A drink by the fire pit is a cozy activity in Whistler in winter for non-skiers.

You’ve arrived in Whistler and are completely surrounded by ski culture. From ski bums to snow bunnies, die-hards to first-timers, it seems that everyone is strutting around with that ski-boot swagger, either heading towards the gondolas or just finishing up a day on the mountain. Now you’re sitting in your hotel room looking out the window, wondering what there is to do in Whistler in winter for non-skiers. Whether you feel out of your element or find the idea of skiing or snowboarding completely unappealing, don’t stress. Before you even begin to think about regretting coming to Whistler or start racking up an enormous tab on room service and in-room movie rentals, let’s examine the options in Whistler in winter for non-skiers or snowboarders.

Whistler Winter Activities for Non-Skiers and Boarders

Whether you don’t like, or can’t, ski or snowboard there are still plenty of options for fun, adventure, relaxation and good times in Whistler in winter for non-skiers. Admittedly, it is a special kind of person who loves the cold so if you don’t like winter – not even Sno-Cones – you may be a few hundred kilometres too far north.

For Adventure Seekers and Adrenaline Junkies

Not a skier or snowboarder, fear not! There are still plenty of ways to get your fix of adrenaline, so let’s start big. Whistler Bungee is situated just outside of town, over the raging glacial blue Cheakamus River. Leaping 50 meters into the narrow canyon below is an absolute rush.

Whistler Bungee in winter

Falling with the snow. There’s plenty of ways to get an adrenaline rush in Whistler during winter. Image: Emily Serrell, Whistler Bungee

Thanks to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, there a few more heart racing activities to dabble in Whistler aside from bungee jumping. Whistler, in fact, has its very own Sliding Centre, and you can try out bobsledding (with a driver), luge, or skeleton… Yeah, that’s the one where you go headfirst! I can almost guarantee that none of your friends back home have done that!

Activities and Après

Let’s shift gears. If adrenaline isn’t your thing, don’t let that imprison you while visiting this snow loving town. There is free skating in Olympic Plaza every night, and renting skates costs practically nothing. If you’ve never skated before (looking in your direction, Australia), don’t be afraid to wear a helmet. Any Canadian can tell you that ice is somehow harder than concrete. If you’re not feeling the village, a pair of snowshoes are your gateway ticket to exploring a whole network of trails all around Whistler. It’s an incredible feeling to wander in your own silent wilderness with minimal effort. Don’t worry, the bears are hibernating, but don’t forget a map!

And hey – let’s not forget après. Just because you didn’t rip the slopes up doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the throbbing patio scene. People watching, laughs, and the friendliest strangers you’ll ever meet are all in store for you. If you head to the patio at Tapley’s, say hi to Courtney – if you can find him. (He’s a busy guy.)

There are so many award-winning restaurants to choose from in Whistler – how can you ever decide on just one? Thanks to Whistler Tasting Tours, you don’t have to! Lunch, dinner, and even dessert tour options allow you to leisurely sample from a few establishments that are aiming to impress.

Patton Oswalt sabres a champagne bottle. Image: Joern Rohde

A tasty tour. Delicious foods may not be the only thing on the menu when touring Whistler’s best restaurants. Image: Joern Rohde

Relax and Chill

Finally, there’s the pampering approach to Whistler in winter for non-skiers. If you’ve never sat in a hot tub with a cold beer while the snow falls, you haven’t lived. Fingers crossed your condo or hotel has one for your indulgence. For those of you that prefer a more luxurious soak, might I recommend the Scandinave Spa? Hot tubs, cold plunge pools, and relaxing saunas and steam rooms – plus massages for an additional charge.

Two guys walking near the pools at Scandinave Spa.

No skis necessary. If mountain activities aren’t for you, relaxing at the Scandinave Spa might be. Image: Abby Cooper

If you want to recharge your mind instead, there is a very different bath available. Epsom salt and body temperature water, combined with silence and pitch black darkness, allow your brain to slow its roll for 90 minutes at West Coast Float. It’s available for a fraction of the price it should be, and it creates a feeling that is indescribable. If you’ve never tried it before, it’s highly recommended. For even more spa options read up on our favourite Whistler day spa experiences here.

It takes a certain kind of person to appreciate cold weather, but you’ve made it all the way here, you might as well see what all the winter loving junkies out there see in this chilly season. We in Whistler just love the fact that you’re out here with us; you don’t even have to be very good at something, as long as you’re having fun. Winter in Whistler has so much more to offer than death-defying speeds on a slippery surface, so do Whistler in a way that suits you best, and our Whistler concierge service is made up of a knowledgeable team to help you plan your perfect Whistler trip, whatever that might look like!


Feature Image: Abby Cooper

Brittia Thompson