A Guided Tour of the Top 5 Whistler Neighbourhoods
Tourist guides of Whistler tend to focus exclusively on the Village: the walkable streets, the almost Disney-land like atmosphere but did you know that Whistle is divided up into more than one neighbourhood? That’s right! The Resort Municipality of Whistler has grown out of the village and spills into the surrounding valleys. When you think of Whistler, consider it more like a great, mountainous puzzle made up of amazing, one-of-a-kind pieces each an integral aspect of the whole picture.
When it comes to Whistler neighbourhoods, each section has its own charm, its own vibe, and a few things that each are known for. What could be better than a unique set of neighbourhoods to live in, tour around, and explore? If you’re visiting Whistler and want to make sure you’re getting a taste of a few distinct kinds of communities, fear not. We’ve laid out a few of our favourite neighbourhoods to give you the down-and-dirty details on what they’re all about.
This guided tour will provide you with the low down on each locale, to help better inform your stay and any wandering you may do while here. Thankfully, there are a number of great whistler neighbourhood maps available through Whistlermaps.com to help you get oriented. Check out the top five favourite Whistler neighborhoods below.
Okay, we know we started this article with the whole “Whistler is more than just Whistler Village” thing, but we can’t just not talk to you about Whistler Village. Its what we are known for after all. It’s one of the deliberate pieces of the entire Whistler Puzzle, and it would be a total shame not to give you an overview of the main area of attraction.
One of the best parts about Whistler Village is the location. Located right in the center of everything, Whistler Village gives you access to all the best-of-the-best, meaning you’re at the heart of resort life. Whistler Village is a beautiful, cobblestone, pedestrian-only, little community that’s packed to the brim with restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, cafes, spas, and access to the big resorts.
If you’re looking to be in the middle of all the action while also being at the bottom of the hill, don’t leave Whistler Village. Of the 7,700 Village area properties, only about 42 are residences. Translation? Whistler Village is set up for tourists; people who want access to shops, accommodation and foods. Leave your car at home, go for a stroll, or grab a drink! For specific recommendations and an in-depth guide to the Village, we’ve got you covered.
Ever heard of Function Junction? Until recently many visitors hadn’t even considered function junction a destination. But the name of the neighbourhood isn’t the only wonderful thing about this area of Whistler. Traditionally dismissed as the industrial and mechanical space in Whistler, Function Junction is now an up-and-coming artistically driven neighbourhood. It’s been revitalized.
Just a ten-minute drive away from Whistler Village, getting to Function Junction is easy! Take a bus, bike, or drive – do whatever it takes to get here. The best part? Its where we call home. Sure, we might be a little biased about our little corner of Whistler, but we’re also honest – function is a fun, off-the-beaten-path that locals love to habituate.
If you need something to do after your ax-throwing experience though, Function has plenty of other activities available to you, including mountain biking, the Bounce Acrobatic Academy, and of course, tons of food options (you MUST stop by The Wildwood Café). Want some more in-depth info on Function Junction? No worries. Check out our ultimate guide to the area, as well some history, and other suggestions for activities and our favourite places to eat.
A lot of people tend to look at Whistler and forget where it got its start. Well, get into our history and give Creekside Village a gander. The very first chair location, at the base of the mountain, Creekside Village kicked off the Whistler we’ve come to know and love. Just 7km away from Whistler Village, this mountain-base Creekside neighbourhood gives you the conveniences of ski-in and ski-out options, as well as access to the gondola. Is conveniently located an easy walk or bike path away from the Village if needed.
The neat thing about Creekside is that it provides people with children, families, or non-party-goers a chance to enjoy Whistler without getting into the wild après activity. Despite the slower tempo of Creekside, you’re not all that far from the action should you so choose to participate in it.
A neighbourhood with a more family-friendly vibe with a laid-back attitude, you’ll find tons of restaurants, shops to explore, and activities, like biking, skiing, and more.
Most conveniently, accommodation in Creekside is made easy. It’s home to lots of big resort lodgings like Legends, First Tracks Lodge, and Evolutions. For more in-depth info on Creekside, we’ve developed a guide to Creekside neighbourhood as well. Be sure to check it out if you intend to stay here over your Whistler vacation.
Located right at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, the Upper Village gives you all the access you need to the mountain with lift access right outside your door. Want to head up to the mountain early in the morning? Go for it. Want to sleep in and hit the slopes a little later? Don’t sweat it – the lift is right there, ready for you when you’re ready to go. Best of all, the Upper Village gives you the gift of plenty-to-do combined with a little alpine seclusion, something that not every neighborhood in Whistler can boast.
Upper Village has some of the most well-known resorts in the Whistler area, such as the Four Seasons, the Fairmont, and Glacier Lodge.
Ski in, ski out, no problem, and be prepared for Blackcomb to be your new best friend. As far as activities go, you’ll never be lacking. You can get lost exploring Lost Lake (ignore the pun, we had to), enjoy the slopes, mountain bike, eat tasty treats, and even check out the weekly Farmer’s Market they hold here. Even if you aren’t in the Village, you are only a short walk away. But why would you leave the Upper Village? They still boast restaurants to suit any budget. Check out some of our favourites: the Wildflower Restaurant, and Nagomi Sushi!
Alta Vista, a beautiful, trail-and-lake-laden area, is often referred to as the best of both worlds. Why might you ask? The location! In Alta Vista, you’re super close to both Whistler Village (for the party) and Creekside Village (for activities, family-activities), while still enjoying a bit of quiet time. You can pick and choose your activities without being sucked into the non-stop action of village life.
Alta Vista is the spot to find local wonders, like one of Whistler’s best beaches, Lakeside Park. This hotspot isn’t just gorgeous, it’s a beautiful place to explore in the summer and take part of an abundance of water sports like paddle-boarding, swimming, and more. It’s also located next to the River of Golden Dreams, an excellent area for kayakers. Alta has lovely food options like Alta Bistro, Sachi Sushi, and The Venue – all prime spots for some delicious grub.
Whistler: You Really Can’t Go Wrong
The best part about all of these neighbourhoods in Whistler? You really can’t go wrong. Each has a unique vibe, special charm, and a different atmosphere that will appeal to you and your crowd! If you like family-friendly activities, give Creekside a go! If you’d rather spend the day throwing axes (we can’t blame you), check out our home, Function Junction. Clubs and bars a-plenty? Sounds like the Whistler Village is your poison of choice. And while we focused on the activity and commercial neighbourhoods of Whistler, there are plenty of residential neighbourhoods in the surrounding mountains to explore.
White Gold, Bayshores, and Nick North might all come up while your visiting, or maybe you’ve found a vacation rental there. Each neighbourhood has a unique feel, with fine local establishments to enjoy. The farther you get from the Village there more there is to discover. Nothing is as far away as it it seems in the town, from end to end it takes no more then 20 minutes to drive. Even Function Junction isn’t as far away as some would lead you to believe.
We highly recommend that on a warm summer day you hop on a rented bike from one of the local shops in the Village (may we suggest Spicy Sports). Grab a Whistler neighbourhood map, and explore the miles of paved bike paths in the surrounding Whistler neighbourhoods. You might be surprised what you might find there. Don’t be afraid to get out of the Village and see what the real Whistler is like.