Whistler, BC (Winter)

CANADA

Whistler

 Know Before You Go

  • Canadian currency is the desired cash. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.
  • The drive from Seattle takes 4-5 hours depending on road conditions
    • Your best rest stop in Canada is at the visitor center right across the border. Most other restroom stops will be in small towns off the main road
    • Scenic stops are mainly on the left hand side of the road. May be easier to stop on the way back. But definitely have your camera hand. The mountain vistas are astounding.
  • Toilets- I never saw toilet seat covers, so if you must have them, bring your own or use toilet paper to line the seat. Also, when flushing, you may need to hold the handle down for a few seconds to make sure the water goes all the way down. Try this first before assuming the toilet is broken.

Pack

  • Warm jacket, gloves, hat and scarf
  • Good snowboots to walk in the slush, ice and snow
  • Long johns, even if you won’t be hitting the slopes, it still gets old walking around
  • Swimsuit and flip-flops for the outdoor heated swimming pool and hot tub at your hotel
  • Sunscreen- if it gets sunny, you can still get sunburn even if there is snow on the ground
  • Baby carrier and/or sled- strollers can be very tough in the snow, but not impossible if that is all you have. You will just be limited in where you can use them.

Driving to Whistler

  • Sea to Sky Highway (AKA BC-99)
  • Scenic stops- Shannon Falls is just before you get to Squamish. We drove by twice and I kick myself for not stopping. You can see the falls from the road and they are spectacular. Plan a quick pit stop to see the falls up close and stretch your legs.
  • Lookouts- unfortunately the pull offs for the official "look outs" aren't the best. Many of the beautiful mountain and lake vistas are blocked by trees. The bests spots to shoot a picture are the worst spots to pull over. Pull offs are also on the southbound side of the road making it difficult to pull off on your way up to Whistler. There are one or two on the way though.
  • Shopping- Squamish is your best bet for cheap shopping just before you get to Whistler. There is a grocery store and Wal-Mart to load up on basics. Whistler has all you need, but if you want to save a few coins, stop before you get there.
    • Canada Tire has sleds and any other hardware needs you may need.
    • The Whistler Blackcomb outlet is next to Canada Tire on the drive north through Squamish. You can find discount gear for your winter adventures. We found the best pair of Columbia brand mittens for Dek. They were originally listed for CA$9.99, but when they were rung up they were additionally marked down to $4.99. Score!

Whistler-001

Crossing the U.S. border into Canada

  • Don’t forget your passports, even for kids.
    • Nexus cards are also accepted at the border crossing and can make your wait time much shorter.
  • Bathrooms- Your best restroom stop is right after you go through customs. There are not many easy restroom breaks on the way to Whistler unless you want to get off the main road or stop at a restaurant.

Food

Lodging

  • Aspens on Blackcomb (ResortQuest)- Upper Village
  • If you can afford it and will have very small kids in tow that can't hit the slopes, think about staying in Village North. You can park your car for the week/weekend and walk everywhere.
  • For a great breakdown on each "neighborhood" of Whistler, check out Wandermom.com's post Whistler Canada Accommodation Primer.

Transportation

  • Car
    • Parking: You will probably have to pay to park at your hotel. If you drive into the village you will have to pay to park on Main Street, but if you will be in Whistler Village less than 2 hours, you can park in the MarketPlace parking for free. You can park on the street for about $5 for 4 hours.
  • Hotel shuttles: Check with your hotel for the closest shuttle stop near your hotel. Also be sure to ask how to get where you are going. Some shuttles just do a loop of the Upper Village, Whistler Village, etc.

Activities with Toddlers

Childcare

  • Whistler Kids Winter Childcare for 18-48 month olds-  $80/day
  • Babysitters: contact your hotel for recommendations. Many hotels will require a nanny to check in with them upon arrival and when leaving. The parents will also have to check in at the hotel front desk as they leave and once they return.

Posts to Inspire You

  • Things to Do with a Pregnant Woman, Infant and/or Toddler in Whistler, BC

    October 3, 2012

    We may just be starting to feel the cool breeze of autumn blowing through Seattle, but snowboard season is fast approaching. I am already looking at the calendar to see when we can get back up to Whistler. Dek should be able to start ski lessons. I can finally strap on my board and fall […]

  • Things to do with Toddlers in Whistler

    February 16, 2012

    Snow that is piled up higher than your child is always a bit daunting when trying to find something to entertain your toddler. At least this is what I thought before we arrived in Whistler at the end of January. I knew we could go sledding, but other than that, I figured we would just […]

  • Finding Olympic Glory in Whistler 2 Years Later

    February 14, 2012

    I am slowly coming off of my Whistler high. The posts are almost done (I swear!) and we are headed up to Vancouver this Saturday for another long weekend adventure. As I flipped through my notes and pictures something dawned on me. We are going to a lot of Olympic sights this year, but never […]

  • Whistler Inclusive Playground Serves up Plenty of Fun

    February 10, 2012

      Nothing can stop my kid from enjoying a playground. The sniffles, a down pour or even 110 degrees, Dek will happily go down the slide, fly through the air on a swing and climb any ladder you set in front of him. I have a feeling he isn’t the only toddler out there that […]

  • A Snow-Filled Stay at the Aspens on Blackcomb

    February 9, 2012

    Once again we took a chance, booked using a LivingSocial Escape voucher and hit the road. We headed to Whistler to stay in our very own 1-bedroom condo at Aspens on Blackbomb in Whistler’s Upper Village. A condo is our ideal set up with a toddler in tow. Dek was able to sleep in our […]

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