Looking for a Memorable Whistler Souvenir? Here’s a Few Ideas
So you’re coming out to Whistler, eh? Lucky you! While there are a bunch of souvenir shops in Whistler, not all souvenir gifts were created equal.
If you’ve got a bunch of friends or family expectant of Whistler souvenirs we’re here to help you sort through stereotypical and boring gifts (e.g. maple syrup, maple candy, maple leaf printed t-shirts) and come out with actually unique and noteworthy gifts that will say a lot about this part of the world. They will also have nothing to do with maple leaves, of maple syrup. Maples are overrated.
Best Souvenirs to Take Home from Whistler
Forged axes aren’t just available to throw at our HQ. You can purchase one of our unique, bespoke branded axes and take it home with you. It certainly makes a surprising gift and even more remarkable for airport security as you justify why you’ve got an axe in your hand baggage (hint: put it in with your checked luggage).
The handles are made with hickory wood, a native North American wood which is considered the hardest of those commercially available on the continent. Hickory is a blend of strength, density, and toughness. Quite like the founders of our very own Forged Axe Throwing (obviously kidding about the density…).
It costs a mere $25 to bring home a Forged axe with you. Why not bring two so you can practice the double shot on your home turf? An axe is a legacy piece in our opinion. It could start a new family Christmas/Easter/reunion tradition. Everyone enjoys getting in on an axe-throwing session, even the family.
Hand Carved Stone
Artist John Fathom and his talented team produce some of the finest carved stone art pieces in the world. The team hand choose the best examples of stone found along beaches, upon mountains, and tucked away on islands across the British Columbian landscape to create unique pieces.
It may not be the obvious choice as a souvenir shop in Whistler, but heading to the Fathom Stone Art Gallery in Whistler is a must-do experience if you’re interested in seeing art pieces made from materials including marble, jade, onyx, soapstone, alabaster, serpentine, and more.
There are a number of different ways that Fathom Stone could become your best Whistler souvenir. First, you could buy a piece created by one of the artists at the gallery. A second, and a much more memorable option, why not take a soapstone art carving class and make your loved one a unique carved stone piece? A one-hour class for creating your own pendant starts at $75 and if you’re really feeling the inspiration running through you why not grab a six + hours freestyle bear carving class. For $400 you can bring home a carved full-size bear for the ones you loved.
A Prior Snow Board
Prior snowboards and skis are manufactured right here in Whistler and are grounded in decades of BC-based research and development honed from creator Chris Prior’s talent and working alongside the top snowboarders in North America. Instead of moving the manufacturing abroad when the business grew, Prior chose to base their HQ in Whistler. Lucky us!
It’s easy to spot a Prior snowboard because of the amazing artwork that adorns them, from First Nation inspired prints to ethereal BC landscapes. Many show off local whistler artists! Prices vary, but if you catch a board on sale you can find some under $400. Custom builds are more expensive, but if you’re looking for that ultimate Whistler souvenir Prior might be the place for you.
For a more affordable Whistler souvenir option, Whistler Brewing Company deserves a visit. Established in 1989, Whistler Brewing Company describes themselves as the originators in the BC craft movement (which has exploded over the last eight years).
Their brewery is conveniently located right around the corner from Forged Axe Throwing. They are based in Function Junction, so why not visit their brewery for a guided tour of their facility and a taste of their creations in their Tap House. You can buy beers (including full-kegs) from here as well as some merchandise like hats, shirts, beer steins and more.
Explore the local craft beer scene in our deep dive of the Sea to Sky breweries here.
Pemberton Fine Spirits
The Pemberton Distillery (Pemberton is a short 30-minute drive from Whistler) claims to produce the world’s only organic potato vodka, gin, absinthe, schnapps, and liqueurs. Pemberton is one of the most fertile agricultural regions of BC and makes a great day trip from Whistler Village. If you’re eating ‘locally produced, organic’ food in Whistler, those ingredients have probably come from Pemberton.
