Last year, I spent the season going to and from my University accommodation in Vancouver to Whistler (2 hours) and in this post I include some of my best tips on where to stay, eat and have fun. I wouldn’t have changed much from that year, except for maybe fewer studies so I could ski more. That being said, I ended up racking up just short of 30 days for the season.
WHERE TO STAY
My advice is don’t be put off by creekside. It has its own gondola to the slopes, you will be up quicker which means more skiing. Simple. The difference is the après-ski is good but there is a lack of restaurant/bar variety. If your sole purpose is to ski and you have found an Airbnb in creekside I wouldn’t hesitate. Cook for yourself, make a packed lunch and ski bell to bell.
This is the main location to sleep, eat and drink. If you can get a hotel for $50 appx a night then it’s well worth it. At the time my GBP that I had brought over was nearly 2:1 to Canadian dollar so it felt like an unbelievable price. This is only possible if you share rooms. Personally, we always filled the room as much as we could, sometimes overfilled.
Where I Have Stayed – Crystal Lodge, Blackcomb Lodge and multiple Airbnbs.
Pretty much all accommodation is awesome but make sure you stay in the village centre over village north and certainly not upper village (Map). The reason being, a long walk in ski boots all kitted out in the morning after a night out at Mojo’s is not what you need.
Neither Creekside or the Village.
I would avoid doing this, unless you are a hardcore skier who doesn’t mind walking further distance with their skis and gear on their back or are looking for a more leisurely approach to Whistler. Staying outside of the two main areas will require a bus journey that will take you next to the main gondola area. Usually this option is significantly cheaper and many younger and fitter skiers choose this option. I would recommend the HI Hostel at about $30-$50 a night.
WHERE TO SKI
Whistler or Blackcomb? It’s a question that was asked every single time I made the trip up to the slopes from Vancouver. Sorry modest bit coming up. I am an advanced skier and enjoy trying to make the fresh tracks so personally I am a Blackcomb fan. For those that didn’t get the above, there are two mountains that encompass Whistler Blackcomb including many ski areas(Map) and in total 200 runs (Map).
My recommended ski areas:
Crystal Hut/Ridge. (Blackcomb)
Crystal Ridge is the winner for me, by far my favourite skiing location on the giant beast that is Whistler Blackcomb. It has full range from trees, piste, powder and all round fun.
7th Heaven (Blackcomb) & Symphony (Whistler)
Both are excellent areas to practice those long sweeping powder runs, with a bit less people than elsewhere on the slopes. Also if you are an early riser, you could find yourselves with some slopes to yourself.
Symphony @ Whistler
Big Red Express (Whistler)
My other recommendations are considered intermediate to advance, Big Red to many is the obvious choice for beginner to intermediate skiers but it is excellent and on many occasion it was the warm-up run and cool-down runs that I hit.
WHERE TO EAT
Found at the bottom of the creekside gondola, its just the easiest place to grab the burger and pint at the end of the day.
El Furniture Warehouse (Whistler Village)
Its practically famous everuthing under $4.95 menu is a must do. Unsuprisingly therefore one of the cheapest places to eat and drink and the quality is pretty good as well.
Fat Tony’s Pizza (Whistler Village)
Best Slice in town. No more to say.
The Brewhouse (Whistler Village North)
One of my favourites!! Mostly because it was super close to parking lot 3 which amusingly is free in price and often with space. Not a better place to sit with a cold one in front of the fire after a long day on the slopes or one of their liquor coffees. Good food also.
WHERE TO PARTY/DRINK
Garfinkels or Moe Joe’s are the main nightclubs that are open to late and they are both as good as each other. Try both if you can.
Except for these two I would recommend simply hitting après really hard. Longhorn or Dustys are ideal as these are super close to the bottom of the mountain and a just awesome!
And there it is, my ultimate guide to the Whistler Blackcomb experience. Any comments hit me up below.