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Beyond the slopes: summer in Whistler


Beyond the slopes: summer in Whistler

World-renowned for its snow, WhistlerExternal Link Title often gets pigeonholed as a winter-only destination. But the locals know this is just plain wrong--this vibrant resort town takes on a whole new personality as the days get longer and temperatures rise.

Looking to cross off a bunch of your bucket list items? Stop by this mountain paradise where there's something for everyone, from the outdoor explorer to the armchair adventurer.

Hiking in Whistler
Head to the alpine or explore the forests


Have mountains, will hike. Nestled in the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains, Whistler offers hikesExternal Link Title for every level. If you're a savvy mountaineer, take on the alpine trails at your own pace by choosing a day hike, like the Skywalk trailExternal Link Title, or stick closer to the Village and check out the alpine wildflowersExternal Link Title. If you haven't navigated a mountain path in a while, opt for a tour to show you everything from glaciers to ancient forests. Want that mountain-top view without the sweat? Check out the PEAK 2 PEAKExternal Link Title Gondola that gives you access to over 30 miles of trails, as well as a stunning view from the highest and longest lift in the world. Choose a glass-bottomed gondola if you're feeling adventurous.

Relaxing overlooking trees in Whistler
Let nature soothe any stress


If you've spent the day jumping off a bridgeExternal Link Title or conquering a mountainExternal Link Title, nothing feels as good as relaxing and doing absolutely nothing. Come to think of it, even if you haven't been adventuring all day, relaxing at the spa or at a yoga class can be a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the Village. Start your path to relaxation at a Hatha yoga class at YogacaraExternal Link Title, then head to Scandinave SpaExternal Link Title to re-energize with luxurious hot and cold pools.

If the sun's out, head to Lost Lake or one of Whistler's many beaches External Link Titlefor a dip--picnic definitely recommend. Once you've reached your daily intake of Vitamin D, head back to the Village to explore the shopsExternal Link Title for some retail therapy.

Natural hot springs are also a great place to relax, but they require a bit more effort to get to. Make the trip to visit three that are all fairly close to the Village.

Standup Paddleboarding in Whistler SUP
Cool off in one of Whistler's lakes or rivers


Whistler is synonymous with adventureExternal Link Title year-round. Leave your skis and board behind and step into warm weather thrills. If you don't fancy bungee jumpingExternal Link Title, check out one of the many zipliningExternal Link Title and tree adventureExternal Link Title spots on the mountain. From a leisurely forest canopy walk, to a heart pumping zip on the mountain's longest and fastest ziplines, you'll love seeing the world from the top. Hopping on an ATV will also give you a unique perspective of the mountain. Trek to the lesser known spots with a guided ATV tourExternal Link Title that'll have you ripping down logging roads and tearing up the backcountry.

Prefer to test your strength? Try out rock climbing at Via FerrataExternal Link Title, a man-made cliff ladder that will take your breath away. But don't worry, you'll have a guide by your side. Once you've completed the ascent, you'll be treated to a view that even most locals haven't seen.

Now that you've worked up a sweat, cool off with an even cooler dip. Standup paddle boardingExternal Link Title at Alta Lake will allow you to get up close and personal with the scenery, while a canoe tourExternal Link Title to the River of Golden Dreams--yes, that's its real name--will have you pinching yourself. Water-loving thrill seekers should also take a whitewater rafting tripExternal Link Title to truly understand the power of nature---all with a smile on your face and paddle in hand.

Mountain biking in Whistler forest
Cruise from the top of a mountain to the bustling village


You don't need snow to hit the slopes. Whistler is a mountain biking mecca and offers a mountain bike parkExternal Link Title, as well as several trails that weave down the challenging terrain for cross-country mountain bikersExternal Link Title. For less extreme two wheelers, check out the Valley Trail network that stretches almost 25 miles through the Whistler ValleyExternal Link Title. It's paved and offers a ride through the scenic landscape, making it equal parts exercise and sightseeing. Skip out on cycling yourself, and check out one of Whistler's many cycling events, like CrankworxExternal Link Title for an adrenaline rush, or the BC Bike RaceExternal Link Title for a true West Coast mountain biking experience.

Visitors explore Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre in Whistler
Take a break from outdoor adventure to connect with arts and culture


Before you settle in to get your fill at one of Whistler's excellent restaurantsExternal Link Title, take in some local and international culture at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural CentreExternal Link Title and the Audain Art MuseumExternal Link Title. The Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre is a striking building that also boasts being the first centre dedicated to local First Nations art, history, and culture. It doesn't just feature your typical museum exhibits either; instead, you'll be invited to explore an educational forest walk and have the chance to get hands-on with interactive crafts.

The newest cultural hub on the block is the Audain Art Museum, which allows you to take a peek into the flourishing BC art scene. Their impressive permanent collection features gorgeous First Nations pieces, like hand-carved masks, as well as world-renowned artists like Emily Carr and Rodney Graham. Plus, visiting exhibits feature amazing international works all wrapped inside one of Whistler's most unique and innovative buildings. Win-win.

Group enjoying a drink in Whistler
Raise a glass to good times in Whistler at a local pub


Not just for skiing! After a long day of spa-side relaxingExternal Link Title or tree-top adventuringExternal Link Title, you'll deserve a drink. Head to the Village and find a spot to metaphorically put your feet up. Enjoy world-class food at AraxiExternal Link Title (seriously, it's won multiple awards) or opt for a patio beer at the Longhorn Saloon & GrillExternal Link Title. Try a sample of the Village's best food and drink offerings on a tasting tourExternal Link Title to parlay your apr?s into the evening, then check out Escape! WhistlerExternal Link Title, where you'll be challenged to solve your way out of a riddle-filled game room.

Whistler celebration in the mountains
Celebrate with a show in the plaza or seek out an Olympic experience


Mix up your daily adventures with a special event or two. Escape to the alpine with the Mountain Top BBQ SeriesExternal Link Title or explore the outdoors with GO FestExternal Link Title, home to everything from pancake breakfasts and street entertainment, to film screenings and stand up paddle boarding. If you're more musically inclined, there's an outdoor concert seriesExternal Link Title that's sure to keep you entertained with acts like the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Jos? Gonz?lez.

Celebrate the good times past by re-living the Vancouver 2010 OlympicsExternal Link Title. Check out the Whistler Sliding Centre for a tour and an exhilarating ride, or test your marksmanship at the Olympic Park while shooting a .22 calibre biathlon rifle (with a qualified instructor by your side). No time for a tour? You can't miss the extremely Instagrammable rings at the Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Of course the infamous Whistler nightlifeExternal Link Title can't go unmentioned. There's a host of pubs, lounges, and nightclubs to choose from depending on how you're feeling. You can definitely expect to meet a lot of fun people who are also looking for a great night in the Village, sipping on craft beer and dancing to internationally-renowned DJs. Plan your night in advance, or wander the Village and see where the locals take you.

At the crossroads of urban amenities and outdoor hotspots, you'll find Whistler. Head up the Sea-to-Sky HighwayExternal Link Title and find your summer adventure amongst the mountains (and shops, and pubs, and restaurants). More importantly, remember it's not all about the snow.

To find out more about Whistler, visit their website.