As part of our Vancouver visit, we made sure to visit Whistler as we could not pass checking Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Peak. While Whistler ski resort is a well-known winter destination, Whistler summer activities are pretty cool too!
We left Vancouver via the Rocky Mountaineer Train, enjoying amazing views along the coastline while enjoying a hot breakfast. With only a day in Whistler, we focused on what we liked best – hiking. But, as you will see in this post, Whistler offers a wide range of cool outdoor activities. Even some watersports and aerial flights if that’s what you fancy. For our return, we chose to board a floatplane from Whistler to Vancouver, which allowed us stunning views of the mountain ranges and downtown Vancouver. Simply fantastic!
That combination of a luxury train ride, outdoor adventures, and scenic flight was really a unique experience. A must-do activity and what we felt was the best way to enjoy our one day in Whistler.
Why Whistler British Columbia
What makes Whistler so special? Whistler village is nestled in the Pacific Ranges, between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Peak. Incredible views all around! It is also the central hub for the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort, featuring the Peak 2 Peak Gondola Whistler is famous for connecting both mountain tops.
Peak to Peak Whistler Gondola
Boarding the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is one of the top Whistler activities, providing 360˚ experience views of the mountain range around Whistler, glaciers, and lakes, and of course, the Whistler Village.
Riding so high above the ground was really awesome. Though we were in the high of summer, there was no queue for us to board, and we were able to step onto the gondola quickly. The experience was even more appreciated as there were few people in the gondola egg, meaning we could admire the views around us.
The Peak 2 Peak Gondola tickets provide what the resort calls a 360˚ experience, including 50+ km of hiking trails in the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. In the summertime, make sure to book your Whistler gondola tickets ahead of time to ensure you can enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Things to Do in Whistler BC
Of course, skiing and snowboarding are the two sports that come to mind when you think of Whistler, but there are plenty of things to do in Whistler summer offers.
Here are some of the top Whistler attractions:
Given its location within the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains range, hiking in Whistler is as impressive as it can be. Alpine hiking trails will take you through stunning landscapes, with views of snow-covered peaks, old glaciers, and green meadows.
Our hiking exploration was limited since we were only one day in Whistler. However, hiking in Whistler was definitely one of our top activities to do in Whistler. Indeed, the views across the mountain ranges were mindblowing, with snow-covered peaks all around us.
Join a Whistler Zipline Tour to fly high as a bird, over creeks, and through the forest. While we did not go ziplining in Whistler, we had the opportunity to try that thrilling activity before, and wow! The speed, the rush – simply crazy!
Whistler Bear Viewing
From April to October, board a 4×4 car and search for black bears in their natural habitat.
Being able to see bears up close is something we enjoyed in Yellowstone National Park in the US, and the Katmai National Park from Homer, Canada. Probably one of our best wildlife experiences! If you can join a tour to see them, don’t miss the opportunity!
Whistler Bungee Jumping
A thrilling activity, jump 160 ft (50 m) over the Cheakamus River.
Raft down the Cheakamus River, the Green River, the Elaho River, or the famous Squamish River, prepare for Class III-IV rapids. Many of the top white water rafting experiences are in Canada, with landscapes right off movie scenes. So regardless of the rapid class, you are in for a treat!
Biking in Whistler
Whistler is a prime biking destination, with fantastic cross-country trails for all experience levels. Whistler downhill biking is definitely something to try – no wonder that Whistler Mountain Bike Park is such a popular attraction.
You can also rent electric bikes, which let you enjoy a great riding outing with less effort.
Watersports in Whistler Lakes
Go for a refreshing jump in one of the several lakes around Whistler! The most popular are Green Lake Whistler, Lost Lake Whistler, Alpha Lake Whistler, and Nita Lake Whistler. Try canoeing or SUPing. Kayaking Whistler is another fun thing to do in summer!
Whistler Helicopter Rides
Another way to enjoy bird’s views is to board a helicopter tour, enjoying a scenic flight over the Coast Mountain landscape. Some of these helicopter rides, or scenic flights, will take you over glaciers and snowy mountains – the perfect Canada flying trip!
Tours to Whistler from Vancouver
You can travel to Whistler independently and go hiking. Other options are to join Vancouver tours to Whistler, which can help you reserve your seat on any Vancouver to Whistler transportation, and book your tickets for any of the top things to do in Whistler, Canada.
We are usually independent travelers, and we organize our whole trip ourselves. However, there are moments and places where joining a tour makes sense, as it will maximize the time we have at our destination. A day trip from Vancouver to Whistler would be such a time.
How to Get from Vancouver to Whistler
Different options are available to plan your Whistler travel.
Vancouver Train to Whistler
We boarded the Rocky Mountaineer train from Vancouver to Whistler. The see-through ceiling offered incredible views while enjoying a hot breakfast along the ride.
The train is really a great way to take in the coastline of British Columbia, and the glass ceiling made us feel like we could touch the sky!
Buses Vancouver to Whistler
Several buses depart Vancouver to Whistler every day. The rides take between 1:30 to 2:45 hours, depending on the size of the bus and the company.
Vancouver to Whistler Seaplane
Another option to return to Vancouver is to board a floatplane from Whistler. So that’s what we did, and we loved the views we saw from Whistler and enjoyed the landing right by Vancouver.
Driving from Vancouver to Whistler
It takes about 1:30 hours to drive the 75 miles (120 km) from Vancouver to Whistler. If you drive, plan for several stops to take in the scenic landscapes.
Vancouver to Whistler Shuttle
If you are flying into Vancouver International Airport, the Whistler Shuttle offers a daily service.
Whistler summer days are fantastic, though the weather can change quickly given the mountainous location. Check the 14-day weather forecast Whistler can provide ahead of time. A 7-day forecast Whistler update would be better as you get closer to your travel time.
Even in summer, bring a light jacket to find out potential winds and late afternoon rains.
Though we went on a day trip from Vancouver to Whistler, you might want to decide to stay longer and enjoy more of the trails or fun things to do in Whistler. If you do so, check one of these Whistler lodging options. From budget to luxury lodging, Whistler offers something for all budgets.
- Hostelling International Whistler is the ideal affordable option, right in the village center. Besides the dormitory, the HI also offers private rooms, mountain views, and a communal kitchen. Book your room now
- Pan Pacific Whistler Village: Included breakfast, and has great reviews. Check the latest prices here
- Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa for the ultimate treat! Click here for the latest prices.
We would have loved to spend more time in Whistler and explore the various hiking trails. But if you are short on time, visiting Whistler in one day is still worth it.
Have you been to Whistler? Would you recommend other places to visit in Whistler?
If you are looking for more Canada travel ideas, adventures, check out our Canada blog posts:
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