Whistler Blackcomb has the longest ski season of any resort in North America. It’s also experiencing one of the region’s best snowfalls in years, giving residents more time than ever to explore the incredible selection of après-ski and -snowboard destinations in town.
Many of Whistler’s most popular après spots are located right near the Village Gondola, so it might be tempting to head back on the trails after a beer or two. However, alcohol can increase your risk of serious injury while participating in winter sports, which could put an end to your season entirely.
As part of their latest campaign, Preventable BC and the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB) encourage skiers and snowboarders to save their après activities for after they’ve finished up on the slopes.
With their help, we reached out to four Whistler locals and asked them to share their favourite place to relax after a day on the hills. From casual bars to upscale eateries, here’s what the après experts recommend.
El Furniture Warehouse
“My favourite place grab a beer after the hill is the El Furniture Warehouse,” says Duncan Mainland, a Whistler snowboard coach. “There's always a friend there, and you can't argue with $5 food.”
As Mainland says, the main draw at El Furniture Warehouse has to be the menu. From the Baja Fish Tacos to the Smokey BBQ Burger with fries, everything is only $5. The quirky restaurant is also located along one of the most well-travelled parts of the Village Stroll, so you can imagine how busy it gets. If it’s packed when you arrive, your best bet is to put your name on the waiting list and grab a treat at Menchie’s or COWS Ice Cream in the meantime.
Jonathon Baum, a snowboarder and local resident, hosts Elevated Comedy at Crystal Lounge every Wednesday night. So, it’s no wonder that the Crystal is his favourite spot for après.
Located inside the Crystal Lodge in the heart of the village, this destination offers a relaxed atmosphere and a casual dining menu. Leave the mountain before the last run to catch the end of their happy hour, which runs from 12–4pm, or swing by for its reprise from 10pm to close. You may just get to see some comedy or live music while you’re at it.
Coaching snowboarders is no mean feat, so after a long day on the slopes, Meghan Hebert is happy to retire to her home to relax. If, however, she feels like stopping for a drink to end the day with, Dusty’s is the place.
Located in Creekside, Dusty’s has more of a laid-back feel than some of the other Whistler après destinations, asserts Hebert, who owns the North Shore Snowboard Team in Vancouver and is the Assistant Coach for the BC Snowboard Cross Team. Guests can chill out with a game of pool, play a round of darts, relax by the fire on the upstairs patio and enjoy delicious BBQ-style food.
Garibaldi Lift Co. Bar & Grill
At Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC), “après is considered an artform.” Sarah, a skier who’s lived in Whistler for 10 years, considers the GLC her favourite spot for après due to its inexpensive food offerings, drink specials and live music and events.
The Garibaldi Lift Co. occupies a coveted location above the Whistler Gondola building and is the first stop for skiers and snowboarders coming off the mountain. The massive patio is idyllic on a bluebird day, when you can watch skiers cruise down the slopes of the mountain as you sip on a Whistler Brewing Honey Lager.