Hi, friends! How’s your week going? I’m coming at you today with part two of our recent British Columbia vacation. In case you missed it, head over to check out the first part here: “What we loved about visiting Vancouver in the summer: Our Vancouver trip highlights.”
To sum it up, this was our first time out of the country with Brady. We went for one full week, we had a great time, and the weather in Vancouver was moderate and lovely for about 75 percent of the time, with the rest of it being rainy. We rode bikes around the park, went to the aquarium, had some dinners out and did a ton of walking, eating and exploring. I enjoyed the city, and think of it as a larger and older San Francisco, with a lot of similarities for sure.
We wanted the second part of our trip in Whistler to be a little slower paced and include a lot more outdoor time. Sadly, the weather was no good. We were in Whistler for three days, and the sun was only out for maybe a few hours without showers. However, we still enjoyed ourselves. Here’s how it all went down …
Our Whistler trip highlights
Whistler is a popular ski town, which has tons of mountains and is built for outdoor family play. I couldn’t believe how nice the public facilities were. The drive there from Vancouver is only 90 minutes and is just gorgeous, with snow-capped mountains (yes, even in summer some of them have snow), lots of green trees and even some water too. We rented a car to get there from our hotel in Vancouver, but we didn’t use a car while in Vancouver.
We decided to splurge for a really fancy hotel for our three nights there and stayed at the Four Seasons Whistler. I had never stayed at a Four Seasons before, and the service is totally top notch. We tried to get as much as we could out of the resort, and collectively, we used the pool, spa, hot tub, game room, gym and also enjoyed the life-size outdoor chess game, the rentable umbrellas and shuttle during our short three days, so we did it right.
And now for the highlights …
Taking the Sea to Sky gondola
About 30 minutes outside of Whistler on the way from Vancouver, you come upon one amazing attraction: the Sea to Sky Gondola, overlooking Howe Sound. We were told by a couple of people to stop here, and I’m so glad we did, because it was perhaps the highlight of the second half of the trip.
This isn’t just a little mountain gondola. It’s a whole afternoon’s worth of fun. The facilities are amazing, with a cafe and gift shop on the ground level where you park and buy your tickets. Then, you take the 12-minute gondola ride up to the summit at 2,800 feet, where there’s a full restaurant, a park for kids, hiking trails and much more (upon researching after the fact, they also have WiFi, live music and yoga on occasion up there as well).
It’s a little scary riding the gondola up the mountain and so quiet too — we could feel the fresh mountain air blowing out the top vent of the gondola and our ears popped several times. The tickets weren’t cheap, but we had our own gondola and even had room for Brady’s stroller in there, which we used at the top of the mountain when hiking around the dirt trails to find the vista points. Brady was in awe of the gondola ride, and it was really cute.
I had a salmon salad at the restaurant at the summit, and I was so excited to find healthy food at a place like this — but my meal was totally tasteless, and I ended up sharing Dave’s burger and fries — oh well. But the view and atmosphere up there was incredible — a TOTAL change of scenery from our daily lives, that’s for sure.
We could have stayed much longer at the summit and done some more hiking and hanging out, but we wanted to get back on the road for Brady to catch a short snooze in the car before we made it to our hotel in Whistler. But overall, this stop was so cool and a must-see when you’re in the area.
Getting pampered during a spa day at the Four Seasons
Dave and I decided that we would each take half of the day to do something solo while in Whistler, and so I got a spa day, and he got a morning for a round of golf, with each of us staying with Brady during the other’s adventure. Well, my spa day certainly makes the highlight list.
That morning, I woke up early, put on my gym clothes and went to the hotel gym so I could do about 25 minutes of BODYATTACK in the group fitness studio. This was my one and only workout of the trip, and I did it because I couldn’t stay somewhere with a full studio and not use it. Once I finished my workout, I took a shower at the spa and then got my services — I had the Four Seasons Whistler Signature Classic, which is a 100-minute experience featuring a maple body sugar scrub, a spirulina clay body mask and a 50-minute massage. Wow. It was so relaxing and soothing, I nearly fell asleep. Dave had actually pre-booked this service for me as a gift for our anniversary a few months before. So sweet!
