for gelato, ice cream, smoothies and Italian-style coffees. Sweet treat, anyone? It’s also close to a small kids’ play area, so you can enjoy your treat in relative peace.
Where to Shop in Creekside
Tucked in the centre of Creekside is Get the Goods, a treasure trove of games, gifts and goodies. For those shoppers that like to browse and find something unique, this is the shop for you.
Trendsetters should look no further than the fashion-conscious Bach & Co. store. A relatively new addition to the Creekside scene, they’re certainly keeping Whistlerites styled to the nines.
From styling outfits to homes, 122 West has a showroom in Creekside with contemporary furniture, artwork and decor. If you’re looking to bring a touch of the west coast mountains to your home, speak to their design team.
If you want to pack some snacks, a picnic or if your accommodation has a kitchen, then head to Creekside Market to stock up. It has all the basics and essentials, as well as some yummy local produce like Salt Spring Island cheeses, Terra Breads and Across the Creek Organics.
There’s also BC Liquor Store located just down the stairs beneath the market, ask them about the locally brewed beers and distilled liquors.
Getting to Whistler Village
Whistler Village is 4.2 kilometres north of Creekside, which equates to a five-minute drive or taxi ride (it’s approximately a $10 fare), a 45-minute walk or 15-minute cycle along the Valley Trail or a 12-minute bus ride (catch the number 20, 21, 25 or 10 and have the correct change, which is $2.50 one-way).
Creekside is definitely an area to watch as we have news that not one, not two, but three new restaurants are due to open in the coming months. A wine bar will be opening late fall of this year, followed by a speakeasy in early 2021 and Thai / Vietnamese fusion concept in the spring – we can’t wait!
If you have any questions, the Ask Whistler Live Chat Service is available seven days a week from 8 AM to 9 PM PST via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS and phone. Summer room rates with Whistler.com start at $93 and there are deals to be had on longer, midweek stays and activity bookings (free $50 adventure voucher when you book for three nights or more). If you’re a BC resident, sign up to become a Whistler Rewards member (it’s free) for more specials and savings.