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Travel guide/ Canada

A local's guide on things to do in Whistler

Lake swims, mountain laps and après ski vibes. Happy *sigh*

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Hey i’m Alicia, a Canadian content creator with a love for travel and exploring the big wide outdoors.

So it was only natural I did a working holiday in New Zealand right? This article today is about my home though, British Columbia, and one mountain in particular that springs to mind — Whistler.

Whether you want to carve it up on the slopes, spend the day river rafting, or party in the village, there’s something to do for everyone. From gorgeous peaks to the incredible social atmosphere, Whistler is the place to be. It can be pretty daunting to figure out what exactly you want to do so I’ve come up with a few insider tips to help you make the most of your working holiday in Canada.

Before I get into it, I would like to respectfully acknowledge that Whistler is on the unceded territory of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Lilwat7úl (Lil’wat) Nations. This article is written in consideration of their history, culture, and language.

Whistler Mountain

Standing up on that gigantic mountain makes you feel so tiny, but also humble, full of joy (and cold as hell), and it is one of my favourite places in the world to be. There’s nothing quite like the crisp air after a fresh snowfall, and the sun gleaming over the trees onto your rosy cheeks. But what activities can you get up to come snow or sunshine?

For the thrill seekers

Whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, hiking, mountain biking or becoming an instructor — the options are endless. Thankfully, it’s super easy to pick up a pass online (day or seasonal), and if you need gear, there’s no shortage of options around the village.

For the outdoor adventurers

There are also some absolutely breathtaking hikes at the top of Whistler Blackcomb that range from beginner to intermediate. These can span from 45 minutes (Mathews’ Traverse Road) to 4-5 hours (High Note Trail). So, whether you’re looking for a short loop walk or a more challenging hike, there’s something for everyone.

There are also some amazing lakes around the mountain. Lost Lake is a beautiful lake that is the perfect spot to hang out at in the summer. It has a beach and swimming area, swimming docks, picnic tables and barbecue stands, trails, a disc golf course, and much more. There is also a free Lost Lake Shuttle that runs daily, every 20 minutes from 11am to 6pm from June to September between the Gondola Transit Exchange and Lost Lake Park.

Another amazing lake that is accessible by bus (#10, #20, and #25) is Alta Lake. This lake has a sand beach, a large grass area, swimming docks and rafts, food trucks and concession stands (during the summer), and it has a protected shoreline habitat for fish (yay for the environment).

For the chillers

If you’re looking to just chill atop of the mountain, Whistler has some amazing alpine locations to eat, drink, and relax at— it doesn’t have to be all extreme sports.

The Roundhouse Lodge has a couple of different dining options depending on what you’re looking for. There is the restaurant itself which serves a variety such as West Coast Grill, made-to-order meals as well as on-the-go options. If you’re looking to refuel, the Roundhouse Lodge Cappo Bar — located inside the Roundhouse Lodge — is a fantastic spot for snacks, and cold beverages.

The Umbrella Bar is a must-visit. It’s located just in front of the Roundhouse Lodge and is the prime place to view the mountain in all its glory. So sit back order a bev and take it all in.

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Author Alicia in Squamish

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Enjoying the Whistler powder

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Summer swim in the lakes

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alicia Dekker

Jenza Community Contributor | Auckland

Originally from Vancouver, Alicia is currently lapping up the outdoors life she loves on a working holiday visa in New Zealand. When she's not advocating to protect planet earth, you'll find her climbing mountains, doing extreme sports and anything that involves being outside in nature.

"From gorgeous peaks to the incredible social atmosphere, Whistler is the place to be."

For the Après Ski lovers

Whether you’ve been shredding pow or dirt, it’s always a treat to reach the bottom of the mountain to find The Longhorn ready to meet you; with the music blasting, the champagne guns, and all round buzzing atmosphere — it is truly one of the best places to be after a long day on the slopes.

If you’re a social butterfly and want to keep the party going, there is no shortage of places to get your dance on. From laid-back pubs to hyped up clubs, Whistler Village has it all. It can be overwhelming to try and find the best spots in town, so here’s a couple of my favourite places that are guaranteed to give you an awesome night out.

Garfinkel’s is one of the hottest places to party in Whistler. It’s hosted some of the biggest names such as Skrillex, Steve Aoki, What So Not, and Avicii. This iconic club has an incredible atmosphere and is sure to be a night out that you won’t forget.

If you’re looking for a place that has some fantastic live music including DJ nights Après Après is the place to be. It’s modern, moody, and the perfect place to host events, celebrations, or to just dance the night away.

If a more chilled-out night is your style, there a tons of pubs to relax and have cheeky pint at. Places like Blacks Pub, Dubh Linn Gate, and Tapley’s Neighbourhood Pub are great spots to sit back and unwind after an amazing day on the mountain.

Doing your Part

The nature in Canada will knock your socks off which is why it's so important to preserve it. We wouldn’t get to experience this beautiful place without a few sustainability ground rules. Here's a few to consider...

Bring your bottle The tap water throughout the Community of Whistler is tested regularly to make sure it's safe to drink. And as an added bonus The Resort Municipality of Whistler has water bottle-filling stations throughout the village. That way, you’re not only saving the planet, but you’re also saving your wallet — win-win.

Skip the car Getting around Whistler is pretty easy without a vehicle. There are lots of shuttles and buses that run to and through Whistler. And the Village itself is pedestrian only. In addition, the Valley Trail and buses make it easy to get outside the village if you’re keen to explore.

Leave No Trace When hiking, always make sure to stay on the trails to avoid disturbing the flora and fauna. Remember to pack out what you pack in — I always try my best to leave things in a better state than when I found them.

**So, if you’re ready to get out there and explore this awesome and thrilling part of Canada, what are you waiting for? It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo traveller, travelling with your bestie, or looking for work, you’re bound to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Head over to JENZA's Canada page to explore more

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alicia Dekker

Jenza Community Contributor | Auckland

Originally from Vancouver, Alicia is currently lapping up the outdoors life she loves on a working holiday visa in New Zealand. When she's not advocating to protect planet earth, you'll find her climbing mountains, doing extreme sports and anything that involves being outside in nature.

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