If you fancy some (ahem) ‘exotic’ entertainment then pass by The Boot pub (every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday) for the infamous ‘Boot Ballet’. It’s legendary in Whistler, and comes highly recommended by the recently visiting British Snowboard team.
Tel: +1 604 932 3338
Whistler has plenty of good night spots, but Garfunkels is one of the better ones. It’s pretty popular and is regularly packed. It puts on quality music acts including big name DJs from Vancouver, which is a refreshing change for a ski resort. Also check out Buffalo Bills.
Tel: +1 604 932 2323
Tel: +1 604 932 6613
A comfortable and well appointed hotel right on the edge of town. There’s a
decent sized covered swimming pool and hot tub on the ground floor, and the staff are very helpful. It’s a short walk to the ski lifts, and the Crabshack bar/restaurant is right across the driveway.
Tel: +1 800 663 5644
Not everyone’s convinced by chiropractic, but a couple of sessions can really help to realign your body and smooth out any mysterious aches and pains – ideal if you’ve spent all day giving yourself a thorough battering on the mountain. Whistler Chiropractic are very good, though there are plenty of others you can try.
4433 Sundial Place
Tel: +1 604 932 1922
This is possibly the best fun you’ll have in Whistler. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 5-9pm you can ride under floodlights on the Magic Carpet chair at Blackcomb – an area that includes the park and pipe. The snow gets pretty hard but they look after the pistes so well that this isn’t really a problem.
If you fancy a day off skiing it’s well worth taking a walk up to Lost Lake – this is proper British Columbia mountain scenery at its best. You might be lucky enough to spot a bear (at least at times of year where they’re not all hibernating), so keep your eyes peeled. It’s best early or really late in the season as the paths turn into cross country ski trails for the winter.
The Mongolie Grill is a family owned restaurant specialising in stir-fry food, and it’s perhaps the best Asian cuisine in town. The drinks list is good with a great range of beers and cocktails, and the service is always very good. It’s right in the centre of Whistler Village.
201-4295 Blackcomb Way Telephone: +1 604 938 9416
10 days and nights of major pro ski and snowboard contests, live concerts (on a massive open-air stage in the town centre) and various arts events. The whole thing is free, and past music acts have included Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake and Nickelback. They claim that this is Canada’s largest free outdoor concert series, and this year’s runs from 14th-23rd April.
My key snowboarding tip afor Whistler is when it's a powder day, always start on the left of the mountain and move to the right during the day. That's simply because that's where the wind blows it.
In terms of buying kit there, always have a chat with one of the Whistler instructors as they know the best deals in town.
In terms of lessons - I had a guide called Oli Walker who was the business and showed me some excellent runs that I wouldn't have noticed otherwise.
A fantastic restaurant just south of Whistler village. Quite pricey but the seafood and game menu is broad and the results are more than worth it. Caribou is an interesting thing to try, it's like super-charged venison, and the ahi tuna is also pretty spectacular. Booking recommended as it gets full.
2117 Whistler Road; tel: 604 932 5565; www.rimrockwhistler.com
We stayed at Riverside campground last year. It's a little further out from the town centre, though the walk is pleasant if there isn't too much snow. There are also shuttle buses to and fro in the morning and evening. The best bit about it is the privacy: you can park your RV there or do as we did and stay in a dinky log cabin. These are very cosy and provide a little mountain ambience! They also come equipped with cooking facilities, so you are free from the restrictions of a hotel, and can eat cheaply in the evenings (there's a good supermarket in town).
8018 Mons Road, Whistler; tel: 604 905 5533; www.whistlercamping.com
Running from the Saddle on Whistler Mountain at the top, to Creekside at the bottom the series of connected runs known locally as Peak to Creek is a wonderful experience. Start with a challenging leap off the Saddle and finish with the Dave Murray Downhill (the run chosen as the men's downhill for the Whistler Winter Olympics in 2010), it has a huge range of fun and exciting ski conditions in between.
Take it at your own pace and time it for late morning or early afternoon so that you can reward yourself with lunch on the sun deck at Dusty's Bar. From here you can look back up the mountain and see the Saddle again - some 5,000 ft above you and over four miles away.
Very little in Whistler is cheap. Shoestring Lodge is the exception. This aptly named hostel provides comfortable accommodation in four-bed dorms and private rooms, each with TV and bathroom, for a fraction of the price of a hotel. There's a free bus for the short trip to the lifts every morning and local buses stop just outside. Bars and restaurants are within walking distance if the pub/part-time strip joint attached to the hostel doesn't appeal.
7124 Nancy Greene Drive; www.shoestringlodge.com/
Eat a fantastic, hearty Canadian breakfast in a genuine North American style diner with original 1940s decor. Sit in one of the booths and enjoy the atmosphere.
249 Victoria St, Toronto, ON M5B 1T8 Canada; tel: 416 364 7517; www.thesenator.com/
Excellent hotel in brilliant location in downtown Toronto. Close to CN Tower, Skydome, City Hall and the ferry to Toronto Islands.
60 York Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 1S8; tel: (416) 363-3321; reservations: (800) 268-8304; www.thestrathconahotel.com
Bosmon's Motor Hotel downtown.
If you go around back, there's a bar that sometimes never closes full of students. Apparently smoking friendly too.
730 Main St, Vancouver
Lo-Fi place to relax on some couches, shoot pool and drink in a non BS atmosphere. meet girls and actually be able to talk to them without blasting garbage House music. No idea when it closes. Sometimes 5:00am, sometimes 2:00am.
The Templeton Restaurant
Monday night is movie night. See a movie still in theatres and get blasted on $9 pitchers of ale. It's a diner, but all the food is organic and tasty.
Arts backstage lounge (on Granville Island).
Take a $2.50 ferry ride to granville island from beach avenue. check out the best patio in Vancouver. Full of Emily Carr students, and a secret place to watch the fireworks if you don't want to brave the ridiculous crowds of drunk teenagers.
Butchershop on Main St.
All sorts of stuff goes on here like midnight movies, local artists, great people.
A comfortable 3 star hotel in an excellent location in Downtown Toronto, on Dundas Street, just by Yonge/Dundas Square and a short walk from the Eaton Centre. The rates are very resonable, consequently it's used by lots of coach tour parties. Staff are friendly and the rooms clean. Great value considering it's location.
Cricket in Vancouver? Yes. Since the late 1800s.
Don Bradman said it best about Brockton Point ground: "In my opinion, the Brockton Point ground is the prettiest upon which it has been my pleasure to play. It is a really magnificent setting."
If only all cricket could be played in places like this. Harbour, mountains, forest. Bella, bella, bella. Whites on green. Relax after a day of sightseeing.
Brockton Point is located in Stanley Park. There's usually cricket on Sundays and if you see my mates from the Meraloma Club playing, say hello.
The most fantastic dinosaur museum since T-Rex reigned supreme. The 'badlands' east of Calgary are some of the richest dinosaur graveyards in the world and the Royal Tyrell Museum has the most impressive collection of fossils and bones you could imagine. Great for the family.
Just outside the town of Drumheller, which in turn is and hour and a half east of Calgary.
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