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Home Adventure Travel Ideas Activities Winter & Snow Whistler's Winter Wonderland

Whistler's Winter Wonderland

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Whistler's Winter Wonderland

Canada's British Columbia is known for its winter scenic terrain and family-friendly skiing on the two adjacent mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb. These slopes can accommodate some 12,000 skiers a day on dozens of trails with short waits in the numerous lift lines. Each mountain is the size of Vail in Colorado (the largest ski area in the U.S.). Best of all, the ski season at Whistler-Blackcomb runs from November through June. With this information, I packed up my husband and two children and headed for Whistler's winter wonderland.

After flying into Vancouver, B.C. we rented a car and drove 70 miles north along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway 99 to Whistler Village.

Whistler Village

Especially appealing for families, Whistler Village offers the most slope-side lodging accommodations in North America (www.whistler.com). The village, nestled at the foot of the mountains, is a car-free zone and offers walking paths and over 300 shops, eateries, and hostelries. Free shuttles stop at the hotels and condos to ferry you and the kids to the
various ski lifts.

Another attraction for families is Creekside Kid’s Centre, in the nearby Creekside area (off Highway 99 just south of the village), which offers daycare activities for infants and toddlers ages three anIt's a winter wonderland of family adventure.d four. The Kid’s Ski and Snowboard Camp offers guided instruction for small groups from ages three and up.

For more information about these services call the Whistler-Blackcomb toll free number, 866-218-9690. Ask about the Children’s Adventure Park, which offers ski runs through an enchanted forest and a ski-through castle.

Lodgings

Most hotel rooms in the village offer kitchenettes. We rented a room at the newer Pan Pacific All Suite Hotel in the heart of Whistler Village. Guests enjoy a full kitchen, living area with sofa bed, fireplace, and balcony. We enjoyed the daily breakfast buffet and evening hors d’oeuvres as well as the outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna, and spa facility.

For more information about Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre call 888-966-5575. For other accommodations in Whistler Village see www.whistler.com; www.whistlerblackcomb.com; or call 1-800-WHISTLER.

Activities

One day we decided to check out the Meadow Park Sports Center where we found two indoor swimming pools. While our toddler splashed with spouting bears, floated on the lazy river, and played with pool toys, our 11-year-old enjoyed the six lane lap pool with its 8-foot slide, basketball net, and rope swing. My husband relaxed in the hot tub, steam room, and sauna.

A National Hockey League-sized skating rink offers ice skate rentals and the 4500 square foot fitness center offers free weights, cardio areas, and group fitness classes.

Tours of the snowy Whistler back country areas are available by dog sled, by snowshoes, and also by sitting cozy and warm in horse-drawn sleighs (www.blackcombsleighrides.com).

For cross-country ski buffs the Lost Lake Trails are a 10-minute walk from most village accommodations. The trail system includes 20 miles of groomed trails; nearly 3 miles are lit for nighttime Nordic rambles.Equipment rental and trail passes are available at several shops in the village.

Eats

The Old Spaghetti Factory in Whistler Village offers a kid’s meal for under $5 that includes salad, pasta, beverage, and spumoni ice cream. Next to Pan Pacific Hotel we enjoyed take-out at the Avalanche Pizza Company. For dessert we trekked into nearby Cows for delicious ice cream and whimsical tee shirts. Other family friendly eateries, with tasty food and good prices, include Wildwood at the Whistler Tennis Club (604-932-1991) and, in the nearby Creekside area, Dusty’s Ski Bar (604-905-2171), which is also a local favorite.

If You Go...

Remember the favorable Canadian/U.S. dollar exchange rate, and tax refund for visitors. International visitors are eligible for a rebate on their shopping, dining, and hotel Goods and Service Tax (GST). By the end of our trip our GST totaled more than $110; within three weeks we received a check from Canada for close to $100. Also note that passports are required for U.S. residents crossing the border into Canada.

For more information:

www.whistler.com or call 1-800-WHISTLER.

For concerts, festivals, and other cultural events see www.whistlermillenniumpl.com.

– Jill Weinlein enjoys discovering new travel and dining destinations with her family.

 

Where is Alyx?


Alyx is near the 10,677-ft elevation of this Ski Resort offering awesome views and super ski slopes. Where is she? Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

Camping the Great Outdoors
...ideas to consider

   "Since that first camping trip, all of our trips have been only partially planned, with itineraries set more as ideas than as fixed schedules.  We usually take each day one at a time, and do whatever feels right for that particular day.  Slowing down to smell the roses has never been so sweet as when we travel with our two kids!"  -- David, Westminster, MD

 Take it from David, there's a time to plan and a time to take one day at a time.

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