Where to Go and What to See: Sightseeing Whistler
You’ve got a week in Whistler, and you want to see everything. We hate to break it to you (even though we kind of love this about Whistler), there’s way too much beauty to pack into a week or two of travel. To get the intimate local Whistler experience, you literally have to move here – which we encourage. After all, most of us at Forged Axe Throwing have made this place our home because of the sheer scope of the surrounding landscape.
That said, we won’t be held responsible if you quit your job, settle down in Alta Vista neighbourhood, to ski the slopes or bike the mountains. Instead, we figured we’d do the second-best thing and give you the ultimate run-down of can’t-miss-sightseeing in Whistler spots on our personal list.
Many of the suggestions on our list are seasonal, so take them with a grain of salt (or snow). There are great sights to be seen just about any season you visit, and we’ve included options for year-round sightseeing. We’ve got you covered come Spring, Summer, Fall and of course Winter.
Looking for some personal recommendations? Come chat with us at Forged Axe Throwing, each one of us has in-depth knowledge about some spectacular sights around this fine town of ours that we are only willing to share if you beat us in competition.
Just joking, we’d love to help you plan a perfect day of sightseeing no matter how the game ends.
We know your time is limited in Whistler (we feel bad for you, we do), so we’ve narrowed down exactly where to go and what to see in this region of ours to get a little taste of everything. These suggestions to help you determine, based on the seasons and level of adventure you’re comfortable with, where you end up.
Check out our personal list below to get a better idea of what sort of Whistler Sightseeing spots you just can’t miss before the end of your vacation.
Peak 2 Peak Gondola
This is one of our absolute favourite suggestions to dole out to people, and there are a few reasons why. For one, this is a mostly-any-time-of-year kind of treat. It doesn’t matter if the mountains are bone dry or covered in that dry, white powder people come here for. No matter when you choose to come to Whistler, you better believe the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is running.
So, what is this Peak 2 Peak experience, anyway?
Let’s dive right in. You’ve probably heard that there are two mountains that make up most of the skiing, biking, and hiking paradise in the Whistler area, and those mountains are Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain. Now, imagine someone linked those two mountains with an unsupported lift that a gondola passes through every day. That Alpine wonderland you’re thinking of? It’s real, and you can see it all on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.
The Peak 2 Peak is easily the only can’t-miss sightseeing in Whistler because it offers you a 360 view of the entire area. We’re talking mountain peaks, alpine lakes, gorgeous forests, all from the highest lift in the world (of its kind) at 1,427 feet.
Ticket prices range but are typically cheaper if you buy them at least a day before you plan to ride the gondola. At the time of writing, tickets are roughly $60 for adults (19-64), $51 for youth and seniors (ages 13-18, and 65+), $29 for kids ages 7-12, and free for children under six. But, if you so happen to hold a season pass, you can use that to get on the gondola for free.
If you’re feeling brave, this might the sightseeing adventure you’re looking for, and adventure seekers, hear us out, this is one of the most exhilarating sightseeing opportunities on offer in Whistler. Check out the zip line tours that The Adventure Group puts together.
Their Superfly Zipline Adventure tour combines the exhilaration of soaring through the air with the eye-popping beauty of the natural coastal rainforest, guaranteed to leave you breathless. The Adventure Group’s unique dual system allows you to zip side by side with whoever you’re taking the tour with. What’s better, it’s not just one quick line from tree to tree, in reality, the zip line course includes a network of trails and boardwalks for the ultimate chance to see everything.
From a $99 zipline winter tour to a $250 choose-your-own-adventure, there are plenty of options available to you adventure seekers out there, no matter your budget.
Whistler Helicopter Tour
If you’re not messing around when it comes to seeing the sights, we can’t help but offer the idea for the Whistler sightseeing trip of a lifetime– Heli tours. We know what you’re thinking, isn’t that a little bit extreme for a day of sightseeing?
Bite your tongue. If you’re not going all out in Whistler, you’re probably doing Whistler wrong. Don’t cross a helicopter tour of the alpine beauty off your list.
Our friends over at The Adventure Group have career pilots giving unreal tours of the mountainous beauty of British Columbia. The best part? It’s year round, so you don’t have to plan the timing of your trip around making sure you can snag a tour.
Better yet, they have tons of flexible options based on price and sights to see. Interested in the very basics? Check out their 12-minute helicopter introduction tour that gives you the aerial insight of Whistler and some of the favourite local hotspots for just $170 per person.
Thinking you want something a bit bigger, extravagant, and more extreme? Dish out $1500 per person for the ultimate Heli-rafting tour where you’re submerged in river rafting fun. Of course, there are other in-between options to ranging from $200 per person to about $1,200 – it all depends on what kind of tour you’re after.
ATV Tour or Snowmobile Tour
Interested in something a little more hands on? We don’t blame you. One of the best ways to see the sights of Whistler is to explore them yourself (with a little help from a guide, of course). That’s why we’ve suggested both ATV tours and Snowmobile tours. They’re pretty similar types of tours, but certainly dependent on the sort of weather Whistler is getting and what season you choose to visit!
Again, The Adventure Group does it all. It has some great options available for both sled based and quad based adventures. In Winter, you’ll cut through powder in the most beautiful backcountry, and TAG happens to boast a reputation tour design. Not to mention their experienced guides. With brand new machines, 2.5 hours of freeride fun, and endless backcountry to explore, it’s hard to say no to this kind of adventure. Best yet, it’s affordable ranging in price from $159 per person for the family tour to $270.
If you are visiting in Spring, Summer, or Fall, then an ATV adventure awaits you. The Adventure Group has some of the best ATV and RZR tours available for you and yours. From glacier-fed lakes to breathtaking mountain vistas that dot the backcountry of Whistler, you’re certainly not going to be left with questions about the quality of Whistler backcountry. Prepare to be entirely overwhelmed – trust us. You can take the Alpine Sunrise tour for about $229 per RZR, the wild ride for the same price, or the BC tour for just $259 that includes 2.5 hours of uninterrupted exploration time.
Is There a Wrong Way to See Whistler?
When it comes down to it, there’s really no bad way to see the sights of Whistler. Unless of course you only appear at dusk to make your way down to the party. In that case, set your alarm, wake up before the sunsets. Whistler is known for the party, but we are much more than the party. With that said, sightseeing looks different for everyone. For some, a quiet meander down a lakeside path is perfect, while others require a bit if an adrenaline rush to make the memories stick. What does a day of Whistler sightseeing look like for you?
Whether you’re coming to visit in the summer and are looking to catch the vast expanse of whistler on the Peak 2 Peak gondola or want something a little bit more winter-and-hands-on with the snowmobile sightseeing tours, you can find it here. In the end, you can’t go wrong when exploring the beautiful, natural-wonder that is Whistler. Sightseeing in Whistler is a never ending activity.