North of Vancouver, Whistler invites visitors to swiftly drop into the rhythm of the days, in this British Columbia destination where jaw-dropping beauty awaits around every bend. Dictated by the whims of Mother Nature and the moods of the mountain, summer months bring plenty of sunshine and warmer temps, plus a bounty of trails that reappear as the snow melts away until next year. It’s the perfect season in which to “adventure deeper” in one of the most stunning places on our globe.
Start things off by booking an extended visit that allows you to truly dig below the surface and delve into local culture and natural surroundings. Whether you stay within the immediate Whistler hub — a compact, chalet-style pedestrian village situated at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains — or a bit farther out still nestled into nature, you’ll quickly discover what drew you to this place and which (sometimes unexpected) activities speak to you the most. Rest and relaxation await at luxurious spas around town, while museums and galleries invite visitors to connect with the region’s First Nations residents and other artisans who more recently began calling this place “home.”
Those who’ve come to play in the wide-open spaces and rugged West Coast panoramas can easily craft sun-stroked, multisport days full of hiking, biking, golfing, paddling and ziplining adventures — or some combination of it all. Discover Whistler at your own pace, thanks to a network of paved trails that connect the legendary Bike Park, award-winning golf courses, glacier-fed lakes, lush forests and mesmerizing waterfalls.
With Whistler Village located at the foot of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, alpine hiking trails with views are easy to access via the scenic gondola. Simply hop aboard the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, and choose between brief, family-friendly strolls along spacious paths or more advanced hikes that lead you toward twinkling lakes, glaciers and alpine meadows. Along the way, look out for resident wildlife like pikas and marmots. (A perk of alpine hikes? Vibrant wildflowers that usually last into late August.)
Zip line tours allow daredevils to slide across suspended wires, above creeks and across the forest canopy of majestic old-growth trees. Since Whistler is surrounded by lakes and rivers, water lovers will find no shortage of aquatic options. Pass warm summer days on a beach beside a clear mountain lake, or rent canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards to get into the middle of the action. (Choose between gentle excursions on calm lake waters, extended river trips or, for more adventurous travelers, whitewater rafting outings.)
Avid golfers with an appreciation for a view are in luck with snow-tipped mountains and deep, green forested slopes surrounding any golf course in Whistler. While some courses are located alongside alpine lakes or mountain streams, others allow you to putt surrounded by majestic old growth cedars while wildflowers wave alongside the greens — whatever course you choose, you’re bound for a breathtaking experience. Four of Canada’s top-ranked courses are all located within a 25-minute drive of each other in Whistler.
Wildlife enthusiasts will want to take advantage of bear viewing tours that run throughout the summer. Knowledgeable experts teach passengers about Whistler’s fascinating flora and fauna, while traveling around in a 4×4 vehicle to find bear feeding sites, daybeds and dens.
Hikes around Whistler showcase marvels like 900-year-old trees; British Columbia is home to a quarter of the world’s temperate rainforest, yet much of the remaining old-growth forests are remote and challenging to access. (However, the Ancient Cedars Trail, located just north of town, boasts a well-maintained and easily navigable trail, best reached with the help of a 4×4 vehicle.)
Surely, all these sun-streaked adventures work up a healthy appetite, which can be sated at pop-up food trucks, casual pubs and elegant eateries around town. Whether you’re wanting to try regional specialties and seasonal delights — or exhilarating cuisines imported from around the globe — Whistler knows how to resonate with any type of traveler, in any season. On a warm summer day, though, Whistler Village is buzzing with energy. And when the day winds down, The Village Stroll — lined with cafes and patios and shops — is a perfect site for an evening stroll listening to live music or enjoying other street entertainment.
As balmy days draw steadily nearer, make sure to pursue the adventures you find calling you this summer; in Whistler, you’re bound to find them.
Tourism Whistler seeks to inspire mountain enthusiasts and adventure seekers to experience and share Whistler again and again. Enjoy four-night stays from $159 per night and receive a free adventure voucher.