Why You Should Make Whistler Your Next Winter Vacation
Whistler fulfills champagne wishes and couloir dreams like no other.
Whistler doesn’t draw a couple million people every year for nothing. Roughly 90 minutes from downtown Vancouver, the town bolsters her bounty of evergreens, glacial lakes and mountain ranges with all the trappings of city life. While the resort town is a wonderland in any season, winter is when she really sparkles.
With 8,171 acres of terrain across two adjoining mountains, the slopes of world-renowned resort Whistler Blackcomb (whistlerblackcomb.com) are a must-see. If your skills are rusty or the steeps and glades just seem downright daunting, try the weekend all-women ski and snowboard camps to eliminate the intimidation factor.
More than 50 per cent of the brands carried at 3 Singing Birds (3singingbirds.com) in Whistler Village are Canadian, and many of them come from B.C., including Miriam de Langley jewellery, Helena Lane skincare and Trae Designs homewares. Take home one of Woodlot’s Wildwoods candles, scented with balsam, fir and clove—it beats a souvenir fleece any day.
Slopeside isn’t the be-all and end-all. Overlooking its namesake glacier-fed body of water, Nita Lake Lodge (nitalakelodge.com) is in quieter Creekside, away from the fray of Whistler proper and only a short walk from a gondola to expedite upload. Fireplaces come standard, and the on-site restaurant and spa are both sound ways to après.
Spanish-style Bar Oso (baroso.ca) isn’t billed as dinner and a show, but watching Madrid-born chef Jorge Muñoz Santos whip up wild scallop crudo in an open pint-sized kitchen is pure entertainment—eating it is equally thrilling. Bar manager Jason Redmond’s cocktails also play a leading role; his Oso Sour made with bacon-infused bourbon is a heartwarming experience.
With the opening of the Audain Art Museum (audainartmuseum.com) in early 2016, the ski town upped its culture cred. Designed to blend in with its Sitka spruce surroundings, the angular 56,000-square-foot building alone is a sight to behold. Then there are the works within by Canadian greats Emily Carr, Jack Shadbolt, Gordon Smith and Brian Jungen.