September has arrived and with it comes the feeling of seasonal change in the air. It’s also the time to embrace the last weeks of summer before fall rolls around and we slow down to enjoy the cozy season. Join us in Whistler to tick off those final summer alpine adventures and raise a craft beer to a season well spent at the Whistler Village Beer Festival from September 11 to 17.
September is a time for reflecting on our nation’s history and we recommend a visit to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre to learn about the local Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation. National Truth and Reconciliation Day is on September 30 and is recognized as a statutory holiday in BC. The day was introduced for Canadians to recognize and reflect on the tragic, ongoing legacy of the residential schools and honour the lost children, the survivors and their communities. Thanks to the SLCC’s partner, CIBC, it is free admission on Saturday, September 30 with programming happening throughout the day. Note that the SLCC is closed September 24 to 29 for urgent building repairs.
Here’s what’s going on in Whistler this September:
You’ll find us:
- Racing alongside other women through Whistler’s incredible mountain bike trail network or cheering them along at the inaugural women’s enduro race – The Witsend, taking place on September 24.
- Pedalling 122 kilometres alongside the ocean and ascending into the mountains at the RBC GranFondo Whistler on September 9, or choosing the 55 kilometre distance option and riding through the stunning Callaghan Valley. For a firsthand account of what it’s like to ride in the event, read our blog, RBC GranFondo Whistler: Cycling the Sea to Sky.
- Getting outside of our comfort zone at XTERRA Whistler, an off-road take on the traditional triathlon format, combining a lake swim with a cross-country mountain bike ride and a trail run. Learn more about XTERRA from the endurance coach who produces the event in our blog, XTERRA Whistler: You Can Do More Than You Think.
You’ll find us:
- Golfing at one of Whistler’s four championship golf courses and reserving one of the limited, remaining spots at the Whistler Golf Club’s 2023 Iron Arnie and Iron Maiden in celebration of Arnold Palmer on October 4.
- Powering our way up Blackcomb Mountain on an ATV or 4×4 with Canadian Wilderness Adventures, who are celebrating their 30th birthday this fall. They’ll take you all the way to the Crystal Hut to enjoy a classic West Coast meal featuring maple glazed wild BC salmon with stunning views of Whistler and the surrounding Coast Mountains. For more adventure dining ideas to embrace the last few weeks of summer, check out our Adventure Dining blog.
- Activating your curiosity while you discover some of Whistler’s oldest residents on the Weird and Wonderful Trees tour. It’s one of the free, self-guided tours on our Go Whistler Tours App, and it uses engaging text, audio, video and images to share fascinating information and stories about the trees along a two-kilometre stroll around Whistler Village.
- Celebrating the final sunset of the summer on the fall equinox, September 22, at the Scandinave Spa Whistler. This special, one-night-only event includes treating your body to a thermal journey while you sip on a beverage of your choice with a DJ supplying the beats.
More ways to get outside.
You’ll find us:
- Walking, running, biking or inline skating in the Terry Fox Run on September 17. Register from 10 AM at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler and enjoy a light, nutritious breakfast and freshly brewed coffee via donation. A local fitness instructor will then guide everyone through a warm-up before the Whistler Fire Department leads the way with a fire truck. There will be two route options, one relaxed and one challenging.
- Exploring the wilderness atop a surefooted and gentle horse on a horseback riding tour. With tours ranging in length from one hour to three days, any level of rider can enjoy this unique and memorable way to experience the mountains. To learn more about what the experience is like, read our horseback riding blog.
- Viewing bears safely in their natural habitat on a bear viewing tour. Check out our blog, Connecting with Black Bears in Whistler, which gives a firsthand account of what the experience is like. It also dives into the ways we are culturally connected to bears and their significance to the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation, who have lived alongside the fascinating animals for time immemorial.
More family-friendly activities.
Arts & Culture
You’ll find us:
- Sharing in Indigenous knowledge at Arts Whistler’s ongoing emhám series, which continues into September with the Teachings of “Bi-maad-zid” or “To Walk Gently” with James Darin Corbiere, a three-part series running from September 13 – 15 and Imprints: On Native Land by Raven John, an interactive performance on September 18.
- Viewing meticulously crafted local art which all measure 3″ x 3″ or smaller at the Teeny Tiny Show at the Maury Young Arts Centre from August 30 to September 30. Be sure to attend the Arty Party on September 21 for the chance to purchase and take home your own little piece of Sea to Sky art.
- Checking out the Audain Art Museum‘s new photography exhibition, Karin Bubaš: Garden of Shadows. The photographs will centre around the juxtaposition of the summer and winter seasons, and encompasses our own transition from summer to winter as it runs from September 23 until January 29. It features monochromatic images of arctic conditions contrasted against images of the bright hues of summer flowers. Make sure you also check out the museum’s unmissable ongoing exhibition, Flowers From the Wreckage, before it closes on October 9.
