7 Things to Do in Whistler if You Don’t Ski or Snowboard

Three people snowshoeing in Whistler

Named North America’s best resort by Condé Nast Traveler readers, Whistler Blackcomb attracts local and international visitors with expansive terrain and more than 200 runs ranging from gentle beginner slopes to steep and deep for experts. And there are loads of things to do in Whistler if you don’t ski or snowboard. Here are a few suggestions to help you plan your Whistler vacation both on and off the slopes.

Relax at Scandinave Spa Whistler

Relax and soak up the sound of silence at Whistler’s Scandinave Spa. The tranquil, cell phone-free environment is a perfect place to unplug. Hot and cold pools, saunas, and cozy indoor and outdoor lounge spaces spread over 25,000 square feet provide a European-like spa experience. 

Scandinave Spa Whistler spa pools, snow-covered trees and buildings.
Credit Scandinave Spa/Joern Rohde

Beverages and snacks are available for purchase at the Scandinave Bistro. Menu items include sandwiches, salads, sweet treats, and espresso-based drinks. Drinking water is available throughout the spa, so bring a refillable bottle or buy one at Scandinave. 

For guaranteed access to the pools, saunas, steam baths, and lounge spaces, book the VIP Thermal Journey in advance. The price includes a robe rental, two towels and a locker. 

Massages, including registered massage therapy, are available at Scandinave Spa Whistler. The spa packages include the VIP Thermal Journey. Find out more and book your Scandinave Spa Whistler experience here.

Explore the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre 

Learn about the rich history, art, and culture of local First Nations at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. 

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

Join Cultural Ambassadors from the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation for an hour-long guided tour between 10 am and 4 pm. The tour, included with the price of admission, consists of a hand drum welcome song, a fifteen-minute film, and a walk through the exhibits.

Before or after exploring the exhibits and onsite gift shop, visit the Thunderbird Café and sample First Nations cuisine. Menu items include cedar plank Squamish salmon chowder, bannock taco, and smoked sockeye salmon panini. 

More information about the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is available here.

Go Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is an excellent activity if you don’t ski or board, but want to get out in the snow. Guided tours catering to beginners and beyond are available in and around Whistler Village. 

Three people snowshoeing in Whistler
Credit The Adventure Group/Tourism Whistler

The Adventure Group offers tranquil snowshoe tours through towering old-growth forests as well as more advanced excursions through the backcountry. For more information about snowshoeing and other guided tours, visit Tourism Whistler

Ride the Whistler Peak 2 Peak Gondola

One of the top things to do in Whistler if you don’t ski or snowboard is to ride Peak 2 Peak Gondola. The 4.4 km journey links Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Plan to spend some time sightseeing with 360-degree views of stunning peaks, ancient glaciers, and forested terrain. For a unique experience, wait and ride the glass bottom gondola between the mountains and 1,427ft above the valley floor.

You can ride up either the Blackcomb or Whistler Village Gondola and take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola across to the other side. It’s possible to stop for a meal or snack at the top of Blackcomb or Whistler Mountain before riding a gondola back to the Village.

Visit the Audain Art Museum 

Opened in 2016, the gorgeous Audain Art Museum (AAM) is a recommended stop in Whistler. The AMA showcases the largest permanent display of Emily Carr paintings, Indigenous carvings, as well as rotating exhibitions from around the world. The gift shop at the AAM is stocked with a fabulous selection of items, including locally-crafted jewellery, art-themed stationery, and beautiful books.

Outdoor entrance space Audain Art Museum Whistler with metal Indigenous carving
Credit Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Shopping in Whistler

The latest athletic and casual wear, sports gear, books, sweet treats, and more are available at shops in and around Whistler Village. For athletic and casual wear, Peak Performance, Salomon, Arc’teryx, Lululemon and Escape Route should meet your needs. COWS and Hatley are fun places to shop for cozy pajamas and gift items! To find your next great read, stop at Armchair Books in Whistler Village.

Two women shopping in Whistler Village in winter
Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Whistler Dining and Drinks

Fine dining, craft beer with nachos, and family-friendly options are available in Whistler. A few of my favourite places include Araxi (one of Canada’s best restaurants), Dubh Linh Gate for après-ski or hike, Raven Room for cocktails and small plates, and Purebread for coffee, bakery items and sweet treats.

Bartender making a cocktail at the Raven Room Lounge Pan Pacific Whistler
Photo credit Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre

Google Map – Things to Do in Whistler if You Don’t Ski or Snowboard

Travel Tips – Things to Do in Whistler if You Don’t Ski or Snowboard

  • Whistler is located a two-hour drive from Vancouver, British Columbia, along the Sea to Sky Highway. If you fly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), you can rent a vehicle or reserve a private car or shuttle bus. Helicopter transfers are available from the South Terminal at YVR if you want a head start on your Whistler adventure.
  • There are many fabulous hotels to choose from, including the Pan Pacific Mountainside, located at Whistler’s best address. There are two award-winning Pan Pacific Hotels in Whistler. Read this post to help you decide where to stay based on your needs and preferences.

4 thoughts on “7 Things to Do in Whistler if You Don’t Ski or Snowboard”

  1. Hi Nancy,

    Some fantastic input here. I was about half way down reading the page when I realised I had a growing, creeping grin spreading across my face as I read this and scroll through the picture. It rekindled the desire to get back on the skiis. This article may have just cost me a lot of money. But I’m sure it will be worth it 😉

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