Everyone loves long weekends and free concerts

Come jam with us on May Long weekend – we just announced the music line-up for the GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoor Festival, free concert series on the Main Stage in Whistler Village Square. And, it rocks.

Dan Mangan, Alex Cuba and The Matinee will tap into your soul with a line-up that plays to the mind, heart and body. GO Fest’s outdoor concert series will provide the soundtrack to your best ever May Long Weekend experience with a free concert every night at 7:30 p.m.

Dan Mangan, two-time JUNO winner and Polaris Music Prize listed, will take the stage to sing to your mind with his thought-provoking and emotionally compelling songs. This acoustic troubadour has things to say worth hearing, and he will be an awesome opener to GO Fest on Friday night, May 20.

#tbt Heidelberg, DE // April 19, 2015 // credit: @annemonetaake

A photo posted by Dan Mangan (@danmanganmusic) on

Alex Cuba is hot off a Grammy Award nomination this February in the Best Latin Pop category, and his songs for the heart will make Saturday night sizzle. This Cuban-born singer/songwriter lives in Smithers, B.C. and he will be right at home with the spring time vibes of Whistler as he performs groovy, upbeat soul.

Finally, let your body rock with The Matinee as they perform their urgent and infectious rock to sum things up on Sunday night, May 22. The alternative folk rockers’ energetic performance will bring GO Fest’s free concert series to a resounding close.

GO Fest Main Stage in Village Square Concert Schedule

  • Friday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. – Dan Mangan
  • Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. – Alex Cuba
  • Sunday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. – The Matinee

We’ll see you there.

What to pack for your Whistler summer vacation

It’s sunny, it’s hot and it’s almost the weekend. You’ve finally booked that hotel in Whistler and have rounded up the tribe for the getaway. It’s Thursday night and you need to pack but you have no idea where to start. What do you pack for a weekend away in a place that has snow-capped mountains AND lakes? Well, we have a few suggestions:

 

Tem como voltar o final de semana? #rainbowpark #whistler #britishcolumbia #canada

A photo posted by Yuri Reis Santana (@yurireissantana) on

 

WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING?
Is this a completely chill weekend away? We’re talking lazy days by the pool (or lake), reading books, sipping cocktails or kombucha and completely zoning out. Or is your trip filled with one of everything? Ziplining, biking, hiking, afternoons at the lake and maybe even a round of golf? Determining what kind of a weekend you’re having will create the outcome of your weekend bag. Whatever you’d wear for all of the above activities is what you should bring with you. Easy.

WHISTLER WEATHER
Whistler is usually warmer in the summer than Vancouver, so you can usually be safe wearing less layers but it does get cool in the evenings so packing a light sweater and some jeans won’t be a silly idea.

WE ARE A MOUNTAIN TOWN
This means things can be a little more rugged than the city, so while you can bring your fanciest clothes if you want… just be prepared that they may not be a glistening post-Whistler weekend. We opt for practical over perfectly put together.

BE PREPARED FOR SOME WALKING
We have a long valley trail system and pedestrian village, which means that can be a lot of walking involved so be sure the shoes you’re wearing (and bringing) are great for walking and if you’re going to head up the mountain and walk around, we definitely recommend enclosed shoes that are ideal for rockier terrain.

JUST CHILL
Mostly, we want you to be comfortable. It’s a weekend away so just enjoy and love the clothes you’re in. Easy, breezy and likely moisture wicking (we did say it gets hot here) See you soon!

