Looking to explore Sea to Sky country (that's what locals call the area north of Vancouver, close to Whistler)? Here’s your insider’s look at where to stay, eat, drink, relax, and hang out in both Whistler and BC mountain village, Pemberton, just to the north.

Stay

If you’re not camping in the area (there are a ton of great spots in Whistler and Pemberton), you’ll want to check out all the spots available in Whistler. Whistler Lodge Hostel, a sleek wood and stainless steel 42-bed backpacker haven, gets top marks from TripAdvisor. Outside condos rentals, Whistler hotels are sophisticated and stylish, but always with a relaxed chalet vibe. Some of the best are Nita Lake Lodge in Creekside, contemporary Aava Whistler Hotel, and Crystal Lodge & Suites. For a splurge, there’s the classic Fairmont Chateau Whistler with all the bells and whistles, the Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre, and the high-end Four Seasons Resort Whistler. Pemberton is also home to hot spots like Pemberton Valley Lodge, Log House Inn, and Sweetwater Lane Farm B&B.

Go local at the farm

Araxi’s longtable dinner - Credit: Maurice Lee

Locavore is Pemberton’s middle name. In fact, August’s Slow Food Cycle Sunday is a treasured signature event, and then there’s Araxi’s Martha Stewart-worthy longtable field-side feast. The lush, fertile valley at the base of Mount Currie in Pemberton nurtures several sustainable, organic farms and quality-focused artisanal producers, like Pemberton Distillery. Pick up breakfast at the weekly seasonal farmers’ market. Stop in at Bandit Farms, Helmer’s Organic Farm for potatoes and what they call “full-on farm yoga” on Wednesdays, and especially picture-perfect, family-run North Arm Farm, where you can assemble a delish, just-harvested picnic and eat it by the barn overlooking the 60 green acres.

Nightlife

Whistler nightlife is fabled — you wouldn’t want to miss it. Add to your after-party agenda dancing at Buffalo Bills’, Garfinkel’s, Moe Joe’s Nightclub, or Tommy Africa’s. Or join the Whistler Club Crawl for a complete nightlife tour. Your place for cutting loose over drinks, and listening to live music is Dubh Linn Gate, which really lights up after 9 — literally, as they have awesome fire pits. If you're keen to keep it lower key in Pemberton, check out Mile One Eating House that's home to a "BC Craft Beer Program," featuring tons of delicious beers to choose from.

Get outside

Exploring Pemberton and the area’s old mines on horseback - Credit: Copper Cayuse Outfitters

You’re in a top North American outdoor playground, so take full advantage. Whistler in summer is hard to beat. Hike the alpine trails at Whistler Blackcomb, especially the glacier view treks off the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Go ziplining or bungee jumping, play in the water at the lake beaches, or ride the gravity-fed Whistler Mountain Bike Park singletrack. A guided bear watching tour is a highlight for wildlife fans. Pemberton, too, is filled with clear streams and emerald lakes ringed with snow-capped peaks. Go fishing, hiking (Joffre Lake is a favorite), cycling, mountain biking, or on a horseback riding excursion with Copper Cayuse Outfitters.

Sustenance

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You’ll need a big breakfast to refuel and that’s no problem in Whistler. The walkable Village is packed with great restaurants. Pick up too-gorgeous-to-eat breaky to-go — spinach feta brioche, Nutella cream buns, crumbly raspberry scones — at Purebread. Sit down for a hearty feast at counter-service Portobello in The Fairmont or go for corned beef hash, flapjacks, and fresh-baked soda bread at Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub & Restaurant. Wildwood Pacific Bistro is a top choice for Eggs Benedict and omelettes. Caffeinate with the best local java in Whistler or Pemberton at Mount Currie Coffee Co. In Pemberton, you’ll want to try cozy local mainstay The Pony or locavore-casual Mile One Eating House.

Drink

Stroll and people-watch in the Euro-style Village, then find a patio or bar for frosty beers over nachos, or cocktails and appetizers. For fun ‘n festive, there’s Longhorn Saloon & Grill for microbrew and views on the patio, party-hearty watering hole Merlin’s Bar and Grill, or for the traditionalists, Dubh Linn. If craft beer is your thing, try HandleBar Café and Aprés for German street food washed down with suds, the sprawling Brewhouse, or Coast Mountain Brewing’s laidback tasting room for flights of ales and lagers. Culture and class over quiet drinks? Try Four Seasons’ SIDECUT, Basalt, or mellow FireRock Lounge at the Westin. Kick back and toast the day.

Rejuvenate

Tranquil, chic, indoor-outdoor Scandinave Spa Whistler is just outside town - Credit: Tourism Whistler/Chad Chomlack

After a jam-packed few days, you'll need some quiet — and Scandinave Spa Whistler is your ticket. Nap, dip, and repeat at this Nordic-style day spa a short drive from the Village. The beautiful al fresco pools and waterfalls spilling down the landscaped mountainside make this place feel like a sanctuary for R&R and communing with nature. In town, take a yoga class or book a massage or rejuvenating body treatment at one of the many spas and wellness retreat spots — from intimate and cozy, to opulent and plush.

Plan your trip now at the Tourism Whistler website.

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