My Trip to Whistler
Whistler was a place I’d never thought I would visit. Not because it isn’t a great place, but truthfully, because I had never even heard of it! I’m not the best “winter” spots athlete, so it was definitely not on my radar. Surprisingly enough, it turned out to be an amazing trip and a place I would definitely be visiting again and again!
While traveling to Whistler, you must first stop in Vancouver and then drive roughly two hours before reaching the little town. Vancouver is a beautiful city, although cold and rainy about 9 months out of the year. Coming from Miami, you can imagine I was WAY out of my element. Truthfully, I didn’t think there was that much to see in Vancouver. We decided to spend the night there and a few hours in the morning wandering the city.
Granville Market came highly recommended, so we made that our main stop while in Vancouver. Granville Island can be reached by car or by water taxi, but it was pouring rain so we decided to take the car over there. The island is truly a “hipster”- like community and is filled with fresh markets, restaurants, antique shops, and art galleries. The Public Market is HUGE and has so much to offer. From fresh produce to artisanal cheeses and from gourmet pickles to homemade fudge, the market has something for everyone. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything, the place is perfect to walk around and try all the taste testers.
For lunch, we were told Edible Canada was the place to try. Luckily, it was right across from the Public Market. The restaurant had a bit of a wait time, so I recommend going there before the market, putting your name down, and then walking around the market until they text you. Edible Canada highlights, as you may be able to guess, Canadian cuisine. This was the first place I was able to get poutine! They have many healthy options and lighter fare, but I had to have the duck poutine dish!
While we didn’t have time to do much more, I REALLY wanted to see the Suspension Bridge before leaving Vancouver. I didn’t get the chance, but if you’re in Vancouver and have time, I highly recommend it! The bridge looks awesome and something you probably wouldn’t find anywhere else.
Anyways, now on to Whistler!
What to do in Whistler
Winter Sports (Skiing and Snowboarding)
Whistler is a very small town known for one thing: winter sports. I’m assuming that if you’re headed to Whistler, it is because you plan to ski or snowboard. Well, you are in the right place. Whistler is great because they have two mountains instead of one, and a beautiful gondola ride that connects the two. The lift pass is good for both mountains: Whistler mountain and Blackcomb mountain. Everyones preference is different, so I recommend going up Blackcomb to the peak, taking the Peak 2 Peak gondola ride (not for those scared of heights), and skiing down Whistler mountain. The next day, do the opposite. This way, you get to see which mountain you prefer! I personally preferred Whistler mountain for the green runs, and Blackcomb for the blues. It is also a relatively hot ski town, which makes the bottom of the mountain icy and sometimes dangerous. If this is the case while you are there, you can ski only the top of the mountain until you are ready to take the gondola down to the bottom.
While I had always wanted to go dog sledding, I was actually disappointed in the experience. First off, the trip is $220 per person. This includes a 30 minute ride of frequent stops (because of course, the puppers are tired), and hot cider at the end of the trip. I do love that the dogs are mostly rescues and are adopted by those that work there, but if you thought it was going to be a “Snow Dogs” remake, you are mistaken. The Alaskan Huskies you see in the movies can’t live in such a hot climate, so they do not have any. Instead, they use regular dogs. Mind you, I love all dogs and I thought they were adorable, but some people were disappointed that they weren’t wolf-looking dogs. I am also not sure they “love running” as much as the team will let on, so in all, I would skip it and just play with your puppers at home.
This was the first time I had ever gone tubing, and it was super fun! I only went 3 times, because it does get repetitive, but it is definitely worth the price. It is perfect for the family and for kids of all ages. You can ride alone or even with 4 people, so no one gets left out.
The best part about Whistler is how close everything is. The Village is where the majority of the restaurants are located, where the hotels are, and where the lifts start to go to up the mountain. We stayed at the Four Season Whistler, which was a beautiful resort I highly recommend. They offer a complimentary car service to and from the village and will coordinate anything for you. The Four Seasons is located about 5 minutes from the Village, so you could walk if you wanted to. Another beautiful hotel is the Fairmont, which is located inside of the Village. In all, everything is very close which makes it easy to get to and from places!
Another thing I HIGHLY RECOMMEND: booking in advance! We failed to do so, so we were unable to go snowmobiling. Other fun things you can do include: helicopter rides, ice cave exploring, bald eagle viewing, snow cat rides up the mountain, etc.
Where to Eat in Whistler
This place was my favorite lunch spot in Whistler (might even be my favorite place period). This extra-small French restaurant is located in the village, like most places, and if you can’t find it, just follow the smell of freshly made crepes. I highly recommend drinking some wine and ordering the cheese fondue along with the Tenderloin and Seafood Grill. The grill is great because you can make all of your meats table side. They also have raclettes and awesome crepe dishes. Cant go wrong with a Nutella crepe at the end of your meal!
Quattro was a great place to bring the family for a nice Italian meal. The pastas were cooked perfectly and the burrata was a delicious appetizer. I recommend getting the $28 pasta tasting dish which comes with 5 different house made pastas to share between 2 people (or one if you’re like me 😉 )
This was another one of my favorites on this trip. I love when a restaurant can take a great dish and add their own flare of creativity (& do a great job with it). Although I truly think you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, I recommend the chicken liver mousse for appetizer. I know how it sounds, but trust me…TRY IT. Another great dish was the Duck Pappardelle. If anyone has had duck in their pasta, they know that when done correctly, the flavor is like nothing before. Bringing out the kid in me, I also lovedddd the grilled cheese. My brother and sister got it, and we all had bites. It is made with gruyere and aged cheddar, and they are not shy with the amount of cheese. For dessert, get the chocolate sorbet. It is perfectly made.
If you ask for a recommendation for pizza, this is where they will send you. We had eaten at a sushi place for dinner and I’m not sure if it was the sushi-spoiled Miamian in me, but we thought it was the worst Japanese we had ever had. Nothing was edible. If you can pass on Nagomi sushi, please do. Anyways, back to pizza. We left the sushi place in need of REAL GOOD FOOD…so automatically my heart screamed pizza pie. We called ahead to pick up Creekbread so we didn’t dine in, but the place was packed with people. Always a good sign. Anyways, the pizza is made in a wood fired oven with organic products. The pizza is a flat bread, so it is very thin and crispy.
Other Great Places (and places you can miss)
- Zogs: get the Euro Poutine which is topped with bratwurst (right in the center of the Village)
- Portobello Bakery: get the creme brûlée donut (and pretty much one of every other pastry because you can’t go wrong). I didn’t eat here, but I heard the food is also wonderful
- La Cantina Tacos: if you’re looking for a cheap and filling meal, look no further than La Cantina! We fed the whole family for $80 (were a family of 5). My family got the quesadillas and burritos, but I personally like the tacos the best. The corn crusted yam and sweet pork tacos were great.
- Bearfoot Bistro: while I had heard great things about this place, I was disappointed. For a fine dining experience, you expect the price to reflect the flavor (maybe not the portion sizes). Nothing lived up to the hype. Tap water cost $2 and bread was $5. My pasta had roughly 5 cavatelli on the plate, with a scoop of farro underneath. The nitro ice cream was very good, but it was also $120. In all, skip this place.
- Rimrock Cafe: I was unable to dine at this restaurant, however I was told by many people who live in Whistler that this is the best restaurant in town. I couldn’t go through this post without at least mentioning it.