SkiingSamantha Sito

When I think of Whistler, the first thought that comes to mind is winter sports - like skiing or snowboarding.

Granted, Whistler is now a popular destination all-year round, but it remains especially so during the winter months. I don’t ski or snowboard when I head to Whistler, but luckily, there are countless ways to enjoy this destination off-skis. (In fact, here are 35 examples.) Instead, I find myself drawn to the art of après

Après is French for "after", typically referring to après-ski, or in Whistler talk: "happy hour". But truly, après can be taken any time of day. Here's where you'll find me perfecting the art of this Whistler-centric dining. 


Après a night out:

Wild Wood Pacific Bistro for breakfast

Wild Wood Pacific

Whether you are recovering from a long night out in Whistler Village or want something hearty to start off the day, I dig into breakfast at Wild Wood Pacific Bistro. It’s nicely situated within the hotel I stayed at on this visit – Crystal Lodge Suites – and serves the most delicious Eggs Benny I’ve had in a while. I also found out through a conversation with a friend (who grew up in Whistler) that Wild Wood was - and still is - quite the popular destination for a good breakfast. 


Après a mid-morning jaunt:

Beacon Pub & Eatery for lunch

Beacon Pub & Eatery for lunch

Located in the centre of Whistler Village Square and only a short walk from the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, Beacon Pub & Eatery is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Here you'll find juicy, satisfying burgers and mouth-watering Caesars served in boot-shaped glasses. I definitely recommend this as a go-to après spot following a day spent on the slopes, or for those simply in need of a carb load.


Après an afternoon of crisp mountain air:

Basalt Wine & Salumeria for dinner

Basalt Wine & SalumeriaDarby Magill PhotographyAprès-ski or après-an-easy-day-out in the Village, Basalt Wine + Salumeria sits atop my list of go-to Whistler restaurants. You can expect delectable dishes and thoughtfully curated charcuterie boards, paired with a fantastic wine list. Basalt exudes a warm, cozy vibe which is perfect for couples or a group of friends to "wine" down.


When you go to Whistler:

Picturesque Sea to Sky Highway road stops

sea to skySam Sito

I’ve always considered the Sea-to-Sky Highway (BC-99) to be one of the most beautiful routes I’ve ever driven. It's definitely worth stopping along the way for a stretch and to snap that Instagram-worthy photo.  

On the way up: Porteau Cove

Porteau Cove Sea to SkySamantha Sito 

On the way out: Alta Lake

Alta LakeSamantha Sito


Where to stay: Crystal Lodge & Suites

Crystal Lodge & SuitesCrystal Lodge & Suites

Crystal Lodge King Room WhistlerCrystal Lodge & Suites

I found Crystal Lodge & Suites to be one of the coziest and convenient hotels I've slept in Whistler. Crystal Lodge is perfectly situated in a prime location within the Village, just steps to the mountains for winter sports, and minutes away from a variety of shops and restaurants. It also happens to be close to the restaurants I listed above. 

Having completed a $3.2 million-dollar renovation of their guest rooms, I found the King Suite I stayed in to be very cozy, well-lit and laid out, and provided a beautiful view of the Village.

Mid-week winter rates start at $259, weekend winter rates start at $390.


How to get to Whistler:


Whistler is 121 km north of Vancouver and 134 km from YVR airport. The route follows BC 99, known as Sea-to-Sky Highway. Special care should be taken while driving this route. Drivers should account for weekend traffic. 

Winter tires: From October 1 - March 31, BC 99 between West Vancouver and Whistler is a designated winter tire route. Appropriate tires will be marked with a three-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol, or the M+S (mud and snow) symbol. Motorists may encounter winter tire inspections performed en-route by local police. Vehicles without winter tires may be turned away and/or face fines.


Coach bus services run daily between downtown Vancouver to Whistler: 

Pacific Coach Lines ($100 round-trip; $55 one-way)
Epic Rides ($35 round-trip; $24 one-way)
Snowbus ($35 round-trip; $24 one-way)
Greyhound ($17-$37 one-way)
Perimeter Whistler ($110 round-trip; $55 one-way)
Whistler Shuttle from YVR ($69 one-way for adults; $32 for children)


Got a question about my visit or how to après? 
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Disclosure: Accommodations provided by Crystal Lodge SuitesMeals offered by Basalt Wine & Salumeria, Beacon Pub & Eatery and Wild Wood Pacific BistroAll opinions are my own. 


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