Tourists can be spoiled for choice on what to do, where to eat/drink and where to head on the mountain when they visit Whistler. Luckily for the locals and seasonaires there’s enough time to try them all and pick our favourites! Here are my top 5 places for apres-ski drinks & dining in Whistler, top 5 ski & snowboard runs and other activities to try out:
Merlin’s – ‘Ski shot, ski shot’ is the cry that can be heard by people encouraging their friends to do a shot from a ski… a ski shot. Some of my best après sessions have occurred in Merlins! Live bands play most days there. You have to have the famous nachos too while you’re there.
Dusty’s – Located in Creekside, Dusty’s is home to some of the best food in Whistler (see dining below). There are live bands on from 3pm most days.
Garibaldi Lift Co. – At the base of Whistler mountain is the Garibaldi Lift Company. On a bluebird day, the GLC patio is the perfect place to enjoy a famous Ceaser and people watch!
Fitzsimmons Pub – Less well known that the above three bars. Located at the base of Blackcomb, a little further past Merlins is the Fitz pub. Pitchers of beer are cheaper than most and they have a good selection of ales. It’s a little cozy with a capacity of 20 people, but with old school board games and a friendly atmosphere, you’ll feel right at home!
The Crystal Lounge– One of the best places to go for good drink deals and wings. Every day between 2-4pm wings are 20 cents then 40 cents before 6pm – bargain!
This is written by a typical seasonal Whistler Blackcomb staff member (eats on a budget and on the rare occasion splashes out on a nicer meal). For the more up-market restaurants, see Araxi and Bearfoot Bistro.
El Furniture Warehouse – The queues that can be generally seen speak for themselves. All meals are $4.95 and they are definitely the best value food you’ll get in Whistler.
Dusty’s – The best ribs and wings in Whistler! 50% off Tuesday & Wednesdays for all. The BBQ chicken sandwich is my personal favorite!
Dubb Linn Gate – The Fish & Chips and cottage pie are probably the best meals I’ve had in Whistler. They serve great traditional Irish pub food and breakfast.
Three Below – Located by the cinema, Three Below has a good selection of meals on the menu all at reasonable prices, I’ve never been disappointed when we’ve visited Three Below.
Fat Tony’s Pizza – I couldn’t make a top 5 ‘dining’ list and not include the beloved Fat Tony’s! At $2 a slice of pizza it’s definitely a locals favorite. I wouldn’t like to guess the number of slices I’ve eaten in 6 months!
To pick just 5 runs out of around 200 on Whistler Blackcomb is very tricky. I’ve got a little consensus from other locals here and here is the top 5:
Peak to Creek – At 7km (4.3 mi) long the Peak to Creek sure is a thigh burner. When the whole of the run is groomed, it’s hard to beat. The views on the way down are great and it’s handy that the run finished at Dusty’s in Creekside so you can enjoy a sit down and a well-deserved drink!
Dave Murray Downhill – Not quite as long as the Peak to Creek but just as enjoyable is the Dave Murray Downhill. The run was used as the downhill course in the 2010 Olympics.
Rhapsody Bowl – Located in the Symphony Amphitheatre, Rhapsody Bowl is a great run to do on a powder day for intermediate/advanced boarders and skiers. If you can beat the crowds to be one of the first down and create your own lines – you will not be disappointed! If you fancy going a higher while you’re at Symphony chair you can take a 30 minute hike to go down Flute Bowl.
Harmony Ridge – Accessed from the top of Harmony Express. Harmony Ridge is a groomed run that has great views. You can head of the groomed part of the run to head down some of the black runs down the sides.
Cloud 9 / Hugh’s Heaven – On a bluebird day, 7th Heaven is where you want to be. The views from there are incredible. Cloud 9 or Hugh’s Heaven leading back down to 7th Heaven Express are great intermediate runs.
Okay, I can’t just name 5 runs… a couple more locals favourites are:
Ridge Runner – Crystal Ridge Express, Blackcomb
Ross’ Gold – Near Solar Coaster Chair, Blackcomb
Bear Paw, In Deep – Garbanzo Express, Whistler
The Saddle – Peak Chair, Whistler
*Disclaimer – My favorite runs are mainly intermediate ones. For advanced skiers and boarders some locals favorites are Couliour Extreme, Khybers tree run, Spanky’s Ladder & Cougar Chutes
Whistler isn’t just about the skiing and snowboarding! Here are my top 5 other activities to try out while in Whistler:
Ziplining – Fly through the trees over the Fitzsimmons Valley in-between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains!
Scandinave Spa – Relax and treat yourself at one of the most peaceful spots in Whistler.
Tube Park – Have fun sliding on the snow. Not just for the kids – believe me!
Sliding Centre – Try out the Skeleton or Bobsleigh and feel like an Olympian!
Snowmobiling – Experience a exhilarating ride on a sled through Whistler’s backcountry.