Enjoy the quiet shoulder season

Bust out your toques, Gortex and pumpkin spice everything — fall is officially here.

In case the dramatically cooler weather didn’t alert you, last Friday officially marked the fall equinox. While some people relish the cooler days and slower pace of life, most people in the Sea to Sky corridor dislike rainy season — mostly because outdoor pursuits are a lot less fun when it’s been pouring for weeks on end. In fact, many with the means and flexible or seasonal jobs tend to flee for the month of October entirely.

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And so, in the spirit of positivity, we’re looking at the bright side of autumn shoulder season. They include:

1. Time to slow down. Gone are the hordes of tourists, busy work schedules and relentless pressure to take in every festival, camping trip and beach day. Instead of rushing around, you don’t have to feel any internal guilt about binging on Netflix or curling up all afternoon with a good book. Enjoy it because the snowy season will be upon us soon.

2. Shoulder season deals. Sure, some restaurants might close entirely for a much-needed rest, but many have killer deals for locals to enjoy meals most often enjoyed by tourists. Dig into a multi-course dinner for a dramatically discounted rate — but just make sure you inquire about when the deal ends.

3. Free parking returns. This summer, the Resort Municipality of Whistler installed pay parking in the day lots and around the Village. There was a predictable uproar, but official numbers released at the council meeting last week show that parking availability has dramatically improved. That said, it will be nice to enjoy a couple months of being able to run into the Village for some shopping without having to worry about coughing up a few bucks.

4. Less traffic. Pay parking might have eased parking woes, but traffic remained a problem over much of the summer. With fewer people on holidays and fewer reasons for city folks to come up the highway, you should be able to breeze through town without worrying about getting caught in soul-sucking traffic.

5. Saving money/ your liver. “Sober October” is a widespread Whistler trend. The month is caught between the carefree, beer-swigging days of summer and the ski-all-day-party-all-night days to come. Give your wallet and your organs a break and commit to at least one healthy month.

Winter, after all, is just around the corner.

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