From the trailhead at the bottom of Jane Lakes Road to the abandoned boxcars in the woods, the popular Train Wreck Trail is approximately one kilometre long. Photo by Sheri Radford.

How to Spend a Shoulder-Season Getaway in Whistler

The mountain bikers have cleared out, but the skiers and snowboarders haven’t arrived yet—shoulder season is the perfect time for a quick Whistler getaway, perhaps focussed on wellness with a side of warmth and coziness.

Scandinave Spa

Photo by Justa Jeskova courtesy of Tourism Whistler.

One complete circuit at Scandinave Spa involves 15 minutes of heat in a sauna, steam room, or outdoor hot tub, followed by a gasp-inducing 30-second plunge in a cold pool, then 15 minutes of relaxation: settle into a hammock, stretch out on a lounger, do a few gentle poses in the yoga studio, or take a seat by an outdoor fireplace. The more times you repeat the three-part circuit, the more your mind and body will feel the benefits.

Photo by Jessie Byrne courtesy of Destination BC.

Silence is said to be golden—it’s also mandatory in this tech-free spa, where talking and electronic devices are both forbidden. If you plan to incorporate a massage into your day, make sure to book it early. RMT treatments tend to fill up weeks in advance.

Train Wreck Trail

Photo by Sheri Radford.

A train derailment in 1956 was bad news for the lumber company that lost its load of lumber, but it turned out to be good news for local graffiti artists—and hikers. Over the years, taggers have transformed the seven abandoned boxcars into an ever-changing canvas for their work. A suspension bridge spanning the Cheakamus River provides a safe and easy way for hikers to reach this al fresco art gallery, all year round.

Photo by Sheri Radford.

While exploring the Train Wreck Trail, take a moment to pause amongst the towering trees, breathe in the fresh air, and marvel at the talent and resourcefulness of the artists.

Rockit Coffee

Photo by Sheri Radford.

To experience a jolt of caffeine in the most whimsical setting outside of a Wes Anderson movie, head to Rockit Coffee. A cluster of disco balls hanging outside the entrance is your first clue that this is not your average coffee shop. Inside, old-school vinyl records compete for wall space with ’70s-style clocks, funky mirrors, and retro posters. Shelves overflow with vintage telephones, turntables, boomboxes, and computers, while speakers of various sizes and ages cover one full wall.

Photo by Sheri Radford.

Indulge in an espresso, latte, or smoothie (the sweet and decadent Feeling Groovy is a favourite) paired with a Bieber breakfast wrap, Turkey Boogie-oogie sandwich, Rasta bowl, or chocolate chai mushroom brownie. Show up early if you hope to snag a maple or tiramisu cruffin, as they tend to sell out quickly.


Beet salad at The Wildflower. Photo by Kevin Clark courtesy of Fairmont Château Whistler.

Whistler has an abundance of palate-pleasing destinations, from casual spots like Peaked Pies and Hunter Gather to fine-dining stalwarts such as Araxi, Bearfoot Bistro, The Wildflower, Rimrock Cafe, and Hy’s Steakhouse. Head to La Cantina for Mexican, The Green Moustache for plant-based fare, Harajuku Izakaya for Japanese-style tapas, and Mekong for fine Thai cuisine. The annual Cornucopia festival of food and drink takes place from November 9 to 19, 2023.

Fairmont Château Whistler

Photo by Tal Vardi courtesy of Fairmont Château Whistler.

Nestled amongst the trees near the base of Blackcomb Mountain, the Fairmont Château Whistler was clearly designed with wellness and relaxation in mind. While away an afternoon (or a weekend) alternating between the lap pool and three hot tubs outside, the hot tub, sauna, and two steam rooms inside, and the swimming pool that spans both indoors and outdoors. They’re all located next to the well-equipped fitness centre. Yoga and aquafit classes, private Lululemon Mirror bookings, and pampering spa treatments are all on offer, and the hotel’s Whistler Experience Guides are available to take guests on guided excursions such as Village walks, bike tours, and hikes to Instagram-worthy spots like the Train Wreck Trail.

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Château Whistler.

Each guest room in the hotel includes a yoga mat, making it easy to fit in some downward dog and savasana. Soccer balls, Frisbees, and other sports equipment can be borrowed from the health club. From November 3 to 5, 2023, the hotel is hosting Ignite: Whistler Wellness Weekend Retreat, filled with workshops, yoga, dance workouts, and more, to enrich both body and soul.

Getting There

Photo by Blake Jorgenson courtesy of Destination BC.

Lower your stress level even more by leaving your car at home and letting Epic Rides or YVR Skylynx transport you from Vancouver to Whistler. Just sit back and enjoy the stunning views along the Sea to Sky Highway while someone else takes care of the driving.

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Post Date:

November 2, 2023