What you need to start mountain biking in Whistler

If we’re being honest, which we like to be, Whistler is bike-crazy once the snow melts. If you’re not biking up a mountain then you’re certainly getting a lift up (A Line anyone?). But if anyone goes past our Whistler Mountain Bike Park, some might be a bit worried that it’s way out of their league. The good news though? There’s a variety of ways that you can enjoy biking and get into it without getting launching off a 6 foot drop (this is by pure choice only). We came up with a few things that you need to start mountain biking to hopefully lessen the stress and up the fun factor:

THE BIKE

I know this is a given but hear me out because it’s important to distinguish what kind of biking you want to do to determine where to get your bike from. It’s best to rent bikes first and get a sense of whether you like it (we think you will) but ask yourself whether or not you want to pedal up and down the mountain or whether you want a lift to take you up and you’ll pedal your way down. Once you’ve made that choice, then you’ll either get a cross country bike (a pedal bike that’s lighter than a downhill bike so it’s easier to pedal up) or a downhill bike, which tends to be on the beefier side as it doesn’t need to be as pedalling efficient as the terrain can be a bit tougher and you’re using gravity to help you get down the mountain. There are a few places you can rent bikes in town, some hotels offer rentals or you can rent from Summit or Whistler Mountain Rentals under the GLC. That’s just to name a few, there are lots of places to go in town so just ask your hotel concierge or your Google concierge.

 


THE LEARNING CURVE

… isn’t so bad! The reason for this is because Whistler is as bike-crazy as it is, we’re also pro-getting people into the sport so Whistler has developed a range of learning options. Men’s and Women’s nights in the bike park is a great way to get into the downhill side of the sport as it’s gender and level specific and is guided by world class instructors. Not only that, there’s apres right after where you can win prizes! There are also general beginner lessons that happen during the day as well called Bike Park 101. These options are great intro’s into the sport if you’re curious about the sport. Now moving to cross country, local biking organization WORCA hosts a variety of bike rides throughout the week catering to various abilities. Monday nights are geared towards all ability levels and are broken down as such. You have to have a membership but it’s only about $50 for the season and then for each night you bike with WORCA it’s just $2, however this gets you a drink ticket at the sponsored location for apres.

 

Standing room only earlier today at Top Of The World for the #Crankworx Enduro. #CWXEnduro #Whistler

A photo posted by Terry Phillips (@blackcombterry) on


LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

So you have the option to do downhill biking and just use the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, but if you’d like to venture outside of this and throughout Whistler then the options become endless. This would be for those wanting to cross country bike. Lost Lake is the best place to start with a variety of trails for all abilities otherwise if you feel like you want to conquer more you pretty much literally have the entire valley. Check out Trail Forks for an extensive list of trails throughout Whistler. Just remember, like the bike park and like skiing… green means beginner, blue is for intermediate and black is for advanced.

 

Enjoying the scenery on Comfortably Numb. #Whistler #MtnBiking #Biking #whistlerunfiltered

A photo posted by Terry Phillips (@blackcombterry) on

Finally, the number one thing you absolutely need is a helmet. This sport is more than just jumping on your cruiser down the beach (although we advocate helmet wearing even for that) so make sure you protect your head. Other accessories are optional such as a pack and if you try downhill biking then you’ll be given armour for further protection. At the end of the day, it’s something to just have fun with, give it a try or perhaps even an activity to cross off your bucket list. Enjoy!

 

6 tips to make the most out of your Whistler weekend

Welcome to Whistler: your number one year round destination in North America! Ski in the morning, bike in the afternoon or if that isn’t your thing then you can pick from a variety of other activities that takes your fancy. While we might be biased towards staying in Whistler every day, if you can only make it for the weekend then that’s good too! We have 6 tips for you to make the most out of your Whistler weekend:

My entire afternoon was spent in this setting. Can’t wait until the water is warmer and doesn’t hurt my feet! I love this place.

A photo posted by Amy Lobb Whistler Photographer (@amylobb) on

1.Find your activity

Depending on the time of year you arrive will depend on the types of activities available, however Whistler being the unique mountain town it is there are select times throughout the year that you can do summer and winter activities in one day. We definitely recommend trying something new but old favorites are also tough to beat. Whatever you decide we’re sure you’ll have fun. Not too sure what to do or where to start with? Chat to the Village Hosts as you wander through the village, or ask your concierge. Better yet, this is the perfect opportunity to befriend a local!

