When my then future-husband and I began planning our winter wedding in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, we knew that we wanted to continue the fun in the snow for our honeymoon. My family has owned a time-share in Whistler, British Columbia for the past 15 years and offered to let us use it for a leisurely and relaxing trip. We jumped at the chance for a ski vacation in Whistler and are so thrilled about the decision we made to stay in this cold, wintry wonderland in January.
Whistler is a bustling ski village that has thrived because of two ski resorts, both of which can be accessed from gondolas in the Upper Whistler Village. The village can be reached via the Sea to Sky Highway, which was renovated before Whistler and Vancouver hosted the 2010 winter Olympics. It’s a windy road providing spectacular views of the waters off the coastline. Whistler Village is packed with hotels and privately owned condominiums, bars and restaurants, and touristy shopping. Locals tend to be transplants from far reaches, such as Australia, who have come to enjoy the ski life they love while having a reliable place to work and stay.
One of the best and most fun decisions we made was to try snowshoeing on our last full day in Whistler. The weather was on our side, so despite the cold, the sunshine was beautiful. A snowshoe company operates out of the 2010 Whistler Olympics house built near the access trail to Lost Lake, just outside the main village. The pricing was reasonable and the trek was self guided and fairly well marked. The rental facility also hands out maps to help guests guide themselves. This was one of my most favorite days of our trip together!
Whistler is a fabulous summertime retreat as well, catering to hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. I highly recommend a repeat visit to enjoy the rest of what Whistler has to offer! Regardless of the time of year you visit, you’ll find a welcoming, relaxing retreat from your normal routine. With two large ski resorts to explore during the winter, and miles and miles of biking and hiking trails to enjoy in the summer, Whistler is an outdoorsy person’s best friend, and no matter of the time of year, one will find a hospitable town perfect for the relaxing vacation he’s been waiting for.
Twin Peaks Resort
4365 Northlands Blvd.
Whistler, B.C. V0N 1B4
The Peak 2 Peak Gondola is an absolute must, especially if you’re a first time visitor to Whistler. It’s an immense gondola stretching between two peaks and suspending over 1000 feet in the air. Purchase your tickets from the same kiosk as your ski lift tickets and ride the Whistler Mountain gondola to its summit. There you’ll transfer to the station for the Peak 2 Peak gondola and will have short wait until the next car returns. It’s highly recommended to plan your Peak 2 Peak adventure for a day that the weather is completely clear, as a gray or rainy day will yield minimal views.
It’s important to note that in the middle of winter Whistler Ski Mountain completely shuts down at 3pm. The sun goes behind the mountain, darkness sets in pretty quickly, and Whistler is not equipped for night skiing. The bustling town during the day quickly turns to a ghost town once the light is gone; however, shops and restaurants are open. The night life in Whistler picks back up with plenty of bars and a nightclub in the village to entertain locals and visitors. Plan on retiring to your hotel once the sun goes down to both warm up and make plans for the rest of your evening.
Alexandra Knight is a photographer based out of Seattle, Washington; specializing in wedding and portrait photography captured on film with vintage cameras.