We knew we had practically arrived at our vacation destination, Whistler, BC, so began our ritual of looking for a bear. It's now our "thing" since we usually do see a black bear when we visit Whistler. Just walking along, minding bear business. Once even crossing on the highway crosswalk. "Woaaah, look kids!! Do you see that?!" I was excited, so I think the kids thought I'd seen one. "Look at the rainbow! It's welcoming us to Whistler! See the sign?" There was the rainbow, framing the first sign of Whistler. My kids were as excited as I was. We were officially in Whistler, where magical wonders like this rainbow were prevalent.
We love Whistler in the summertime. Mountain biking, hiking, swimming, hanging out in the Village, mini-golf and other family games, great plant-based food, and so much natural beauty and fresh air. The rainbow symbolized our trip well. We couldn't help but be giddy simply by being there, regardless of early-summer ever-changing weather - and even though we missed seeing a bear this time. Here are a few highlights we had this go around:
Whistler Farmers Market
I skipped on over to the farmers market at Whistler Upper Village right away, of course - and it was much more involved than I'd expected, with a very long row of vendor tents. Below by row l-r: I caught the Four Seasons chefs happily shopping the market for fresh ingredients to bring to their hotel dining experience. Rising Knead Bakery has a beautiful variety of breads, including Ancient Grain. The kitchen knives by North Arm Knives are gorgeous. Art by Andre Doucet was selling these adorable block print cards we picked up as gifts. I bought a variety of beautiful grab-and-go veggies, like these cucumbers and Thumbelina carrots, to snack on at our condo. We couldn't resist Grass Mountain Pottery's lovely teacups and vases, especially after watching artist Ren hand-carve a mug on the spot.
The Green Moustache
This was our go-to cafe in Whistler Village. We were pleased to see that there are more plant-based dining options around the village since our last visit a few years ago. We had sorbetto at Lucia Gelato (such delicious, unique flavors!) and found healthy options at the village grocery stores, and discovered our favorite go-to: we really loved that everything The Green Moustache has is plant-based, organic, gluten-free whole food. Our kind of place! We simply enjoyed every bite, including amazing smoothie bowls, salads, fresh cold-press juices, soup, and more - plus our new favorite treat, one of the few things not made in-house and really incredible: Vegan Pudding Co.'s pudding. Oh wow. This may be the best pudding I've ever had, ever. And with kabocha squash as a main ingredient! Organic, white sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, rich & custardy - yes! I love that The Green Moustache has a program for high schools called Eat to Beat - bringing hands-on nutritious educational experiences to students. Eat to Beat also has an Organic Produce Basket program. Round of applause! Inspiring. This place really helped make our trip what we wanted it to be.
Alta Lake Trail
The bike ride around Alta Lake is a good solid one, with enough hills to challenge on the 6 mile ride, yet not too much for my fit father and tween son.
Whistler Mountain Downhill Mountain Biking
Arbutus Routes has a fantastic one-on-one training program - what a thrill! The one injury on the trip did not happen during the downhill adventure, thankfully. This was a highlight of the trip!
Creekbread Pizza is a real treat, especially since it could accommodate the gluten-free vegan in our group. Food is love, yes it is.
Ancient Cedars Trail
Talk about beauty - this is a beautiful family hike for experienced or older kids; it's pretty much straight up, so seemed longer than the 5k or so that it was. The peaceful scenery is breathtaking and well worth the journey. Just make sure you have a car that can handle off-road - quite a bouncy ride to the trailhead, which was part of the fun.
The Whistler Tea House
This sweet little shop is a fun spot to discover unique, flavorful teas like Lychee & Peony and Coconut Chocolate Chai. We had a couple cooler days, and The Whistler Tea House tea felt so good those mornings.
Iron Man Canada was just setting up as we were leaving; we had to head home before a friend of ours took it on, but we cheered him on just the same. A lovely and challenging place for it!
I look forward to returning to Whistler wonderland.