You may know Whistler for its incredible mountains and high-adrenaline activities, but what you might be surprised to know is that this ski resort town has a more sensitive side, too.
Many people are already in on the secret: Whistler has become a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons. But you needn’t wait for such a ceremonious occasion to experience Whistler’s romantic side. Here are 7 ways to enjoy an enchanting mountain getaway.
Catch a Sleigh Ride
Baby, it’s cold outside—so why not make the most of it with a gourmet three course fondue dinner? This isn’t your typical fondue night. For one, you aren’t likely to see feathered hair and bellbottoms.
The location? The luxurious Fairmont Chateau Whistler clubhouse, complete with a crackling log fire. The transportation? By horse-drawn sleigh ride, naturally. Cozy up to a meal of cheese fondue, Fondue Chinoise and, of course, chocolate fondue– the perfect trifecta.
Experience Après, the Classy Way
Après-ski is often a rowdy affair—lots of music, lots of dancing, and to be sure, lots of fun. But if you’re looking for a more refined experience, you’ll find no shortage of sophisticated après options.
For instance, the world-famous restaurant Araxi offers a fresh oyster bar from 3 to 5 PM. You can watch the oystermen as they shuck a thousand plus oysters per evening, while you sample from the dozen different varieties (which are constantly changing).
You could also check out the champagne lounge at the Bearfoot Bistro, where you can sip a signature cocktail while the pianist serenades you and your special someone. If things escalate, you can check out the Belvedere Ice room—a bar made entirely of ice.
Stargaze From the Top of the Mountain
If you’re looking for an adventure—albeit, a romantic adventure—you’ll want to check out the nighttime snowmobile rides up to the Crystal Hut on Blackcomb Mountain.
Steering your own sled up the slopes, you’ll experience the mountain in a whole new light—or lack thereof. The silence and darkness of the alpine at dusk is one of the most peaceful feelings there is. Once you’ve reached your destination (the Crystal Hut, 6,000 feet up Blackcomb Mountain), you’ll be treated to a candle-lit dinner. The piece de resistance? Warm pie for dessert, fresh out of the wood-burning oven.
Not sure you’re up for snowmobiling? The experience is also available via Snowcat, where someone else does the driving and you get to sit inside the heated vehicle.
Ice Skating Under the Stars
Once home to the medal ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the Whistler Olympic Plaza now hosts a seasonal, open-air ice skating rink. It doesn’t get much more romantic than gliding under the stars—even if you’re not quite a natural on skates.
To sweeten the deal, the rink is free to use, and ice skate rentals are available for only five dollars. With the money you save, you can indulge in a rich hot chocolate to warm up after ice time.
Strenghten Your Bond Over an Adventure
There’s a reason all of those looking-for-love reality shows feature heart-thumping extreme dates. Sharing a thrilling experience will create a bond like no other– at the very least, it will give you something to talk about over a romantic dinner.
For the truly adventurous, a quick bungee jump with Whistler Bungee should hit the spot. As you plunge 150 feet off a bridge over the raging Cheakamus River, you’ll have plenty of time to contemplate your relationship.
Not quite ready for a free-fall? Check out ZipTrek’s zip lining adventures, sending you flying back and forth between Blackcomb and Whistler mountains. Between zips, your guides will teach you about the ecology of the surrounding area—educational and exhilarating! You might even catch a glimpse of a black bear!
A Scandinavian Experience
If you’re ready for some relaxation, you’ll need to check out the Scandinave Spa. Located just outside the Whistler Village, the Scandinave is best described as an oasis tucked away in the middle of the woods.
You’ll want to start out with the Scandinavian bath experience, where you alternate between hot and cold pools, baths and waterfalls (all outdoors, within the meticulously maintained grounds), with a few stops in the saunas, eucalyptus steam rooms and solariums. This experience is all about revitalization: nothing will wake you up quite like a dip in a cold pool when you’re surrounded by snow, but knowing that you’ll be in a warm bath or sauna moments later will make the cold shock worth it. You can spend hours alternating between the different stations.
When you’ve had your share of hydrotherapy, you can indulge in the traditional spa offerings, like a couples’ deep tissue or Swedish massage. You’ll leave feeling like a million bucks.
It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane…
Experience sightseeing in a whole new way. A helicopter or float plane tour will let you see the Coast Mountains, glaciers and valleys from an exceptional vantage point.
You’ll get to brush by hidden lakes and rivers, and can even stop at a glacier to enjoy a picnic lunch. Aerial tours are offered year-round, providing totally different perspectives depending on the time of year you visit.