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Vancouver to Whistler | The Ultimate Staycation


The Sea to Sky Corridor could be one of the best places to visit in BC. With the city lights of Vancouver, the rock faces of Squamish and the beautiful mountains of Whistler and Pemberton, you will wonder why you would want to head anywhere else on holiday.

This time, instead of booking a faraway place, book your holiday near home. Head up to Whistler. With adventurous activities, a thriving village with wonderful shops, and delicious places to eat all you need is to head north from Vancouver. We can help you plan your Vancouver to Whistler day trip or weekend stay.

Why Whistler Makes a Great Staycation

beautiful view of Whistler at Night.

A glimpse of your Vancouver Staycation in Whistler

Whistler is about a two-hour drive north from Vancouver along Highway 99. Head straight through Squamish, stopping off at the Tantalus mountain range viewpoint on your way and get ready for a fantastic Staycation.

If you are looking for a romantic trip away for the weekend or a family adventure, Whistler will have you covered. There are restaurants, activities, and hotels for every budget, and we can help you plan your stay.

Over winter you can hit the slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb, or take a wild ride down the Tube Park followed by aprés at any number of the excellent bars and hotels. In the summer you can lounge around at Rainbow park and take a walk by the lake, or if you are after something more intense, head to Blackcomb then rip it up in the downhill park.

There will be an activity for every level in Whistler, for thrill-seekers and chill seekers, read on to learn how to make the most of your Staycation.

Whistler Tours from Vancouver

Driving here yourself? Get up early to make the most of your time in Whistler. Have a snack before you leave Vancouver and grab breakfast once you arrive in the Village to ensure you are fully fuelled up. If you are heading up for a day trip most activities like zip-lining or axe throwing have morning, afternoon, or evening sessions available so you do not have to rush from place to place.

If you want an opportunity to enjoy the views on your journey from Vancouver to Whistler you can book a shuttle bus and take a tour up North. Many sightseeing buses allow for stops along the way to take in the views, grab refreshments and have convenient pickup points to begin your Vancouver to Whistler tour.

Check out Landsea Tours & Adventures or Discover Canada Tours

Great Places to Eat on Your Whistler Staycation

Whistler has you covered for breakfast, lunch, and evening meals, and most places will serve food throughout the day. There are also some lovely cafés for grabbing lunchtime snacks. Check out the list below for our recommended places to eat out in Whistler.

Dustys bar slider

Head on over to Dusty’s to fill your heart and soul with good food, and patio beers!

  • Dusty’s bar and Grill- Whistler Creekside
    Creekside is just South of the main Village and is noticeable by its Gondola and Olympic Rings on the mountainside. Dusty’s offers delicious food, live music, and during winter fantastic aprés. Open from 11 am till late this will be the place to go once you have finished on Creekside’s new mountain bike runs.
  • The Brickworks
    Just off the Village stroll, you will find this gastropub offering BC craft ales and enticing entrées. This could be a lunch or evening place to eat, and you can check out the menu online to get your tastebuds going.

For a hearty breakfast before you head out for your adventure, try out Alpine Cafe, a short drive north from the Village. Need lunch? Check out Ingrid’s Village Cafe in the Village centre, or Pure Bread near Olympic Plaza. If you want to do Whistler on a budget, checkout out our food recommendations here and for date nights checkout out our restaurant guide here 

What to do in Whistler on your Staycation

If you just have a day or the full weekend, check out our recommendations below to help make the most of your BC Staycation. Enjoy being a tourist in your own province.

1. Hiking

For the summer months, you can try out hiking in the Whistler Backcountry. Although available throughout the year, hiking in the warmer months can give you some beautiful clear days for views of the Coast Mountains. There are trails of varying difficulty and length, and you will get to see rugged landscapes and BC wildlife. We recommend hiring a guide when hiking in the backcountry to ensure you have an enjoyable and safe trip.

2. Axe Throwing

Axe Throwing with Forged in Whistler is a year-round activity and a great option when the weather is not so great outside. This is something to do with your friends and family, or even as a large group activity for a team-building experience. You could even plan an axe throwing tournament with your group. Forged is a short drive from Whistler in Function Junction, which is also very close to Pure Bread so you can grab a cake and coffee before or after.

3. Golf

Spend your day underneath the beautiful BC mountains while playing golf at the Fairmont Whistler golf course. They have two 18 hole courses and one nine-hole Par 3 course. There is an almost guaranteed chance of seeing wildlife on this course, with black bears roaming around the grounds. This venue is fantastic for beginners and experienced golfers alike, and you can end your day at the Clubhouse restaurant or in the Fairmont Whistler spa.

4. Snowsports

From gentle green runs to gnarly double black diamonds, Whistler and Blackcomb have enough terrain for the whole family. You could also book onto a guided backcountry tour, leave the lifts behind, and experience hidden parts of the mountains away from the crowds.

5. Sleigh-rides

Horse-Drawn Sleigh

A little magical winter journey by sleigh

This is one for a romantic weekend getaway with your partner. Head out on a horse-drawn sleigh ride through Whistler’s winter wonderland, wrapped up in cozy blankets on comfortable padded seats. You can’t beat a nighttime sleigh ride around the lower slopes of the mountains followed by delicious food at one of the village pubs. This is a must-do on your winter Whistler tour from Vancouver.

6. Scandinave Spa

This is the best way to relax in the sunshine after a hike, or in the snow after a day on the slopes. Lay back in hot tubs surrounded by the mountains in the fresh air, and experience the full benefits of hydrotherapy. Book yourself (or a loved one) in for a massage or practice yoga in between dips in the pools. You need to try the hot-cold-relax experience in the traditional Scandinavian style, it will help you truly relax and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to return to the City. The Scandinave Spa could be the way to end your Staycation in Whistler.

For day-trippers heading up for a Whistler tour, leave early to make the most of the day. Avoid the rush hour by staying later and heading out for dinner in the Village, followed by watching the sunset over the Tantalus range on your way back home. For those heading up for the night or the weekend you can check out our recommendations on places to stay here, and we also have some top tips for booking your perfect accommodation here.

We told you there is no need to go elsewhere. A Staycation in Whistler is your next vacation. The convenience of being close to home, a great way to have a memorable day out or weekend away, with the benefits of saving you money on expensive flights. Whistler is a resort destination on your doorstep with enough activities to keep you coming back every weekend and holiday whatever the season.

What could possibly be better than spending your day on a golf course while surrounded by the breathtaking views of Whistler BC?