Not all of us are gifted on the slopes. If you, like me, are a danger to myself and others while wearing skies, this post is for you. Maybe your snow-loving spouse is dragging you on a ski holiday, but you aren’t a skier. Or maybe it’s summer, and there is no snow. No fear, we’ve got you covered.
There is so much to do in Whistler that doesn’t involve bindings or a board you strap yourself to. There are surely even more than 15 things to do in Whistler for the non-skier, but these are some of our favorites.
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1. Mountain Biking in Whistler
Without a doubt, the biggest thing going on in Whistler other than skiing is Mountain biking. However, the bikers use the same runs that the skiers do just when there isn’t any snow, making it a summer-only sport.
No matter the time of year, there is no shortage of hiking in Whistler. Find a good map and hit the trails for some amazing hiking.
3. Whistler Sea Plane (May-September)
One of the most amazing things we did while in Whistler was get 10,000 feet in the air with Harbour Air on their Glacier scenic flight. They took us high above the snow-capped mountains and over the Garibaldi Provincial Park with its bright blue lakes. The take-off and landing in Green Lake were one of the best parts of the entire flight.
4. RZR ATVs
Hop off the heavy-duty ATVs from TAG – The Adventure Group and jump on the trails. We hit the rocks and puddles harder than I even thought was possible.
We visited after a recent rain, making the puddles extra, ummm… good. We took on several mud pits on at full speed and covered our GoPro in a splattering of Whistlers’ finest soil.
When the ATVs aren’t running, hop on a snowmobile tour and see the slopes in a totally different way. Yours will take you high into the alpine with stunning views of the village and the ski runs.
Whistler’s mountains are strung together with zip lines between just about everywhere, but one line stands out above all the rest. The Sasquatch Zipline is the longest, fastest, and highest in town. The big lines run from the spring to the fall, but some of the small runs can be zipped more of the year.
An activity still involving the powdery white stuff that shows up every winter in Whistler. Snowshoeing can be a great physical activity for the non-skier in Whistler. Guide snowshoe trips can be arranged from several places within the village.
8. Pet a bear
Ok, I wasn’t serious about that one. Please don’t pet the bears. They probably wouldn’t like it either. However, watching the bears from a safe distance can be quite enjoyable.
9. Visit Whistler Village Beer Fest
We found all kinds of local B.C. and regional beers to sample at the Whistler Village Beer Fest. We even got to try the hometown favorite, Lost Lake IPA, from Whistler Brewing. With over 80 breweries, there was no shortage of great beer to try.
10. Lounge in the hot tub watching the skiers at night
Nothing beats going into a nice steaming hot tub when it’s snowing outside. Top it off with watching the skiers come down the hill from the Blackcomb runs, it’s pretty amazing.
Whistler is a patio kind of town, no matter the time of year. Most restaurants and bars have their patios full of heaters and fires to warm up a bit, but still, be outside after a long day of not skiing. One of the best places for a pint in Whistler is the Dubh Linn Gate located at the bottom of the Blackcomb runs.
12. Scandinavian Bath
While the others hit the slopes, make your way over to the Scandinavian Spa for a unique experience. The spa combines hot and cold treatments to bring your body into total relaxation mode. Inside the spa, there are steam rooms, saunas, solariums, and hot tubs to warm you up.
However, the warm-up is only half of the treatment cycle, plunging into cool pools to regulate the body temperature are the other half. Also, on-site, they have a traditional massage as well.
13. Peak to Peak Gondola
Ski lifts aren’t just for skiers. Take the lifts up to the peak 2 peak gondola that runs between Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains. This 1,400 ft tall, world record-breaking gondola will take you on a ride of your life high above the valley between Whistler’s two famous mountains.
14. Watch the Fire and Ice show
There is no better way to end a day not on the slopes than watching other people on skis jumping through rings of fire while skiing.
15. Garibaldi Park
Just outside the Village of Whistler is the Garibaldi Provincial Park. The park is filled with amazing sights including tall mountains, white and blue glaciers, and milky blue glacier-fed lakes.
The landscapes of the park are a reason for most to visit. We got to see a bird’s eye view of the park from the scenic flight over the glaciers with Harbor Air.
Where to stay in Whistler for the non-skier
The village of Whistler is fairly small and easily walkable making getting around very easy. for us, the best place to stay in Whistler would be the Pan Pacific Whistler.
One of the best features of Pan Pacific is its location. Set right at the bottom of the Blackcomb ski runs and two lifts. This makes for the perfect spot for the non-skier to watch, from the hot tub, of course.
Inside the Pan Pacific are luxurious suites, most with one bedroom and a full kitchen. Having a fireplace and all the amenities in our room helped make the trip to Whistler for us.
Have you ever been to Whistler, and would you go even if you weren’t a skier? We hope we convinced you that Whistler is a pretty cool place, even for the non-skier.