- Visiting the current exhibitions at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre before they close on October 8. 100 Years of Unity is their newest exhibit, which celebrates 100 years of the Squamish Nation. It is running alongside UNCEDED, which features stunning photography taken throughout the Sea to Sky and explores the sense of place of First Nations in the area, weaving their modern lives with ancient traditions.
Eating, Drinking & Shopping
You’ll find us:
- Sending off another great summer with delicious craft beer at the Whistler Village Beer Festival, a week of beer-fuelled fun running from September 11 to 17. Throughout the week there are events such as beer cocktail parties, tap takeovers and sip ‘n’ stretch yoga. The weekend culminates with the Main Event on Saturday, September 16 from 12 to 5 PM in Whistler Olympic Plaza and continues with Oktoberfest that evening and all day Sunday.
- Experiencing the inaugural Wild Blue Alpine Long Table Dinner on September 10. It starts with cocktails and canapes at Wild Blue, followed by an al fresco, four-course seasonal menu alongside wine pairings at The Range at Whistler Golf Course.
- Grabbing our morning coffee and a little treat for ourselves at the brand-new Alpha Café, which opened on August 29. Alpha is a new creation by the team behind the renowned Alta Bistro restaurant, and it’s right next door in the Pinnacle Hotel on Main Street. They are open from 7 AM – 3 PM, serving up delicious, freshly baked treats as well as lunch options and great coffee.
- Raising a German beer and shouting, “prost!” as the Braidwood Tavern’s Oktoberfest-inspired menu is running from mid-September until mid-October and features traditional German dishes such as Leberkäse, Spätzle and Wiener Schnitzel. Contrary to what the name would suggest, the majority of Oktoberfest is actually celebrated in September. As it evolved, the German tradition expanded outside of its original October dates and crept into the preceding, warmer month so as to fully enjoy outdoor beer gardens with a little more sunshine.
Save the Date
Whistler Wine Walk | Fridays in October
Whistler Writers Festival | October 12 – 15
Whistler 50 Relay & Ultra | October 14
Cornucopia Whistler | November 9 – 19
Whistler Blackcomb Winter Opening Day | November 23
Whistler Film Festival | November 29 – December 3
Be a Responsible Traveller: Don’t Love It to Death
- Whistler is bear country. Take a read of our Bear Aware blog post so you can act responsibly on behalf of these beautiful, wild creatures. Remember, a fed bear is a dead bear.
- Wildfires are a very real risk to Whistler, even into the fall months. Whistler’s fire danger rating gets updated daily by the BC Wildfire Service and when it reaches High or Extreme, open fires of any kind are banned (check it on our weather page). If you see a fire call 9-1-1.
- If you’re using the hiking and biking trails around Whistler regularly, consider donating to or joining WORCA, a local organization that maintains Whistler’s trail system.
- Help keep Whistler green by choosing tap water over bottled water, avoiding single-use plastics, leaving the car at home, choosing active transportation and sorting garbage properly to reduce your waste.
- Be AdventureSmart and always practice Leave No Trace principles.
- Consider our Responsible Travel pillars, Respect Nature, Think Environment, Don’t Love It to Death and Support Local.
- Whistler Alert is the official emergency notification system used by the RMOW to communicate with residents and visitors during emergencies via text message, phone and email. We encourage you to sign up for it while you’re here (just in case). When you register, you will be asked to provide your contact number and the date you plan to leave Whistler so that you don’t receive alerts when you’re back home.
If You’re Driving . . .
- GranFondo will impact traffic conditions on the Sea to Sky Highway and in Whistler on September 9. Delays should be expected and guests / residents should plan ahead.
- Take a read of Go Car Free: 8 Reasons to Ditch the Car on Your Whistler Trip in case we can convince you that you don’t need your car!
- Help reduce congestion on the highway by travelling during non-peak times. Peak travel times on the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler include Friday afternoons and evenings, weekends and holidays. To avoid this busy time, plan to visit Whistler midweek when the highway and the resort are typically quieter. Extend your weekend – plan to arrive on Thursday night and leave on Monday morning to avoid the weekend traffic. If you’re visiting Whistler only for the day, plan on staying for dinner to avoid the rush of day traffic leaving the resort after the mountain closes.
- Always check DriveBC for current road conditions before getting on the road. Follow @DriveBC on Twitter and listen to MountainFM for the latest updates.
- Paid parking is in effect in all the Day Lots although there is complimentary parking from 5 PM to 8 AM. Overnight parking is now allowed in the Day Lots, but no overnight camping or sleeping in vehicles. Please check the RMOW website for more information on parking.
- Marketplace parking has new tariffs; $1 first 30 minutes and $2 first hour (15-minute, storefront parking remains free). For shopping at Fresh St. Market, register your license plate in the machine prior to shopping and they will reimburse you for 1 hour with a minimum $25 purchase.