The Perfect Summer Weekend in Whistler

Your mind may jump to snow when thinking of Whistler, but think again: mountain biking, hiking, paddling canoes or kayaks, and enjoying the long summer nights with a locally brewed beer may entice you to linger longer in this spectacular British Columbia valley.

4282 Mountain Square, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4, Canada
Whistler Blackcomb doesn’t do anything small, so it was no surprise that Whistler Bike Park quickly emerged as the global go-to, lift-access, downhill-biking destination. The park even has its own massive festival, Crankworx, a 10-day rock-hopping frenzy every August. Walking among the armored throngs rolling their studded-tired bikes toward the lifts, you could forget that it snows here at all. Any thoughts of summer being the off-season have vanished. You don’t have to be a millennial—though it helps—to get dirty here; there are more than enough green and blue runs to provide a serious rush for youngsters and boomers. Sign up for the park’s outdoor clinics for critical insights into your technique.
Of all the reasons to hike in B.C.’s Coast Range, visiting a train wreck would not rank high elsewhere. This is Whistler, though, where a train derailment becomes a canvas for artists and a must-see novelty that remains well off the beaten track (sorry!), even for many locals. A new bridge spanning the Cheakamus River makes the hike legal and considerably less treacherous. The trail’s steel-meets-seedlings design is reminiscent of New York City’s High Line, and among the many spurs are a boardwalk into the coastal rain forest and a longer trek that leads to the Sea to Sky Trail. Once a hush-hush locale for graffiti artists and mountain bikers, the Train Wreck hike and suspension bridge route are now well-marked at the Sea to Sky trailhead, just outside of Function Junction.
Alta Lake, Whistler, BC V0N, Canada
There are a few ways to paddle Alta Lake—you can head to Wayside Park and rent a kayak or you can head to Lakeside Park and rent a canoe or a stand-up paddleboard. Either way, drifting around amid this scenery makes a memorable afternoon. Both parks have picnic tables, barbecue grills, and beaches—perfect for a day out in the sun. If you prefer a more intense and guided water experience, Whistler Eco Tours offers a variety of tours via paddleboard, kayak, or canoe, on both Alta and Green lakes.
Whistler, BC V0N 0A0, Canada
Brandywine is just one of half-a-dozen provincial parks that surround the Sea to Sky Highway like a fir wrap. A trailhead located just 12 miles south of Whistler leads to a 15-minute walk through the mixed hemlock forest to a 200-foot cascade. The falls overview is merely a picturesque appetizer for the fantastic wilderness beyond. The Lava Lake trail provides a marvelous meander through the forest, and if it’s a hot day, you might want to hike all the way to Swim Lake. You can also access the Sea to Sky Trail and head north to the Whistler Train Wreck then hike to the Valley Trail through Whistler and beyond. The park tripled in size in 2010 to fully enclose the habitat of the endangered red-legged frog, so keep an eye peeled for peepers.
110 - 4222 Village Square, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4, Canada
For a luxury resort to remain on top with the discerning diner, it must evolve. Executive chef James Walt continues to ply the ingenuity he displayed when he introduced farm-to-table cuisine to Whistler. His Longtable Series—dinners set among the windrows on Pemberton’s North Arm Farm—has emerged as the event every August. Already locally famous for its two-tier seafood towers, the restaurant has recently added oysters to its offerings. Chef Walt has celebrated his success with a cookbook, Araxi: Roots to Shoots, Farm Fresh Recipes.
2131 Lake Placid Road
Looking for a romantic break from the bustle of Whistler Village? You can do no better than Nita Lake Lodge, the area’s only lakeside resort. Located a five-minute walk to Whistler Mountain’s Creekside gondola and just under three miles from town, each of the lodge’s 77 rooms evokes a feeling of calm with dark wood, creamy linens, leather upholstery, and rock-faced fireplaces; all feature kitchenettes, two-person soaker tubs, and lake or mountain views. During warmer months, the lodge offers complimentary kayaks, canoes, paddeboards, and bikes for adventure seekers, while the plunge pool and hot tub are available year-round. Though the lodge provides free shuttle service every half-hour to the village, guests shouldn’t pass up a chance to dine on site at Aura, where many of the menu’s herbs and vegetables come from the restaurant’s own rooftop garden. Before dinner, try a seasonal craft cocktail on the patio at the resort’s Cure Lounge.
1040 Millar Creek Rd, Whistler, BC V0N 1B1, Canada
After your first bite of a morning glory or pecan-sticky bun, it will become very clear to you that Mark and Paul Lamming, the founders of Purebread, infuse love and care in to everything they bake. All items sold at the bakery are hand-made on a small scale with high-quality ingredients. Their recipes are imaginative, some of my favorites include the adult’s own cookie, a rosemary-flavored chocolate cookie and the buckwheat sour cherry pecan bread. In addition to their baking, Purebread brews exceptionally smooth pour-over coffee right to order. Purebread started out selling their beautiful breads and treats at the Whistler Farmer’s Market and eventually opened up an always-bustling location at Function Junction, a quirky pit stop on the way up to Whistler. Fortunately Purebread has recently opened up a second location in the heart of Whistler Village, making it easier for locals and tourists alike to enjoy their fantastic baked goods.
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Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
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