The results are in: you're going to want to take several Whistler vacations in order to savor the many indulgences this engaging British Columbia destination has to offer.
No doubt about it: when you think Whistler, you think skiing. It's only natural since this Canadian city is graced by two spectacular mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, containing more than 200 thrilling trails within 8,100 skiable acres — the most of any ski resort in North America — and an average snowfall of 30 feet every year. But if you've been avoiding Whistler because you imagine it is naught but a Nordic paradise, you've been missing out on what could be a very diverse Whistler vacation.
Zip it: Start off your Whistler vacation and celebrate the spring thaw by taking an aerial tour of Whistler on a series of zip line cables that range from 200 to 2,000 feet in length. Ziptrek Ecotours (0.4 miles from WorldMark Cascade Lodge; 2.8 miles from WorldMark Sundance) prides itself on having "the longest, highest, and fastest zip lines in North America." Choose from four different zip line tours that whisk you through lush rainforests and past glaciernourished waters; or opt for the Treetrek, which allows you to explore Whistler's arboreal splendor while staying on your own two feet via a network of suspension bridges, treetop viewing platforms and forest boardwalks.
Horsing around: Mosey along on horseback through wild flower strewn meadows, down sandy beaches, or up hilly forest trails. Adventure Ranch (22 miles from WorldMark Cascade Lodge; 24 miles from WorldMark Sundance) is nestled in the heart of the Coast Mountains, at the foot of Mount Currie. With rides for all levels, everyone can experience natural horsemanship, friendly cowgirls and great horses.
TELUS about it: COnsider planning your Whistler vacation around the TELUS World Ski & Snowboard Festival (varied locations and venues), a 10-day festival of sports, arts, music, fashion and culture that marks the official end of the ski season every April. Filled with extreme sporting events, performances by dozens of musical artists, film screenings, and after-hours dancing and revelry, this is a must-do event if the motto “Party in April, Sleep in May” speaks to you.
Dancing peak to peak: In Whistler, ski gondolas are much more than transportation — they're an entirely fresh way to view the world. The newest and grandest of these is the magnificent PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola (1 mile from WorldMark Cascade Lodge; 3.7 miles from WorldMark Sundance), the largest free-span gondola stretch in the world, covering the 2.73 miles between Whistler and Blackcomb in 11 breathtaking minutes. With 360-degree windows in each of its 28 cabins, the P2P provides awe-inspiring vistas of alpine splendor to get your day of hiking, habitat touring, dining or wine-tasting on either mountain off to a spectacular start.
Can you canoe?: Few things are more idyllic than spending part of your Whistler vacation paddling along a lazy river in the lustrous summer sunshine. Whistler's Alta Creek is also known as the "River of Golden Dreams" (1.5 miles from WorldMark Cascade Lodge; 1.7 miles from WorldMark Sundance.)and provides calm, gentle currents for relaxed maneuvering along its winding 3.1 miles. Canoe and kayak rentals are available at the Lakeside Park Watersports Centre on Alta Lake, the southern terminus of Alta Creek.
Take a bike: Mountain biking is to summer what skiing is to winter at Whistler. Whatever your level of expertise, you're sure to find the perfect challenge among the miles of trails and turns of Whistler Mountain Bike Park (0.5 miles from WorldMark Cascade Lodge; 2.2 miles from WorldMark Sundance). And to put a cherry on your biking sundae, plan to attend the Kokanee Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival, which takes place every summer (July or August) at the Bike Park, and celebrates the sport's most audacious and exceptional athletes — and throws some great musical performances into the mix as well.
Chewing burns calories too (it's true!): Vacations, by law, are for eating, and your Whistler vacation should be no different! Every fall you're presented with an ideal occasion to stoke your energy furnace by eating your way through Whistler. It's a festival called Cornucopia, a four-day celebration of wine and food with seminars, tasting events, chef's dinners and after-parties. Whether you're a seasoned gourmet or just someone who likes to eat, there's sure to be something to tickle your taste buds and thrill your palate. The 2011 Cornucopia takes place November 10-13 at varied locations and venues.
Get in the swing: With those two big cheeky mountains hogging Whistler's spotlight it's easy to forget there are golf opportunities eager for some play during your Whistler vacation too. The area boasts four pro-designed, championship golf courses: Big Sky Golf and Country Club (approximately 23 miles from both resorts), Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club, Nicklaus North Golf Course and Whistler Golf Club. And if you're a resident of British Columbia or Washington State, you can take advantage of the seasonal Golf Passport, which allows you to play one round on all four courses for just $199 CAD. This fall's Golf Passport season starts on Sept. 19 and runs until it's just too snowy to play.
Hoof it: Walking — it costs nothing, requires little more than a good pair of shoes, and can be done anywhere. Whistler provides myriad walking paths, from easy flatland strolls to heart-pumping hikes. One of the prettiest and most customizable is Lost Lake Trail (1.8 miles from WorldMark Cascade Lodge; 4.6 miles from WorldMark Sundance), a 19-mile system of marked trails with interpretive signs indicating their degree of difficulty. Trek past thickets of blueberries, babbling creeks and shady groves of trees; then rest at the east end beach of Lost Lake and swim in its unexpectedly warm waters.
Wanna take you higher: Take your skiing up to the next level (literally) by starting your run with a chopper flight to pristine mountain terrain. Whistler Heli-Skiing (0.4 miles from WorldMark Cascade Lodge; 3.2 miles from WorldMark Sundance) provides a full-service package that includes concise briefings and careful supervision by expert guides, transportation to the Whistler Heliport, lunch on the mountain and video and photography services; all culminating with a viewing party at the end of the day to relive every exhilarating run.
Slip-sliding away: The 2010 Winter Olympics brought much to the Whistler area, including improved roads and new arenas for Nordic sports. One of the most exciting is The Whistler Sliding Centre (1.4 miles from WorldMark Cascade Lodge; 4.2 miles from WorldMark Sundance) where the competitions for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events took place. Open to the public during the October through March winter season, the centre offers tours and passenger rides, in addition to training development programs for athletes who take their sledding very seriously and want to be the swiftest on what is already the fastest track in the world.
Ready for your close-up: Put a little Hollywood in your après-ski hours by taking in one of the dozens of fascinating movies scheduled to be shown at the Whistler Film Festival. Consider scheduling your Whistler vacation around this year's gala, which runs November 30 through December 4 at varied locations and venues, and will include Canadian releases as well as world premieres of films from around the globe; symposiums with celebrated directors; and festive parties where you can rub shoulders with industry insiders.
You have your choice of two welcoming resorts when visiting lovely Whistler, British Columbia: WorldMark Cascade Lodge and WorldMark Sundance. Both are conveniently located close to Whistler Village; individually they offer distinctive charms and amenities. Here's a quick peek at each to help you match your vacation appetites to the resorts' attractions.
This article was based on an article in our timeshare owners' magazine
Ask about availability at my timeshare rentals for your Whistler vacations at the WorldMark Cascade Lodge and/or the WorldMark Sundance
See all of my Canadian timeshare rentals
Back to the Vacations-and-Timeshare-Rentals Home Page
Experience the Thrill of Receiving Notice of My Weekly Timeshare Rental Specials that Non-Subscribers Will Never Learn About. Ever.
Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Timeshare Rental Special of the Week.