Skiing Whistler Blackcomb is a winter enthusiast’s dream come true. It’s legendary for its two mountains that played host to Olympic athletes from all over the world in 2010. Plus, the resort continues to rank as North America’s #1 ski resort, according to Ski Magazine. Whistler Blackcomb also ranks #1 in après ski activities, so the fun ramps up when the sun goes down.
Not your ordinary ski town
Nestled at the base of the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, Whistler Village is everything you’d expect from a ski resort and more. All three areas of the town — the Village, Village North and Upper Village — are connected by the Village Stroll, a paved pathway for pedestrians only. Although the town has a quaint feel, there’s also a dynamic vibe that simply crackles with energy during the day and sparkles with activities at night. Shopping, dining, and exploring are big in Whistler Village, but it’s the nights that really make it come alive.
Check out Garibaldi Lift Co. for the best live music in Whistler
Voted Best Après and Best of Whistler 2012 from Pique newsmagazine, The Garibaldi Lift Co. is legendary for being the place to be for après ski.
“After a long day on the mountain all you want is a relaxed place to kick back, unwind and regroup before doing it all over again,” according to Pique. “Ask a Whistlerite for the best après spot and, chances are, they’ll point you towards the GLC.”
It’s all about making new friends at the GLC, so be sure to stop in for the live music that will have you and your posse jamming until the wee hours.
The Garibaldi Lift Co. was also voted Best Place for Live Music, Best of Whistler 2012 from Pique Magazine, which stated, “The acoustics in the room are great and there’s a lot of great sightlines. There’s not a bad seat in the house.”
If you want laid back and local, Aura Restaurant beckons
Perched on the shore of Nita Lake, the beautiful Aura Restaurant is calling your name for an evening of quiet, casual dining. Serving only fresh, organic selections, Aura sources locally grown food from the area’s best farmers, ranchers and fisheries to bring you British Columbia’s best.
Just imagine a cozy spot with dinner for two starting with confit kutera salmon or fresh shucked oysters with mignonette sauce, followed by a dinner of venison chops, pan seared sturgeon or a juicy ribeye. The lounge continues the authentic urban-rustic dining choices, crafted from ingredients provided by local artisan farmers and growers, as well as a cocktail menu to challenge your decision-making skills.
Legends live and the barbecue flames at Dusty’s Bar and Grill
At the foot of the Olympic runs sits Dusty’s Bar and Grill, voted best après ski time and time again. Dusty’s is legendary for its barbecue, which is perfected every day by a team of pros dedicated to their craft. And of course you’ll want a brew or two — but watch out, there’s another Dusty’s legend that you may find yourself reliving.
Story has it that Dusty’s is named after a stuffed horse that made its way into town one day and stayed to watch cowboys and cowgirls kick it up night after night. One night, when the moon was full, some cowgirl stripped down and jumped right onto Dusty’s back. This was all too much for Dusty, who sprang into life and bucked his way out of the bar, shaking the stunned cowgirl right into the snow before he galloped away.
Dusty has never returned but the legend lives and his spirit will take you in. Just remember to keep your spurs on.
Don’t miss the mountain of nachos at Merlin’s Bar and Grill
If you’re looking for a swinging-from-the-rafters, clothing optional kind of bar, then Merlin’s Bar and Grill is your new slope-side home away from home. Well, maybe not quite that comfortable, but you’ll make friends quick and get into that après vibe even quicker at this famous Whistler party spot.
Don’t be surprised if the live music starts a conga line or maybe even some table dancing. Everything’s OK — you’re at Merlin’s. And it just wouldn’t be right if you didn’t dig into a mountain of their famous nachos and grab a pint of your favorite brew. Try Merlin’s signature Winter Drink masterpieces like the Chair Six, or maybe a Fire and Ice shooter.
Merlin’s comes alive at night and the music sizzles on their live stage. The only thing missing is you.
Bearfoot Bistro, where the champagne is sabered and the vodka has a room of its own
What better way to end an exhilarating day on the slopes than by sabering a bottle of Dom Perignon before enjoying a dinner of local ingredients with an international twist. The Bearfoot Bistro is the spot for Whistler’s sophisticated guests to enjoy après ski in elegant surroundings. Your champagne will stay chilled when you’re seated at the pewter bar with its amazing rail of ice in the Champagne Lounge.
Or maybe you haven’t had enough cold on the slopes. Step into the Ketel One Ice Room, the only permanent sub-zero vodka tasting room in Canada, which is kept at a temperature of -32C (-25F). The vodka’s frosty but you won’t be because the Bearfoot provides its guests with Arctic-ready parkas filled with Canadian goose feathers. The après ski vibe is hot, and you just have to add the Bearfoot Bistro to your visit.