We understand that planning a trip to Whistler can be a daunting task, especially if you’re organizing from a distance and have never been here before. You probably have a lot of questions up your sleeve – that’s where we come in to help.
We’ve assembled some of the most frequently asked questions about planning a trip to Whistler and written out answers to help you out. If we missed anything, let us know! Leave us a comment with your most pressing Whistler planning question, and we’ll make sure to give you an answer.
There are several different ways to ascend Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, all involving a gondola, a chairlift, or some combination of the two. The best way to get up the mountain, of course, depends on your definition of best.
The easiest way to get up the mountain is to head to the Whistler Village gondola in the Village. When you’re staring up at the mountains, this is the gondola on your right (the one on the left takes you up Blackcomb Mountain). The Whistler Village gondola isn’t short – it takes just under 30 minutes to ride to the top – but it will keep you warm and dry and will deliver you to the Roundhouse on Whistler Mountain, which is high enough to enjoy plenty of skiing and serves as the mountain’s central hub. The gondola was just upgraded this year, so the cabins are nice and comfy. One tip: don’t get off when the gondola’s doors open for the first time – you’re not at the top yet!
Although the Whistler Village gondola is the easiest way to get up the mountain, it’s often the one with the longest queue on a busy day. If you park up at Base II (lots 6, 7, or 8), you can board the Blackcomb Gondola midway up the mountain. Thanks to limited parking, the lines are often quite short here – just get there early to nab a parking spot!
Generally speaking, comfort and practicality trump high fashion and trends in Whistler Village.
Opting for snow boots over high heels will not only keep your toes warm and dry, but it’ll keep you from slipping on ice on the Village Stroll. Whistler locals tend to dress very casually – think lots of plaid and toques – but that doesn’t mean that you can’t dress up nicely for a special meal out or a night on the town.
Non-snow sporters are sometimes reluctant about coming to Whistler, but they shouldn’t be: there is plenty to do in Whistler that doesn’t involve skiing or snowboarding! We’ve got festivals, restaurants galore, plenty of shopping, killer patios (you don’t need to ski to be able to participate in apres), spas, a movie theatre, galleries, a museum, and plenty of other activities (zip lining, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and bobsleigh, just to name a few). It’s hard to get bored here.
You definitely do not need a car to enjoy Whistler. There are plenty of bus and shuttle options to get you from the Vancouver Airport up to Whistler. Most accommodations are centrally located, and you can get just about anywhere on foot. If you’re staying further away from the Village or if you want to head somewhere a little farther, you can always book a taxi.
Having said that, if you do have a car, there is plenty of parking around town. Most hotels and accommodations offer underground parking options for a fee.
Whistler is incredibly dog friendly! You’ll see plenty of furry friends walking along the Village Stroll, and many local hotels gladly welcome pets to stay with them. It’s important to keep your pup leashed at all times and to be aware of any rules: for instance, dogs aren’t allowed on patios (though they can be parked just off the patio within eyesight), and hotels often require that dogs be accompanied at all times. There are dog sitting services available to watch your dog while you’re off skiing or having dinner.