8 things to know before heading to Whistler this winter

Nov 2 2020, 7:27 pm

Unforeseen changes have allowed us to appreciate the wonder of BC’s natural landscape this year, with treasures accessible just beyond our doorsteps.

While we navigate the new normal amid a global pandemic, we’re keeping our passion for the great outdoors and majestic mountains alive. This winter, we have the opportunity to pursue the thrill of unforgettable moments not far from Vancouver — in Whistler.

Featuring over 200 marked ski runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, three glaciers, and more, the resort is a wonderland for both novice and pro winter sports enthusiasts. Although things are a little different this season, there are ways that we can safely experience Whistler’s natural environment and vibrant offerings. By showing up with the must-know info already in mind, we can all satisfy our spirits’ need for the vast and wide open.

Enjoy the resort responsibly

Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova

BC residents are invited to return to Whistler responsibly and discover a new pace in the destination they’ve always loved. To help keep locals, staff, and fellow guests safe, visitors are asked to be kind, patient, and understanding while respecting the COVID-19 protocols in place throughout the resort. This extends to following the new measures in place everywhere from your accommodation to the restaurants you visit.

If you have any symptoms associated with COVID-19 or have been in contact with a known case, Whistler asks that you please postpone your visit. The resort will be there and ready to welcome you with open arms when the time is right!

Extend your stay

Oftentimes, spending just a weekend in Whistler involves rushing to check items off your bucket list. To ensure you get to see and do as much as you desire, extend your stay and reap the benefits of a stress-free vacation. Or, work remotely in Whistler with easy access to adventure when you need a break.

When you book by December 1 and stay for longer, you can score the best deals with discounted rates. Plus, longer stays are a more responsible way to travel in the current moment. Travelling midweek and during off-peak periods can also positively affect your visitor experience by enjoying a quieter resort and less traffic on the highway.

Do your research and plan ahead

Tourism Whistler/Guy Fattal

Now more than ever, it’s key to conduct research and start planning before you arrive in Whistler. Doing this offers peace of mind, allowing you to embrace every experience during your trip and make the most of your vacation. Be sure to check out Whistler’s COVID-19 Travel Manners guide and the Whistler Insider blog — both of which are wonderful resources with know-before-you-go content.

Before heading to the outdoors, using an online trip planner can help you make sure you’re educated and prepared, allowing you to enjoy safely and responsibly. And to help preserve Whistler’s beauty and minimize your environmental footprint, follow the resort’s green travel tips.

Make reservations

Whistler’s culinary scene has something to satisfy every kind of foodie. Whether you choose to dine at one of the local cafes, restaurants, or pubs, or if you decide to spend the day in the alpine, remember that guidance from public health authorities means that capacity is limited. To avoid disappointment, make reservations in advance or drop by your must-visit eatery outside of peak times. You can also order for takeout and dine in your accommodation (while still supporting local).

Know what’s open

Businesses and activity providers in Whistler are doing their part to maintain the highest standards in health and safety for locals and visitors alike. To find out exactly which businesses are open in the town this season — and learn about the ways they’ve modified their operations in response to the pandemic — consult the comprehensive Doors Open Directory. This will make trip planning that little bit easier, too.

Bring a mask or face covering

In adapting to new protocols, many businesses in Whistler (including Whistler Blackcomb) now require face coverings to be worn by guests. Remember to bring a mask with you as they should be worn in Whistler whenever physical distancing can’t be maintained. This includes wearing a mask while walking along the Village Stroll and in busy outdoor spaces.

Choose safety on the slopes

Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova

If you’re counting the days until you feel the adrenaline rush of skiing or snowboarding down Whistler’s most iconic runs, know that Whistler Blackcomb has implemented changes to enhance safety for boarders, skiers, and the wider community. This includes managing on-mountain access and requesting that pass holders make reservations for the days they wish to hit the slopes. You can find out more here.

Speak to a local

It’s fair to say that nobody knows Whistler like the locals who call it home. You can take the guesswork out of organizing your vacation itinerary by connecting with a member of the team at Whistler.com and gaining personalized local knowledge. Simply phone 1-800-944-7853 to speak with a Whistler.com agent who will be happy to answer any questions you have in preparation for your trip.

The resort’s live chat service, Ask Whistler, can also help you uncover everything Whistler has to offer. Think of it as your own personal concierge at your fingertips, offering tips on things to do, where to eat, and more.

From skiing to snowshoeing, alpine dining to the arts scene, there’s a wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered beyond the Sea-to-Sky Highway this season. To learn more about exploring Whistler responsibly and to book your well-deserved vacation, visit whistler.com/adventure-differently.

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