9 Things to Do in Shoulder Season

October 9, 2014

Traditionally, fall in Whistler is known as the shoulder season – that time of year where summer is a distant memory, yet there’s still a way to go before we can step into our skis and celebrate winter.

While shoulder season in Whistler is quieter than the busy summer and winter months, there’s still a lot to do around town. In fact, activities are usually less expensive and less crowded than they are the rest of year, making shoulder season one of Whistler’s best-kept secrets.

Here are 9 of our favourite things to do during shoulder season in Whistler:

Watch Ski Movies

Not quite skiing conditions yet? No worries – the next best thing to doing it yourself is watching the pros do it. Shoulder season coincides with the release of the latest crop of ski films, and Whistler hosts a different premiere just about every week. We’re excited to check out some of the forward-thinking ski films of 2014, including the environmentally-focused film, The Little Things, and Pretty Faces, which features some of the world’s best female athletes.

Take a Hike

Shoulder season was practically made for hiking. The bugs are long gone, you won’t have to fight for a parking spot, and the mild weather means your energy will be high all day long. Whistler and Pemberton offer some incredible hikes—now is the time to do them!

hiking whistler

Stock Up

It’s time to take inventory of your ski and snowboard gear. Shoulder season is the perfect time to fill in the gaps in your personal inventory. There are tons of pre-season sales this time of year. Whistler Blackcomb’s annual Turkey Sale is the one to look out for, but many other stores offer deep discounts over the same weekend. Save lots of time for shopping over Thanksgiving.

Sample the Local Fare

With fewer tourists around, restaurateurs are eager to invite in locals to fill up seats. They do so by offering delectable multi-course menus at ridiculously low prices. If you’ve ever wanted to sample some of Whistler’s best restaurants like Araxi, Bearfoot Bistro, Alta Bistro, and Rim Rock, this is the time to do it.

Hit the Gym

It’s probably been awhile since you last hit the slopes, so you might want to think about whipping yourself back into shape to avoid some very sore first days on the mountain. On the next rainy day, make a beeline for the gym. Keep your eyes peeled for the community week at Meadow Park, when fitness classes are offered for free!

Get Creative

Calling all readers and writers! The Whistler Readers and Writers Festival takes place October 17 to 19, offering readings, workshops, and other fun events for lovers of literature. It’s the perfect way to spark your creativity – and who knows, it could be just the push you need to finally start the memoir you’ve always contemplated writing…

The Horror!

Make sure your calendar is open for October 30—that’s when the Heavy Hitting Horror Fest takes place, and believe us when you say you don’t want to miss out. This homegrown horror film festival is like no other event in Whistler. Gory costumes are a must for all attendees, so start crafting yours now.

Run the Trails

Trail running is one of Whistler’s most underrated sports. With plenty of technical trails for cross-country mountain bikers, Whistler is the perfect place for trail running — all you need is a pair of sturdy trail running shoes. If you’re used to road running, you’re in for a treat: not only is trail running easier on your joints, but it’s a whole new mental game from pounding the pavement.


If you like food and wine—and let’s be honest, most of us do—then you need to get acquainted with Cornucopia, Whistler’s premier food and wine extravaganza. From November 6 to 16, indulge in workshops, tastings, multi-course meals, and parties featuring some of the very fine fare. Bon appetit!

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