Set the night on fireWhistler's the place to party when the sun goes down
by Penelope Buswell
You've no doubt already heard about Whistler's party reputation: It begins with après on the patios, and ends late every night in the bars. Start the evening with friends at an outside table overlooking the Village Stroll, then stop by a lounge or two before you hit the nightlife.
For après, choose a patio with a great view: Longhorn, Citta's, Tapley's, the Brewhouse, Blacks and the Amsterdam are classic people-watching locations. For a view of the bike park try the Garibaldi Lift Company, or GLC , which also often has good live music later in the evening.
If you like Celtic music with your Guinness, try the Dubh Linn Gate. Merlin's in the Upper Village has great nachos, served in a towering, eye-widening portion. If you prefer to sit indoors, try the popular chicken wings at Crystal Lounge, the delicious beef dip at Brandy's Bar in The Keg, or watch the action at the Adventure Zone from Milestones at the base of Blackcomb.
Three Below is another place worth checking out — it's hidden away beside the cinema, and you can order a home-cooked meal with your beverage.
The Attic at 21 Steps is perfect for sophisticated after-dinner cocktails. Around the corner, The Mix at Ric'shas award-winning drink creations (and a chocolate molten lava cake that's divine). For a good atmosphere, and a formidable martini list, try Elements on Main Street. Earl's is also good if you like a bustling, energetic crowd.
For special occasions, the Champagne Bar at the Bearfoot Bistro is unbeatable. The stylish spot is famous for its extensive wine cellar, boasting more than 2,100 bottles. Also popular is the sub-zero Belvedere Ice Room, where you can wrap up in a parka and taste up to 50 varieties of super-chilled vodka.
The bar at Araxi, of Hell's Kitchen fame, is a can't-miss spot in Village Square. Their unique cocktails are handprepared with fresh herbs and juices. The hotel bars are also central, and great drinking locations. Try the FireRock at the Westin, or the Mallard Lounge at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. The Cinnamon Bear in the Hilton is a busy sports bar. A short walk away is the Four Seasons' Fifty Two 80 Bistro Bar, which has a large and secluded outdoor patio.
Creekside has its own selection of fun and funky spots to enjoy a drink or two. Dusty's is a locals favourite at the base of the hill, while Roland's Pub is a bustling spot with award-winning barbecue fare. Experience lakeside luxury at Cure Lounge at Nita Lake Lodge, or check out Players Chophouse for a casually-elegant glass of wine. Even the homey Southside Diner can get a bit rock 'n' roll as the night goes on.
But pace yourself, because Whistler is vibrant until late. Don't miss the bumping music and dance floor energy at the Village's six nightclubs.
Garfinkel's is one of the largest, and regularly hosts big-name acts from the international music scene. Tommy Africa's is a great place to dance, while Moe Joe's is popular with locals and Maxx Fish is always busy with a younger crowd. Buffalo Bill's attracts a mixed crowd that likes to get wild to the tunes provided by longtime resident DJ Peacefrog. The Savage Beagle is back and is quickly becoming the cool new hangout with both an upstairs lounge and downstairs nightclub.
Whatever reason you're visiting Whistler, you haven't experienced everything until you've joined the party. So, cheers!
Photo: Brad Kasselman, www.coastphoto.com