Spring is a great time to be out in the mountains, cause the weather is warmer and more sunlight to spend the outdoors. Whistler is a very popular winter destination, known for it’s ski and other winter sports. But there are plenty of action and adventure packed during summer time especially from May to August.I have always found Whistler a very peaceful destination, so even if you are not into any adventure sports, relax yourself at the backdrop of some of the most breathtaking scenic views of the beautiful Whistler city.
Sea to Sky Highway
The Sea-to-Sky Highway (BC-99) is an incredible scenic road that runs along the coast from Vancouver to Whistler and, is known as one of the most awe-inspiring drives in the world. As you drive along the highway, you will see spectacular ocean and mountain views and there is an attraction ranging from beautiful waterfalls to local communities at every turn. This is an excellent route for all those who love photography and it’s very hard to not stop at each of the attraction.
My top favorite attractions in Sea-to-Sky Highway:-
1) Shannon Falls
This fall is visible right from the Sea-to-Sky Highway, the breathtaking falls cascade down a series of rocky pile 1000 feet above the highway. Shannon Falls Provincial Park is the perfect place to take a break and stretch your legs, on your way to Whistler. The hike is less than a mile where you will be passing the creek before crossing the fall area. There is a good viewing point to watch the milky white falls for your photo captures. The park is well maintained with good restroom facilities.
2) Sea to Sky Gondola
If you want to explore the magnificent views of Howe sound and surrounding mountains, the sea to sky gondola ride is the one to experience. The ride is ~10-15 minutes and you have plenty of options to try out once you reach the top. There are various hiking trails, play areas for small children and a restaurant with food and beverage services. One of my personal best highlight is the long suspension bridge that gives you excellent views of the mountain and awesome scenery all around you. We watched people hiking up and taking the gondola down, so if you love climbing try it out. The Sea to Sky Gondola is right next to the Shannon Falls, so you can cover both these places on your way to Whistler. If you are taking the Gondola after 5 PM on Saturdays, there is a 50% off your admission ticket.
3) Brandy Wine Falls
BrandyWine Falls Provincial Park is located just south of Whistler, great picnic spot and it offers hiking and mountain biking trails. The trail is very short and provides easy access to the Falls. Just like Shannon Falls, there is a viewing area to catch a glimpse of the falls but he viewing platform altitude is slightly higher than Shannon Falls. There is a railroad crossing before you reach the falls.
Place to Stay Whistler Village
Whistler Village is a wonderful destination to consider for your lodging needs. There are several lodging options available in Whistler Village ranging from a condominium/town homes, apartment units, private and luxury homes. The Village is the prime neighborhood of the town of Whistler, located at the base of both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. The village has the European style architecture, stone walkways, little bridges, artistic landscapes filled with beautiful trees and flowers makes you forget if you are standing in a European city. The entire village is very refreshing, packed with dining options, shopping and listen to live music on the streets. I’ve been to Whistler Village twice and it’s fresh every-time and makes me feel to visit again.
Whistler Summer Attractions
1) Peak-to-Peak 360 Experience
No visit to Whistler is complete without doing the Peak-to-Peak. I highly recommend this gondola ride that is absolutely stunning and sure not to be missed. This is an amazing way to go up the mountains and enjoy one of the longest gondola rides available. Peak 2 Peak has the world’s longest unsupported span for a lift and it’s also the world’s highest lift,
~2 miles long. The ticket costs 63$, covering two mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb mountain. Though the ticket price is expensive, it is definitely worth the visit.The scenery that surrounds you takes your mind away from everything, peace and quite. There is a high chance to spot a bear on your gondola ride, we got to see one on our way up the Whistler mountain.
The ride takes you to the top of Whistler mountain first where you will need to exit to take another gondola to see the Blackcomb. If you are up for a little challenge and adventure, renting a mountain bicycle is another option to descend down the Whistler mountain. You take the bicycle inside the gondola from the base and hop at the first exit of Whistler mountain. All visitors with bicycle will need to exit at this stop and start descending back to the base via the bicycle route. Once you reach Whistler mountain, there are several trail options (easy to complex hikes) for visitors interested in hiking. There is a restaurant available on top of the Whistler mountain along with gift shops, tour booking and rest room facilities. Given this is a tourist spot, it is pretty expensive on snacks, food and beverages.
To experience the peak-to-peak that connects the whistler mountain to Blackcomb mountain, hop on to a second gondola which is a much bigger gondola than the first one. The gondola can occupy more than 20 people at one time and also has a glass bottom option. If you want to go on a glass bottom gondola, you will need to wait for 15 minutes compared to the red ones that has very little to no wait times. Not really worth waiting a long time for a glass bottom gondola – you can see pretty much everything in a normal one. It takes approximately 11-12 minutes to go from mountain to another. Just like Whistler mountain, there are dining options on top of the Blackcomb mountain and you can stroll around for short hikes.
2) Lost Lake
Lost Lake is very close to Whistler village, an easy hike that can be done by everyone. A family friendly place, watch for small kids on their bikes in this trail. You will be walking by the lake side and there are some great views to enjoy on your way. It’s a great picnic spot as well, so if you want to keep your day light, pack a sack lunch to spend your time at the Lost Lake.
3) Zipline Tours – This is one of the popular attraction in Whistler and there are many tour operators in Whistler village to book any tours. If you do not have a car, there is a shuttle service that is 10 minutes to the zipline location offered by the tour companies. In our last trip to Whistler, we did zipline tours ( 3 long lines and 2 short ones) inside forest area and was an amazing experience for the whole family. We also got to see the black bears on our longest zipline swing.
4) River Rafting – Another popular summer attraction in Whistler. I have personally not done river rafting in Whistler and missed it one more time during our second visit too. This is in my bucket-list and would definitely want to do in my next trip to Whistler.
There are other attractions like Tree Top adventure, mountain biking, bungee jumping, helicopter and bear tours available during summer time. Irrespective of these attractions, Whistler is a great place to visit for it’s splendid scenic views of the beautiful mountains, waterfalls surrounding the city. It’s a wonderful place to refresh, meditate and leaves your mind, body and soul a positive feeling.