Inspiration for your Next Apres Ski in Whistler (2020 Update)
“You should Après everyday. It’s like taking a shower.” GoWhistler
Like all the famous Après-ski scenes around the world, Whistler’s scene is almost bigger than the mountain itself. One might expect an epic Après party at one of the premier snow destinations in the world.
But, après in Whistler goes the extra mile and continues well after the ski hill shuts down. Keep the party going at pubs conveniently situated at the bottom of the gondi or head into the Village for delicious gourmet snacks. Don’t forget the pre-party, post-ski activities either, like Vallea Lumina and Forged Axe Throwing.
3 Skills to Après the Right Way
Before hitting the Village after your time on the mountain, we have a few hot tips. This will keep your stoke high and your ski-gear safe. It’s the “what to do” and “What not to do” for your Whistler Après-ski.
- Hydrate! Long days on the mountain, through a variety of weather conditions can leave you parched. Always re-hydrate before going on your next adventure, just in case that next adventure turns into something really epic — like beers and happy hours.
- Ditch your gear! While many head straight into the Longhorn to stuff their faces, if you can take a moment to de-robe from your gear, you’ll thank us later. Don’t be that guy who is lugging around his full mountain gear at 11 o’clock at night. How many people have we seen wear ski boots into a bar, then eat it moments later.
- Keep Track of Your Wallet and ID! Don’t be that person who loses their wallet in the Village or leaves their jacket at the bar. While Whistler is one of the friendliest towns we know, wallets and jackets seem to go missing at an absurd rate — and not because there are thieves. A running joke here is the Facebook post of someone who lost their wallet on Friday night. Don’t be that guy.
- Mingle! We encourage everyone to mingle with their neighbours in all Après-ski activities! Seriously, make some new friends! Whether you are throwing axes, drinking a beer, or going on a nighttime snowshoe, you can always take a moment to make a new acquaintance. Why not strike up a conversation, challenge them to a friendly competition, or buy someone a beer?
Start Your Night Off Right, Après in Whistler Starts with Food
The first step to all serious Après Ski activities is fuelling your body with something delicious after a long day of physical activity. Your body needs good food, and it needs it now!
Whistler thankfully has tons to offer no matter where you end up. Our town also has something for every budget, because let’s face it, the more you spend on food, the less money there is for new gear.
Here are some of our favourite places to hit after a long day outside:
For the hungry who also want atmosphere.
4340 Sundial Crescent, Whistler
Sushi Village is the place to go immediately after coming off the mountain and maybe to stay well into the night. It has long been the place to be on Friday and Saturday night, offering you everything you need to get your evening started.
If you have a big group of hungry friends, it makes a great destination to fill up on sushi and drinks. Once you order one round of sake, you are likely to stay for at least one more, and you might just end up shutting the place down. How do we know this? Experience.
For the hungry locavores
101 – 4368 Main St, Whistler
Locally owned and operated, Hunter Gather is new on the Whistler foodie scene. It’s focused on providing locally sourced options alongside a delicious Coast Mountain brew.
If you are looking for no-fuss, down-home, casual food, look no further than Hunter Gather. They have already proven themselves as an expert in smoked meat sammies, but they haven’t forgotten about the vegetarians among us who often feel left out. Despite their newness, we expect these guys to become a celebrated local establishment within no time at all.
The Bearfoot Bistro
For the hungry who are classy
4121 Village Green, Whistler,
If you are feeling fancy and trying to plan the perfect date night Après-ski, check out the folks over at the Bearfoot Bistro, who continue to explore local ingredients with international techniques. The Barefoot has served some of the most delicious food we have ever had, hands down.
Every experience there is one to remember, whether you enjoy the services of the sommelier, the designated oyster shucker, or the personal nitrogen ice cream cart. Our advice is to try them all and always take up the suggestions of the dedicated and knowledgeable wait staff.
