We get it. You’re thinking: “I’d love to go to Whistler, but I really don’t want to go broke.” Well, the good news is that you can enjoy Whistler without maxing out your credit or condemning yourself to years of back-yard vacations. In fact, it’s very easy to keep the costs down if you plan ahead – and in the case of choosing a hotel, if you use your head (cue a shameless plug about staying at Pangea).
If you’re heading to Whistler for the summer season, here’s how you can save money and still have an incredible time.
1. STAY AT PANGEA.
We really don’t want you to spend all your money on an oversized, pricey hotel room that you aren’t going to use. Why would you want to sit in a hotel room when Whistler is out there?
When our pod hotel opens in 2018, we’re going to be in the centre of the Village, we’re going to cost a lot less than the hotels down the Stroll, and we’re going to offer all the amenities you really need (like, actually need) – for instance a very comfortable bed in which to recharge at night. Even better, you’ll be staying in a boutique hotel with incredible interior design and a super-cool vibe.
2. BUY YOUR LIFT TICKETS AHEAD OF TIME.
You wouldn’t walk up to an airline counter and expect the best deal for a flight that day, right? If you want to save some of your hard-earned dollars, pre-purchase your Whistler Blackcomb lift tickets online for mountain biking, sightseeing and skiing/snowboarding (yes, Whistler has summer alpine skiing). That way you’ll get the best possible rates.
What’s more, pre-purchased tickets are good for a range of dates so you don’t need to figure out your exact plan before you go – perfect for those of you who like to remain flexible. There are a variety of ticket options and deals.
3. CHECK OUT THE EVENTS CALENDARS FOR FREE CONCERTS AND MORE.
Whistler, especially in the summer, is home to tons of world class events like:
Whistler celebrates with each special event that rolls into town, throwing free concerts over most weekends at Whistler Olympic Plaza in July and August. Watch for demo booths and free or discounted activities associated with these Whistler special events.
Check this calendar for a few events worth planning a visit around.
4. HIT THE FANCIER RESTAURANTS ON WEEKDAYS.
Whistler is foodie heaven and much of the bounty is locally sourced from Pemberton, just 30 minutes north up the valley. When the Living Room, Pangea’s café and bar, opens in 2018 you’ll be able to get simple, delicious food that doesn’t break the bank, and you can pair your plate with icy cold craft beers, a cocktail or a glass of wine. In the meantime you can venture into the village. Though not always “cheap” per se, you can get to experience a lot of Whistler’s best restaurants “on the cheap” during weekdays in the summer when they run specials.
Check the Whistler Bites website for daily deals on food and drink.
5. GET OFF THE BEATEN TRACK.
Make the most of your mountain pass by lacing up those boots and hitting one of the many hiking trails that can be accessed with it. Highly recommended is the High Note Trail, which takes you right up to the top of Whistler Mountain. Get up there first thing in the morning and you’ll be rewarded with limitless views, fresh mountain breezes and fewer crowds. Pack a picnic, not your cash.
There are also many hikes in and around the valley to explore, including the famous Train Wreck. One of the best websites we’ve found for hikes around the region, including how to get to Train Wreck, is Whistler Hiatus.
If you prefer exploring on two wheels than on two feet, you’ll be pleased to know that the Whistler valley also has hundreds of kilometres of single-track looping through the forests surrounding the village. So while Whistler Mountain Bike Park is undoubtedly something every biker wants to check off their bucket list (and we recommend you do), you can also bike for free if you’d rather save money.
6. GO SWIMMING.
Whistler’s highly convenient paved Valley Trail connects five lakes in which you can take a plunge into cool, clear waters on a warm summer’s day (for free of course). You’ll find sandy beaches (some with volleyball courts), smooth green lawns with picnic areas, docks to swim to, and even paddleboards, kayaks and other water gear to rent in a couple of places. All of this makes the freshwater lakes of Whistler some of the hottest places to see and be seen.
Hop on a bike for a cruise through each lakeside park and take a mandatory dip in each lake, or catch a ride with Whistler Transit’s free shuttle to lakeside parks on weekends and holiday Mondays. The Lost Lake shuttle from the gondola transit loop is free throughout the summer season.
Stay tuned to our blog and social media channels for more insight and more tips and tricks to experience the best of the unique mountain town of Whistler on a budget.