Before reading this, make sure to read our Vancouver in Two Days post!
If you are just now joining in, Troy and I are doing 10 days in B.C. for our anniversary from June 26-July 5. We started in Vancouver, drove to Whistler, took a ferry to Tofino/Ucluelet, drove down to Victoria, and then took the ferry back to Vancouver for our flight home.
Today’s post is all about our drive & stay in Whistler, B.C., Canada.
What To Do in Whistler
Please note that we only had two days in Whistler, so your itinerary may look a little different depending on how long you have in this beautiful city. These are just the top things we did in the limited amount of time that we had!
Weather: chilly. The sun was out but it was still pretty cold all around in B.C. during the time we were there (especially up in the Whistler mountains!) Pack layers. I wore a thin puffer jacket most of the time. Also make sure to pack a poncho or rain jacket.
Our first day was spent driving from Vancouver to Whistler. There is so much to do along the way so make sure to give yourself plenty of time.
*picture taken on the dock in Deep Cove
We woke up and immediately headed to Deep Cove for some famous donuts from Honey Doughnuts and Goods. THEY WERE EVERYTHING we hoped and dreamed! Definitely get the cinnamon and sugar- they were our favorites! Best donuts we have ever had by far. Plus, the drive was short and fun (30 min) and the town of Deep Cove is so dreamy. We want to move there like yesterday! Take some time and walk around the small town and out into the cove. You can also canoe if you have the time!
After our donuts we headed to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. This is the one thing so far in our trip we both agree we wish we would have skipped. It was packed (which made the bridge scarier because we couldn’t believe it would hold that many people!) I have no idea how anyone ever got pictures alone on the bridge?! There were thousands of people there. It was cool but just not worth the time and the $100. We didn’t realize we would find more suspension bridges (for free) along our hikes. If you ARE STILL GOING TO GO, make sure to buy tickets ahead of time. The line to buy tickets is really long and you can skip to the front if you already have them (you can download them on your phone, no need to print out!) They have a store and a couple different cafes inside and there is also a short cliff walk you can do that is included.
We then drove up the street to the Grouse Mountain Skyride/Gondola. We really wanted to do it, but it was sprinkling and suuuuper foggy. We wouldn’t have much visibility at all and that is what the ride is all about. We agreed to skip and try again on the way back from Whistler.
*on the Sea to Sky Gondola Suspension Bridge
Luckily the fog cleared up the closer to Whistler we got. We were able to do the Sea to Sky Gondola ride in Squamish with 100% visibility! It was gorgeous andddd there was an awesome suspension bridge at the top that we had all to ourselves! Definitely worth it!
We got to Whistler, checked into our Airbnb, and then headed to the Scandinave Spa. I hate writing negative reviews buttttt I didn’t have the best experience here. My massage was a 5 out of 10. I had never had a prenatal before so maybe they just aren’t as good but my therapist also needed to EAT. Her stomach growled soooo loud the entire time (for an hour!) It was so distracting. Troy could hear it from across the room. Would have been OK if the massage had at least been decent :/. Also, the robes they give you are super scratchy and stiff and they don’t even provide sandals. It also didn’t help that I couldn’t enjoy any of the hot tubs :/. Troy on the other hand had a great deep tissue massage and got to enjoy everything else the spa had to offer! If you want to skip the massage you can enjoy the pools for $70 CAD (just make sure to bring your own sandals and robes!)
We stopped and grabbed some food at the local grocery store, made sandwiches at home for dinner, and passed out.
We woke up and headed to the Southside Diner. We loveddddd this diner and should gave eaten there every morning! Hole in the wall diner with normal breakfast foods (the pancakes were amazing!)
