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Whistler Travel Tips - Practical Information to Help Plan Your Vacation

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Whistler, British Columbia, is a year-round activity destination. It receives consistent and abundant snowfall for skiing and snowboarding in winter, and enjoys long summer days that allow you to explore its biking and hiking trails into the warm evenings. It's a mecca for outdoor adventurers and is known for providing visitors with friendly service.

Best time to travel

 

Whistler Blackcomb's ski season runs from late November through May. The most popular times to hit the slopes are over Christmas and Spring Break in March, while January sees fewer visitors and shorter lift lines. The spring is an ideal time to visit since this season allows you to spend the morning on the slopes and the afternoon in the bike parks. Summer temperatures regularly reach 30 degrees C (86 F), and winter lows can drop to -10 degrees C (14 F). Fall is Whistler's quietest time.

Not to miss

 

Skiing and snowboarding are Whistler's most popular winter activities, but you can also zoom across powder fields on a snowmobile, take a gentle sleigh ride through coastal rainforest, or traverse trails on snowshoes. The 10-day World Ski & Snowboard Festival in April is crammed with contests and free outdoor concerts. Summer visitors won't want to miss soaring between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, or cooling off in Lost Lake. The Crankworx festival in August draws the world's top mountain bikers to Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

 

Getting around

 

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is 135 km south of Whistler. You can drive or take a direct airport shuttle, which will take you to Whistler in a little over 2 hours. Between May and September, floatplanes connect Vancouver and Whistler, and the trip takes 45 minutes. You don't need a car, as it's easy to explore the village on foot via the pedestrian-friendly Village Stroll. You can also bike the paved Valley Trail or hop on a BC Transit bus. Free shuttles run to the lifts in winter and to Lost Lake in summer. Taxis operate 24 hours a day.

 

Cuisine

 

Whistler restaurants serve classic North American burgers, steaks, and seafood dishes, but you can also tuck into global cuisine ranging from Italian to Mexican and Japanese. Whistler Village has a wide variety of casual eateries and high-end dining. At the foot of Blackcomb Mountain, you can grab a breakfast bagel to start your day and end with dinner at an upscale hotel. Creekside has plenty of family-friendly spots and fast-food joints.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Whistler’s residents are polite, friendly, and welcoming to international guests. The atmosphere is laid-back and most people dress casually. It’s considered acceptable to arrive to dinner in your ski gear or in shorts, but you might want to dress up if you're heading to a fine-dining establishment. In restaurants, it's customary to tip between 15 and 20 percent, and hotel room attendants appreciate a gratuity of a couple of dollars per night. On the slopes, lining up for lifts in an orderly manner is expected.

 

Fast facts

 

  • Population: 10000
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  • Spoken languages: English
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  • Electrical: 120 volts, 60 Hz, plug type A, B
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  • Phone calling code: +1 604
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  • Emergency number: 911