The longest day of the year in Whistler is the same as everywhere else in the northern hemisphere: June 21, the summer solstice. The difference is, of course, Whistler has a lot more ways to celebrate all those golden hours of daylight so we are counting down ten of them.
1. Sunrise Fishing Session
Sunrise in Whistler for June 21 is set for just past 5 AM. That’s pretty early (unless you haven’t gone to bed yet) but even if you don’t quite make sunrise an early morning flyfishing session on one of Whistler’s alpine lakes is one of the most peaceful and meditative ways to kick off any summer day. Guided tours are available if you don’t have your own gear and if you don’t like to fish…. do yoga or something instead. It’s really just all about being there to experience the birth of a new day.
2. Pre-Breakfast Sweat
If 5 AM is way too early you can still enjoy the morning magic with a run/bike/rollerblade on the Valley Trail. Nothing kickstarts a good day like getting the heart rate up before breakfast (it also makes the bacon taste better). Check out these five Whistler running routes for ideas. An early morning skate park session is also amazing, you have the bowl to yourself.
3. Drink a Caesar on a Patio
June 21 is also the official start of summer and nothing says “Summer in Canada” like a breakfast Caesar on a sunny Village patio. Take note though, BC liquor laws are “interesting” so not every breakfast place can serve Caesars at 9 AM (even if the sun has been up since five).
4. Take a Hike
Walk away from it all! Hiking is free, healthy and a good way to experience both the coastal rainforest and the stunning alpine scenery. Plus it’s a good way to get away from the crowds and get some time alone with your thoughts. There is zen to be found in the repetition of step after step through nature. Rainbow Mountain is a personal favourite day hike but check out this collection of Insider hiking posts for more ideas.
5 National Indigenous Peoples Day
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is one of the best and most celebrated indigenous cultural museums in the country and June 21 also happens to be National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada so what better time to stop in and learn about the original Sea to Sky locals.
Official celebrations for National Indigenous Peoples Day will take place on June 21. The Centre is always very hands-on and alongside films and exhibits you can also beat drums, touch traditional canoes and paddles, take a workshop and get a real feeling for a culture that has been living in these mountains since time immemorial. (And if it feels like a museum kind of day, the Whistler Museum & Archives has some epic exhibits from the last 100 years of Whistler history while the Audain Art Museum has a fine range of traditional and contemporary artworks from prominent BC artists.)
6. Do Nothing (at a lake)
Nothing is perhaps the greatest thing to do any day of the year but it is even more amazing on the longest day because you can do more of it. The world is hectic these days and part of any get-away should involve some actual getting away. So find one of Whistler’s incredible lakes or beaches, turn off your phone and see how long you can just soak in the moment. (Bring sunscreen.)
7. Ice Cream
If the first day of summer isn’t the perfect day to enjoy some ice cream (or artisanal gelato) then what is? Whistler has a plethora of great ice cream/gelato joints.
8. 72-Hole Golf Marathon!
Whistler has three world-class courses right here in the Valley with more incredibly scenic golf just down the road to the north in Pemberton. Theoretically, if you got up early enough you could play all four area course in a single-day, 72-hole golf marathon. That would be pretty killer but also bear in mind that since sunset comes later than any other day the longest day means the longest twilight and most courses offer a twilight round deal. Get more golf info here and check out the Insider par-3 hole browser video for an aerial look at each course.
9. Evening Patio Session
Even if you started your day on a patio this one is almost mandatory. Watching the sun sink below a mountain from a comfy outdoor patio is one of Whistler’s truest joys. The fact that sunset happens after your usual weekday bedtime only makes it better. Whistler Village has plenty of incredible patios with views of the action in the bike park or people watching along the Village Stroll. And Nita Lake Lodge in Creekside and Table Nineteen at Nicklaus North both have patios with lake views.
10. Go To Bed Early Party Like Summer Is Almost Over!
Yes, sleep is awesome and there are still a couple solid months of summer ahead so it would make sense to rest up, but Whistler didn’t get to where it is by calling it a night and taking it easy. Summer is a rare treat that needs to be cherished so live it up, go for a late-night dessert, close down a patio, hit a nightclub, take a post-dinner walk or midnight swim. Whatever you do, just have fun and give it your all. That’s the Whistler way. Happy Summer.
Find out everything you need to know about summer in Whistler at Whistler.com