Whistler has been on our list for the longest time. We finally made it up on a road trip for the Thanksgiving holiday. I always try to book trips around the holiday, so I don’t have to take time off of work plus the kids are out of school. If you book far enough in advanced, the pricing is reasonable.
We drove from Bellevue, which can take 4 hours with no stops. Since we have kids that needed bathroom breaks, it ended up taking us 6 hours which included 3 stops. Make sure to download the WSDOT app if you’re driving for border waits. Fortunately, we have NEXUS passes which allows us to go through the border with minimal wait. We have seen the wait times go up to 2 hours! So plan accordingly and try to go during non peak hours.
If you take a flight, Whistler is around 1.5-2 hours north of Vancouver.
Hotel– Crystal Lodge
The location was great. Right in the heart of the lower village within walking distance to the Whistler Mountain gondola. We were also two doors down from Lululemon and Starbucks on either side of us.
I always look online for discounts before booking, and in this case, I found a deal on Groupon that included $40 to Beacon Pub, $20 in room credit, a bottle of wine, and 10% off select restaurants.
Since we weren’t planning to ski, we came to just relax and hang out at the village. While we were aimlessly walking around, we were stopped by a nice lady that worked there who showed us a map of things to do.
Per her suggestion, we bought Peak2Peak gondola tickets to take us to the top of the mountain. Tip: Book online prior to your trip for an online discount. We started at the Whistler Mountain gondolas and went up. That ride took about 25 minutes. Once we got up to the top, there was a great photo opportunity at the Olympic medal podium.
We walked over to the cafeteria area where there were several food options with great views. After burgers for lunch, we stepped outside for more great views.
After taking photos, we headed into the bar. More great views, and it was nice to get out of the cold.
From here, we headed back to the gondola to catch the Peak2peak gondola. I would suggest taking the regular ski one since the glass bottom line takes much longer. After waiting for 10 minutes without moving, we just got in the ski line. Grab a seat by the window, and you’ll still get great views. This gondola takes you across from the Whistler mountain to Blackcomb mountain and takes about 15-20 minutes.
The Blackcomb mountain also has an eating facility, but we were getting tired and wanted to head back down. After a few more snaps, we took the gondola back to the village.
The Blackcomb mountain gondola takes you to the upper village. The Fairmont and Four Seasons are on this side.
View looking back towards Blackcomb at the base.
The walk back to the lower village was about 5 minutes away. We passed by a peaceful river, and stopped by the Olympic Park. There was an ice skating rink and playground for kids.
We grabbed coffee, did some shopping and ended with dinner at the Keg.
The drive back to Vancouver is beautiful. There are a couple of look out points that are worth stopping at. It’s best to save these stops on your way back to Vancouver since you can’t turn in without doing an out of the way u-turn.
We really enjoyed our 2 nights in Whistler. Next time we go, we also plan to ski and go tubing. Once the twins get older, we can also ice skate and eventually go on snow mobiles. There are so many options! Summer is also supposed to be beautiful, so we’ll be back soon.