Whistler has been on my bucket list forever, so this summer vacation I was determined to visit. After a week in the sunny Okanagan we decided to head over for a mini summer vacation.
A gorgeous must see town north of Vancouver, British Columbia, I can’t believe that I have lived in BC my entire life and had never visited this amazing place! We had such a great time on our Whistler mini summer vacation that my only regret was not staying longer.
The Village is a cute and compact, chalet style village made for pedestrians, which makes getting around easy. There is no worrying about traffic, just walk at your own pace and enjoy the sites.
We stayed at Whistler Cascade Lodge, just across the street from the entrance to the village. It was so convenient and affordable to stay here. The fact that it had a pool made it our number 1 choice.
After checking into the Lodge and unpacking a few things we immediately headed out, excited to explore the Village. I was so happy we had amazing weather, 34 degrees. Perfect for me! But of course one must hydrate when it is that hot out.
We wondered across the street and made our way thru the Village, window shopping along the way. There are so many trendy shops, I was in heaven! We decided to plop our butts down at The Longhorn Saloon & Grill. They have a great outdoor patio, pumping loud music and has a fantastic view of the mountain and the riders coming down.
As we nibbled on nachos and sipped ice cold beer, we watched the many mountain bikers. coming down the mountainside. I was so inspired by the little ones all decked out in their riding gear and rocking that mountain like pros. Well, they probably were pros! They were fantastic.
The Longhorn is a great place to sit and people watch, after what seemed to be hours (we could have stayed all night), we decided to take advantage of the awesome pool back at the lodge before dinner.
Feeling great after our much needed relaxing pool time it was time to head out for dinner. There are so many restaurants to choose from that it made it hard to pick one. We finally decided on Mexican food, so The Mexican Corner Restaurant is where we ended up.
Tip. Go early and make a reservation, or you may have a bit of a wait time.
This restaurant has a great ambiance and charm, and the food is delicious. I opted for chicken tacos and a lovely watermelon margarita (recommended by the waitress). I also loved fact that they brought a nice bowl chips and salsa to the table when we arrived. (I think all restaurants should bring chips and salsa, not just the Mexican ones). We ate, drank and made a ton of plans for the next day.
Things to do in Whistler
Our list of things to do included the following;
- Ride the Gondola up the Mountain.
- Check out the new suspension bridge
- Take the Peak to Peak gondola.
- Maybe take a hike.
- Enjoy a bevy on Blackcomb Mountain.
I know that seems like a full schedule but I was determined to do it all!
We left the restaurant feeling full and happy , excited for the next day.
As we walked back to the Lodge we met a lovely couple who explained to us that they were on their way to a light show/adventure in the forest! Intrigued, I immediately looked it up and booked us for the show (Vallea Lumina) for the next night.
Now that’s what you call a full schedule!
We woke up bright and early, well the alarm woke us up…otherwise we would have slept all day. (pretty tired from the drive the day before) But we were not going to waste a minute of our time here, things to do and see!
This was gonna be a fun day, and I was pumped. But nothing starts before coffee…Starbucks and a muffin, now I was ready!
With coffee in hand, we purchased our day lift/hiking passes for our Peak to Peak Experience and hit the small line. First gondola ride up Whistler Mountain here I come!
Now there is one thing you must know about me, if you don’t already…
I don’t like heights.
The gondola is not so bad I thought to myself as we rose higher and higher. At least we weren’t on one of those crazy chair lifts, and I felt comfortable that there were other passengers on the ride with us!
As we chugged along at a nice pace, enjoying the gorgeous view and hikers and ATV’s below, the gondola came to a sudden halt.
I immediately checked the time on my cell phone (the sign in the gondola had an emergency number to call if incase you were stopped for more than 15 minutes) I memorized it! Lol
After about 2 minutes of nervous laughter and small talk with the other 3 passenger we started moving, thank god! I could finally breathe again!
We reached the top about 10 minutes later and holy crap is it amazing up there!
After a short look around, a bunch of photos and a visit in to the bathrooms we where ready to do what we came to do.
The suspension bridge!
Did I mention I was scared of heights!
I found a nice whistler tour guide who briefly explained that we needed to follow a trail down a bit to the ride that would take us to the bridge, so away we went down a slightly steep pathway to our destination.
For some reason in my head I kept asking myself “is this trip my final destination?” hahaha I am a little dramatic!
Ok we arrived and to my shock it was not another gondola we were riding up this steep, rocky, snowy cliff side.
IT WAS A FREAKING CHAIRLIFT!
The Big Red Express is open chair, with a tiny cross bar to hold you in! OMG!
