Even if you don’t ski or snowboard, there are so many things to do in Whistler in the winter! Updated for 2020, our Whistler Winter Guide is here to help you make the most of your Whistler winter experience.
To help you explore your options, we’ve sorted the guide into (click to jump to section):
Whistler Winter Outdoor Activities
Experience Whistler’s stunning scenery and temperate winter conditions.
Skiing and Snowboarding
The staple of wintertime in Whistler. Whistler Blackcomb offers North America’s largest skiiable area (and backcountry to boot!). No need to choose between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain – from the top, you can ride the iconic PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola from one to the other.
Blackcomb Ice Cave
When the Showcase T-Bar is open, giving access to Blackcomb Glacier, you can find this little treasure tucked away to the right side of the trail.
Cross-Country Skiing at Lost Lake and Olympic Park
A nice balance between calming and exhilarating, cross-country skiing is an excellent way to immerse yourself in Whistler’s wilderness.
Winter Ziplining and Bungee Jumping
For adrenaline lovers, soar above frozen valleys or plummet towards a crashing river.
- Ziplining above Fitzsimmons Valley between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains offered by Ziptrek Ecotours
- Backcountry ziplining on Cougar Mountain offered by Superfly Ziplines
- Bungee Jumping above Cheakamus River offered by Whistler Bungee
Snowmobiling and other Motorized Experiences by Canadian Wilderness Adventures
Take a guided snowmobile tour to an epic breakfast in a backcountry hut, or maybe mountaintop fondue is more your taste – there are plenty of unique tours offered by our friends at Canadian Wilderness Adventures.
Vallea Lumina Forest Multimedia Walk
Get out and explore wherever your feet might take you! Free snowshoe rentals are available for guests of the Summit Lodge.
Sledding and Ice Skating at Olympic Plaza
Olympic Plaza is Whistler’s family hangout. Hang out and enjoy hot chocolate while the kids toboggan, or lace up the skates and glide around a frozen rink beneath the iconic Olympic Rings. Free sled rentals are available for guests of the Summit Lodge.
Ice Fishing with Whistler Year Round Fishing
Our friend Matt from Whistler Year Round Fishing is your expert guide to Whistler’s frozen lakes and the fish that lie below.
Heli-skiing and Cat Skiing
Access deep powder and epic terrain with guided heli and snowcat tours.
From November to February, a large population of wintering bald eagles can be observed in the Squamish area. How majestic!
Whistler Tube Park
Located at Base 2 on Blackcomb Mountain, the Coca-Cola® Tube Park is a fun and accessible family activity on the mountain.
Get airborne with our friends at Blackcomb Helicopters and see the mountains from a new and beautiful perspective.
Dogsled and Sleigh Tours
Bobsleigh and Skeleton
Have a need for speed? Check out the Whistler Sliding Centre to experience the rush of bobsleigh and skeleton.
Skate on a Frozen Lake
Whistler winter conditions are mild but the small lakes and ponds are often frozen and safe for skating. Get a game of shinny going for the ultimate Canadian experience.
Whistler Winter Indoor Activities
With so much to do, finding your balance of indoor and outdoor recreation and relaxation is key to making the most of your time in Whistler.
Technically an indoor/outdoor activity, the Scandinave Spa is one of Whistler’s most popular spots. Lounges, massage rooms, steam rooms and saunas can be accessed via a winding walkway through an outdoor oasis of pools and waterfalls. It’s uniquely serene.
Art Galleries and the Squamish Cultural Centre
Whistler is home to a number of galleries including the Audain Art Museum, the Maury Young Arts Centre, and the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. For a full directory of arts and culture in Whistler Village, check out the Arts Whistler Cultural Map.
Shopping on the Village Stroll
There are many retailers and boutiques in the Whistler Village, and many of them can be found along the Village Stroll between the Olympic Plaza and Whistler Gondola.
