With an abundance of group activities and adventure options on offer, it’s hardly surprising that Whistler has become one of the ultimate gay wedding, honeymoon, and bachelor or bachelorette party destinations. While there are no gay bars in Whistler yet, this Canadian ski town has solid inclusivity credentials thanks to its safe, welcoming and fun atmosphere.
Whether seeking a summer wedding in the great outdoors or prefer a magical winter wedding full of sparkle, here’s our essential guide.
BEFORE THE WEDDING (Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties)
Deciding where to stay can be one of the hardest decisions when booking a destination bachelor or bachelorette party. If you’re looking to stay at the heart of the action while still enjoying a little peace and quiet, the Aava is a solid choice. Modern and stylish yet still one of the more affordable high-end options, the Aava has a fitness facility, outdoor pool and sauna, as well as complimentary GoPro camera hire so you can capture your fun along the way. It’s also the official host venue for Whistler Pride 2019.
For the ultimate group dining experience, look no further than Bearfoot Bistro. Largely regarded as a culinary journey, executive chef Melissa Craig will take you on a sensory adventure celebrating the finest wild game and seafood British Columbia has to offer. From more intimate dinners in an underground wine cellar through to a full fine dining service or canape reception for 150, the team will happily cater to you and your group’s every need.
If you’re looking to party like a local, then Sushi Village is for you. Not only will you enjoy utterly delicious sushi, but you’ll also stand a chance of spotting a celebrity or two. With the legendary sake margaritas flowing, Friday and Saturday nights get pretty wild, and Sushi Village excels in group bookings.
No bachelor or bachelorette party to Whistler would be complete without trying one of the top activities in Whistler – axe throwing at Forged. This distinctly Canadian activity is like darts but way more fun. After a quick safety briefing from the team, you and your group will compete in your own axe throwing tournament with the goal of hitting a bullseye and becoming a lumberjack champion! Don’t worry if you’ve never picked up (or thrown) an axe before, the team are extremely knowledgeable and friendly, so they’ll provide plenty of advice to firm up your technique in no time. Check out the group axe throwing options for parties of all sizes – you can even rent out the whole place for the ultimate axe throwing party!
For an action-packed Whistler bachelor or bachelorette party, why not roll many epic adventures into one? Spend the day climbing through trees, flying through the air or rampaging down rapids with The Adventure Group. We’d highly recommend spending one day on Cougar Mountain enjoying bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, zip lining, heli-sightseeing, snowmobiling and more!
Whistler’s beer scene is booming right now and Whistler nightlife is legendary. A tap house tour at Whistler Brewing is perhaps the best way to see how the many authentic craft beers are made (and taste test them on the way). New kid on the block, Coast Mountain Brewing, is also well worth a visit with a whole host of delicious seasonal taps on offer. Why not make an afternoon of it?
FOR THE WEDDING (VENUES)
One of the biggest problems you’ll find when planning a destination wedding in Whistler, is choosing a venue. Why? You’ll be spoilt for choice! There are plenty of local and in-house wedding planners around too, able to offer lots of advice as you plan the big day.
If you envisage a fairytale Whistler wedding, look no further than the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. This grand hotel is not stuffy or old-fashioned. In fact, the first same-sex wedding in Whistler happened right here. The on-site wedding chapel is located on the rooftop, offering breathtaking views of the mountains.
The Crystal Lodge is located in the heart of Whistler Village, and this central location appeals to many seeking a truly memorable wedding. Restaurants, lounged, coffee shops and retail stores are right in the building, and the venue is just steps from the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
For smaller guest lists, the Stone Circle Park is one of many dreamy outdoor spaces ideal for spending the best day of your life. This particular outdoor area offers far reaching views while still somehow managing to retain a feel of privacy.
AFTER THE WEDDING (Honeymoons)
With so much to see and do at any time of year, a Whistler honeymoon is the perfect way to start married life in style. Whether hibernating by an open fire in January, or venturing on a hike in June, no two Whistler honeymoons are the same.
As Whistler’s only lakeside property, the award-winning Nita Lake Lodge & Spa offers a truly Canadian honeymoon experience, and is an ideal place to stay. Walking distance to the Creekside gondola and on the Valley Trail, you’ll be well placed to enjoy all Whistler has to offer while still enjoying a little mountain seclusion. King-size beds, double soaker tubs and glass-enclosed rain showers provide the perfect place to wind down after a day of adventure.
You’ll find no end of honeymoon activities in Whistler. Cozy up with a dog sled ride through the Whistler wilderness over at Blackcomb Dog Sled. Quintessentially romantic, each sled fits two people and you can even take turns mushing through the mountains if you’re feeling particularly adventurous!
Oysters are the food of love so a Whistler honeymoon wouldn’t be complete without an intimate meal at Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar. Choose from an impressive selection of ocean-friendly seafood prepared by internationally renowned chef Quang Dang. Alternatively, enjoy a little Parisian romance at The Red Door Bistro where French cuisine is served with West Coast soul. The West Coast Bouillabaisse comes highly recommended, and there’s an impressive selection of desserts perfect for sharing…
Before heading home, grab a bottle of Champagne and sink into a hot tub at one of the many spas in Whistler!