October 2019 Whistler, British Columbia: Will It Be Winter Wonders or Summer Fun?

Whistler, British Columbia: Will It Be Winter Wonders or Summer Fun?

So pedestrian: Walking in Whistler’s winter wonderland. 
So pedestrian: Walking in Whistler’s winter wonderland. 
Photo by Stock Studio X/Getty Images

"I never get tired of Whistler’s spectacular scenery and wonderful people,” says Virtuoso travel advisor Gary Johnson, who has visited the resort at least once a month for the past 25 years. Located just 90 minutes outside Vancouver and four hours from Johnson’s home base of Seattle, the compact, pedestrian-friendly town, dramatically set within reach of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, bursts with boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and cultural venues. Add more than 8,000 acres of skiable terrain, Canada’s largest ski resort, a lively après-ski scene, and the recently launched tri-cable gondola lift, and it’s easy to see why Whistler Blackcomb consistently ranks as a top North American ski resort.

That’s not to diminish Whistler’s summertime appeal. Indeed, with seemingly endless outdoor activities – miles of hiking and mountain bike trails, three golf courses, canoeing on Alta Lake, free concerts in Olympic Plaza – “Whistler is now just as popular in the summer,” Johnson says. The advisor recommends the nearly 7,200-foot-high Cloudraker Skybridge and Raven’s Eye Cliff Walk for 360-degree views over the valley and surrounding peaks: “Just make sure you hold on to your camera!”

A peak experience at the ski-in/ski-out Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
A peak experience at the ski-in/ski-out Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

Winter

Adventurers can ski straight to the door of the 528-room Fairmont Chateau Whistler, located steps from the gondola at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. Off the slopes, diners can order sustainable seafood near the stone fireplace in the Grill Room. Johnson also recommends slipping into the Vida Spa for an Ayurvedic treatment or a soak in one of its three outdoor whirlpools. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily, two signature martinis, and a souvenir martini-shaker set.

Summer

Working with your travel advisor, Virtuoso on-site connection Entrée Canada can create a five-day Whistler adventure that includes zip-lining through the forested Fitzsimmons Creek valley, peering into bear dens on a four-wheel-drive safari, rafting white-water rapids, and soaring over glacial peaks in a floatplane. This totally tailored vacation includes private transfers from Vancouver and connecting rooms at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler. Consider upgrading to one of the 273-room hotel’s fully equipped private residences: “They’re perfect for families who want that feeling of being in their own home,” says Johnson. Departures: Any day through 2020.

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