Photography by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler Image by: Photography by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler
1. Explore the treetop adventure course
Strap yourself into a harness and explore Whistler's fabulous tree line. From traversing rope lines and bridges to hanging off monkey bars, you can conquer your fear of heights, experience the forest and feel like you're a kid again. If your kids are looking for some adventure, The Adventure Group Whistler also has a fun course made for kids ages seven to 14. Shuttle buses to the course run from Whistler Village.
Cost: $59 per adult ($29 per child on the kids’ course)
For more info: tagwhistler.com
2. Go zip-lining
Whistler's Ziptrek Ecotours is a popular attraction for kids of all ages. Designed with minimal impact on the surrounding environment, Ziptrek has five exciting zip-lines to fly down, including a 2,000-foot line that drops over 20 storeys! The lines are located about 180 feet above the ground, making for an awesome aerial view of the forest floor and surrounding creeks and rivers. Tours range from two to four-and-a-half hours. The minimum age requirement is six years old.
Cost: Varies depending on tour and age
For more info: ziptrek.com/whistler-canada
3. Look for bears
You don't want to leave Whistler without spotting some of the furry, four-legged locals. Book a bear tour and ride around the mountains in a 4x4 visiting bear dens and feeding areas and you just might see some of the 50 black bears that call the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains their home.
Cost: $189 per adult; $179 per child, youth and senior
For more info: whistlerblackcomb.com
4. Paddle the River of Golden Dreams
Rent a canoe or kayak and get out on the water! Paddling the River of Golden Dreams (across Alta Lake, through Whistler's wetlands and down a glacier river to Green Lake) is a favourite adventure among locals and tourists alike. Sign up for a private guided tour, which departs every two hours starting at 9:00 a.m. and lasts three hours. If you're an experienced paddler, sign up for the self-guided tour.
Cost: $70 to $150
For more info: whistlerecotours.com
5. Go for a ride
If you're an adventure-seeker, consider renting a downhill bike to tour some of the mountain. If you'd prefer to stay on flatter ground, you can rent a valley or road bike and explore local trails and roads.
For more info: bike.whistlerblackcomb.com
6. Mountaintop barbecue
Ride the 4.4 kilometre Peak 2 Peak Gondola between the peaks of beautiful Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains (look out below for bears!) and take part in a delicious mountaintop barbecue. After all, how often can you enjoy a scenic dinner at 6,000 feet? The BBQ takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from June 28 through to Sept. 7. Chefs cook up slow-roasted pork on Fridays, prime rib on Saturdays and a Pacific seafood grill on Sundays. Sides, salads and dessert are included.
Cost: $29 to $65 (kids ages six and under ride and eat for free)
For more info: whistlerblackcomb.com
Where to stay
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler: Treat your family to a luxurious stay at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Keep a close eye on the hotel’s website, as they often advertise special offers.
For more info: fairmont.com/whistler
Summit Lodge and Spa Whistler: Located in the heart of Whistler Village, Summit Lodge and Spa Whistler is a family-friendly (and pet-friendly) option.
For more info: summitlodge.com
HI-Whistler: Hostelling International's Whistler location is a more affordable option located in Whistler Village. Fun fact: The hostel was originally built to house athletes during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
For more info: hihostels.ca
How to get to Whistler
Whistler is easily accessible from the Vancouver airport. Look for the Pacific Coach bus kiosk at the airport to purchase your ticket. The bus also departs from Downtown Vancouver, so if you're planning to spend a few days in the city first you can hop on the bus and head to Whistler from one of the downtown stops. For more information on schedule and fares, visit pacificcoach.com.
For more information on what to do and see, and where to stay in Whistler, visit enjoywhistler.com.