A city break adds a different dimension to a ski holiday, allowing you discover more of the country and get out of the ‘resort bubble’ we often find ourselves in when jet setting to the mountains. When combining a ski and city break it can be hard to find a vibrant city with a large ski area just a stone’s throw away.
But this isn’t an issue when combining a ski holiday to Whistler and a city break to Vancouver. The grouping of America’s largest ski resort and the 6th most liveable city in the world makes for the perfect concoction of Canadian culture.
Offering 216km of skiable terrain, Whistler is known for its legendary powder and as the number one ski resort in North America. It combines the two mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb, connected by a pedestrianized village hub and by the world’s highest gondola ‘Peak 2 Peak’. It offers everything you could want and more from its attractive village, ski terrain for all abilities and efficient lift systems. The resort’s highlights include its longest run Peak to Creek, its famed bowls, Olympic bobsled experience, zip lining between the two mountains, dog sledding and of course its renowned après ski for a pint of local beer and a dance on the tables.
The most scenic city with beautiful surrounding waters of the Pacific and backdropped by snow-capped peaks, it’s not surprising that Vancouver was ranked the 6th most liveable city for 3 years in a row. Vancouver is a bustling and energetic city offering so many things to do, you’ll have to squeeze in as much as you can into your short break.
Stanley Park is recognised as one of the largest urban parks in the world, surmounting the city’s downtown peninsula. It’s a green oasis of forests, formal gardens, scenic views across the water and where the world’s largest waterfront pathway is situated, ideal for a walk, cycle or run. Its aquarium is also western Canada’s most visited sight, home to over 70,000 animals including sea otters and dolphins and is respected for its marine stewardship and research.
Queen Elizabeth Park is the place to go to see the best views of the city due to its elevated position overlooking both mountains and skyscrapers. It features an array of gardens and Bloedel Conservatory, a glass dome enclosing a tropical garden and over 120 free-flying exotic birds.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a Vancouver landmark to present the city’s nature, history, and culture, sitting above the Capilano River. Walk the 7 bridges of Treetops Adventure and the Cliffwalk which is a series of walkways from the granite cliff face through rainforest vegetation. It’s not for those who are afraid of heights as at some parts glass is the only thing separating you from the canyon below.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park - Photo: tourismvancouver.com
Vancouver holds an array of street food, farmers and flea markets, inviting you to have a taster of Vancouver’s culture and cuisine.
Richmond Night Market is the biggest night market in North America with over 500 food options, 100 retail stalls and carnival games to choose from and live entertainment and performances.
Granville Island Public Market is a year round draw for tourists with many restaurants, galleries and art studios to peruse as well as unique gifts.
Eastside Flea Market is also a great one to visit. It’s a lively centre where you’ll find one of a kind handcrafted gifts, vintage fashion and food stalls, plus they host weekend and community events and workshops to encourage the city to shop local and sustainably.
Richmond Night Market - Photo: visitrichmondbc.com
There are many galleries and museums in Vancouver to visit which will depend on your preference. The top ones to visit include Vancouver Art Gallery which hosts a number of contemporary and historical exhibitions with over 9,000 pieces of artwork. The UBC Museum of Anthropology is regarded as Vancouver’s must-visit museum, displaying Northwest Coast First Nations collections and artefacts from around the world. Other highly regarded museums are the Science World British Columbia, Vancouver Maritime Museum and the Museum of Vancouver and H.R. MacMillan Space Centre.
The UBC Museum of Anthropology - Photo: Museum of Anthropology Facebook
Sporting events are big in Vancouver, to be expected having hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games back in 2010. Visitors can experience competitive spirits of professional teams do their thing, whether that be watching the BC Lions in a football match, a Vancouver Warriors’ lacrosse game or a Vancouver Canucks ice hockey game at Rogers Arena - the quintessentially Canadian sport.
Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena - Photo: Vancouver Canucks Facebook
Whatever your holiday preferences, we can create a bespoke ski and city break for you. Have a look through our Whistler ski deals, our top 5 ski and city breaks or give us a call on the number above and speak to a ski expert for recommendations and advice on your perfect ski and city break.