Whistler got me high on life? #nikeplus #run #jump #whistler

A photo posted by mikedenman (@mikedenman) on

2. Enjoy some down time

Weekends away should include some R&R, especially if you’ve been hiking, biking or skiing so we recommend taking a time out at the Scandinave Spa, nestled into the trails north of the village this spot is sure to help you reconnect with yourself and take 5.

3. Taste all the food!

Whistler boasts a variety of restaurants and bars to enjoy at your leisure, with new ones popping up all the time. Whether it’s breakfast or apres, there’s something for everyone at every time of day. Enjoy breakfast at the Wildwood located in the Crystal Lodge or a delicious charcuterie board in the evening before a movie.

Come sit and stay awhile. #OSOWhistler ?: @localwanderer

A photo posted by Bar Oso (@baroso_whistler) on

4. Explore each base

Did you know that Whistler has three mountain bases for its two mountains? You have Blackcomb, Whistler village and Creekside bases and each one has its own personality. Don’t confine yourself to just one! Give yourself a chance to make use of the valley trail and take a wander. Each base has its own shops, cafe’s and restaurants. If you stop by Dusty’s Bar and BBQ in Creekside in the summer don’t forget to look up and see the resident bears chomping on the grass further up the mountain.

5. Rent a bike

We have a variety of lakes in Whistler with beautiful picturesque mountain views as a backdrop. Rent a bike from your hotel or store closest to you and see how many of our lakes you can go to. They’re a bit cold to swim in during parts of the year, but the middle of summer is the sweet spot!

6. Grab a friend and explore the Cheakamus area

Cheakamus is located on your right just as you enter Whistler (opposite Function Junction) and is not only home to many Whistler locals but is also a large trail network that leads you to lakes, suspension bridges and gorgeous waterfalls. We always recommend hiking with a friend, having the right gear and leaving yourself enough time for daylight but this is an area not to be missed.

Make the absolute most out of your weekend and enjoy everything we have to offer. Pace yourself though, we have plenty to see and do!

3 reasons why Whistler is the ideal summer destination

A number of years ago, Whistler was only ever seen and marketed as the number one ski resort in North America. The thought of Whistler being a year-round resort wasn’t even really a consideration for most people (some probably thought there was snow on the ground year round). But as time has gone on, this little mountain town has grown to become a bustling summer destination, just as much as it is a ski destination. There’s a saying around Whistler that,  “you come for the winter but stay for the summer” and here’s why:

PLENTY TO SEE

The summertime springs to life our Farmers’ Market that hosts an array of local food and art in the Upper Village (base of Blackcomb) every Wednesday and Sunday. Recently, the Audain Art Museum also opened. This grand space holds a variety of traditional art from the province’s First Peoples through to contemporary artists. We also can’t forget the free Whistler Presents: Concert Series that’s held at Whistler Olympic Plaza throughout the summer (see who is playing this year by clicking the link). If you manage to come on a weekend that features one of our many events, you might get to witness the Subaru IRONMAN Canada, Wanderlust or our very own Great Outdoors Festival (GO Fest)!

2015_0516_GOFest_FarmersMarket_018

 

PLENTY TO DO

From a vast trail network for hiking to the Whistler Blackcomb Bike Park there is something for everyone. Right in the Upper Village, at the Blackcomb base, there’s a fun-filled Adventure Zone perfect for the kids to enjoy, such as a luge track and mini golf. You can also access hiking trails and sightseeing from the base of either Whistler or Blackcomb. You can include the Peak to Peak and do the sight see loop! Don’t forget to check out the variety of lakes in Whistler such as Lost Lake and Alta Lake, both perfect for swimming and chilling out on the docks with friends.