The decision to use the world-famous Pemberton potato to make top-quality alcohol seems almost like destiny. Pemberton Distillery’s goods are fantastic, whether alone or used for a cocktail. You can visit their distillery in Pemberton and take a guided tour, but you can also find their creations on sale in Whistler such as in the Nester’s Liquor Store and Blackcomb Liquor Store.
If you really want a quintessential Canadian souvenir from Whistler but you don’t want to spend more than the couple of leftover loonies you’ve found in your pocket, why not grab a couple bags of ketchup chips? Yes, that’s right. Canadians freakin’ love ketchup chips. This is not a joke. People here actually love them! Your friends and family probably will too.
Another yummy food related Whistler souvenir, Whistler Chocolate sells only 100% certified organic chocolate, and they come in a variety of flavours. In 2009 they launched a new eco-friendly packaging meaning that your delicious souvenir is 100% recyclable (the inner wrap is even compostable!). If that’s not cool enough, in 2012 their chocolate bars entered space. They are so delicious that they were included as part of the menu for astronauts working in the International Space Station.
Apart from their regular milk and dark chocolate varieties, some of our favourites are the dark chocolate orange bar, dark chocolate chilli, and dark chocolate sea salt. You can find these chocolate bars for sale at a number of locations in Whistler, including the huge candy store called the Great Glass Elevator, many of the local supermarkets, and also Blackcomb Liquor Store (where you can also nab yourself some Pemberton Distillery booze!).
Best Souvenir Shops in Whistler
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best alternative souvenir shops in Whistler to help you direct yourselves to some of the best Whistler souvenirs.
Blackcomb Liquor Store: located near the Fairmont Chateau Whistler in Whistler Village the Blackcomb Liquor Store, which we’ve mentioned above, is a one-stop shop for Pemberton Distillery creations, for local brew beers, and for Whistler Chocolate. If you’re looking for food and drink related Whistler souvenirs, this is a conveniently located choice.
Made in Whistler Artisan Market: if you’re visiting Whistler in Winter or Spring why now check out the Made in Whistler Artisan Market. It runs on Saturdays and is based at the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler. Swing by to check out the work of local artisans and leave with handmade pottery, jewelry, clothes, artisan foods, and other delights.
Arts Whistler Holiday Market: if you’re in Whistler over the weekend of November 24th and 25th 2018 you’re in luck. This annual late November holiday market consists of two jam-packed days of handmade treats, including both edible and artistic. Live local music contributes to the event’s festive feel and Santa is on site to entertain this kids.
Whistler Rocks and Gems: if you’re looking for the wow factor, this is a brilliantly run shop located in Whistler Village that is always fun to walk around. This family-run company has its roots in the west coast of Canada, with stores in the ski town of Banff as well as Whistler. Head to Whistler Rocks and Gems to check out their selection of fossils, meteorites, minerals, and jewelry.
Purchases come with information cards so the receiver can learn more about their gift. Prices range from the affordable to the sky-high, depending on whether you are looking for an agate slice ($25) or an amethyst geode cowboy boots ($7000), for example (I mean, why not?).
Fathom Stone Art Gallery: As mentioned above, is another rock-based art gallery worth checking out. Whether you want a bit of inspiration before you carve your own, or want to buy one instead. You might not have time to carve out a bear before your plane ride home!
Creekside Market: A grocery store in, believe it or not, Creekside (southern end of Whistler). It won’t be the first place that comes to mind when someone thinks about the best souvenir shops in Whistler, but from experience we can tell you that it actually has a truly great selection of locally produced foodstuffs, from the perishable (think locally produced cheeses) to the non-perishable (think chocolate and hot sauce). For food-related Whistler souvenirs, Creekside Market is a great and easy-going option (with none of that souvenir riff-raff you’ll find in your regular souvenir shop).
We hope this short list has helped you reconsider what a Whistler souvenir means. As Canadians, we obviously love maple syrup. It’s delicious! But it’s also a very predictable souvenir. Axes, booze, snowboard, and chips – give the people what they want! There is a large selection of alternative souvenir shops in Whistler, as well as markets, that can help you find that perfect Whistler souvenir.