Whether you’re looking for new mountain adventures, a full schedule of food and wine events or a dreamlike stroll through the forest, you’ll find it in Whistler this season. Always popular for winter sports, this Canadian mountain community is now equally busy in the warmer months. Here are some of our favorite ways to soak up some summer sun in this rugged retreat.
Stroll Through the Clouds
Challenge yourself with a guided hike high on Whistler Mountain along the recently opened Whistler Sky Walk. Designed for families and anyone with a moderate level of fitness, this two-hour adventure starts with a ride up the gondola to the Roundhouse Lodge. A short hike takes you up to the start of the Sky Walk, where, with your guide’s instruction, you’ll clip onto a safety cable and make your way along narrow ledges, short suspension bridges and slender paths cut into the mountainside.
With views across the peaks and through the valleys, the trail provides plenty of photo opportunities, and your guide will happily point out the best spots to take an impressive selfie on this rugged adventure.
Explore By Night
If you’ve been up on the mountain by day, head for the forest at night to experience Vallea Lumina, a dreamlike multimedia walk along a one-mile wooded trail.
Offered nightly at sundown through mid-October, this magical self-guided tour incorporates music, lights and a variety of special effects that cause trees to talk, salmon to glow as they “swim” upstream and the image of a bear to appear in the smoke of a campfire.
Allow about an hour for the walk itself; the trail is dark in spots, and there are a lot of stairs, but the experience is otherwise family-friendly. Tickets include a free shuttle from Whistler Village to the Vallea Lumina site on Cougar Mountain, just a short drive north of town.
Savor Summer Flavors
Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons Resort Whistler has created a fun new cocktail destination this summer, installing a vintage 1960s camper-turned-bar in the hotel’s outdoor courtyard. Park yourself around the firepit and let the Patio Camper’s bartender tempt you with local craft beer or cider, or a glass of B.C. sangria.
And if you’re in town on a Thursday, don’t miss the weekly BeerBQ at the resort’s Sidecut restaurant, where you’ll find barbecue, salads and vegetables paired with pours from a different microbrewery every week. Live music keeps things hopping, too.
Go Off-Road in a Porsche
If you’ve ever fantasized about piloting a turbocharged vehicle along scenic highways and mountain trails, now’s your chance to live the dream.
Canadian Wilderness Adventures provides a three-hour Porsche Experience, where you start off with some advice from a dedicated driving instructor before getting behind the wheel of a Porsche Cayenne S. Take in the views as you cruise in the nimble SUV along the Sea to Sky highway and the trails of Whistler’s Callaghan Valley, and test your skills on a specially designed, off-road adventure course.
Pro tip: If you’re staying at Four Seasons Resort Whistler, you can book this experience through the hotel’s concierge and receive a CAD$100 (approximately US$76) credit toward your drive.
Winemaker Dinners by the Lake
It’s not too late to reserve a spot for one of the upcoming Sip and Savour Winemaker Dinners at Nita Lake Lodge’s Aura Restaurant.
Boasting a beautiful waterside setting in Whistler’s Creekside neighborhood, the venue will feature executive chef James Olberg’s four-course meal, well-paired with sips from Okanagan Valley’s Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, on August 7.
If you can’t snag a reservation, don’t fret — the eatery will host a special event to close out the season on September 11 in partnership with a yet-to-be-announced BC winery.
Where to Eat Now
With all this activity, you’ll need to fuel up and, fortunately, the village has several excellent dining options.
Four Seasons Resort Whistler’s Sidecut is known for its steaks but this season, chef de cuisine David Baarschers is especially proud of the menu’s seafood offerings, which include an unusual ceviche-style geoduck clam crudo, B.C. spot prawns and octopus served in a corn-jalapeño gratin, and fresh salmon with the kitchen’s own twist on Asian XO sauce.
For an evening of fine Italian dining, book a table at the recently revamped Il Caminetto, where the wine list highlights Canadian and Italian labels, the pasta is housemade and the fresh B.C. halibut is a delicious summer treat.
The kids (and anyone else with a sweet tooth) will go crazy over the pastry selections (see: maple bacon doughnuts) at Portobello, the casual market-style eatery — also newly relaunched — at Fairmont Chateau Whistler. For something more savory, try Portobello’s egg- and vegetable-filled harvest bowl at breakfast or come in later for juicy smoked brisket with freshly baked biscuits.
Another laid-back breakfast-and-lunch choice is Fifi’s Bistro, where you can nibble on smoked salmon eggs Benedict (served on housemade English muffins), lemon zucchini muffins or a macchiato outside on the sunny patio. Because isn’t that what summer in the mountains is all about?