This article is part of an ongoing series in partnership with Tourism Whistler to raise awareness of how the destination is opening safely to welcome guests this summer.
Temperatures are gradually rising across the Lower Mainland, and it’s finally starting to feel like summer.
As British Columbians settle into the new normal, the province continues to move through its systematic restart plan. Even though international travel is off the cards this season, there’s world-renowned terrain to cover right here in BC.
It’s easy to unwind outside the city with a refreshing midweek escape to Whistler. The year-round resort is now inviting visitors to return and enjoy the thrill of the natural environment safely and responsibly. Plus, the scenic journey to Whistler along the Sea to Sky Highway is the perfect start to a mountain vacation.
To ensure visitor safety, Whistler’s transportation services are now offering contactless check-in, physically distanced seating, limited passenger numbers, and frequent sanitization. As you plan your next trip, here are some transportation options to consider.
Book a shuttle
Allow yourself to go with the flow of vacation mode by leaving the car at home. Taking a shuttle bus to Whistler means you can fully appreciate the breathtaking views along the way — without any distractions. Plus, you’ll get dropped off in the heart of the Village at Gateway Loop. Pro tip: Staying at the Pinnacle Hotel means your hotel is just a three-minute walk from the bus drop off point.
Epic Rides runs an express bus to and from Whistler, which departs from Burrard Station at different times throughout the day. All Epic Rides passengers are now required to wear masks for the duration of their trip on the bus and during check-in.
YVR Skylynx offers physically distanced coach rides with pickup spots at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Melville Street multiple times per day.
Meanwhile, Whistler Shuttle has a direct route option from the Hyatt Regency Hotel (picking up at most major Vancouver hotels) and another from YVR to Whistler.
Take transit safely
There are plenty of ways to get around in Whistler if you don’t have a car. The mountain town has its own bus operations with BC Transit. Bus routes connect the Village, Creekside, and neighbourhoods north and south of the town centre.
During the summer, there are also free shuttle services available to Lost Lake Park (should you wish to explore the many trails) and services to the Upper Village year-round.
Most drivers are leaving bus windows and vents open to allow for better air circulation during each ride. If you plan to take the bus, check out the summer services changes ahead of time.
Rent a car or reserve private transport
If you want to explore the Sea to Sky Highway and Whistler at your own pace, book a rental SUV, convertible, or a more modest vehicle from Avis Car Rental at Cascade Lodge. All rentals are being thoroughly sanitized after each use. Flexible reservation policies are also in place if you need to change the date of your visit.
Choose a private Whistler day tour or transfer for your bubble in a coach, SUV, or sedan with Luxury Transportation Inc. You’ll find sanitization stations on-board and socially distanced seating. Or, let Whistler Executive Transportation take you sightseeing in luxury along the Sea to Sky corridor in a premium SUV or minibus. You could also schedule a private charter with Whistler Connection and complete a short health screening survey before your trip.
During your vacation, if you need to get from the golf course to your hotel, or from your hotel to the bike park, order a local taxi. With options ranging from minivans to full-size sedans, it’s easy to ride safely in a regularly sanitized vehicle. Bring your luggage or sports gear with you and use contactless payment before you exit.
Propel yourself around town
If you don’t feel comfortable taking public transit, there are still other ways you can rediscover Whistler. The pedestrian-only Village Stroll allows for easy walking access between a plethora of shops, accommodations, restaurants, and lifts to the bike park.
Whistler’s pristine Valley Trail covers more than 40 kilometres that you can enjoy while running, walking, cycling, skating, or rollerblading. The trail is completely car-free, which means you won’t be interrupted while exploring the lakes, parks, and neighbourhoods along the route. You’ll also see physical distance markers to remind you to keep a safe distance from others on the trail.
At this time, it’s important to remember that not all Whistler transportation providers are open, and some may be operating with limited hours.
On your next vacation to Whistler, adventure with a new pace to keep everyone safe, whether you’re relaxing by a lake, dining in the Village, or discovering cultural attractions. Since there is so much to see, you’ll need longer than a weekend to fit everything in. Visiting midweek allows you to get the best rates with rooms from $93 per night.
To learn more about the post-COVID-19 Whistler experience before your trip, and to see the full list of transportation providers currently open for business, visit the Whistler Doors Open Directory.