About city :
Whistler is a resort town located in British Columbia in Canada. It lies about 125 kms to the north of Vancouver and has become a popular tourist destination for those who search for winter sports. In fact, since the middle of the 1990s, it has been voted as one of the top ski destinations of North America by leading ski magazines.
This region was originally occupied by the Coast Salish First Nation people, who led a nomadic life. The town was first surveyed by the British Royal Navy in the 1860s. It was named Whistler after the whistling sounds made by the local hoary marmots. In 1877, the Pemberton trail was cut through this town. It became a popular trade route.
Myrtle and Alex Philip arrived in 1914 and bought 10 acres of land to establish the Rainbow Lodge. From then, Whistler steadily grew as a resort town. Today, its natural beauty and location advantage have made it a popular destination, covering an area of 240.4 sq km. It had an approximate population of 9,824 in 2011.
Whistler is located at the foothills of two magnificent mountains. These are the Blackcomb and the Whistler mountains, which form a part of the Coastal Mountain range. The town itself sits on a valley that stretches from north to south for 8 kms. The mountain slopes are densely forested and bear, cougar, deer, birds, and fish are common in the surrounding area. There are a number of lakes and waterfalls which add to the scenic beauty. Some important waterfalls are Alexander Falls, Brandywine Falls, Nairn Falls, and Shannon Falls. The River of Golden Dreams runs from the Alta Lake to the Green Lake. Majestic glaciers surround the town and add to its overall beauty.
The town experiences moderately warm summers while winters are cold. Snowfall occurs in the winter.
How to reach (transport) :
There are a number of ways to reach Whistler. The main routes are described below:
- You can fly to the Vancouver International Airport, from where shuttle services are available to Whistler. If the weather permits, you can use helicopters or float planes to arrive directly at your resort from the airport.
- If you want to savor your journey through some of the most beautiful regions of British Columbia, use the Amtrak Cascades train service that runs from Seattle or Oregon to Vancouver. You will need to complete the journey by bus. If you are visiting in summer, you can use the Rocky Mountaineer Sea to Sky Climb Train to travel from Vancouver to Whistler.
- You can rent a car or take a bus to reach Whistler by train. The Sea to Sky highway (Highway 99) connects the town with Vancouver. If you are hiring a vehicle, make sure it has snow tires.
When to visit :
If you aim to go skiing, then the best time to go to Whistler is from late January to mid February. The resort is less crowded at this time. March is the peak season. However, the forests and the greenery are breathtaking in summer and you will also enjoy your visit during this time.
Culture (Fairs and Festivals) and Traditions :
Several festivals are held throughout the year in Whistler. Some of them are as follows:
- The Winter PRIDE festival was celebrated from 26th January to 2nd February in 2013. Several events like snowmobile adventure, wine tasting, skiing, and snowball dance were held.
- The Peak to Valley race is a team race event, which was held on 31st January and 1st February in 2013. Four-member teams race from Whistler’s saddle to Dusty’s covering a vertical drop of 1,443 m.
- The World Ski and Snowboard Festival was celebrated from 11th to 20th April in 2013. Competitions of winter sports, music, theater, and art exhibitions are held to celebrate the mountain heritage of the town.
- The Crankworx Freeride mountain bike festival celebrated the best of mountain bike riding from 8th to 17th August 2013.
- The International Day of Peace was celebrated with a children’s choir, meditation, prayer, and cultural performances on 21st September.
- The Bizarre Bazaar will be held from 30th November to 1st December in 2013 and is the best venue to pick up unique craft items created by more than 100 artisans in the Sea to Sky corridor.
- The Whistler Film Festival will be held from 4th to 8th December, featuring innovative and original films from around the world.
Points of interest (places to visit) :
Whistler is noted for the beauty of nature that surrounds it. You can walk along the pedestrians-only causeway to take in the atmosphere of this world-renowned resort town. The view from the top of the mountain is truly spectacular and you can reach there with the help of the Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas. Enjoy the nature with a variety of activities like skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, ice skating, etc., in winter and hiking, biking, camping, fishing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and jet boating in summer.
Whistler offers a variety of accommodation to fit every budget. The most notable resorts are the Fairmont, Crystal Lodge, and Westin while you can enjoy 5-star facilities at Four Seasons and Hilton. Three-star hotels include Listel, Whistler Places, Adara, and Holiday Inn etc. A number of picturesque bed and breakfasts also allow you to enjoy the beauty of this town.