Whistler is an ideal family vacation destination. With both summer and winter activities and a world-class reputation, it’s a real Canadian star. (If you’re looking for a romantic weekend, it’s also a fabulous choice.)
From Vancouver: 2hr drive on the Sea to Sky Highway
From Edmonton or Calgary: 1.5hr Flight + 2hr drive
You can take a shuttle bus right from the Vancouver airport to Whistler if you don’t want to rent a car.
Where to Stay:
There are many options from budget to luxury and many family style hotels and condos and even chalets available in Whistler. The options are truly endless. Personally, when I want a weekend away, I’m not looking to cook for myself and my family and I love to feel a bit pampered, so I recommend the Fairmont Chateau Whistler (the #1 ski resort in Canada). I find the amenities that this property has to offer are always worth the extra price, if at all possible. That said, property prices fluctuate, and you can often find deals on group buying websites, and last minute deals where the site hides the hotel name from you while booking.
The Fairmont caters to kids and my girls each received a ‘Fairmont Kid’ backpack with colouring supplies inside. The rooms offer kidsize bathrobes, an extra cot (or crib) too, for families of five like ours. Their hotels are also dog friendly and you will not walk through their grand lobby without running into at least one family with their furbaby in tow. The pool area has a shaded tie-up area with dog beds and water bowls to bring your furry friend out to lounge while you do.
Amenities that set Fairmont apart:
– poolside drink and food service
– endless soft towels and bathrobes
– underwater piped music in the lap pool
– a family pool that starts inside (for the chilllier winter months)
– one indoor and three outdoor hottubs large enough for at least 15 people each
– large common lounge areas
– several dining options
– extra great customer service (like letting us check-in at 11am and getting us a room immediately)
– bell, concierge and valet parking
Other great hotels in Whistler:
Value: rent a condo or go with the most-reviewed family hotel on Trip Advisor, the First Tracks Lodge (3 star)
Mid-range: Delta Whistler (3.5 star)
Well-appointed: Westin Whistler (4 star)
Luxury: Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Extra Luxurious: Four Seasons Whistler
Location – anywhere in or near Blackcomb or Whistler village will put you within walking distance of all the action of the village. Creekside is a drive from the Village, but if you’re going primarily to ski, then Creekside has some ski in/out lodging and restaurants too.
What to do – Summer
The Peak to Peak experience is one of a kind – the gondola that connects Blackcomb and Whistler mount peaks. It’s the world’s longest unsupported span of 3.024 kilometres, the highest lift of its kind at 436 metres above the valley floor and completes the longest continuous lift system on the globe. If you have an infant being worn in a front carrier, you’re set. Otherwise, children under 1 meter (or approximately 39″) tall may not ride as there are open lifts on the way up to the peak. Unfortunately Ivy’s not quite tall enough yet so we’re waiting one more summer to take the girls up. My husband and I truly enjoyed the experience alone last summer.
The Adventure Zone boasts a luge ride, bouncy castles, go karts, a maze, mini-golf and high-jump trampolining (plus more). The girls had a ball, and I think they all (including hubby) would have done the luge several times over. The best deal is to buy a ride-pack ($45/5 rides) versus paying each ride’s individual price.
Farmer’s Market Sundays offer fresh fruit and vegatables, homemade gourmet fare, jewellery, art, face-painting, all the usual Farmer’s Market goodness and you can’t help but feel extra organic being up in this paradise.
Money no object? Whistler has you covered with endless amounts of fabulous adventures:
- Take a Bear-viewing jeep tour and see up to 15 bears per tour! $189
- Book your helicopter tour over the peaks. Starting at $275
- Horse-back riding on the trails. 1 Hour = $70
Free and low-cost options:
- Check out the Olympic Experience and tour some facilities
- Hiking and biking trails and self-exploration
- Window-shopping in the village
- Celebrity spotting
* This is not a sponsored post and I did not seek or receive any compensation or sponsorship for this post.