PLENTY TO EAT

Whistler’s restaurant scene is just as bumping in the summer as it is in the winter with a few extra additions! Warmer temps mean more ice cream shops along the Village Stroll so don’t forget to swing by and cool down with a scoop or two. This is the perfect place to enjoy some much-missed patio time where you can enjoy a classic caesar or summer salad while you people watch. There are a variety of places to grab a bite or a drink all throughout Whistler, from Function Junction just as you enter Whistler to Alpine Meadows north of the village. Check our Instagram for a few suggestions!

Yum! Thank you @fourseasons #Whistler

A photo posted by E L James (@erikaljames) on

No matter what you decide to do, there is one thing that’s clear: Come and enjoy Whistler in the summertime. There’s plenty to see, do and eat for everyone of all ages. We’re ready when you are!

 

#GOFest2016 – The Whistler weekly roundup

A man and his dogs ?? @calum_kidd #ThisIsMyFamily

A photo posted by Amy Lobb Whistler Photographer (@amylobb) on

– – march madness – – #weloveyouullr #WhistlerUnfiltered #ExploreBC #SkiBC #GetOutside #WildernessCulture #coldstoked

A photo posted by Claire Lang Photography (@clairelangphotography) on

5 hiking trails to explore in Whistler once the snow melts

In the winter there is definitely no shortage of trails to explore with two planks attached to your feet (or one) but if you’re after greenery, warmth on your face and your hiking shoes then you’ll have to wait for the white stuff to melt away. Once it does though, there is a vast trail network in and around Whistler perfect for a variety of abilities and great for families. Here are a few of our favourites that boast incredible views to boot:

Cheakamus Lake

This hike is accessible just as you enter Whistler heading northbound and is one of the easier hikes to complete in the Garibaldi Provincial Park. The elevation gain is minimal and takes around 4-5 hours to complete roundtrip. Once you arrive though, you’re welcomed into a quiet and serene lake perfect for a picnic or a quick dip.

 

Wedgemount Lake

This hike is a bit more difficult and not for the newbie hiker but if you have a few hikes under your belt and feel good tackling the 14km trip then we can’t recommend this hike enough. While this hike gains most of the elevation in the first 7km, it’s incredibly picturesque the whole way through making it worth it! Not too long into the hike, you’ll cross a few bridges and witness evidence of a rock slide. Keep going! Eventually you’ll arrive at the beautiful lake and take a breather. You may even find some campers when you arrive!

Garibaldi Lake

The trail for this hikes follows the same path as Cheakamus Lake for awhile until you see signs about halfway to split off to Garibaldi Lake. The total distance for this hike is 18km and often people will turn it into an overnight expedition. A popular hike for its glacial backdrop and its location, nestled between the alpine mountains. You can make this hike shorter or longer depending on the trail you pick. You can make it longer by going way of Taylor Meadows, a popular hiker camping spot, or continuing along the more direct Garibaldi Lake trail. Choose your own adventure.

High Note Trail

Located on Whistler Mountain, this is a trail not to miss during your stay in Whistler. You’ll need a ticket to upload but the views make it worth it. This trail winds around the backside of Whistler Mountain and explores meadows filled with wildflowers, natural creeks, boulder fields and even shots of Cheakamus Lake and another smaller lake by Black Tusk. In some years depending on the previous winter, you’ll even find yourself surrounded by walls of snow as you descend back towards the Whistler Roundhouse Lodge. There’s plenty to see on a trail like this.

Brandywine Meadows

Have a four-legged friend to take hiking? This hike is for you. Dog-friendly, this 6km roundtrip hike is located in the Callaghan not too far outside of Whistler village. The first kilometre is a bit steep and parts of the trail aren’t as well marked as other trails in the area however so do keep this in mind. But it’s a great trail that hasn’t been known to be overly busy and open up to a beautiful meadow to eat at and enjoy the fresh mountain air. You can also get a view of Black Tusk on a clear day as you head back to the trailhead.

 

With any hike, we always recommend that you let someone know when and where you’re going and what time you expect to be back. Don’t hike alone and ensure you have plenty of food, water and ideal clothing and footwear. Always check the weather and trail conditions ahead of time.