How To Get From Vancouver To Whistler: 5 Best Ways

vancouver to whistler

Here is the ultimate tour guide taking you from Vancouver to Whistler.

Vancouver is a beautiful coastal city in British Columbia. All the adventure enthusiasts widely know the hustle and bustle of the city.  The town is right on the edge of nature, and visitors enjoy spending quality time here.

With its mountain backdrop and rich cultural life, downtown Vancouver marks itself as one of the world’s most visited and beautiful cities. And just 75 miles away from Vancouver lies a beautiful winter town, Whistler. Whistler is an all-year-round delightful village, where you can find yourself doing something unique at any time of the year.

Whistler village is a significant part of what makes Whistler such a popular destination. This alpine town is Whistler Blackcomb, North America’s largest ski resort and a global tourist destination. People often take trips from Vancouver to Whistler and explore the best of British Columbia. Travelling to Whistler from Vancouver is now just as simple yet exciting as it could be.

There are several ways to travel to Whistler from Vancouver. Even when the journey is not very long, there’s so much you could enjoy in between. And mark my words, every trip is worthy of your every minute.

From famous destination spots to fun activities, you could do a lot between your journey from Vancouver to Whistler. Take up a whole weekend to explore from Vancouver to Whistler.

We have listed below all the amazing options of transportation that will take you from Vancouver to Whistler. (Few of the alternatives are pocket friendly too)

Travel from Vancouver to Whistler

The best thing about a journey is always the memories we make or the experiences we take back with us. The trip from Vancouver to Whistler is one such experience people thoroughly enjoy.

1. Vancouver to Whistler by bus

One of the easiest, comfortable, and pocket-friendly means of transportation from Vancouver to Whistler is to take the bus.

If you are travelling on your own, the best way to get to Whistler from Vancouver is by bus or shuttle. Whistler shuttle services or bus services are more budget-friendly. And it takes you through the sea to the sky highway,  giving you some stunning views.

vancouver to whistler

Photo by Haydn Blackey/ Flickr, Copyright 2021

Whistler Shuttle offers you door to door services from your Vancouver hotel.

Most of the services by bus companies start from the Vancouver Internation Airport. So you can travel straight from Vancouver airport to Whistler without any stress or confusion. All you need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the views on your way.

Depending on the bus companies, the rates and the services differ. YVR SkyLynx is the only bus service company with ticket counters at the airport and stops in downtown Vancouver.

You can also go for epic rides, which are more affordable and straightforward. The bus rides usually take around two-two and a half hours.

Tip: For the Whistler Shuttle, you need to book it in advance. And do not miss the incredible views of Howe Sound on your way back. And if you want a round trip, the last bus from Whistler departs at 9:00 pm.

2. Vancouver to Whistler by Seaplane

If you are looking for an enthralling and exciting experience, the best travel choice from Vancouver to Whistler would be Seaplane. The journey by Seaplane is as memorable and thrilling as the destination itself.

With a Seaplane, you can speed up your journey and have the best views and experiences you wouldn’t get any other way. The Seaplane ride is costly, but the views of mountain peaks above and the alpine lakes are just worth it.

The journey by Seaplane is relatively short, it takes around 30-40 minutes, but the memories and experience are long-lasting. Some Seaplane services, like Harbour Air, provides rides straight from Vancouver Harbor to Whistler Blackcomb.

Also, a short travelling duration means more time to explore the attractions. With the Seaplane ride, you get more time to spend in Whistler and enjoy it thoroughly.

To get more details about the seaplane services, please click here.

Tip: Seaplane services are open only from late spring till early autumn. So, if you want to ride the Seaplane, mark your dates accordingly.

3. Vancouver to Whistler with a guided group tour

When you don’t have much time on your hands, but you want to explore and experience the best possible, then you can go for a guided group tour from Vancouver to Whistler.

How To Get From Vancouver To Whistler: 5 Best Ways 1

Photo by Philip Lai/ Flickr, Copyright 2021

A guided group tour is helpful to those who are just up for the fun and experience and does not want to take the stress of planning.

The guided group tour includes an up and down day trip via the Sea to Sky Highway on a coach bus. A guide fills the passengers with every detail and tells them what to look at or for on their way.

The bus stops at famous and picturesque spots along the way, and you are offered all the chances to explore them.

With less time in hands, this is by far the best option to explore every best thing about Whistler.