Village 8 Cinemas
Pubcrawls and Whistler’s Legendary Nightlife
If nightclubs are your thing, you probably don’t need to be told about Whistler’s famous “underground” bar scene. For many, Whistler is a place to let loose and it’s made easy with a number of popular bars and clubs such as Longhorn, Garfinkel’s, Buffalo Bills, Tommys, and many more. See the Dining and Après section for our favourite spots to grab a drink after the hill.
An obvious indoor activity, see the Dining and Après section for our top dining recommendations.
Put your problem solving skills to the test at Escape! Whistler, featuring four unique escape rooms to choose from.
It’s oddly satisfying to launch an axe through the air (at a target, that is). Visit Forged Axe Throwing in Function Junction to experience it for yourself.
Pool and Darts
Yoga keeps the mind calm and the body limber, making it a great companion to on-mountain activities. Studios in Whistler include YYOGA, Yogacara, Loka Yoga, and popup classes can be found at a variety of locations including Meadow Park Sports Centre, Audain Art Museum, Lululemon and more.
Meadow Park Sports Centre
Whistler’s official recreation centre with a number of amenities including:
- pools for kids and adults, hot tubs, steam room, and sauna
- squash and basketball courts
- multiple weight, stretching, and cardio rooms
- ice rink for hockey and public skating
Trampoline Park and Ninja Gym (Squamish)
Whistler Winter Events
Whistler Pride and Ski Festival
Canada’s largest queer-focused ski festival welcomes visitors from around the globe for a week of skiing, snowboarding, parties, and entertainment.
World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF)
Whistler’s annual celebration of mountain sports and culture, featuring a number of popular events including ski and snowboard big air competitions, photography and videography competitions, concerts, parties, art exhibitions and more.
Mondays and Wednesdays in Olympic Plaza from 3PM – 6PM, sip a hot beverage and enjoy live entertainment at the foot of the iconic Olympic rings, with plenty of activities to keep the young ones occupied.
Fire and Ice Show
Every Sunday night at Skier’s Plaza (base of Whistler Gondola) watch some of Whistler’s best skiers and snowboarders jump through a ring of fire! Accompanied by fire spinners, live DJ, and a firework display at the end. 7PM until March 1st, 8PM from March 8th onwards.
Weekly Nightlife Events
There’s always something going on at Whistler’s pubs and clubs. Some popular events include:
- Monday: trivia at Crystal Lounge, Bangers & Mash at Garfinkel’s
- Tuesday: karaoke at Crystal Lounge, bingo at Tapley’s
- Thursday: local’s night at Garfinkel’s
- Friday: ladies night at Buffalo Bills
- view all nightlife events by checking the “Nightlife” box on this page
Complete Events Listing
There are far too many Whistler winter events to list here! Visit the Tourism Whistler Events Calendar for a complete listing.
Whistler Winter Dining and Après
The best places to eat and drink in each neighbourhood, in our opinion.
