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Whistler 1-Day Itinerary: Best Things to Do in 2020

Whistler town center, one-day itinerary

Whistler is a popular destination in Canada offering you a great choice of activities. This beautiful mountain destination offers you stunning scenery and a chance to keep busy all day long. 

For the best day in Whistler, I will guide you through how to spend the perfect 1-day itinerary. 

While staying in Whistler, make sure you check out exclusive villa rental in Whistler CA for the best places to stay. 

Whistler has become even more popular over the last ten years, thanks to co-hosting the Winter Olympics during 2010.

Now experience Whistler for yourself and experience the beauty and unforgettable skiing and other winter sports.

Disclaimer: this post may include affiliate links. It means that when you use those links, I might get s small commission at no additional cost for you.

Best Time to Visit Whistler

Whistler forest and mountains panorama, British Columbia

Whistler is known for its great skiing and, as such, visiting during the winter will offer you the chance to experience the slopes for yourself.

The ski season usually begins in November and goes through until March/April.

If you want the best skiing experience, I would suggest visiting during January or February.

Learn more about skiing in Belarus

How to get there

Mountain view from the plane, getting to Whistler

To get to Whistler, the nearest airport is Vancouver International Airport, which is about 150 km from Whistler. Perhaps, the most convenient platform to book flights with flexible settings and filters is Skyscanner.com.

From the airport, you can choose to take a relaxing train ride that will take around 3 hours while you enjoy some stunning scenery of valleys, canyons, and oceans. 

There is also an express bus service that runs daily from the airport and heads to Whistler. 

You can also rent a car at the airport. It will be the best option for you if you are planning to travel to other places around Whistler as well.

However, the most convenient way to get there is by ordering a shuttle from the airport that will take just a bit more than two hours. You won’t need to worry about your bags, look for and wait for the bus or train, and lose lots of time on stops on the way.

If you prefer that everything is planned for you in advance so that you don’t need to worry about anything, book one of these one-day Whistler tours:

Where to Stay in Whistler

Pretty hotel in Whistler, one day itinerary

If you’re going to stay in Whistler for a night (which I highly recommend), there are many available options of accommodation:

  • Hostels. Whistler is not a low-cost destination, so there are only three hostels in the city, where prices for a night start at $35-40. However, if you are a backpacker on a tight budget, this is a good option to visit this popular destination.
  • Hotels. There are many hotels in Whistler from 2 to 5 stars, from international giant chains to small local Inns. It’s hard for me to recommend one or two. Choose your dates and find the right hotel for you on Booking.com.
  • Airbnb. Another great option is staying in an Airbnb apartment. In comparison with the first two options, they offer a very ‘local’ feel and the largest choice of accommodations among the three options. The prices start at $70, but you can also use this link to get a $35 discount off your first booking on Airbnb.

Check my Airbnb vs. Hotel comparison if you can’t decide

Top Things to Do in Whistler in a Day

Whistler Canada Lake, one day itinerary
Source: Flickr

For a perfect 1-day itinerary, it is going to be jam-packed!

Fill up on a tasty breakfast

You’re going to be spending a busy day skiing and sightseeing, so I would recommend eating a good breakfast to make sure you have the energy for the day ahead

Head to Whistler village where you will find many choices available. Here you will find something for everyone, including vegetarian and vegan options. Places like Elements and Purebread should leave you feeling satisfied.

Spend an idyllic morning hitting the slopes

Skiing on the slopes of Whistler, Canada, snowy mountains

Whistler boasts over 200 slopes, so you’ll have plenty of choice for where to ski. The slope you choose should be based upon your experience.

For seasoned skiers, you can head to some of the more challenging slopes that will offer you great runs. For those who are less experienced, head to the gentler slopes for a trip that is a little less hair-raising. Check the maps of trails near Whistler here.

Should you require it, you could spend your morning in a ski lesson, especially if this is your first time or the first time for one of your family members.

Having an introductory lesson will mean that you are using the correct techniques and will help to minimize the risk of any injury. 

Learn about the best places in Europe to visit in winter here

Ride the gondola

Whistler sky gondola riding in the mountains

The Peak 2 Gondola is worth spending time on. The journey takes around 11 minutes and will take you between Whistler and Blackwater. While on the gondola, you will get to experience the beautiful scenery of the peaks and forests. 

If the weather is clear before your morning ski, it might be best to do the gondola ride first so that you can take advantage of the views. 

For those who like extreme, I recommend riding a zip line, one of the longest in North America.

Take time out to have a rest

After a busy morning on the slopes, you will no doubt be in need of some rest to refuel for a busy afternoon. 

Warm yourself up with a hot chocolate from one of the many cafes before heading to lunch in Whistler village. 

Visit the Olympic Park

Olympic rings in the Whistler village

Spend your afternoon visiting the Olympic Park. Here you will be able to take a snapshot of you and your family by the Olympic rings and see other Olympic landmarks. 

If you have any energy left from your morning, you could also partake in tobogganing, snowshoeing, plus many more activities

There is also a retail shop at the Olympic Park where you can pick up some souvenirs of your trip.

Spend a couple of hours indulging in retail therapy

Olympic village shops Whistler night market
Source: Flickr

For a relaxing couple of hours, hit the shops in Whistler village. You have a choice of over 200 shops, and you can kit yourself out in some professional ski gear and clothing to suit the climate.

As the village is completely pedestrianized, you can explore the whole of the village on foot without the need to plan any transport. 

If shopping is not your thing, there are also galleries that you can visit in the village. Audain Art Museum will give you your cultural fill and features exhibitions from around the world, so you will see something different depending on when you go. 

After a busy day, you will probably want to head back to your villa and change for a fun evening ahead.

At sunset

As the sun sets, head back in Whistler village for an evening of food and entertainment. You will have plenty of restaurants to choose from, offering something for all tastes and budgets.

As it can get busy, especially at peak ski season, book your favorite restaurant in advance to guarantee a spot. Check this Whistler restaurant guide to find the right option for you.

If you are searching for a local culinary experience, I recommend you sign up for the Whistler food tour which you can add to your evening plans for this 1-day Whistler itinerary filled with great emotions and experiences.

Once you have finished eating and if you’re not too exhausted from your jam-packed day, Whistler village offers a bustling nightlife. From cocktails at Firerock Lounge to nightclubs like Tommy’s Lounge x Nightclub, you will be entertained until the early hours. 

Whistler has much to offer and it will keep you busy from dawn until dusk. Go ahead and experience it for yourself. 

While you can see some of Whistler in one day, to get the most out of your visit, you would be better to spend a week here for the full experience. 

Plan your perfect trip here

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