El Furniture Warehouse
For the hungry who are on a budget
4314 Main St, Whistler
Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious! Lovingly referred to as El Fernie, this is a long time Whistler tradition. It is consistently packed and always boisterous.
It makes a great budget option without sacrificing taste, service, or portion size. If you head here, you are sure to leave satisfied and probably ready for a little party.
Some of our favourites on the menu include the fish tacos, the burgers, and the mac and cheese. Don’t forget to add the smoked maple bacon to everything!
Coast Mountain Brewing Co.
For the those who are strictly thirsty
1212 Alpha Lake Rd #2, Whistler
Not everyone wants to stuff their face immediately after the hill, but if you find yourself a little bit dry, may we recommend our friends at Coast Mountain Brewing? They are always surprising us with their new beers and satisfying us with our old favourites.
You can easily spend a few hours at their long table, enjoying flights and getting to know your neighbours. If you are laying plans for a long night out, Coast Mountain Brewing makes a great first stop. It always sets the mood.
Whistler Après Party Scene
If we are honest, Whistler’s Après scene is legendary because of the party scene. As soon as noon hits, people start sliding into the bars at the bottom of the hill.
Many pubs are conveniently located at the base of the gondolas, so you can stash your gear in the racks and clomp in (ski boots on) to grab your first beer.
Where does Whistler get rowdy and get their after-ski on? These are the big names in the Whistler Apres scene.
Longhorn Saloon & Grill
For the party that makes Whistler famous
4284 Mountain Square, Whistler
If there was such a thing as a ski-in Saloon, the Longhorn would be it. This establishment is legendary, starting with the epic table-sized nachos. What else makes them one for the history books? Why not order a Champagne filled water gun? You heard that correctly: A CHAMPAGNE FILLED WATER GUN.
With daily specials on drinks and food, there is undoubtedly something to fuel you for the night ahead. Even if you just people watch from the patio, this place is a good time. Don’t forget they also have live music timed with the apres; the Longhorn is a must-do in Whistler.
Garibaldi Lift Company (The “GLC”)
For a longtime local favourite
4165 Springs Lane, Whistler
Another contender for the best location for an apres is the Garibaldi Lift Company. Why? It literally lives on the Whistler Gondola building. Lovingly referred to as the GLC, this is the spot to watch the mountainside action.
They have several big, bold mountain facing patios plus a menu as big as the mountain itself. If you are worried about missing out on your nacho fix, rest assured the GLC also has a world-famous plate of cheesy goodness for you to enjoy.
Start with a Canadian Classic, the caesar, or a warm mug of mulled wine. Whatever you fancy, the GLC is the spot to be at the base of the mountain.
Handlebar Cafe & Apres
For an underrated apres vibe
4557 Blackcomb Way, Whistler
The Handlebar is a little quieter than the options listed above, but by no means is it any less exciting. The Handlebar Cafe is ski-bootable from the base of Blackcomb and well worth the walk. Their motto is “Craft Beer, Apres Ski, and German Style Comfort Food in Whistler, BC,” and we think that’s something we can all get behind.
Inside is cozy; outside is the perfect patio. Check out their delicious german eats, like warm pretzels and currywurst. Need more convincing? Happy hours everyday: 12 pm to 1 pm or 5 pm to 6 pm and 10 pm to 11 pm. As they say, let’s #makeapresgreatagain
Dusty’s BBQ at Creekside
For those who crave legendary BBQ
2040 London Lane
If your Apres must include big sunny patios, then Dusty’s in Creekside is the place to go. It’s also the biggest and best apres party on the South mountain. In warm weather, they roll up the barn doors to bring the sun inside the rustic interior, making for one hell of an afternoon.
Grab one-of-a-kind Caesars, and follow that up with a beer or two, maybe a burger. Are you looking for our recommendation? Get the BBQ ribs. No complaints from us!
It’s quite easy to spend your total apres here and find yourself still here well into the evening.
Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub
For those who love a good pint and an Irish Jig
4320 Sundial Crescent, Whistler
All us locals love the Dubh Linn Gate for the endless nights of live music. Fiddles, guitars, and a good Irish dance or two are what our dreams are often made from. They’ve been open in Whistler for 20 years and are a long-established stop on the apres-trail. It’s one of the few places on earth where you can find someone doing an Irish jig in ski-boots
Check out their happy hour (The “After Apres” Happy Hour runs from 5 to 7 pm) and check out their social channels for updates on musical guests. If you ever need a room full of friends (new and old) the Dubh is the place to find them.
On to Apres Entertainment!
A great Après-ski should never just end with dinner unless, of course, that dinner never ends. If you’ve filled up on some delicious food and are ready for an adventure, Whistler still has tons to offer. While many people associate Whistler with a rowdy party scene, so much of what the town has on offer is extremely family-friendly. In fact, we would argue some of the best options are perfect for both the bar star and the kiddos.
Let’s get into our top recommendations suitable for all ages.
Village 8 Cinema
For the exhausted
We get it; not everyone wants to expend the last molecules of energy after a long day on the mountain. Sometimes, you just need to go to the movies. Grab a bag of popcorn and a bag of candy (which is quite reasonably priced we might add), and get cozy. We especially love our local theatre, because the rooms are small, the screens are big, and the selection is great!
It’s located right in the Village, making it easy to get to and easy to fit into right after dinner. Despite all the other entertainment options out there, there is something to be said for a night out at the movies. Plus, you can wander in with ski pants and jackets.
Forged Axe Throwing
For absolutely everyone, especially big groups!
1208 Alpha Lake Rd Unit 1, Whistler
Picture hanging out with friends, learning a new skill, and enjoying a little competition. It can take as little as one hour to become seriously hooked on a new passion of sinking axes into the bullseye. Take it from —throwing axes is addictive.
If you think we are joking, talk to our staff, who throw axes every day but still take part in our weekly league night. Throwing axes is a great Après-ski activity because it’s suitable for everyone and doesn’t require any experience or ability.
If you are nervous or don’t think you can hit the target, let us show you how! It’s a great way to start the night off, as we always make sure you leave thoroughly entertained and stoked!
A Night at the Callaghan Valley
For the can’t stop, won’t stop outdoor enthusiast
South of Whistler, in the Callaghan Valley
Even though Whistler Blackcomb shuts down in the afternoon, it doesn’t mean you can’t still get outdoors and get active at night. Check out the activities at the Callaghan Valley because it’s not just for Nordic skiers.
On Wednesday nights, they are open late, so be sure to check out the Valley for some late-night snow adventures. Some of the activities on offer are snowshoeing, fat tire biking, base boarding, and both Nordic and cross country skiing. Some of the trails are dog-friendly so that you can take along your favorite four-legged friends for some late-night snow adventures.
For families, date nights, and magical adventures
Experience on Cougar Mountain. Tickets at 4293 Mountain Square #211, Whistler
If you could combine a magical Coastal rainforest, a multimedia mystery, and friends, you’d get Vallea Lumina. Now open year-round, everyone in Whistler has gone at least a few times. It’s an experience that makes long-lasting memories.
The trip starts with a free shuttle at the Whistler Bus Loop and ends at Cougar Mountain. The show gets started as soon as the sun goes down, so be sure to dress in warm layers as it gets a bit chilly. Grab a hot chocolate or apple cider before you get underway and be prepared to solve a magical mystery and have your mind blown.
Whistler, an Apres to Remember
What does your apres look like? Does it start at noon and double-fisting brews? Or do you prefer to hit the last run of the day and ski into a second epic activity like Axe throwing in Function Junction?
Whistler caters to all apres moods, from the family-friendly to the party-focused. A Whistler apres isn’t just a fun secondary activity. It’s a way of life.