Near Whistler Gondola
- Longhorn Saloon – impossible to miss, Whistler’s rowdiest all-day après spot
- Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC) – uniquely located above the Whistler gondola, featuring a nice patio with multiple fireplaces
- Dubh Linn Gate – Irish pub with live music and an ideal 5PM-7PM happy hour
- Cinnamon Bear – located in the Hilton hotel, featuring the legendary Swedish Après party every Tuesday
- Sushi Village – aka “party sushi”, one of Whistler’s most famous spots, great for groups and celebrations
On the Mountain
- Umbrella Bar (Whistler Mountain) – stunning views of Whistler and Blackcomb from this unique indoor/outdoor patio bar
- Raven’s Nest (Whistler Mountain) – vegetarian and vegan eats at the base of Big Red Express on Whistler mountain
- Crystal Hut (Blackcomb Mountain) – cozy hut at the top of Crystal chair on Blackcomb Mountain serving legendary giant waffles
Whistler’s lesser-trafficked village, at the base of Blackcomb Mountain
- Merlin’s – classic après spot at the base of Blackcomb Gondola
- Handlebar – impressive selection of rotating craft beers and tasty appetizers
- Portabello – all-day dining with an open kitchen, good barbecue
- Nagomi Sushi – popular sushi spot off the beaten path
- RMU Blackcomb – cozy pub with a cool atmosphere and impressive beer list, located in the Le Chamois hotel
- Fitzsimmons Pub – another cozy pub featuring craft beers and local whiskies, popular for its welcoming atmosphere
Whistler Village Stroll
The busy walkway between Olympic Plaza and Whistler Gondola
- Earls – multiple daily happy hours with an impressive food and drink selection
- Tapley’s – casual pub with dart boards and lots of screens to watch the game
- Amsterdam – classic dive bar with outdoor seating right on the Village Stroll
- 21 Steps – one of our favourite dinner recommendations, great quality and portions
- Caramba – casual-yet-upscale pizza and Mediterranean dishes, also known for Whistler’s best burger
- Bearfoot Bistro – one-of-a-kind fine dining experience with massive wine cellar and a vodka tasting room made entirely of ice
- Crystal Lounge – comfortable underground lounge with cheap chicken wings and a rowdy karaoke night
- Stinky’s On The Stroll – recently opened by longtime Whistler bartender, this popular bar is inspired by sports, skiing and snowboarding, and classic rock
Whistler Village North
Main St and Olympic Plaza – all around the Summit Lodge!
- Sachi Sushi – classy, award-winning sushi restaurant
- EightyOne Cafe – bright cafe and coworking space, located at the Summit Lodge!
- Elements Urban Tapas Parlour – Whistler’s best breakfast and small bites, located beside EightyOne and the Summit Lodge
- Fresh St Market – formerly IGA, the neighbourhood grocery store with an impressive hot food bar
- Splitz Grill – classic burger joint with fresh, endlessly customizable, handmade burgers
- Peaked Pies – authentic Australian meat pies, “peaked” with mashed potatoes, peas, and gravy
- Gnarly Roots – unique cafe near the Olympic rings serving pizza, pasta, and sandwiches
- Hunter Gather – casual eatery with a cool interior, great barbecue and rotating craft beers
- Alta Bistro – classic French cuisine, one of the best fine dining experiences in Whistler village
- Green Moustache – healthy food you can feel good about!
- La Cantina – Mexican food in a casual atmosphere
- Purebread – dangerously delicious baked goods
- Pizzeria Antico – rustic pizza place with a great beer selection, arguably the best happy hour in town
Popular village south of Whistler Village with its own gondola
- Dusty’s – legendary après spot at the base of Creekside Gondola
- Roland’s – popular pub with good food, a great place to watch the game
- BReD – famous sourdough bread by Ed, and good coffee
- Rimrock – many consider Rimrock the best restaurant in Whistler
- Southside Diner – popular traditional-style diner
Alpine and Rainbow
Neighbourhoods north of Whistler Village
- Cranked Espresso Bar (Rainbow) – delicious and healthy food options, premium coffee and espresso drinks, craft beer on tap (happy hour 2pm-5pm) and live music at night
- Alpine Cafe (Alpine) – homey atmosphere with hearty all-day dining and live music at night
- Green Lake Station (Rainbow) – gas station restaurant with surprisingly good food and atmosphere
Southmost neighbourhood in Whistler, the first place you see on your way into town
- Coast Mountain Brewing – trendy craft brewery with a cozy tasting room
- Whistler Brewing – Whistler-themed brewery with a nice space
- Functional Pie – recently opened pizza place getting rave reviews
- Velvet Underground – vintage clothing store serving tasty vegan food
- Wild Wood Cafe – homey cafe with good portions
- Delish Cafe – known for great poutine
- Purebread and Green Moustache – just as delicious as their Whistler Village locations
Whistler Happy Hours and Dining Specials
For a daily listing of Whistler restaurant deals and happy hours, visit whistlerbites.ca