Winter is coming, but that’s not the only reason you will want to travel to Whistler with kids this year. Autumn in Whistler is one of my favorite times of the year, when I’m not on the slopes skiing that is. The leaves are changing colors, the smell of apple cider and warm, wood fires are in the air, and the bears are starting to think about hibernating.
Don’t miss out on spring though, which brings a burst of glorious colors. Summer boasts great mountain biking, hikes, swimming in alpine lakes (Brrrrrr)), and lazy days in that warm(ish) Pacific Northwest sun.
WHISTLER WITH KIDS
There are so many things to do in Whistler with kids, roomie Whistler vacation rentals, delicious restaurants, and killer views from the peak-to-peak gondola, you really can’t go wrong no matter when you visit. But let’s break it down. If you aren’t convinced yet, our top seven reasons to go to Whistler BC may just change your mind
One killer sea to sky drive
Why start small, when you could drive from Vancouver to Whistler with some of the best views imaginable? When the Olympics came to Vancouver back in 2010 they expanded the road up to Whistler, making this a truly enjoyable journey. There are multiple points of interest along the way, including Shannon Falls, just off the main road. Or you can just take in the water views that roll into towering mountains in the distance. Those are really what you came for anyway. And don’t be stressed if there is no snow when you land in Vancouver. Just wait for it. If it’s raining in the city that means fresh powder is falling in the mountains in the winter months.
ACCOMMODATIONS FOR EVERYONE
Summer, winter, spring or fall, who doesn’t love a little space when they are traveling with kids? Whistler has plenty of condos, luxe villas and vacation rentals that can give you the space you need. Better yet, these properties usually come with a kitchen, which can save you big money on meals. I’m not saying you eat in your rental every night. Whistler restaurants are fabulous. You just might be able to buy a box of cereal and store a gallon of milk for your bottomless-pit kids who require first and second breakfasts each morning.
Outdoor swimming… in winter!
Most parents figure out after a few trips that their children actually require very little when it comes to their travels. Give kids some basic meals and a pool and they are good to go. Whistler has both, and outdoor swimming doesn’t end in the summer either. Nope. Your kids can freeze their fingers and toes off as they run from their warm rooms to the outdoor pool and hot tub. More than one cannon ball contest has commensed. If the Swedes can do it and find health benefits in this hot to cold ritual, so can the rest of us.
Speaking of those crazy Scandinavians, Whistler embraced its immigrant roots by opening a Scandinavian Spa that encompasses the natural bliss and bounty of the mountainous region and all of Mother Nature’s seasonal fits. For moms who need a little quiet, Zen break, this is a particular good spot to escape to while the kids are at ski school, mountain biking or just back at the rental with dad taking a nap. You can enjoy the facilities or book yourself a massage and really start to relax on your family getaway to Whistler.
PEAK 2 PEAK GONDOLA
The gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb is currently the world’s longest and highest lift of its kind in the world. You know what that means? You get some of the best views of these pristine mountain ranges as you ride for 11 minutes from “peak 2 peak.” Take it up in the summer months on a clear day just for the view or to enjoy a little hiking. Ride up to enjoy the best of both mountains as you ski or snowboard both peaks.
Whistler Olympic Glory
In 2010, Vancouver was home to XXI Olympic Winter games. Ten sports venues were used for the games; seven in Vancouver and three in Whistler. While Vancouver does have a few mountains within in easy distance of downtown, when you need those super crazy slopes for competitions, you definitely need to head north. Whistler Olympic Village still has the famous Olympic rings that plenty of visitors pose with, as well as ice skating and seasonal festivities for the whole family to enjoy. Whistler Olympic Park is where you can enjoy cross country skiing, tobogganing, baseboarding (like skeleton, bodyboarding on snow), biathlon, fat biking (biking in snow!), and snowshoeing.
EPIC APRES SKI
You really can’t go to Whistler and not check out their food scene. While in winter, we call this apres ski, really it’s just enjoying some food and drink with friends that matters. If you ask any Vancouver local what they love to eat (at least my friends) they will tell you to grab sushi while you are up there. They are not wrong. If you aren’t one for sushi, Crepe Montagne is also a great spot to warm up when in Whistler with kids. Warmer months brings out the farmers market. There are a lot of fancier restaurants with killer menus, but don’t be intimidated. I have found that if you book an early reservation, no one minds if you show up with your kids. Maybe skip the 9pm seating when your kids are melting down though.
This post is in partnership with LuxuryRetreats.com. As always, my opinions are my own. When they aren’t you will be the first to know. Olympic Symbol, Peak 2 Peak, Overlord Mountain, Fall Foliage, Whistler Village and Canadian Flag via ShutterStock.com.