Ski trip to Whistler along the Sea to Sky Highway

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
7
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
2
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
9
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
5
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
6
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
5
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
67 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
North America
country
Canada
Length of time
1-2 days
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 400
Time of year visited
March
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
141st/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 40% SUMMARY RATING: Superb

Summary

One of the major benefits of Vancouver is that it is less than a 2 hours drive from world-class skiing in Whistler, and the drive itself along the Sea to Sky Highway is one of the highlights of the trip.  Make sure to give yourself a bit more time to stop and gawp at the views, in particular along the coast near Howe Sound

Just a note on skiing in North America vs Europe, which I do find very different.  In Europe, you tend to find seemingly endless interlocking valleys, ski-fields and genuine alpine villages that have often developed before the boom of skiing.  North American is very different and Whistler is the classic example of this – much more commercialised, even if often more subtle.  For example, the alpine village and lovely wooden chalets that look like they’ve been there for hundreds of years, get given away a touch when you notice they have 5 floors of modern car park below them.  But, then again there are some very pleasant modern benefits – for example, sitting in the hot tub after a day of skiing is . . . ahhhhh.  In terms of the skiing itself, you don’t get the endless mountains – but you do get two, with Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, which are more than enough to keep you busy

highlights

#1 Hitting the extensive slopes of Whistler

#2 The dramatic views of the Sea-to-Sky Highway on the route to Whistler

#3 Enjoying the warm water of the hot tub at the end of the days skiing

#4 The bars and restaurants of Whistler village itself

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone