A Guide to Aprés in Whistler

Whistler Apres Ski

Pay-off time: You’ve just spent a high-adrenaline day skiing Whistler Blackcomb’s world renowned vertical or a summer afternoon riding the downhill terrain at Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Now what?

 

There are a ton of options. Whistler is an alpine playground known for its nightlife. And there are plenty of things to do and enjoy — from a gourmet meal or rejuvenating spa treatment, to relaxing at a sidewalk cafe or dancing til dawn. Just match your mood to the activity and you’ll find the Village is as exciting as the slopes and trails.

Dine out for date night

Whistler's big on eating out and you will be, too. There are over 100 restaurants, including high-end venues dabbling in the latest culinary trends to rival big-city headliners. For date night, reserve a seat at see-and-be-seen Bearfoot Bistro for dinner and a show that includes champagne bottle sabering, nitro ice cream, and a sub-zero vodka tasting room. If you want candlelight and quiet, Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar is the sophisticated field-to-table choice for pristine seasonal ingredients masterfully engineered by locavore Chef James Walt. Or tuck into oysters, lobster, or grilled salmon by the fire at rustically elegant Rimrock Café, a local institution that’s cozy and consistently top rated.

Caffeinate and people watch

Get perked up for the night ahead and take in the scene from a cafe. Locals swear by Mount Currie Coffee Co. for the best locally crafted cup. Other top spots are Moguls for people-watching and local flavor if you knock off early (closes at 2:30), Purebread for heavenly baked goods and Stumptown java, and Lift, the top stop right after hopping off the gondola in the village for discussing the day’s events on a sunny patio.

Recharge

After a sports-filled day, the contrast of devoting yourself to the art of doing nothing at all feels decadent. What you need is Nordic-style Scandinave Spa Whistler. Relax to the sound of waterfalls in the outdoor hot and cold pools of this day spa situated on a tree-lined mountainside just outside of town. The indoor-outdoor retreat is just as inviting winter or summer. And if you've been there, done that (though we think this place is worth a visit or five), here are some other options for unwinding.

Dance

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Don’t miss the celebrated Village nightlife. Head to Buffalo Bills Bar & Grill near the Whistler Village Gondola for dancing or pool, or always-packed Tommy Africa’s nightclub on Village Square for 80s retro nights and go-go dancers. Also popular are Garfinkel’s and Moe Joe’s Nightclub. Or meet some new friends and skip the lines with Whistler Club Crawl.

Celebrate Happy Hour

Toast the day in style at GLC Bar & Grill above the Whistler Village Gondola, a spot that SKI Magazine has named one of the best après lounges in North America. Looking for a different vibe? Join the party at rowdy, iconic Merlin’s Bar and Grill in the Upper Village. Other favorite watering holes are old-school Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub & RestaurantHandleBar Café and Aprés for craft beer and German street food, Longhorn Saloon & Grill for a view of the mountain base from the outdoor gas fire pit-warmed patio, and Function Junction’s Coast Mountain Brewing for flights of ales and lagers in the relaxed microbrewery tasting room. For cultured cocktails, you'll want to stop by Basalt Wine & Salumeria and SIDECUT.

Listen to music

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Whistler’s big on outdoor music. Catcha free concert during the summer concert series at Whistler Olympic Plaza, or during World Ski and Snowboard Festival. Other Village venues for live music include Black’s Pub and Restaurant’s patio and the FireRock Lounge at the Westin Hotel.

Grab a bite

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Halfway up the Whistler Village Gondola at Olympic Station, you’ll want to grab a pulled pork or gourmet turkey-and-Brie sandwich with poutine (a Canadian French fries-and-gravy favorite) at Ollie’s Grilled Cheese. Aprés, warm up over spicy curry, pakoras, and samosas at Tandoori Grill Indian Cuisine or share small plates at Elements Urban Tapas Parlour. Araxi sister restaurant, Bar Oso, is good for Spanish tapas and charcuterie over beer, wine, and sangría. Grab dessert or snacks at  Purebread or nibble on budget tacos with cerveza at the counter of La Cantina, which offers popular vegetarian options and mega-burritos, too. Organic pizzas loaded with seasonal toppings are the thing at casual Creekbread in Creekside just outside the main village, but make sure to reserve in advance.

See some art

If you finish the day a bit early, spend the rest of the afternoon at the stunning Audain Art Museum. The space is notable for its contemporary architecture that blends beautifully with the forest scenery and the works it houses reflecting BC art from the 18th to 21st century — the largest collection of its kind. Opened in 2016, the 56,000-square-foot space houses a private assembly now open to the public for the first time.

Soak in the Jacuzzi

A little tired and sore? Whistler hotels have some great Jacuzzis, many with views. Notably stylish are the whirlpools of Four Seasons and the Westin. Arguably the best in town, though, is the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The large patio area — adjacent to the glassed-in pool, gym and spa area — is nestled right against Blackcomb Mountain. Waiters offer skewers of complimentary juicy tropical fruit as you soak your stiff muscles.

 

Stroll the Village

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If you’ve got energy left to burn, walking the Euro-style Village designed to be explored on foot is a pleasure. Music and tasty aromas waft from bustling sidewalk cafés and the pretty landscaping looks lovely in every season.

Get vacation details at the Tourism Whistler website.

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