Whistler in winter isn't just for skiers and snowboarders, it's a winter haven for everyone. On a recent trip, Ari and I spent a weekend getaway with another couple, and half of us skied while the other half didn't. As a non-skier, I've always had a fantastic time in Whistler.
Whistler is absolutely worth visiting in winter if you're not skiing, with its exciting snow excursions, spas in nature, top-notch restaurants and après-ski scene.
We list 9 fun things to do in Whistler in winter for non skiers, from solo activities to shared experiences with your skiing friends.
Overview: What to do in Whistler in Winter for Non-Skiers
4. Eat at one of Whistler's top restaurants - see our top 3 picks
9. Discover Whistler's cocktail scene - see our top 3 picks for cocktails
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. We only recommend products or services we have used or that we believe will add value to our readers. Thank you for supporting us!
9 Things to Do in Whistler in Winter for Non Skiers
1. Après-ski and reunite with your skiing friends
After our partners wrapped up their skiing for the day, we met up with them at the après-ski spots in the village overlooking the ski lifts. The three après-ski bars at the base of the Whistler and Blackhorn Mountains are Longhorn Saloon, Black's Pub and Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub.
Longhorn Saloon is the most happening place to be for après-ski. It draws in a lively crowd of skiers and snowboarders in colourful and sometimes wacky ski attire looking to party after the slopes. It has somewhat of a Vegas feel to it with champagne bottles popping with sparklers and a DJ spinning energetic beats. The outdoor scene is illuminated by heat lamps and fire tables, offering the perfect vantage point to watch skiers wrap up their runs. It's a celebration in full swing.
If that sounds like too much action for you, Black's is a bit calmer and has fire tables outside and Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub features live music.
The cost of reserving a table at Longhorn Saloon
If you want to reserve a table at the Longhorn Saloon, there is a high minimum spend of $200 per person. Also, depending on your group size, the minimum spend may round up to match the table size. For example, if you have a group of 5, they charge the minimum spend for a 6-person table ($1,200 total).
You can also show up as a walk-in to bypass the minimum spend rule - just be sure to arrive early enough to avoid lengthy queues. On weekends these lines can get huge. Most reservations are for tables outside, so if you're a walk in, you will likely have a small time window before that reservation comes.
We arrived before the lineups got too big and celebrated our fun day with some hot boozy drinks. To sit outside, we did have a time limit, because of a reservation that was coming in.
🍕 Top tip: been partying too late and want a bite? Pop into Fat Tony's Pizza for hot, satisfying pizza. It's open until 3 AM.
2. Unwind at Scandinave Spa
Don't miss the serene Scandinave Spa, a hidden thermal oasis with rainforest and mountain views. Picture yourself soaking in hot pools with waterfalls, chilling in plunge pools, unwinding in saunas, and embracing tranquillity in the hammocks and reading rooms.
Phones and chatter are a no-go in the bathing and reading areas, creating a peaceful escape. Plus, you can enjoy all this while your friends hit the slopes. Start your day with a soothing massage, letting the spa pave the way for ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation.
✔️ Top Tip: if you have work benefits, Scandinave Spa offers RMT massages, but they go very fast so ensure you book far in advance.
🧖♀️ Make your reservation for the thermal spa.
3. Walk through the charming village and grab hot coffee and baked snacks
I'll be honest, the shopping in Whistler Village is not very exciting, but the village itself is super cute to walk through and there are a few nice spots to check out:
🥐 Purebread - pop into the bakery for homemade freshly baked goods, from savoury breakfast items to sweet pastries.
☕ Alpha Cafe - a newly opened cafe by Alta Bistro (one of Whistler's top restaurants).
🛍️ Roots - I can't get enough cozy sweatpants and sweaters from this Canadian label. They are so soft!
👢The Velvet Underground - for vintage pieces
📸 The Olympic Plaza - take a classic pic next to the Olympic Rings monument. If you didn't already know, Whistler and Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics.
4. Eat at one of Whistler's top restaurants
Whistler has a vibrant culinary scene to discover. Dress up and go out to one of these hot dining spots:
Araxi - this is our favourite place to dine in Whistler. Known for its Pacific-Northwest cuisine, the restaurant belongs to the esteemed TopTable Group that owns Blue Water and Elisa, two of our favourite fine-dining restaurants in Vancouver.
