We chose Whistler as our final pit stop for a couple of reasons; 1. It was relatively close to Vancouver again so getting back for our flight wouldn’t be too stressful, and 2. It was one of the places I was most excited about visiting, being a bit of a fan of the winter Olympics.
I’ve raved in the past and indeed in other blog posts about this holiday, about how much I loved Queenstown in New Zealand, which we visited on our honeymoon in 2013. Queenstown being the home of adventure sports; there’s nothing you can’t throw yourself off or out of, or into down there, and the nightlife is just chilled out bars full of people drinking beer and talking about all the cool stuff they’ve done that day. Whistler is like that for rich people.
Over two million people visit Whistler annually, mainly for skiing and snowboarding and, in summer, mountain biking. The pedestrian village has won loads of awards for being pretty and Whistler has been voted among the top destinations in North America by major ski magazines since the mid-1990s. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler hosted most of the alpine, Nordic, luge, skeleton, and bobsled events.
Put simply, Whistler is cool AF and I loved it there. It helped of course that we managed to bag one of the swankiest hotels of our whole trip so saw the end of our amazing adventure off right. We were only there 2 nights so needed to make the most of it. When we arrived just after lunch we checked in and went for a walk around the resort, stopping for a cheeky beer whenever we saw an inviting looking fire pit – of which there are plenty!
We also managed to find one of the best bar/restaurants of the whole trip too; El Furniture where everything on the menu is $5 (accept for drinks, of course) and the food is pretty good too. It’s hearty pub grub, and yeah you end up eating things like tapas, but really good value and portions were decent, we ended up eating there both nights in the end. It’s busy, as you would imagine, but since there was only 2 of us we got seated pretty quickly.
Our only full day in whistler was taken up by hiring some bikes and going for a ride around all the lakes that are just on the outskirts of the town. Being early October, snow hadn’t come yet, despite it being unseasonably cold for that time of the year. And as such none of the ski lifts were operating so we stayed low down. The bike trails were nice and secluded and pretty easy to follow, despite being annoyingly hilly! Still, after eating nothing but burgers and donuts for the last 2 weeks, this little bit of gentle exercise was welcome!
I guess being there out of season meant that the town itself was busier than it would normally be in the winter; assuming most people would be frolicking on the slopes. What that did highlight for me though, was how absolutely heaving it must be during peak ski season. It was busy enough the first week in October, bearing in mind we still had to wait a few times for a seat in some places, I dread to think how busy it must be two months down the line. So whilst I would have loved to have experienced it in full swing, and dig out some skis for a few goes on the bunny run to appease the 8 year old in me, I’m pleased we were there out of season and managed to see things while they were a bit quieter.