However, in addition to the great pampering, I also went into the eucalyptus steam room for a sweat and took another shower after that, washing and drying my hair. Once I was all cleaned up, I went into the quiet room and did a meditation.
I only took the time to meditate twice on the trip, and both times were so grounding. (By the way, I’m working on a post all about my meditation practice, so let me know if you have any questions on that). I made it back to Brady and Dave just in time for a delicious lunch at the resort’s restaurant, feeling sooooooo zen. Such a highlight!
Eating, people watching and playing at Whistler Village
Whistler Village is really the one and only main drag in the town, and it’s one heck of a place. There’s a ski lift to Blackcomb and Whistler mountains, tons of restaurants, lots of souvenir shops and even places like Lululemon and Patagonia. Then, there’s also the Olympic Village portion, where some of the 2010 game festivities took place.
It was about a 15-minute walk from our hotel to Whistler Village, and we went there every single day of our stay. We found a little bakery called Purebread, which had delicious treats, and we visited that spot multiple times. One night, Dave and I used the babysitting service through the hotel (after Brady went to sleep, of course), and went down to the Village in the pouring rain for a super nice Italian dinner and some ice cream too.
There’s also a grocery store, drug store, liquor store and multiple coffee shops, so you basically can’t skip Whistler Village when you visit. It did us well, including the morning when Dave was gone golfing and I took Brady there so he could play on the playground for more than an hour. Good times!
Fun fact: We ate in our hotel room after Brady went to sleep two of our three nights in Whistler, and we used Whistler Dining as a delivery service for some tasty Indian food from the Village. Sure beats trucking there in the rain to pick up take-out!
Strolling in the rain around Lost Lake
Talk about quiet and relaxing. On our last afternoon in Whistler, we bundled up and went out in the rain to walk to Lost Lake and do the loop around the lake too — it was just about a 15-minute walk from our hotel to get there.
The weather was super grey, but it was very serene at the lake, and the fresh air felt good to us all. If the weather had been nicer, it would have been cool to take a picnic lunch and get a little sun — but not this time. It just seemed so peaceful, and I bet it is gorgeous when the sun is shining.
Letting Brady experience the hotel
I said it before in the post about our time in Vancouver, but Brady was such a fun little trooper on this trip. He officially loves being in hotels and had a great time running the hallways, pushing the button to get the elevator to come and then visiting all the landmarks in the lobby.
There was both a bike and a bear statue in the Four Seasons lobby, and Brady would go by and say hello and goodbye to each of these things every time we walked through. (Also, the front desk gave Brady a little stuffed animal puppy at check-in, and we brought it everywhere from that point on. Shown below.)
And in the hotel room, he was obsessed with the remote controls, the phone and all the brochures too. No need for the toys we brought him from home …
We also took him for a dip in the hot tub (which wasn’t very hot), and he splashed and giggled away. It’s truly the little things that make something great, and even though he requires a lot of stuff and has the occasional toddler tantrum when being stuffed into his stroller or car seat, Brady certainly helped us to appreciate every little moment about being somewhere new on this trip, rainy days and dreary weather and all. We have to thank him for that!
Overall thoughts on the Whistler portion of the trip
It was definitely a little unfortunate that the weather was so drab when we were visiting such a beautiful outdoorsy location, but we made the best of it and still got outside, even in the rain. I really liked Whistler and enjoyed our time there — but truth be told, the Vancouver portion of the trip was my favorite.
I’m not much of a skier, having grown up in Florida, but I can see that Whistler would be a great place to take a winter vacation for the all the snow sports too — but I’m just not much of a mountain gal I guess. Nonetheless, after one week in British Columbia, I can certainly say that it’s a beautiful place, with friendly and polite people, lots of scenery and plenty to keep a family of three busy.
So there you have it. Our Whistler highlights are complete.
By the way, in case you’re a momma planning to travel with a tot, you may be interested in this post too, “What I’ve learned from traveling with a baby across the country multiple times.” Also, I saved all our Whistler snapshots and videos in a story highlight on Instagram, so head there for more.
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog to read today. I’ll see you back here for some faves later this week. Have a fabulous day!
Questions of the day
Have you ever been to Whistler?
How’s your week going?
What’s your favorite thing about staying at a hotel?