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Thrillist Snow Guide: Whistler, BC

Whistler dual mountain -- Michael Crane, Whistler Tourism

With 8,171 acres of terrain, Whistler and Blackcomb are two mountains with attitude -- so much attitude that they're like the Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash of ski hills. From hundreds of trails and more than a dozen bowls, to six terrain parks and some sweet, sprawling backcountry, you could spend a week at the largest resort in North America without revisiting the same run twice. And much like the mountain, Whistler Village is an easy place to get your post-ski on -- there're enough bars, restos, and brew pubs to keep you from Groundhog Day-ing.

When to go: The Whistler Blackcomb season usually begins in late November and runs through mid- to late-April. If you enjoy incredible Spring skiing, live tunes, and watching some of the world's best compete, though, put April 11th on the calendar -- that's when the World Ski and Snowboard Festival kicks off.

How to get around: Several of the larger hotels offer complimentary shuttle service, while Whistler Transit maintains a number of gratis routes to/ from Whistler Village Gondola.
Blackcomb Glacier -- Patrick Hui
Three runs not to miss:
1. With amazing views of the village, the Dave Murray run on Whistler Mountain is excellent for intermediate-level skiers/ boarders eager to try a black diamond.
2. Blackcomb Glacier is a stunningly beautiful black diamond. To get there, take the Showcase T-Bar and hike for about 5min. Once you’re on the lip of the glacier, you’ll immediately be rewarded with majestic mountain views of Garibaldi Provincial Park.
3. The entirety of 7th Heaven on Blackcomb soaks up the sun, so it’s a perfect spot to warm up on a cold day.


Araxi -- Mike Crane, Tourism Whistler
Dining: From a fireside meal with friends to gourmet British Columbia cuisine, Whistler’s got your mountain-fueled hunger covered. Alta Bistro's your play for local, naturally-raised game and microbrews or hand-crafted cocktails. South of the Border (SoBo… spread it!) fans flock to the The Mexican Corner for the tableside-prepped salsa; in fact, the restaurant's so popular that it's actually opening a small taqueria this season. Want to impress your group by taking them to the newest spot in town? No? Well, if you did, it'd be the upscale Grill & Vine, which opens at The Westin Resort & Spa in December. Araxi Restaurant and Bar is a favorite of farm-to-table aficionados. But hey, maybe you just want an awesome pizza, which is totally cool. For that, roll over to Caramba Restaurant.
Whistler Brewing Company
Local brews: Whistler Brewing Company is your go-to local brewery in town and -- in addition to offering tours -- their tap house stays open 'til 10p on Fridays (and 8p on Saturdays). While their Powder Mountain Lager's a local fave and top seller, a couple of must-try seasonals include the Winter Dunkel and Black Tusk Ale, which boasts chocolate and coffee notes and two World Awards.
Longhorn Saloon -- Steve Rogers, Tourism Whistler
Après: All the best spots for après at Whistler are also tops for watching late-afternoon skiers bust on their final runs of the day. Start on the patio at the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC), located above the Whistler Gondola building at the base of the mountain. Right across from the GLC is the Longhorn Saloon, a favorite for more than 25 years. Over by the Creekside Goldola, Dusty’s Bar and BBQ is the place to go if you shoot stick or only drink in joints that evoke a Western ski lodge vibe. Finally, over at Blackcomb Mountain and the Upper Village is Merlin’s Bar and Grill -- right near the Wizard chairlift -- with bartop dancing and DJs spinning.
DJ Experience -- Steve Rogers, Tourism Whistler
Nightlife: If you’re looking to wind down rather than up post-après, try the living-room-esque Brandy’s. If après was merely a precursor to a long night of partying and rocking out to live tunes, Whistler's got a serious list of hotspots; Tommy Africa’s plays a mix of music, from house to ‘80s to hip hop, and the go-go dancers are certain to hold your attention while you catch a second wind. For some of the best live shows, make a path for Garfinkel’s, which humbly bills itself as Whistler's "hottest and most relevant party spot". Finally, if you're still looking for one more place to make an end-of-the-night poor decision, finish the the evening at Maxx Fish.
Snowshoeing -- Mike Crane, Tourism Whistler
Other than skiing/ boarding?
1. Home to the official Nordic venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Whistler boasts more than 80 miles of groomed trails, and is a prime spot for strapping on your cross-country skis. Even better, you can also strap on a .22 caliber rifle and learn the Biathlon.
2. Did you know that dog sledding is one of Canada’s oldest official sports? You can learn to drive the huskies yourself on any number of sledding expeditions.
3. Try a guided snowshoe tour around the shores of Green Lake, Lost Lake, or on Whistler Mountain. Routes range from beginner to challenging, and a special evening walk includes a gourmet three-course fondue dinner.
Nita Lake Lodge
Where to stay: The Nita Lake Lodge is perfect for high-maintenance luxe types, especially if your idea of luxury includes a ski valet, full-service spa, and suite with its own private elevator. Equally comfortable but less-expensive properties include the Aava Whistler (just a short distance from Whistler Village) or the recently renovated Pinnacle Hotel. Or, if packing your crew into a slope-side condo is the move, there are plenty of options (each with their own star rating) in one of five locations, including the Upper Village or Whistler Valley.
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1. The Mexican Corner 4274 Mountain Square, Whistler, V0N 1B4

Upscale Mexican restaurant with live music and potent drinks.

