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A summer guide to Whistler and Pemberton

A summer guide to Whistler and Pemberton

Looking to explore Sea to Sky country (that's what locals call the area north of Vancouver, close to Whistler)? Here's your insider's look at where to stay, eat, drink, relax, and hang out in both Whistler and BC mountain village, PembertonExternal Link Title, just to the north.


If you're not camping in the area (there are a ton of great spots in WhistlerExternal Link Title and PembertonExternal Link Title), you'll want to check out all the spots available in WhistlerExternal Link Title. Whistler Lodge HostelExternal Link Title, a sleek wood and stainless steel 42-bed backpacker haven, gets top marks from TripAdvisor. Outside condos rentals, Whistler hotelsExternal Link Title are sophisticated and stylish, but always with a relaxed chalet vibe. Some of the best are Nita Lake LodgeExternal Link Title in Creekside, contemporary Aava Whistler HotelExternal Link Title,External Link Title and Crystal Lodge & SuitesExternal Link Title. For a splurge, there's the classic Fairmont Chateau Whistler External Link Titlewith all the bells and whistles, the Pan Pacific Whistler Village CentreExternal Link Title, and the high-end Four Seasons Resort WhistlerExternal Link Title. Pemberton is also home to hot spots like Pemberton Valley LodgeExternal Link Title, Log House InnExternal Link Title, and Sweetwater Lane Farm B&BExternal Link Title.

Go local at the farm

Araxi’s long table dinner, Pemberton
Araxi’s longtable dinner - Credit: Maurice Lee

Locavore is Pemberton's middle name. In fact, August's Slow Food Cycle Sunday is a treasured signature event, and then there's Araxi's Martha Stewart-worthy longtable field-side feastExternal Link Title. The lush, fertile valley at the base of Mount Currie in Pemberton nurtures several sustainable, organic farms and quality-focused artisanal producers, like Pemberton DistilleryExternal Link Title. Pick up breakfast at the weekly seasonal farmers' marketExternal Link Title. Stop in at Bandit FarmsExternal Link Title, Helmer's Organic FarmExternal Link Title for potatoes and what they call "full-on farm yoga" on Wednesdays, and especially picture-perfect, family-run North Arm FarmExternal Link Title, where you can assemble a delish, just-harvested picnic and eat it by the barn overlooking the 60 green acres.


Whistler nightlife is fabled -- you wouldn't want to miss it. Add to your after-party agenda dancing at Buffalo Bills'External Link Title, Garfinkel'sExternal Link Title, Moe Joe's NightclubExternal Link Title, or Tommy Africa'sExternal Link Title. Or join the Whistler Club CrawlExternal Link Title for a complete nightlife tour. Your place for cutting loose over drinks, and listening to live music is DubhExternal Link Title Linn GateExternal Link Title, which really lights up after 9 -- literally, as they have awesome fire pits. If you're keen to keep it lower key in Pemberton, check out Mile One Eating HouseExternal Link Title that's home to a "BC Craft Beer Program," featuring tons of delicious beers to choose from.

Get outside

Exploring Pemberton on horseback with Copper Cayuse Outfitters
Exploring Pemberton and the area’s old mines on horseback - Credit: Copper Cayuse Outfitters

You're in a top North American outdoor playground, so take full advantage. Whistler in summer is hard to beat. Hike the alpine trailsExternal Link Title at Whistler BlackcombExternal Link Title, especially the glacier view treks off the PEAK 2 PEAK GondolaExternal Link Title. Go ziplining or bungee jumpingExternal Link Title, play in the water at the lake beachesExternal Link Title, or ride the gravity-fed Whistler Mountain Bike ParkExternal Link Title singletrack. A guided bear watching tourExternal Link Title is a highlight for wildlife fans. Pemberton, too, is filled with clear streams and emerald lakes ringed with snow-capped peaks. Go fishingExternal Link Title, hikingExternal Link Title (Joffre Lake is a favorite), cycling, mountain bikingExternal Link Title, or on a horseback riding excursion with Copper Cayuse OutfittersExternal Link Title.


You'll need a big breakfastExternal Link Title to refuel and that's no problem in Whistler. The walkable Village is packed with great restaurants. Pick up too-gorgeous-to-eat breaky to-go -- spinach feta brioche, Nutella cream buns, crumbly raspberry scones -- at PurebreadExternal Link Title. Sit down for a hearty feast at counter-service PortobelloExternal Link Title in The Fairmont or go for corned beef hash, flapjacks, and fresh-baked soda bread at Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub & RestaurantExternal Link Title. Wildwood Pacific BistroExternal Link Title is a top choice for Eggs Benedict and omelettes. Caffeinate with the best local java in Whistler or Pemberton at Mount Currie Coffee CoExternal Link Title.External Link Title In Pemberton, you'll want to try cozy local mainstay The PonyExternal Link Title or locavore-casual Mile One Eating HouseExternal Link Title.


Stroll and people-watch in the Euro-style VillageExternal Link Title, then find a patio or bar for frosty beers over nachos, or cocktails and appetizers. For fun 'n festive, there's Longhorn Saloon & GrillExternal Link Title for microbrew and views on the patio, party-hearty watering hole Merlin's Bar and GrillExternal Link Title, or for the traditionalists, Dubh LinnExternal Link Title. If craft beer is your thing, try HandleBar Caf? and Apr?sExternal Link Title for German street food washed down with suds, the sprawling BrewhouseExternal Link Title, or Coast Mountain BrewingExternal Link Title's laidback tasting room for flights of ales and lagers. Culture and class over quiet drinks? Try Four Seasons' SIDECUTExternal Link Title, BasaltExternal Link Title, or mellow FireRock LoungeExternal Link Title at the Westin. Kick back and toast the day.


Scandinave Spa Whistler
Tranquil, chic, indoor-outdoor Scandinave Spa Whistler is just outside town - Credit: Tourism Whistler/Chad Chomlack

After a jam-packed few days, you'll need some quiet -- and Scandinave Spa WhistlerExternal Link Title is your ticket. Nap, dip, and repeat at this Nordic-style day spa a short drive from the Village. The beautiful al fresco pools and waterfalls spilling down the landscaped mountainside make this place feel like a sanctuary for R&R and communing with nature. In town, take a yoga classExternal Link Title or book a massage or rejuvenating body treatment at one of the many spas and wellness retreat spots -- from intimate and cozy, to opulent and plush.

Plan your trip now at the Tourism Whistler website.