Moving to Whistler: What to Expect
If you trace your fingers on a map about 120 km north of Vancouver, you’ll rest your hand on an honest-to-goodness winter wonderland that’s been acclaimed as one of the most down-to-earth, notable, and unforgettable destinations in the world—the town of Whistler.
Nestled in the middle of towering, snow-capped mountains and dotted by a pedestrian-only village, this tourist town is packed with festivals, spas, restaurants, bars, and unlimited, year-round outdoor activities.
It’s only natural that this incredible landscape draws people of all backgrounds and cultures for the long haul. People from all over the world come to Whistler to vacation and never leave. The reason? Whistler sucks you in. With its genuine spirit and mountain culture, (the unlimited Nordic sports really don’t hurt, either), solely visiting Whistler just isn’t a realistic option.
Are you toying with the idea of moving to this snow-covered paradise? Have you decided to move your life here to join us? If you’re thinking about moving to Whistler and are wondering what to expect, we’ve got you covered. Just because we throw axes all day doesn’t mean we don’t have some quality tips on moving to Whistler.
We’ve cobbled together some of our expert tips, and other fun facts about this glorious mountain town you’re looking to call home to help you move here sooner.
Don’t Expect to Get Used to the Views
Yeah, yeah. You’ve seen a mountain before; we get it. But have you seen the mountains in Whistler? We can guarantee that the first morning you stretch and yawn yourself awake, looking out the window or your apartment, and you sneak a glimpse of the Coastal Mountains, you’ll surely lose your breath.
But you know what’s fantastic about that? That never goes away. Whistler is in the Sea to Sky Corridor in British Columbia. Layman’s terms? You’ll be snagging jaw-dropping, eye-popping views like that 24/7, year-round, from anywhere you find yourself in Whistler. We’re talking some Discovery Channel stuff here, folks. Think dramatic skylines with jutting peaks and summits framed with alpine lakes. Think pictures you save as your screensaver on your computer.
In Whistler, those views are commonplace, but they never feel it. Days, months, and even years after seeing these views every day, they still never get old.
Get into Outdoor Sports, and Do It Fast
Take it from a group of people who throw axes all day – if you’re not interested in outdoor activities yet, you absolutely will be after moving to Whistler. Not only do you have the snowy, winter sports to keep you occupied – we’re talking snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, bobsledding, and any other Nordic sport you could think of – you have bike parks, axe throwing (hint, hint), hiking, and thousands of other things we couldn’t possibly fit into one article.
Think about it. You’ll be living in Whistler – home to Whistler Blackcomb, the largest ski resort in North America. Whistler – home to the no. 1 bike park in the world. Whistler – home to thousands of trails on Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.
If you’re not already planning your life around outdoor activities, once you move to Whistler, you surely will be. You’ll be waking up absurdly early to ski or snowboard (an epic argument we’ll certainly advise you on later) before you fit in time for work, then, once you’re off work, seeking out more outdoor activities. Be ready to live an active, fun, and fit lifestyle in Whistler!
You’ll Have to Choose a Side
Remember that argument you we hinted at early? We weren’t joking. When you move to Whistler, you’ll have to decide where you stand, and more importantly, you’ll have to stick by it. Whistler has been divided by a stubborn, epic debate for decades and if you decide to move there, it’s up to you to pick a side — snowboard or skiing.
We’re not kidding. Since we’re axe throwers, we’ll keep our opinions out of this, but if you’re looking to become a full-time resident, you better start deciding where you stand now. Sure, we know what you’re thinking now, “it’s no big deal, I’ll do both and keep my opinions neutral.”
That just won’t cut it in Whistler. As a local, you’re thrust into the (mostly) good-natured debate that’s clouded Whistler for years.
Make your choices, friend, and make them quick.
It’s More Than a Work-Play Balance | It’s a Lifestyle
Moving to Whistler is a commitment. The balance between living your best, most exciting life, and maintaining the responsibilities of work and adulthood are intense, and it’s important to adapt a lifestyle that fits the culture.
Whistler provides you with the dream opportunity – days and nights full of fun, adventure, and outdoor activities. For example, it’s perfectly reasonable to wake up at the crack of dawn to hit the slopes and get in a few good hours of powder before you have to drag yourself to work for the day. Want a tip from the experts? Don’t sweat it. If you keep your balance and discipline in check, everything will unfold perfectly.
The good-natured, easy-going mountain culture is spread thick around here, and it’s likely that even your boss will understand a five-minute tardiness from work (so long as you’re both on the same side of the snowboarding and skiing argument).
Just Because They’re Locals Doesn’t Mean They’re Locals
The tourist town of Whistler is packed with thousands of locals who are, well, not exactly locals. The beautiful thing about moving to Whistler is that people from all over the world flock to it to visit, work, and play, and then because they can’t get enough of it, they stay forever. Everywhere you turn in Whistler; you’ll meet a “local” with a different accent.
The truth is, even though most people who claim to be locals in Whistler weren’t born and raised there, the culture essentially allows you to claim it as home once you unpack – and we definitely don’t hate it.
Are you looking to meet these fabulous ‘locals’? Check out the Moving to Whistler Facebook group – a great place to get your feet wet.
This gives Whistler more than just a cultural diversity advantage; it also allows you to make friends with people from all over the world. Soon, your friendships will blossom – you’ll meet “locals” from every corner of the globe who can teach you something new and exciting. If you’re lucky enough to meet an honest-to-goodness, full-blooded, Whistler native, watch out. They’ll keep you on your toes and kick you into Nordic sports shape faster than you can say Whistler Mountain.
Whistler Has Something for Everybody
We could talk endlessly about the work-play environment, the variety of outdoor activities available to you, and the good-natured, mountain culture, we think it’s important to let you know that if you’re thinking about moving to Whistler, there’s not a chance you’ll be bored.
The beautiful thing about Whistler is that it truly has something for everybody. Even if you’re not a warm-blooded, adrenaline-seeking, snows-skis-and-snowshoes mountain junkie, the charming town of Whistler can still be a beautiful place for you to call home.
One of our top tips for moving to Whistler? Be open-minded and try new things.
Whistler is more than just mountains and skiing. Take a walk through Village Stroll, the pedestrian-only village packed with shops, restaurants, bars and a Farmer’s market. Relax and unwind in the dozens of Whistler spas. Take up a new hobby and join us for league night. It’s a bit of weekly friendly competition, bringing “locals” together for beers and healthy heckling. We’ve met so many amazing people through the league; we consider it tinder for friends.
On top of the league, enjoy the beauty of the mountains with a hike. Dip into an alpine lake (when it’s seasonably appropriate, of course). Explore some of the local breweries and snag a beer or two.
Whatever you’re into, or want to get into, Whistler has it for you – and that’s one of the biggest things we want our newcomers moving to Whistler to know! It doesn’t have to be all snow sports and adrenaline – but it can be.
More Whistler Fun
If you’re thinking about moving out to Whistler to enjoy the stunning beauty and experience the overwhelming amount of activities and festivities, we hope this article has helped to cement your decision! Still looking for more information on the beautiful Whistler? Want to know more about the illustrious Whistler Village? Check out our ultimate guide to the Whistler Stroll. Looking for more info about the notorious ski season? We’re glad to hear it, check out everything you need to know about the ski season here. How about a brewery guide? We’ve got that, too.
If you’re thinking about moving to Whistler, there’s dozens of things you should know, but we hope our ultimate guide to Whistler helped give you a clearer, pretty picture of what living in this beautiful, unique, and distinct tourist town is really like!