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2. Tacos La Cantina 129-4360 Lorimer Rd, Whistler, V0N1B4

This brand new Mexican is an offshot of older sister The Mexican Corner.

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3. Alta Bistro #104 - 4319 Main Street, Whistler, V0N 1B4

It does't get much more sustainable than at Alta Bistro, where even the hand soap is locally sourced, and where what you don't eat gets composted.

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4. Steeps , Whistler,

Locally sourced food with a wine list to match.

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5. Araxi Restaurant + Bar 4222 Village Square , Whistler, VON 1B4

Farm-to-table is the name of the game here too, but one of their real standouts is the raw bar and oyster specials.

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6. Caramba Restaurant 12-4314 Main St. PO Box 539, Whistler, V0N 1B0

Spanish name, Mediterranean feel, Italian pizzas.

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7. The Westin Resort & Spa Whistler 4090 Whistler Way, Whistler, V0N1B4

Whistler's Westin is located right by the gondolas that bring skiers up to the summit of the nearby Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, so you'll be able to get your shoop on in no time at all.

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9. Garibaldi Lift Company , Whistler,

Ranked one of the best après ski bars in North America by SKI Magazine, you best stop by this bar at the base of the Whistler Village Gondola.

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10. Longhorn Saloon 4284 Mountain Square, Whistler, V0N 1B4

With margaritas the size of your head, frequent events like "Burlesque", and DJs spinning tunes, it's no wonder this is a local aprés fave.

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11. Dusty's Bar & BBQ 2040 London Lane, Whistler, V0N1B2

This BBQ joint is named after Dusty, a stuffed horse that rode into Whistler in 1979 on the back of a pick-up truck, and lived in the bar until one full moon a woman stripped naked and jumped on his back, which is when Dusty bucked to life, threw the naked lady into a snowbank, and was never seen again.

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12. Merlins Bar & Grill Whistler 4553 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, V0N 1B4

Want to mingle with locals? Head to their Payday Friday Party.

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13. Brandy's Bar 4429 Sundial Place, Whistler, V0N 1B4

Brandy's is a smaller offshoot underneath The Keg, and a local fave that prides itself in its Jäger Bombs and the fact that it's allegedly the only place in Whistler open until 2AM.

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14. The Mix by Ric's 4154 Village Green, Whistler, V0N 1B4

Serving excellent food and wine, and open late, this cozy and quiet spot is perfect for getting romantic-like.

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15. Tommy Africa's 4216 Gate Way Dr, Whistler, V0N 1B0

Tommy Africa's is a Whistler nightclub that hosts such noteworthy parties as 80s night and 90s night. Stop by and shake your nostalgic rump!

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16. Garfinkel's 1-4308 Main Street, Whistler,

Touting itself as the supreme party spot in Whistler, Garfinkel's heats up the snowy north with acts ranging from Skrillex, Avicci, and RZA to Raekwon, Steve Aoki, and Bun B.

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17. Maxx Fish Lounge & Bar 4232 Village Stroll, Whistler, V0N 1B4

This high-end nightclub features a number of cozy booths in which you can sit and enjoy your drink, but the main attraction is the epic dance floor. There's even two bars, to ensure that the drinks keep flowin'.

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18. Whistler Olympic Park 5 Callaghan Valley Rd, Whistler, BC , V0N 1B8

Originally a venue for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Whistler Olympic Park is the first Olympic Nordic venue to include all three traditional Nordic sport stadiums in one site: cross-country, ski jumping and biathlon.

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19. Nita Lake Lodge , Whistler,

Voted one of the Top 25 Hotels in Canada in 2012 by Trip Advisor, this hotel is for exercise fanatics, as it has an onsite yoga studio, and offers complimentary bike, fishing rod, canoe, kayak and paddle board rentals.

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20. Aava Whistler Hotel 4005 Whistler Way, Whistler, V0N 1B4

This contemporary hotel is Whistler's newest.

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21. Whistler Pinnacle Hotel , ,

Burning thighs from a day of shredding need not worry: the Pinnacle is in the heart of Whistler’s pedestrian village, super-close to anything you might need.

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