*View from the Middle Lake at Joffrey Lakes Hike
Then we drove for an hour our to Joffrey Lakes Provincial Park and started our 4 hour hike. It says it is 4 hours online, but I think it took us 3 1/2. It was about 2.5 hours on the way up and 1.5 back down. The way up was hard not going to lie. But I haven’t worked out since January and I am pregnant and only had to take a few breaks. That means YOU CAN DO IT! AND IT IS SOOOO WORTH IT!! Right when you think you can’t go up anymore you are there and the view of the middle lake takes your breath away! I am a huge fan of glacier lakes. The turquoise water is just stunning. You can also see the massive glacier that is feeding the lakes from there! If you are tired you can head back down and be perfectly happy. Or, you can keep going and head to the beautiful view you get at the upper lake. From the upper lake you have the glacier mountains right in front of you- unobstructed. We had never seen a glacier before so it was nice to check that one off our list! There is also a bathroom at the upper lake to take advantage of! THIS HIKE IS A MUST DO! I know 4 hours seems long but it took us 3.5 with tons of stops and we sat down for awhile and took tonssss of photos. You can do it! Most beautiful hike we have ever done. Pack plenty of water and some snacks! Oh and be prepared for it to get colder and colder as you climb!
*on a bridge on the way to Whistler Village for dinner
We then drove home, showered up, and somehow made it to dinner at Araxi. It was delicious! I would definitely add it to your list of places to eat while you are in town. You can book a reservation on OpenTable! Troy had the tuna steak and loved it and I had some pasta! I mostly filled up on bread because the olive oil was soooo tasty. Araxi is in Whistler Village so we also took a little time and walked around and peeked into some shops too. It is so cute there! If you are an oyster fan they apparently have a great happy hour!
We had to check out of our Airbnb at 10am the next day and our ferry to Vancouver Island wasn’t until 8pm. BOOK YOUR FERRY RIDE AS SOON AS YOU CAN so you don’t have to wait until 8pm like we did. I did it on the plane to Vancouver and 8pm and 10pm were the only two times available.
Also, I am not going to share where we stayed in Whistler because it was horrible. The neighbors were so loud and the walls were paper thin so we didn’t get any sleep :/. I am going to leave a review on Airbnb so hopefully you will steer clear of it if you see it!
We packed up and headed out. Our first stop was Elements for breakfast in Whistler Village. Someone told us to try the stuffed french toast there. I got the regular french toast (it was just ok), but Troy got the chocolate banana french toast and loved it! Apparently the brie and ham french toast is where it is at! Should have tried that!
*at the Train Wreck in Whistler
We then drove to the Train Wreck site. The trail was super easy to find and it was so fun! It was a super quick hour hike and really easy. We also got to cross another suspension bridge with the most beautiful river below! The site was an actual train wreck with 4-5 train cars all sprayed in graffiti. There was actually a couple guys scraping off some old paint and painting something new on it. You can also walk up to the working train tracks and see where the train derailed. We loved this quick hike! It is about 10 minutes outside of Whistler.
We then hit up two waterfalls on our way to the ferry. We went to Brandywine Falls and Shannon Falls. Both are on the way back to Vancouver from Whistler and both were well worth the quick stop. You can get to them in about 10 minutes and it just just a short, easy walk to see them! Both are so different too!
Thennnn we went back to Grouse Mountain Skyride to see if the fog had cleared up. It hadn’t :/. We asked some people coming off the gondola and they said it was very low visibility and not worth it. We will just have to come back sometime! Apparently it has an amazing view of Downtown Vancouver and there is tons of fun stuff to do on top. Bummed we missed out.
*on the ferry in Horseshoe Bay
We headed to Horseshoe Bay to way on our ferry ride (BC Ferries). We ate and had drinks at Trolls and then checked in for our ferry. You have to check in 30 min to an hour before the trip. The ferry ride was actually really pretty and time flew by. We just stood at the front of the ship the entire time and had hot chocolate and coffee.
We docked in Nanaimo at almost 10pm and started the 2 1/2 hour drive to Ucluelet. More on that on the next post!
Joffrey Lakes Hike would be tough with kids. You would need to be SUUUUUPER in shape to carry them on your back. If they are too old to be carried make sure they could do that long of a hike. Everything else was super kid friendly! You could even do a mountain stroller to the Train Wreck and to the waterfalls. They would also love any of the gondola rides! Grouse Mountain apparently has tons of kid stuff at the top too!