Only an hour and 30-minute drive from Vancouver, lies the town of Whistler, British Columbia. Home to Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort, it’s the ultimate destination for families year round. The village welcomes kids with a large playground, many family-friendly restaurants and an incredible number of age-appropriate activities. Here is what you need to know to book an incredible vacation to Whistler with kids including why you should book a stay with Wyndham Vacation Rentals.
Getting to Whistler
Whistler is on Canada’s West Coast. The journey from Vancouver on the Sea to Sky Highway is stunning. Families can choose to fly into Vancouver International Airport, Seattle or Bellingham and then transfer to Whistler. There are plenty of shuttle buses and private vehicle charters available to whisk your family to the mountain. We drove from Calgary, Alberta to Whistler through a number of national parks. Every twist and turn of the road revealed a stunning view.
Once in Whistler, you most likely will not require a vehicle unless you would like to explore the surrounding areas. Staying at Cascade Lodge by ResortQuest Whistler, through Wyndham Vacation Rentals, we parked the car and didn’t use it for our entire four-day stay.
Navigating Whistler with kids is quite easy. The village is large but completely walkable and there are numerous gondolas available to shuttle you up and down the mountain. Bikes are welcome in Whistler but must be walked within the pedestrian streets of the village.
Where to Stay
Planning the perfect escape to Whistler with kids starts with finding a family-friendly place to stay. With plenty of hotels and vacation rentals to choose from, booking your stay isn’t always easy. I would recommend you book a stay in Whistler village. This will give you the ability to walk to dinner, activities and for a famous scoop of Cows ice cream direct from Prince Edward Island, Canada.
As my kids get older, I am finding it easier to stay in vacation rentals than hotels. Charlie, my daughter, has allergies and having a kitchen in the room saves us time, money and a lot of stress. Vacation rentals also offer plenty of space for our trio to spread out and the comforts of home like bathtubs and laundry.
We chose to stay with Wyndham Vacation Rentals at Cascade Lodge. We not only had a gorgeous two bedroom suite but we had an incredible view of Whistler Mountain. The room had a patio where we ate dinner and watched the gondolas. The actual units at Cascade Lodge are individually owned but managed and maintained by Wyndham Vacation Rentals. Ours was in excellent condition and clean as a whistle.
The property itself had a large pool with two hot tubs, a well-maintained fitness center, and secure underground parking. We loved wrapping up our evenings with a late-night swim and hot tub.
July is National Vacation Rental Month and a perfect time to plan your own vacation rental escape. Wyndham Vacation Rentals recently launched BeVacationReady.com to help travelers shake off the stress and enjoy family travel once more. Personally, I love the individual destination itineraries that lay out everything from where to eat to which adventures are perfect for kids. Check out this Whistler itinerary for more information on tackling Whistler with kids.
Things to Do in Whistler With Kids
Peak 2 Peak Gondola
The Peak 2 Peak Gondola stretches from the top of Whistler Mountain to the top of Blackcomb Mountain. It is the world’s longest and highest gondola stretching across an unsupported span of over 3 km and traveling 1,427ft above the valley floor. More importantly, your kids are going to love it. The 11-minute trip which spans almost 5 KM allows you to explore both mountain tops in a day. I highly recommend purchasing your passes for the gondola 48 hours in advance to take advantage of special discounts.
Family Adventure Zone
A visit to Whistler with kids isn’t complete until you’ve experienced the Family Adventure Zone. Highlights include the West Coaster mountain slide, bungee trampoline, and ropes course. We spent an entire afternoon enjoying the activities.
Wander the Village
Whistler Village offers plenty for families including nightly busking entertainers. We loved walking around at night and watching the performances before heading for some play time at the playground.
Hike Blackcomb Mountain
While you’ll find plenty of hiking in Whistler, a new trail has opened which is still relatively unknown. Unlike the other trails at the top of the mountain, the lower Blackcomb trail allows you to head up or down a lower section of the mountain. It is a much different hike than the others and has a high possibility of bear sightings. I recommend the hike for kids older than 7. You can access the trail from the bottom of Blackcomb Mountain by the Family Adventure Zone or if you prefer to hike down from the top of Wizard Express. For a longer and more challenging hike, you can begin from the top of the Solar Coaster Express.
Stay alert for bears and remember to never approach them and back away silently if you do come upon one. We met one bear just off the trail who didn’t seem bothered by our presence. Before beginning a hike, I always attach bear bells to both my kids to ensure we don’t sneak up on these magnificent animals.
Play in the Snow
Make sure while in Whistler to take some time to let your kids play in the summer snow.
The options of outdoor activities in Whistler with kids are virtually endless. Check out the Whistler Itinerary for more suggestions like berry picking and water rafting.
Where to Eat
Whistler offers so many amazing restaurant choices for families Here are our picks for the best food options in Whistler with kids.
Located in the center of Whistler village with a large patio, Earls is the perfect spot for dinner or brunch. The restaurant offers a small kids menu of freshly prepared dishes or you can share from their delicious appetizer picks. My kids love the crispy ribs, avocado super toast and Italian style pan bread. My go-to is the Earls Sante Fe Chicken Salad. It’s a modern spot with great food where your kids will be welcome.
Another great choice when dining in Whistler with kids is Caramba! Restaurant. Offering Italian classics and delicious fish and steak options, Caramba! caters well to families. Kids are invited to sit at the bar and play with pizza dough while watching chefs prepare their dinner. Signature dishes include wood fired pizza, braised meatballs, and Angus rib eye.
You shouldn’t visit Whistler with kids without making a stop at Crepe Montagne. This classic French creperie is definitely one of my kids’ favourite places to eat. Offering every type of crepe known to man, chocolate fondue, and even a gluten-free menu, this is a perfect place to treat your kids after a long hike.
Visiting Whistler with Kids
Whistler, British Columbia is truly one of my favourite spots in Canada. The family-friendly village excels at welcoming families and kids of all ages. Once every summer, Whistler also hosts the Whistler Children’s Festival that brings, even more, life to the village. I hope you will enjoy Whistler as much as I do.