7 things to know before visiting Whistler this summer 

Jun 1 2021, 6:06 pm

Please note: As ordered by health officials, non-essential travel between regions in BC is not permitted at this time. Currently, indoor gatherings of up to five visitors or one other household are allowed. Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are also permitted, but use COVID-19 layers of protection and maintain physical distancing. Please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including proper physical distancing and frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask or face-covering in public indoor and retail spaces. If you are sick, please stay home.

As local travel becomes possible once again, we’re reawakening our thirst for adventure. After months of cocooning at home, the towering mountains and old-growth forests of Whistler are beckoning us.

This summer, we’re stoking our soul by investing more time into the things we love and those we have yet to discover; we’re set to adventure deeper into the wild, natural landscape of this iconic destination less than two hours’ drive from our doorsteps.

With the thrill of Whistler’s world-class mountain biking trails, the calm of forest bathing, and the excitement of indulging in west coast fare al fresco on our minds, we’re ready to lengthen our stay beyond just the weekend to see how much we can check off our wanderlust list.

But the experience in Whistler will be somewhat different this year amid the pandemic, and for that reason, we’re each required to do some groundwork before visiting. Doing so means we can all enjoy the wonder of Whistler safely, responsibly, and in harmony.

Do your research

Now more than ever, it’s important to do your research and plan ahead before packing up and hitting the road for Whistler. To find out everything you need to know about the 2021 summer experience and get the latest COVID-19 updates, be sure to visit whistler.com/covid.

Curious to see what businesses are open? Whistler’s Doors Open Directory shares a comprehensive breakdown of local businesses and how they have modified their operations in response to the pandemic.

Make reservations early

The list of things to do in Whistler is endless, from ziplining through lush forests to feeling the adrenaline rush of a whitewater rafting tour, and it’s natural to want to fit everything into one trip.

To ensure your spot on the excursion that appeals to you, arrive with a plan and make reservations in advance wherever possible so activity providers can be prepared. The same goes for indoor and outdoor dining at any of Whistler’s coveted restaurants — book a table earlier so you have one less thing to think about on the day.

Pro tip: check out the Whistler Insider blog for useful know-before-you-go content to help you get ready for your trip.

Stay for longer midweek

The longer you adventure and play in Whistler, the greater your connection with the land, lore, community, and culture grows. Get the most of your stay and enjoy a quieter Whistler by considering a break from Vancouver midweek. Not only will you lessen the volumes in parks and on trails, reducing the impact on local businesses and infrastructure, you’ll also be able to score the best deals on accommodation. Ultimately, it’s a win-win that means a more positive guest experience for all.

Consider capacity limits

In pre-pandemic times, it was possible to vacation on a whim without thinking too much about the size of the crowds you might encounter. But we’re living in a new normal, and it’s essential to prepare for Whistler’s lakes and parks to be at capacity this summer — with limited vehicle parking.

However, you have the option to park your car in the Village, hop on the free weekend park shuttle, take transit (which is free on weekends and holidays), or walk or bike to your next destination. If parks are at capacity when you arrive, have a plan B lined up to allow for a seamless experience.

Bring your own bike

One of the things we appreciate about Whistler is the ease of navigating the town by bike. If you bring your own bike (a new take on BYOB), it’s incredibly convenient to dash to the stores close to your accommodation or pick up takeout from a local restaurant before heading to an Instagram-worthy picnic spot.

By biking, not only will you be doing your part for the environment, but you’ll also be able to cover ample scenic terrain along the Valley Trail stretching over 45 kilometres, passing viewpoints, lakes, and places to enjoy a quick break. Afterward, park your bike at the secure Bike Valet at Olympic Plaza, Rainbow Park, or Lost Lake Park.

Check for updates

This year, summer construction projects are underway in Whistler, and some may affect vehicle access to your favourite spots. You can call 1-800-944-7853 or use the Ask Whistler mobile chat service to speak with a Whistler.com agent who can answer questions and provide information.

To stay in the know about provincial park closures and advisories in the Whistler area, consult BCparks.ca. You can also learn how to embrace recreation safely and respectfully by reviewing the BC Parks Responsible Recreation Guide.

Seek out quieter areas

For the best summer experience in Whistler, consider spreading out to less populated areas. Although most of us are familiar with and enjoy the bustle of the Village Stroll and nearby parks, there’s much to discover outside of these areas in Whistler. For a change of scenery, try exploring Whistler Creekside one afternoon, Function Junction, and the wealth of cultural experiences and captivating public art along the Cultural Connector. And if you’re searching for a lush forested trail to embark on (that leads to public art), check out Whistler’s Train Wreck Hike.

To start planning your summer vacation to Whistler and make a booking, visit whistler.com/summer. Before making your travel plans, please be sure to review the details of BC’s Restart Plan and the current travel restrictions in British Columbia.

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