In Canada, May long weekend is incredibly significant. Not so much because it celebrates the birthday of Queen Victoria (she is not the one on our money) but more so because it signifies the unofficial start of Canadian summer. On average, the third weekend in May is generally the first time all year you can sleep outside without freezing your pants off.

Whistler May Long

As such camping is a popular Canadian “May Long” pastime and offers a great way to get back to nature and the great outdoors. Here in Whistler, however, we prefer to crank things up a notch and usher summer in with a slightly higher energy level. Goodbye mosquitoes and oatmeal, hello free concerts, fine dining, patios and straight-up summer adrenaline.

Here are The Whistler Insider’s Top Ten things to do and enjoy this May Long Weekend.

1) Free Music

What would you rather? A solar powered iPod system whispering tinny music at your mosquito-filled tent or three days of free live music dispersed across Whistler Village?

Whistler Presents is kicking summer off right. From the fun, energetic grooves of Kosta Man and the Good Vibrations to the down-home country twang of The Sociables to the magic of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra violinist Peter Krysa, incredible musicians will be popping up all weekend long.

2) Natural Wonder

A few weeks of warm weather combined with some nice spring rains means right now is the absolute best time of the year to go admire the raw force of Whistler’s waterfalls. Nairn, Brandywine, Rainbow, every waterfall in the area is really pumping these days and it’s very humbling and beautiful to watch. Check out this Guide to Whistler Waterfalls from The Insider archives.

Whistler Jet Boating and Waterfall

3) Adrenaline: Wet and Wild

If the waterfalls are raging it means the rivers are really going too. Whistler Jet Boating’s Eric Pehota has more whitewater experience than any other jet boat pilot in the country and a ride with him up the Green River this time of year is definitely something worth bragging about in the office Tuesday morning. Whistler Jet Boating is an Editor’s Choice as one of the top 3 most exciting and unique tours in Whistler. Book a tour here.

4) Adrenaline: Down and Dirty

The Whistler Mountain Bike Park opens Friday May 17and keen rippers will camp out the night before to be first in line on opening day. People don’t generally camp out for something unless it’s awesome. The Bike Park has introductory lessons too, anyone can try it.

Whistler Bike Park

5) Car Rally

The All-British Classic Car Run finshes at Whistler Olympic Plaza on Sunday, May 19. This sounds like a really good place to take your father-in-law and also people that own restored British cars tend have really incredible hats. Just saying.

6) Rain???

If a little precipitation dampens your kids’ spirits just take them to Bounce, the trampoline dream come true (with a bonus, the Whistler Brewing Company is right next door and they do tours and tastings).  Meadow Park Sports Centre has a sweet pool with a rope swing, The Core has indoor rock climbing, the Village 8 Theatres have all the new releases playing and the Whistler Public Library has always got cool stuff going on.

Whistler Skateboard

7) Romance

Spring is romantic right? How about sipping Irish Whiskey by the fire at the Dubh Linn Gate? Martini canoodling in the back corner of The Mix? A stroll around gorgeous Lost Lake (there’s a tucked-away nude dock too if that’s your style). Whistler Eco Tours rents kayaks, canoes and Stand-Up Paddleboards at Lakeside and Wayside Parks. And that is just the beginning, Whistler has no shortage of inspiring scenery and quiet little corners to let that special someone know you mean business.

Whistler Alta Lake

8) Relax at the Spa

Any spa, any time. You can’t go wrong with pampering yourself and letting the worries fall away.

9) Eat, Drink, Repeat

Summer has barely started so you will for sure be able to pedal off that extra few bites of crab cake or that triple chocolately dessert. Whistler has over 100 places to eat and a reputation for the some of the finest food in the country. Eat now, exercise later.

10) King Size Bed

Something about hotels and their king size beds. Waking up in one just makes the whole day seem better and with great deals on rooms, May Long is the best time to stay an extra night.

As we say here in Canada, “Happy May-Long, eh.”

Whistler Lost Lake


Feet Banks moved to Whistler at age 12 so his parents could live the dream and ski as much as possible. He ended up living it too. After leaving home Feet did a few good stints in warmer climates and 4 years of writing school before returning to the mountains to make ski movies, hammer out a journalism career and avoid the 9-5 lifestyle as long as possible. He’s been a hay farmer, a hole digger, a magazine editor and has a jump named after him on Blackcomb Mountain, Feet’s Air. It’s tiny.