Whistler, BC is a simple four-hour drive from Seattle. The drive in itself is simply gorgeous, with lakes and sprawling mountains topped with beautiful trees covered in snow. My girlfriend and I were really surprised at what a quick and beautiful drive it is from Seattle to Whistler, BC. I must say, the Whistler Sea to Sky highway is one of the world’s greatest scenic drives. It bypasses spectacular views of the Howe Sound, the Squamish Chief, Mount Garibaldi, and the Tantulus Range. As we were driving, we also saw a family of six bald eagles soaring through the blue sky. What a sight that was!
Once we arrived in Whistler, we immediately felt the high and festive energy that was in the air. Rainbow flags flew on posts all over the village. We stayed our first couple nights at the Aava Whistler Hotel, which was one of many of the official WinterPRIDE hotels. What a treat that was! Aava Whistler was the official Flygirl host hotel. Flygirl Productions is Vancouver, BC’s premier lesbian event company. They put on the very entertaining Shred Betties Bash women’s party among other fun things which were no less than a blast!The Aava is in a perfect location to explore Whistler Village and it is very near the Whistler/Blackcomb base. The rooms are cozy, and the beds are very comfortable! There is a coffee maker with some great tasting coffee, which of course I enjoyed. The rooms also have robes, which come in handy for running out to the hot tub. Right across from the Aava Whistler is the White Spot restaurant which has some excellent and very fresh comfort food.
There were many events going on for Whistler WinterPRIDE 2011.There were apres ski parties, martini parties, brewery tours, and lots more! It was so nice to walk through the village and feel so welcome. Whistler is such a very special village to visit. There are over 200 shops, 90 restaurants, and of course, a vibrant apres ski and nightlife. The people that work in the village are extremely kind and very gay-friendly. While holding hands, my girlfriend and I were treated with total respect. It should be that way everywhere in the world.
If you want some of the best raw bar hors d’oeuvre, go to Araxi which is located in the middle of the village. They have the freshest, most exquisite raw bar food I have ever had. From albacore tuna, scallops, wild prawns, Dungeness crab rolls, oysters on the half shell, muscles, all the way to lobster, sushi, and salmon. The champagne never stopped flowing. Executive Chef James Walt knows how to put on a stunning menu of sheer delight for the palate!
I skied the slopes for a couple hours and had an extremely enjoyable time! We also jumped onto the Peak 2 Peak Gondola which was conveniently located adjacent to the top of the Whistler Gondola. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola transports people from Whistler over to Blackcomb Mountain, and what a spectacular 11-minute ride that was! The views of the mountain peaks and the valley below were amazing! It was especially fun to look through the glass bottom gondola, of which there are only two. The views were breathtaking!
Now, I must not forget our favorite place to get coffee in Whistler Village. The Lift Coffee Company is located right at the base of the Whistler Gondola. Their coffee, in my humble opinion, was the best in Whistler. They also had a variety of extremely tasty food including vegetarian options.
The last night in Whistler, my girlfriend and I stayed at the Delta Whistler Village Suites. We stayed in the premier one bedroom suite. We had a view of both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains and we could even see the skiers coming down the mountain. Our room was beautiful with a living room and a cozy gas fireplace, balcony, kitchen, and a big screen TV. The bathroom amenities were fabulous. The health club had a gym, indoor/outdoor hot tubs, and a heated outdoor pool. The hot tub came in especially handy after a day of skiing. The Elephant & Castle Restaurant is also located in the hotel. What a pleasure it is to stay at the Delta Whistler Village Suites. We will be back!
Whistler Village is a delightful and magical place to visit, and I would highly recommend it to everyone. My girlfriend and I will be making a yearly visit from now on. We are so lucky to live so close to this snowy mecca of paradise. Did I mention that it’s only a two hour drive to Whistler from Vancouver, BC? Wow!