"I never get tired of Whistler’s spectacular scenery and wonderful people,” says Virtuoso travel advisor Gary Johnson, who has visited the resort at least once a month for the past 25 years. Located just 90 minutes outside Vancouver and four hours from Johnson’s home base of Seattle, the compact, pedestrian-friendly town, dramatically set within reach of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, bursts with boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and cultural venues. Add more than 8,000 acres of skiable terrain, Canada’s largest ski resort, a lively apr猫s-ski scene, and the recently launched tri-cable gondola lift, and it’s easy to see why Whistler Blackcomb consistently ranks as a top North American ski resort.
That’s not to diminish Whistler’s summertime appeal. Indeed, with seemingly endless outdoor activities – miles of hiking and mountain bike trails, three golf courses, canoeing on Alta Lake, free concerts in Olympic Plaza – “Whistler is now just as popular in the summer,” Johnson says. The advisor recommends the nearly 7,200-foot-high Cloudraker Skybridge and Raven’s Eye Cliff Walk for 360-degree views over the valley and surrounding peaks: “Just make sure you hold on to your camera!”