Why Do People Travel From All Over The World To Visit Whistler Canada?

Why is Whistler Canada so popular?

Well, on one hand that's an easy question to answer. Yet in other ways it's very difficult.

You see, it's easy to come up with lots of reasons, but difficult to narrow it down to just a few.

The solution? Come up with a Top 10 List. So, in deference to David Letterman, here's our family's...

"Top Ten Reasons To Visit Whistler Canada"

# 10 - Shopping

Hey, how did shopping get on this list?! (I voted for Whistler heli-skiing but "Mom" won out on this one.) For the most part I'm out of my field of expertise here and hesitant to offer advice. But I do know (from first hand observation), that if you love to shop, you can easily while away an afternoon perusing the stores in Whistler Village, in resort hotels and other locations around Whistler.

Thomas and Callum sitting in a chair at Roots Our boys modelling some ROOTS (TM) baseball caps

From good old "Canadiana" stores like Roots, to art galleries, clothing shops and ski/snowboard shops, there is plenty of variety.

Actually, I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I can actually offer some authoritative advice on shopping for ski equipment in Whistler. This past winter it was time to upgrade the old ski gear. My gut reaction was that the prices in a resort like Whistler would be inflated. Much to my surprise, I actually found that not only were the prices lower than in Vancouver, (where we live), the whole experience was much easier.

#9 - Restaurants

With two young boys in tow I have to admit we end up at The Old Spaghetti Factory probably more times than we'd like (my wife and I that is) but hey, the kids love it, and the restaurant is very family friendly.

Mom, Thomas and Callum outside Old Spaghetti Factory, Whistler, Canada Posing outside our boys' favourite Whistler
restaurant, The Old Spaghetti Factory

With over 100 restaurants, bars and lounges in town, (including the best restaurant in Canada) you will never run out of dining (or nightlife) options in Whistler. From high end Italian restaurants like Il Caminetto di Umberto to fish and game at the legendary Rimrock Cafe, the selection will not disappoint.

Heck, you can even have a fondue dinner at the top of Blackcomb Mountain. Arrive by snowmobile or snowcat and enjoy live entertainment while you eat. Very romantic!

One caveat however. Restaurants fill up quickly (especially around 7 pm) so make your reservations early. In fact, it would be a good idea to make your some of your restaurant reservations before you even arrive in Whistler.

#8 - Summertime

Whistler Canada actually got its start as a summer vacation spot almost 100 years ago. Long before it was a world class ski resort, this area was coveted for its fishing, hiking, wildlife and beautiful lakes in the summertime.

And it still is.

Nowadays you can also add mountain biking and golf (see #6) to the list of summertime activities.

#7 - Whistler Canada Is Kid Friendly

From the "Whistler Kids" ski school, to kid zones and "kid friendly" resorts, Whistler/Blackcomb is a perfect destination for families with children (of all ages). And when mom and dad need a little time to themselves, there are several local companies that offer bonded nanny and babysitting services.

# 6 - Great Golf

Nicklaus and Palmer. Need I say more? Two of the three golf courses in town were designed by these two golf legends. The third course? It was designed by some guy named Robert Trent Jones Jr. (No slouch in his own right when it comes to golf course architecture). And if your willing to venture a few minutes (30-45) out of town there are at least 3 more championship golf courses set among some of the most spectacular scenery you'll find anywhere.

#5 - The Après-Ski Scene

People have been "après-skiing" in Whistler Canada for over 40 years. The Longhorn, GLC and Dusty's are all synonymous with après-ski in Whistler.

Outside Dusty's looking up the mountain, Whistler Creekside
Inside Dusty's Whistler Creekside
Dusty's patio, looking up Whistler Mountain (Creekside Base)
Inside Dusty's Bar & BBQ, "Whistler's Original Watering Hole", located in Whistler Creekside Village

#4 - The Resort Hotels

Ever since we stayed at the Pan Pacific Village Centre this past ski season, my 7 year old son Callum uses it as the benchmark by which he judges all of the other Whistler lodgings. Ranked by Conde Nast travel magazine as the top Canadian resort in 2007, the Pan Pacific is one of several luxury resort hotels spread throughout Whistler/Blackcomb.

Update: This past December we were fortunate enough to spend three nights at the Four Seasons Whistler Canada Resort, Whistler's only 5 star hotel. Needless to say, Callum has a new benchmark for which to judge accommodation in Whistler.

#3 - Whistler Mountain

This is where skiing was born at Whistler. Over 4,700 acres and 5,020 feet of vertical.

#2 - Blackcomb Mountain

Why did I put Blackcomb ahead of Whistler Mountain? With one mile of vertical, Blackcomb "beats" Whistler Mountain by about 250 feet. Otherwise, it's a toss up. (Although when push comes to shove, I do prefer Blackcomb.) But both mountains are unique in their own way, and I highly recommend that you spend time exploring both of them. In fact, starting in December 2008, that became much easier with the opening of the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, a world record setting lift that connects the two mountains.

And The #1 Reason To Visit Whistler Canada... THE SNOW!

Let's face it, without the snow the the other nine reasons don't really matter too much. Whistler is legendary for its "pow days". From late November right through until early April, don't be surprised if you are skiing knee deep powder.

And even if you are not looking for the "steep and deep" runs, there is always lots of freshly groomed runs each morning on both mountains.

So there you have it. The Top 10 reasons to visit Whistler Canada. See you on the slopes.

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