Things To Do In Whistler For Non Skiers
This post was most recently updated on December 7th, 2020
When most people think of Whistler, the first thing that probably comes to mind is what a top ski destination it is. But there are plenty of things to do in Whistler for non Skiers. Even though they’re fortunate enough to have two massive mountains to ski on. Whistler Mountain & Blackcomb Mountain. It doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of non ski activities to keep everyone in your group occupied.
Olympic Rings Whistler Village
You can’t miss these Olympic rings while you’re wandering around the village. They’re located in what’s called Olympic Plaza near Lorimer and Blackcomb Way Road.
The Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver and Whistler in 2010. And Whistler hosted all the skiing, bobsled, biathlon, luge, and skeleton events. Here at the rings, they have a nice display of each of the winners that year. Plus an impressive list of all the locals that competed in the 2010 games.
During the winter, you can also ice skate on the rink in Olympic Plaza. Skates are available to rent. And you have the beautiful scenery of sparkling lights in the background, and festive music to listen to.
Another fun activity in Whistler for non skiers is shopping. There are no malls here to keep you stuck inside for hours. And the pedestrian only brick streets are perfect for sight seeing. The autumn colour on the trees were gorgeous when we were there in October.
Just like this casual, outdoorsy style village, so are the shops. All the brand name clothing like The North Face, Lululemon, Roots, Helly Hansen, Eddie Baur, and more can be found when you’re shopping in Whistler.
Need a new bike, snowboard, or accessories? You can find the perfect one here. If you need groceries, there’s a supermarket in Whistler. Even jewellery stores for that special anniversary gift or my favourite cozy pajamas from the Little Blue House.
Whistler Jeep Tours
A must not miss activity when you’re in Whistler, is to enjoy the view from the top of the mountain. There are a few different ways to get up there, and taking a 4 X 4 jeep by Canadian Wilderness Tours was what we chose. You could also do the ATV tour. Or in the winter, they have a snowmobile tour once the skiers are off the mountain.
You get a great view of the Whistler Mountains from 6000 feet in one direction, and can look down on the village in the other. If you’re lucky, you might even see some wildlife. We had a herd of deer run across the road in front of us.
There’s also a sunset tour you can take. We did the day tour, but I can imagine you’d have the perfect view of the sun going down over the snow capped mountain peaks.
Museums In Whistler
Audain Art Museum
The first thing that you notice about the Audain Art Museum in Whistler is it’s unique architectural design. Inside, you have large glass windows with a beautiful view of the evergreen trees and plants running along the building.
The museum houses a permanent display of Michael Audain’s art collection. Plus an ever changing exhibit of art from around the world. You’ll see art from a number of British Columbian’s depicting life in their province, plus many other paintings on loan from museums around the world.
Squamish Lilwat Cultural Centre
The Squamish and Lil’wat museum will give you an interesting insight into the life and culture of these two native tribes from British Columbia. You’ll get an hour long guided tour and learn about the different methods and traditions that have been past down for generations.
There’s a nice gift store where you can purchase handicrafts. Plus the perfect spot to grab lunch at their cafe and try some of their customary food. The museum is even available to book for wedding if someone is looking for a unique spot to get married among the totem poles.
The Whistler Museum is located right behind the public library. Here you can learn about how the town of Whistler came to be. From it’s beginnings in the 50’s, until today. There’s plenty of information about how it got to be one of the premier ski resorts, to the 2010 Olympics, and more.
Cinema In Whistler
Another activity to do in Whistler for non skiers while your friends are out on the slopes, is to take in a movie. At the Village 8 Cinemas, they have 8 different screens for playing all the new release movies.
There’s nothing fancy about this underground theatre. But it’s perfect for a rainy day in the village. Or you want a change from being out in the cold in the winter. The concessions stand has your typical choices. And the popcorn is good.
Whistler Village Gondola
You don’t have to be a skier to take a ride on the gondola. There are two different gondola’s you can go on. It’s another great way to get to the top of the mountain for that perfect photo.
The first option is the Blackcomb Gondola which is located by the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. And the second gondola is the Whistler Village Gondola located right in the village near the Hilton Hotel.
Once you’re at the top, you can take a ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola for the most spectacular scenery. This gondola will take you between the Whistler Mountain and the Blackcomb Mountain top. A round trip ride on the gondola will take about 11 minutes.
Once you’re at the top, you could get some snacks and drinks at the Roundhouse Lodge. If the weathers nice, you can sit outside under the umbrellas and take in the 360 degree views.
Bike Rentals Whistler
There are plenty of different shops in Whistler to rent a bike from. Here are the bikes from Canadian Wilderness Adventures where we took our jeep tour. You also have the choice of Summit Sport, Whistler Bike Co., and Evolution Whistler and more.
Plus you have the option of renting an e-bike to take you even faster and farther. The Salomon Store in Whistler will get you set up with one of these.
Depending on what style of bike you’ve rented, there are no lack of hills or trails to climb. The best thing is the trails are colour coded. Green being an easier trail. So at least you know what you’ve got yourself into before you start out.
Fine Dining Whistler
Always a top choice for restaurants in Whistler is the Araxi Restaurant and Oyster Bar. Just because you’re not into skiing, doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the village. There are plenty of excellent meal options for every budget. The Rimrock Cafe and Bearfoot bistro are two other highly recommended spots for a special dinner.
For those you don’t want to spend all your money on food, but still get a great meal, check out our post on Cheap Places To Eat In Whistler.
Bungee Jumping Whistler
Located 20 minutes south of Whistler, you’ll find the biggest adrenaline rush activity in the area bungee jumping! They’re open year round in all types of weather.
The scenery looking out over the bridge, down on the Cheakamus River is gorgeous. Spectators are welcome on the bridge even if you’re not jumping. This 160 foot jump is a very popular activity and you’ll need to reserve your spot ahead of time.
Hiking Near Whistler
Just a short distance south of Whistler is Lakeside Park which is located on the beautiful Alta Lake. The park itself, is the perfect spot to have a picnic. There are washrooms, picnic tables, and barbecues to use. Plus in the summer, there’s a dock you can jump off of, or you can rent canoes, kayaks, boats, or paddleboard’s for the day.
Starting at the park, you can hike the Valley Trail. It’s a 46 kilometre trail in total that’s used by cyclist, hikers, and joggers. The trail connects all the neighbouring communities south of Whistler and is popular year round.
Waterfalls Near Whistler
Alexander Falls Whistler
Alexander Falls is located about 10 kilometres south of Whistler off the Sea to Sky Highway. It’s a great spot to come hiking for the day. The Callaghan Lake Provincial Park is right beside the falls for overnight stays.
The Whistler Olympic Park is also just up the road from the falls. In the winter, you can go cross country skiing there. Or for the non skiers, try out snowshoeing. All of the equipment you need is available to rent for the day. At the Olympic Park day lodge, you’ll find a cafe where you can grab something to eat.
The Brandywine Falls are about 5 more minutes south of the Alexander Falls once you’re back on the Sea to Sky Highway. Or 11 kilometres south of Whistler. This impressive 230 foot waterfall is located in the Brandywine Falls Provincial Park. You don’t have to pay to get in unless you’re camping for the night.
From the parking lot, it’s about a 10 minute picturesque walk into the viewing platform past a pretty covered bridge. The terrain is flat, so it’s an easy hike in.
This beautiful nordic style village has plenty to offer. So Whistler for non skiers is a great option for a weekend getaway, or week long vacation to get out of the big cities and enjoy the fresh air. Try booking one of the many hotels that include a pool and spa. Most remain open year round to enjoy.