As Vancouverites my husband and I have shared an almost lifelong love for Whistler, British Columbia. A four seasons playground, only one and a half hours by car from Vancouver, Whistler is a recreational and gastronomic paradise. Although we both ski, and are enthusiastic participants in all après ski activities, we actually prefer visiting Canada’s most celebrated mountain resort in the warmer months.
Having travelled to Whistler countless times as a couple I was apprehensive about a trip with our newly toddling 14-month old daughter Brooklyn. As with most vacation destinations itinerary planning seems infinitely easier when children are a little older and the range of feasible activities broadens. Whistler however surprised me. Our tiny traveller was well entertained throughout the entire weekend, and my husband and I even managed to squeeze in a date night. Truly what more could you ask for?
Kids love water, and mama loves the sun, so we try and dedicate a lot of time to the pool. Four Seasons Whistler has a fantastic year-round heated outdoor pool and we easily lost a couple of hours a day there this visit. I’m looking forward to when Brooklyn wants to spend all of her time at the pool (or at least a good chunk of it – that is one nice pool!)
Four Seasons Whistler is only a stone’s throw from Lost Lake and the meandering 34-kilometre paved Valley Trail system. We rented bikes and Chariot trailer from Can Ski (located in the lower level of the resort) and spent a morning exploring some of Whistler’s best lakefront parks. The ride was such a success that we purchased bikes and a trailer when we returned home.
Prior to heading out on the trail we ordered a picnic from the Four Seasons Concierge, which we enjoyed waterfront at Lost Lake Park. The lunch was delicious, however Brooklyn was more excited about putting her bare feet in the water and pointing at all of the ducks.
The Whistler Farmer’s Market runs every Sunday, from mid-June through early October. Located steps from the Four Seasons in Whistler’s Upper Village, the lively outdoor market appeals to adults and kids of all ages. Live music, face painting and of course delicious artisan fare (we love the Aussie meat pies from The Pie Company) score high marks with our family.
One of our favorite Whistler activities is simply to wander along the Village Stroll window-shopping and people watching. All of the cafes, restaurants and shops in Upper and Lower Whistler Village are connected by a paved pedestrian pathway, which makes it very easy to walk with kids in (or out of) a stroller.
I’ll be honest; we are not super duper hikers. However, the Whistler Blackcomb alpine is quite superb in the late spring, summer and early fall. Similar to the ski runs, hiking trails are assigned a green, blue or black diamond rating for level of difficulty. Having Brooklyn with us (and as previously intimated we are far from boy scouts) we opted for the more leisurely green trails. The scenery was stunning, and we were even granted a bear sighting – thankfully from the gondola.
Mountain BBQ Series
Post ‘hike’ (term used loosely) we stayed for the Mountain BBQ Series at the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain. After piling our plates high with slow cooked Prime Rib, corn on the cob, potatoes, salad and all the fixings, we ate al fresco on the patio listening to live music and taking in the stunning panoramic view. The BBQ Series is offered every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night in the summer.
Date nights are a special, much needed treat in our house, and Side Cut at Four Seasons Whistler was the perfect choice. We booked Baby Sitting Whistler (which came highly recommended by friends) through the Four Seasons Concierge. Every bite of our meal was phenomenal, from the Steakhouse Beef and Tuna Tartare with Crispy Shallots, 63ºc Egg Yolk, Nasturtium and Shaved Crostini, through the Ahi Tuna and Quinoa Salad and my husband’s calorie crazy Bone in Kobe Style Beef Short Ribs with Yukon Potato Mash (still thinking about this dish). We savoured every last morsel and raved about our dinner to friends, who booked the following night and were just as impressed.