Alta Bistro - specializes in Alpine-French cuisine - it was named Whistler's top restaurant in 2019 by Vancouver Magazine.
Wild Blue Restaurant - a new hot spot in town - it was named the second-best new restaurant in Canada by enRoute Magazine in 2023.
5. Enjoy a fondue experience at The Chalet
One of my favourite meals to have during winter is fondue, in every type possible: cheese, meat and chocolate! It's so cozy when it's snowing outside.
The Chalet at The Fairmont Chateau opens during winter season. For $85 per person you get the full fondue experience with cheese fondue, meat fondue and chocolate fondue (min 2 people). It also comes with your choice of French onion soup or a salad. You can also order each fondue separately if you don't want all three.
6. Stay in a hotel or B&B with a hot tub or heated outdoor pool
When booking your stay, look for one with a hot tub or a heated outdoor pool. Since you're not skiing, you can save by not booking places right beside the ski lift. During winter, it's high season so expect to pay high prices for hotels.
Our top hotel picks with heated outdoor pools or hot tubs:
- Four Seasons ($$$$) - has heated outdoor swimming pools and whirlpools all year round, and an on-site spa
- Fairmont Chateau Whistler ($$$) - has heated outdoor swimming pools and whirlpools all year round, and an on-site spa
- Pan Pacific Village Centre ($$) - has an all-season heated outdoor saltwater pool and two hot tubs.
- Sundial ($$) - for each night you stay you can reserve 30 minutes in the rooftop hot tub, or splurge on a hot tub suite.
- Nita Lake Lodge ($$) - has an outdoor hot tub, outdoor plunge pool and on-site spa. Note, that it's a 7 minute drive away from Whistler Village, but you are more isolated in nature.
Our top B&B picks with a private hot tub:
- Best for couples: 1 BDR Townhouse | Pet Friendly | Perfect Location | Private Hot Tub
- Best for friends or families: Townhouse in Village with Private Hot Tub
7. Play board games by the fire
Bring your favourite board games with you to play by the fire in your hotel or B&B. We love making hot cocoa and playing Scrabble.
8. Get outside in the snow on a fun excursion
Other than skiing or snowboarding, Whistler offers a ton of exciting activities to do outside in the snow.
👀 To see a gorgeous panoramic view, ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola that crosses from Whistler Mountain to Blackcomb Mountain. You will have 360° views of Whistler Village and the mountain peaks. The Peak 2 Peak Experience also includes a drink at the Umbrella Bar located at 1850 meters with insane views.
🛷 If you're travelling with kids, tubing is a fun option at bubly Tube Park.
Or, book one of these highly-rated activities through Viator with a local guide. We like how Viator offers free cancellation up to 24 hr in advance.
- ❄️ Snowshoe through the forest
- 🥽 Snowmobile through Whistler's alpine backcountry
- 🏔️ Whiz through the backcountry on a 200m high zipline that is over 1km long
- 🚁 Take a 15-minute scenic helicopter ride
9. Discover Whistler's cocktail scene
Switch up the après-ski party atmosphere for a refined experience at one of Whistler's best spots for cocktails. If you want to dress up, but not spend a lot at a fine-dining restaurant, this a great way to do it.
Check out these spots for handcrafted cocktails:
- The Raven Room - ranked #35 on Canada's 50 Best Bars list in 2022
- The Bar at Araxi - pair your cocktail with oysters from the oyster bar
- Bar Oso - a Spanish tapas bar owned by the same group as Araxi
We hope you enjoyed these fun things to do in Whistler for non-skiers!
Get started on booking your trip to Whistler
- 🌃 Accommodation: Booking.com and VRBO are our go-to for finding places to stay in Whistler. Sort by top reviewed.
- 🚗 Car rental: see Rentalcars.com to compare car rental prices across different companies.
- 🤠 Hire a local guide: browse Viator for fun excursions in Whistler.
Don't miss our other BC travel guides:
- 17 Best getaways near Vancouver
- Fun-filled 2 day Vancouver itinerary
- 5 Days in Vancouver Island
- Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge Hiking Guide
Save and pin these things to do in Whistler in winter for non-skier for later