February 19, 2017

Down Days: Best non-skiing Whistler Activities

Skiing holidays in Whistler can be physically taxing. Waking up early, pulling on layers and layers of clothing and then spending the day sliding down a mountain can really take its toll on the body. If the weather is cold or snowy, it can drain even more energy. Luckily, when muscles are crying out for a break from this daily dose of mountain shredding, Whistler has plenty of non-skiing activities to fill your vacation days. Here’s a list of our favourites.

The architecture of the Audain Art Museum is as impressive as its exhibits

1. Audain Art Museum

Now approaching its one-year anniversary since opening to the public, the Audain Art Museum is Whistler’s new flagship cultural experience. With a permanent collection of almost 200 works of art, stepping through the doors of the Audain enters a visual journey through coastal British Columbia from the 18th Century to the present day. It has one of the largest exhibits from BC artists Emily Carr and E.J. Hughes, as well as the world’s finest collection of First Nations masks from the Pacific Northwest. But it’s not just the art – the architecture of the building is an exhibit in itself. And it’s all just a few step from the Village Stroll, a perfect afternoon activity for down days or when the weather turns.

Best non-skiing Whistler Activities
Recharge and rejuvenate at the Scandinave Spa

2. Scandinave Spa

There’s resort spas, and then there’s the Scandinave Spa. Located a few minutes north of the Village, the natural outdoor setting of hot baths, cold plunge pools, steam rooms and saunas is about as relaxing as it gets in Whistler. Admission grants you as much time as you’d like that day with option to book a massage or simply hang out and read in a hammock. Perhaps the most desirable quality of the Scandinave Spa in Whistler is the policy of silence. There’s no minors allowed, nor is there any talking on spa grounds, save a few whispers to your partner or friends. Hydrotherapy never felt so good.

Best non-skiing Whistler Activities
Traditional carving demonstrations at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Center

3. Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

Another cultural hub within steps of the village (close to our Upper Village storefront location), the SLCC takes you on a cultural journey for all the senses. Feel the beat of traditional drums during song and dance demonstrations, hear the traditional stories passed down through countless generations, taste delicious First Nations-inspired cuisine. Many of the attractions are interactive, such as crafting cedar bark bracelets inside a traditional Squamish longhouse or making your very own First Nations dream catcher. Tours of the centre are available throughout the day, but mind that the SLCC is closed on Mondays.

Best non-skiing Whistler Activities
Escape from the Pirate Ship!

4. Escape! Whistler

Voted “Best Rainy Day Activity for Families” in Pique Newsmagazine‘s Best of Whistler, Escape! Whistler has four unique puzzle rooms; Pirate Ship, Lost Tomb, Buried Cabin and Rabbit Hole. The rooms can hold up to six players at a time making it the perfect family activity or team building exercise with friends. Once in, your crew has 45 minutes to solve the room’s series of puzzles, which range from beginner to advanced depending on which adventure you choose. An excellent afternoon/evening or rainy day activity located in the heart of the village inside the Hilton Resort & Spa.

Best non-skiing Whistler Activities
Take a walk in Whistler’s snow globe.

5. Stroll the Village

The Village Stroll is not just about getting from one place to another. From the base of Whistler Mountain all the way down to Olympic Plaza you’ll pass by hundreds of restaurants, shops and patios. Whether you’re looking to purchase some new ski or snowboarding gear, in the mood for some people watching or simply want to kick back with a drink and some appetizers, there’s literally every option along the winding pavement of the Village Stroll.

Of course we would all love to ski and snowboard all day and every day during a winter vacation to Whistler. But for the days when you need a break, spending time in the valley can be just as fulfilling.

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