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Mountain bikers can test out gentle and technical trails in Whistler

Tee off amid striking views at Nicklaus North Golf Course

Luxury awaits at the five-star Four Seasons Resort Whistler

Explore 8,000 acres of exhilarating terrain at Whistler Blackcomb

Blackcomb mountain offers more than 100 trails for novice to expert

Cross-country skiers explore Whistler’s the alpine environs

Nita Lake Lodge has luxury rooms, gourmet eateries and the Ashram Spa

People celebrated in the village during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games

Marvel at the 360-degree views from the Peak 2 Peak gondola

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Whistler: BC’s outdoor recreation playground

When you learn that Whistler Blackcomb was the official alpine skiing venue for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, it’s hard not to feel a little intimated — or exhilarated — by the superlatives that have been used to describe the resort community that has racked up a multitude of awards over the years.

The sheer size and diversity of the two mountains (8,000-plus acres of terrain and 200 trails) makes it ideal for everyone. There are gentle slopes for novices, black diamonds for adrenaline junkies and serene paths for snowshoers and cross-country skiers. To truly experience the area at any time, take a ride on the awe-inspiring Peak 2 Peak gondola. The world’s longest gondola travels a staggering 4.4 kilometres from Whistler to Blackcomb offering 360-degree views.

Whistler isn't just a resort, it’s a year-round community clustered into villages that are as lively in summer as they are in winter. There are zip-line tours for thrill seekers, and the mountain bike park just celebrated a milestone: its one millionth rider just traversed the trails. Golfers can tee off at one of the many courses, including Nicklaus North Golf Club and the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club, and nature lovers can take a four-by-four vehicle tour to seek out bears, marmots and owls. The new Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre offers a glimpse into the culture and history of the Squamish and Lil'wat Nations.

Many people cap off a day of activity with a stroll through the alpine village to browse the many shops or to visit one of the hotel spas. Soothe tired muscles by indulging in a Sea-to-sky signature massage in the spa at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler. Or head to Nita Lake Lodge’s Ashram Spa, where you can choose from 30 Ayurvedic therapies. Awarding-winning restaurants such as Araxi and the Rim Rock Cafe and Oyster Bar always impress with inventive fare. Plus, there are plenty of family friendly restaurants, and late-night spots that pulse to life when the sun goes down.

It takes about two hours to drive the 127 kilometres to Whistler from Vancouver, north along Highway 99 — better known as the Sea to Sky Highway for its famed vistas. One of the most relaxing and scenic ways to travel to Whistler is by train. The Rocky Mountaineer Whistler Sea to Sky Climb is a three-hour journey that traverses along the blue waters of Howe Sound and through twisting canyons.


Top places to go and things to do

1. Tee off at Whistler’s “big four” championship golf courses - Spend a glorious week comparing Nicklaus North Golf Course, Big Sky Golf and Country Club, Whistler Golf Club, and Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf club.

2. Break records by the riding Peak 2 Peak Gondola - Travel between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains on the world’s longest and highest unsupported lift span, and enjoy sightseeing at 1,800 metres.

3. Experience the Olympics, all year round - Whatever the season, walk in the footsteps of Olympians who “owned the podium” while exploring legacies of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.