Getting Around Whistler
The best ways to get around Whistler are on foot or by bike. Depending on what you want to see and where you stay, you should be able to get from point A to point B just by walking or biking. Or, you can take the complimentary shuttle buses from Whistler Village, which transport visitors to Lost Lake Park and the Marketplace in town. BC Transit – Whistler's small public transit system – also operates six fee-based lines, but only a few of the routes will be convenient for tourists. Meanwhile, having a car will allow you the freedom to explore top attractions a little farther from the heart of Whistler (like Whistler Train Wreck and Alexander Falls) without having to spend a lot of cash on a cab, but parking can be tricky and sometimes expensive.
Travelers usually fly into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), which is about 85 miles south of Whistler, as it's the closest option to town. From there, you can rent a car, hop on a bus or catch a Rocky Mountaineer train to Whistler.
|On Foot||Much of Whistler is concentrated in Whistler Village, where you'll find a plethora of shops, restaurants and bars. The pedestrian walkway, the Village Stroll, winds through the area, and many Whistler hotels are situated by central attractions like Whistler Blackcomb, the Audain Art Museum and the Whistler Public Library.|
If your feet get sore or you want to traverse the paved Valley Trail or reach slightly removed sights like Lost Lake Park without driving, consider renting or bringing a bike. Several bicycle shops can be found in Whistler Village, including traveler-approved options like Evolution Whistler and Fanatyk Co Ski & Cycle. Some hotels also offer bike rentals. Fees vary by company and hotel but are generally by the hour or day. Should you decide to bike around Whistler, plan on downloading Tourism Whistler's Whistler Hiking and Biking Map to keep you from getting lost.
You may need to rent a car if you choose to drive from Vancouver's airport, but renting it one-way would be your best bet. Avis offers a 24-hour rental deal that grants you use of a vehicle to get between the airport and the Whistler Cascade Lodge, but you cannot use the vehicle to drive around Whistler or Vancouver. Doing this will save you from paying parking fees to keep the car for the duration of your stay. If you're interested in exploring attractions that are a bit farther away, such as Alexander Falls and Brandywine Falls Provincial Park, you can rent a car for the day. Meanwhile, those who opt to have a car in Whistler will find several parking lots (both free and paid) around town. Rates for fee-based lots range from 2.50 to 20 Canadian dollars (or about $2 to $15.50) per vehicle, per day.
Nine bus routes service Whistler, connecting the town with nearby neighborhoods. Most buses run daily from around 6 a.m. to midnight, though schedules vary by route. From mid-June to early September, you can get a free shuttle daily from Whistler Village to Lost Lake Park and vice versa. Complimentary transfers are also provided between downtown's Marketplace and Gondola Transit Exchange (which sits next to Whistler Blackcomb's Blackcomb Excalibur Gondola) from mid-November to April.
For BC Transit's other routes, a ticket is required. A one-way fare costs CA$2.50 (about $2) per adult, while children 5 and younger ride free. You must have exact change. If you plan on using the bus multiple times, consider purchasing a day pass for CA$7 (roughly $5.50) or a sheet of 10 tickets for CA$22.50 (around $17.50). Seniors receive discounted rates on 10-ticket bundles.
There are taxis available in Whistler, but they'll put a dent in your wallet if you want to get to attractions outside town. Meters start at CA$3.20 ($2.50), with an additional CA$3.13 charged per kilometer traveled (or approximately $4 per mile). Walking around Whistler is easiest, but if you find the weather too cold or you've imbibed heavily at a local bar, cabs are readily available to hail throughout town.
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