5 Great Things to Do in Whistler (That Aren't Skiing)

Skating at Whistler Plaza

When you think of Whistler in the wintertime, skiing and snowboarding are probably the first things that come to mind. After all, Whistler is consistently rated as the number one ski resort in North America. And for good reason.

But did you know that there are tons of incredible activities to do in Whistler in the winter beyond skiing and snowboarding? Take a look at our short list of a few of our favourites and make sure to try at least one out this season!

1. Whistler: Your Outdoor Playground

Whistler Peak 2 Peak GondolaThe number one rated activity on Trip Advisor is the Peak-2-Peak Gondola. Whether you ski or not, taking a ride on the Peak-2-Peak should be part of your visit to Whistler. The view is breathtaking, the heights heart-pounding, and you can eat lunch at either end of the gondola. Eat at either Whistler's Roundhouse Lodge or the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain. Take your pick. Visitors rave about the gondola, in all seasons. You'll travel 4.4 kilometres in just 11 minutes. No, this isn't a day-long activity, but when you include lunch and simply breathing in the alpine air at the top of the mountains, you'll easily have spent an afternoon.

2. Bald Eagle Viewing

Bald Eagle ViewingBrackendale, just south of Whistler, hosts the largest population of bald eagles in the world each winter. From November to the end of February, you can take a river tour to view the birds, or simply head down to Brackendale on your own to see them. Take binoculars, but it isn't difficult to catch a glimpse of the birds: Over 3700 eagles make their home in Brackendale each winter.

The tour ends at Sunwolf Lodge, where you enjoy a hot chilli lunch and hot tub with a view of Mt. Tantalus. Reviewers rave about the tour, which leaves at 9:00 am from Gone Bakery.

3. Snowshoeing 

Snowshoeing in WhistlerSnowshoeing isn't as fast paced as skiing, but you'll definitely get a workout as you enjoy the outdoors around Whistler. Snowshoeing in the Callaghan Valley takes you across meadows and through woods where you'll experience the sights and sounds of nature, one-on-one.  You can either experience a multi-day backcountry tour in the Callaghan Valley, or a quick tour around Lost Lake, or something in between. Snowshoeing is available at Whistler Blackcomb as well, and there are tours available as well. Bring your gear or rent what you need here. A great insider's blog post is over at Tourism Whistler. Take a read and learn more.

4. Dog Sledding

Dogsledding in WhistlerFor a real Canadian adventure, get your warm clothes on and go dog sledding! Dog sledding originated more than 4,000 years ago, and some say that living in northern Canada would not have been possible without it. The dogs have been bred for centuries for this task, and can't wait for their next chance to pull a sled. They may reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour!

Each sled can take 2 adults and one small child, and there are between 6 - 8 dogs per sled. You'll be able to learn the commands, help with the dogs, and, yes, mush!

5. A Magical Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride in WhistlerThis Whistler experience comes with two options: First, you can simply go on a magical sleigh ride through the woods, pulled by Percheron horses, as they whisk you along a truly magical snowy ride.

Or, you can do that and add in a three-course fondue dinner. Either option will bring you a Whistler experience you won't soon forget.

There are three different locations for horse sleigh rides, all with their unique differences. Choose between Blackcomb, Nicklaus North Golf Course, and the Fairmont Chateau.

Photo Credit: All photos Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler

Posted: Friday, January 23, 2015

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