Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort in Canada has become a popular winter retreat for locals in Hawaii looking to spend Christmas in the snow. In just 6 hours you could literally fly to Vancouver, British Columbia – Canada, check into your lodge and sip on some hot chocolate near the fireplace. But if you’ve never been to a ski resort and are not familiar with booking a snow holiday in general, it can be quite overwhelming if you don’t know what to do.
But don’t fret, we have some tips and tricks from our visits that will help you get the best out of your British Columbia winter vacation in Whistler Blackcomb.
Knowing When to Go
Before deciding to go to Whistler, do some research. Snow conditions are best between late January and mid-February, if you’re REALLY into skiing. The resort is comprised of two adjacent mountains which are connected by the Peak to Peak gondola. Its 8,100 acres of terrain receive an annual average of 360 inches of snow, and are divided into 15% beginner, 55% intermediate, 15% advanced and 15% expert trails.
Since our children are young, we decided to go right after Christmas to spend New Years Eve in Whistler. This would be the best fit for our family since we novice skiers and we wanted the kids to experience snow. Though it was not “snowing” in Whistler Village (where our lodge was located), the mountains up above were covered in powder…just a quick walk through the village and we were at the ski lifts.
How to Get There
An average return flight from HNL to YVR (Vancouver) during the week of December 28 – January 3 will cost around $550USD. We booked transportation from Vancouver airport directly to our airbnb.com rental in Whistler through Pacific Coach. The bus ride to Whistler Village was roughly 2 hours since the weather was nice and clear. Add another hour if conditions are bad. An adult ticket will cost you $55 and $25 per child, which was not bad considering the length of the route. There is WIFI on board and they also give discounts if you travel with more than 4 in your group. Whistler is a very pedestrian-friendly city, so you really don’t need to rent a car when you get there.
Where’s the Snow?
The entire time we stayed in the village, there was no snow fall until the very last day. It rained daily so we knew if it was raining in the village then it must be snowing up on the peak. We arranged for the kids to go to ski school while the adults headed up to the ski lifts. The snow was incredible…so beautiful and fun! We got to watch the kids as well ski up and down the bunny slopes, so that was an added bonus.
If you’ve never skied Whistler or even skied before, sign up for the free, 90-minute tour of the mountain. The Whistler orientation tour meets at the guest satisfaction center at the top of the Whistler gondola. The Blackcomb tour meets at the top of the Solar Coaster Express lift.
Here’s what our itinerary looked like for a week:
Day 1: Arrive at Whistler, Check-In, Shop for Groceries, Hang out at Jacuzzi
Day 3: All Day at Blackcomb Skiing
Day 4: All Day at Blackcomb Skiing, NEW YEARS EVE!
Day 5: NEW YEARS DAY! Relax at accommodation to nurse sore body parts.
Day 6: All Day at Whistler Blackcomb’s Coca-Cola ®/™ Tube Park, Dinner with Friends in Whistler Village
Day 7: Check-Out, shuttle back to Vancouver Airport to catch flights
What to Do There
Whistler is the perfect place to enjoy a white Christmas with twinkling lights, snow covered Village, and holiday events with daily activities to entertain the entire family. There are many non ski-based entertainment for the kids, including ice skating at the outdoor ice skating rink at Whistler Olympic Plaza. We met up with Santa one evening and were served hot chocolate, and cookies. The city of Whistler has so many activities going on in the winter that it’s almost hard to choose what to do (or not to do).
Either way, it’s a great winter and ski getaway for the family if you’ve been dreaming of white Christmas.
WINTER VACATION IN WHISTLER BLACKCOMB
Whistler Blackcomb Resort
4545 Blackcomb Way
Whistler BC, Canada V0N 1B4
* Originally opened for skiing in the winter of 1965-66 and founded on the dream of one day hosting the Olympic Winter Games, Whistler Blackcomb has been going beyond to leave its mark on the ski and snowboard industry since day one. This will be a celebratory winter season with a number of activations lined up to give Whistler Blackcomb the acknowledgment it deserves for 50 years of striving to be the best, including a 50th anniversary party at the Roundhouse Lodge on December 12 and a 30 minute short film documenting Whistler Blackcomb’s colourful past titled, 50 Years of Going Beyond. To learn more about Whistler Blackcomb’s 50th anniversary, please visit whistlerblackcomb.com/50.