As the line got closer I started to panic about where to put my cell phone and cursed myself for not getting a backpack, I strongly recommend taking a backpack if you decide to do this trip!
I didn’t want to give it to my husband to hold on to, what if he dropped it?
I was really hoping I could take some beautiful pictures on the way up but I knew in my head this was not going to happen. So in the bra my phone went!
Yep, I just stuffed it in that new Lululemon sports bra, nice and secure!
Hopping on the chair I immediately had a death grip dug in to the handle bars, and my eyes locked shut!
My husband chatted the entire time to help me keep my mind off what was happening, it helped a bit except for the fact he was describing everything he was seeing! Things like, “I thought you used to ski? This shouldn’t be so scary for you”…and then he started saying things like “holy shit, we are so close to that rock edge” and ” look at how much snow is up here, wow, even I feel a little woozy” OMG!!!
We made it, I was still alive! I opened my eyes when I felt the chair leveling off onto the flat ground on top…phew! Thank god that was over, I thought as I wiped the tears of fear from my eyes,
And there it was just off to the right, the Whistler Peak Suspension Bridge, known as the Cloudraker Skybridge. They were still building the Raven’s Eye Cliff Walk , which is a observation lookout off the end of the suspension bridge. (I worried for the men I saw working on it) But was so thankful it wasn’t finished because I knew that once I was out there I would have no choice but to check it out!
My motto is ‘You only live once’
This is why I push myself to do these crazy things!
So away we went…the bridge is very secure an has tall closed in railings on each side. The bottom is a small grating which you can see through, although I didn’t look down once. Oh, and yes the bridge does sway a bit. So for someone like me, it is a bit freaky! I held on to both sides, and only let go to let people pass.
We made it to the end of the bridge, and again I was to afraid to loose my phone that it stayed tucked safely in my bra! I took a deep breath at the end of the bridge and then it was time for me to get off that thing…I pretty much ran to get off.
I was done, head pounding, heart racing at the realization of the fact that I was pretty much on top of the world! Yikes, but awesome!
Once off the bridge and back on solid ground we wandered around a bit and took some fantastic photos. You must get a picture with the Peak Inukshuk!
After about half an hour wandering around it was time to get to the next adventure, The Peak to Peak gondola! But that meant we had to ride the Big Red Express back down to it! Or did it??
Of course I asked if there was another way down… And of course there was!
Take a Hike
A 45 minute breathtaking hike! That’s right, I would rather kill my already bummed out knee an hike down the mountain than take that freaking chair again!
And that we did in the 30 degree heat might I mention! But I was so happy we did it, we walked through snow in the middle of summer, can’t say you get to do that everyday!
The views where absolutely stunning, mountain peaks, lakes, glaciers and forests, and I was able to take a ton of pictures without worrying about dropping my camera down the cliff!
Peak to Peak
Next we were off on another gondola. Time for the Peak to Peak 360 experience!
From Whistler to Blackcomb we rode a giant gondola. You also have the option to sit in a glass bottom one! I chose not to, for obvious reasons! Now this is a ride you must do while in Whistler! It is absolutely amazing and beautiful from up there!
Bevy on Blackcomb
We reached Blackcomb mountain and were starving from our sweet morning adventures so we decided to go for lunch on top the mountain!! Seriously, how many times in my life was I gonna do this!
Looking across the sky, we splurged on delicious burgers and beer from Christine’s as we sat the outdoor balcony and enjoyed the views of the mountain tops!
A well deserved lunch!
Oh and don’t forget to grab a gelato for the ride back down!
Gelato is great but it is so much better when you are on top of the world!
We took our sweet time back down to the village and worked our way back to the pool for an afternoon of rest and relaxation. The sun was shining and the pool was a perfect cool down after that amazing adventure.
I was so excited that we purchased those tickets for Vallea Lumina.
We really had no idea what to expect as they don’t even tell you where you are going! All we knew was we had to meet at the bus stop and from there we would hope on and go to a secret location! How cool is that!
Now, I won’t tell you where we went, cause I need you to experience this yourself as it was truly a magical experience! I have literally never seen anything like it. This show is appropriate for all ages ,but if you are not a night owl maybe this isn’t for you.You do have to wait till dark before it begins.
Also, make sure to wear running shoes, I made the mistake of wearing my flip flops not realizing I would be walking through a forest trail that has a lot of up and downs. My knee was hating me near the end and my new black Reef flip flops were brown from all the dust on the trail! Lol
This was the perfect ending to our Whistler trip.
I was so sad to leave the next day, but so happy I got to tick this Whistler summer experience off my bucket list. I know I will be back, I am already planning a trip for next year with friends:)
I hope you go…