Whether you’re nursing a hangover or you just fancy a day off from the slopes , there’s plenty to do in Whistler that doesn’t involve gear or gondolas. Here we look at some of the other, less obvious experiences that Whistler has to offer – from catching the latest flick to dosing up on local culture.
CHILL OUT AND MAKE NEW FRIENDS AT PANGEA.
There’s nothing quite like a duvet day, even when you’re on holiday. It’s like taking a holiday… on your holiday. And by duvet day, we mean just generally lounging about Pangea, having a snooze in your pod, venturing out and having a pizza in The Living Room, sipping a glass of red wine in the late afternoon, boasting about your previous day’s exploits on Instagram, etc. And once you’re done with that, grab a board game and invite your fellow loungers to play at one of our family-style tables. Just remember that the only thing worse than a bad loser is a bad winner, so none of that ‘humble’ smiling as you force them to mortgage all their property on the Monopoly board.
FORGED AXE THROWING.
Have you ever wanted to launch an axe at something? Like that person loudly munching chips on a train, that novice boarder who just cut across your line, or Big Bird from Sesame Street? Well, at the aptly named Forged Axe Throwing centre, you can launch an array of axes at targets (just not living ones). Offering drop-ins, party bookings and even league play, the centre is a fun (and scarily therapeutic) diversion from other Whistler activities. Drop-in sessions last one hour, during which you’ll receive professional instruction and thorough safety advice. Just remember to wear closed-toed shoes!
AUDAIN ART MUSEUM.
Spectacularly showcasing the art of British Columbia from the late 18th century to the present, Whistler’s stunning new gallery is a great place to wile away an empty afternoon. At the heart of the collection is James Hart’s The Dance Screen, which, according to the Audain, is the “most significant contemporary carved cedar Dance Screen in the world”. Other highlights include a collection of First Nations masks and a few works by celebrated Canadian artists Emily Carr, E.J Hughes, Jeff Wall and Stan Douglas. Best of all, it’s all housed within one of the most architecturally striking edifices in town, if not the province (or the country).
Voted Whistler’s best rainy day activity, Escape! Whistler is, aside from shredding the slopes, one of the most fun and engaging activities you’ll find in Whistler. A team of puzzle masters and builders have created four immersive escape rooms – called Pirate Ship, Pinball Machine, Buried Cabin and Rabbit Hole – which will have you and your buddies (up to 6 per game) racking your brains and scouring for clues as you try to fathom your way out within 45 minutes. And if you don’t? Well, you’ll be locked in forever! Just kidding.
DUBH LINN GATE IRISH PUB.
A bad weather day is a good Guinness day, so if you just want to cozy down in a warm pub for the afternoon, we recommend Dubh Linn Gate, where “Irish comfort food meets West Coast mountain goodness” (as the proprietors like to put it). Bringing Irish cheer to Whistler for more than two decades, this joint is a favourite watering hole for locals and visitors alike. Practise your accents as you cradle your perfectly pulled pint of the black stuff, or tuck into some traditional pub fare as you enjoy the sounds of high-energy Celtic classics.
If your body is crying out for some TLC after a long day on the piste, or a long night on the town, we recommend checking yourself into the Scandinave Spa on the edge of Lost Lake Park. Take your pick from a number of traditional Scandinavian baths set amongst the spruces and cedars of the forest, and then indulge in a whole menu of hydrotherapy treatments designed to ease those aches, pains and hangovers.
SQUAMISH LIL’WAT CULTURAL CENTRE.
(Yes, this is in Whistler!) Whistler sits squarely on First Nations’ territory, giving all the more reason to discover the legends, people, art, history and culture of the Squamish and Lil’Wat Nations. As part of its mission to “inspire understanding and respect among all people”, the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre runs hour-long tours that include a welcome song and offer the opportunity to don traditional First Nations regalia, bang a drum, and even try your hand at some craftwork. There’s also a cafe and gift shop where you can get your hands on some authentic First Nations art and handicrafts. As far as we’re concerned, this informative centre is not to be missed.
VILLAGE 8 CINEMAS.
Yes, we have a cinema here in Whistler, so if you fancy catching the latest flick on your day off from the slopes, or have little else to do, head down to the Imagine Cinemas duplex (a three minute stroll from Pangea).
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.