Tip: The best thing about these guided tours is that the same pick-up and drop locations. It is an easy and comfortable day trip.

4. Vancouver to Whistler by car

Do you enjoy road trips? Most old school people do, so they choose to rent a car and drive down to Whistler from Vancouver.

vancouver to whistler

Photo by Mike/ Flickr, Copyright 2021

The best part about driving on your own is you are free to do what you want, where to stop, and when to move. It’s all in your hands, as flexible as it can get.

And road trips are always fun, even if it is the old fashioned way.

However, while driving on your own from Vancouver to Whistler, you need to make notes of a few things. As the law says, your rental cars should have winter tires during the winter season, October-April. (you don’t want to get fined on your trip, at least)

There’s also a major setback of going by car or driving on your own, “parking in Whistler is a bit costly.” And consider yourself lucky if you get a parking spot available in Whistler during the weekends in the first place.

Tip: You can take as many side trips as you want.

5. Vancouver to Whistler by taxi

Last but not least, of course, your travel option from Vancouver to Whistler is by taxi.

How To Get From Vancouver To Whistler: 5 Best Ways 2

Photo by Joe Goldberg/ Flickr, Copyright 2021

Whistler’s taxi services offer rides between downtown Vancouver and Whistler. As long as you book their services in advance, they are happy to pick you up and drop you back anytime you want.

Taxies are the choice for your other means of transportation. If you missed the scheduled bus, you could hire a cab. It’s an easy and comfortable ride.

However, it isn’t very budget-friendly. That’s one drawback to travelling by taxies. It’s a little pricey than you would be expecting. So in case you want to go by taxi, be prepared for the extra charges.

So here are the top 5 best options for you to travel from Vancouver to Whistler. All the options are fantastic, though a few have one or two drawbacks. Choose whatever options suits you the best.

Well, once you are in Whistler, there are so many incredible things to do, see and enjoy. And not just in Whistler, there are extraordinary things to see while on your way to Whistler.

So here is our guide of the top 10 things to see and explore along the way from Vancouver to Whistler and in Whistler.

Vancouver’s Must-Stops Along the Way:

i) Grandville Island Vancouver 

An island right in the middle of a city, what else could anyone ask for? Grandville Island features some of the best waterfront restaurants, cafes, and local markets. And one must check them out.

ii) Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver- 

A National Historic Site of Canada, and the most popular tourist destination. The lighthouse park should be on the list. It is one of the most beautiful parks you will ever come across.

lighthouse park

Photo by Dennis Jarvis/ Flickr, Copyright 2021

One must check out the lighthouse viewpoint.

iii) Stanley Park, Vancouver-

 Right in downtown Vancouver is Stanley Park. A National Historic Site of Canada is home to beautiful hidden beaches, wildlife, nature, and a unique waterfront path: Seawall.

Vancouver Bike Routes- Stanley Park on Seawall

Photo by Mike/ Flickr, Copyright 2021.

Walk or bike the 27-kilometre long waterfront path.

If you plan to stay for a day in Vancouver, we have you covered. Click here to know how to spend a day in Vancouver.

Stops further on the way:

iv) Galileo Coffee Co. Cafe & Roasters, Britannia Beach- 

A beautiful coffee shop situated on the shores of Howe Sound just off the highway is another must-stop spot on your way down to Whistler.

Visit this cafe on your way because a hot coffee cup in the winter is all you need.

v) Shannon Falls-

 You don’t want to miss Shannon Falls. Located 58 kilometres from Vancouver towards the south of Squamish is the third largest waterfall in British Columbia, Shannon Falls.

shannon falls

Photo by Ran Dio on Unsplash

It is the most popular picnic spot for obvious reasons. And you also get to do some fantastic rock climbs at Shannon Falls.

Tip: Do not miss this beauty.

vi) Alice Lake Provincial Park- 

Surrounded by towering mountains and old-growth forests, Alice Lake Provincial Park features four serene freshwater lakes.

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Photo from fujitariuji/ Flickr, Copyright 2021

Alice Lake Provincial Park offers plenty of activities, including swimming, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and canoeing.

vii) Tantalus Range Lookout- 

A popular roadside observation point offers scenic views of mountains and river valleys. The lookout is named after one of its highest peaks, Mount Tantalus.

Stop at this point and capture all the picturesque views.

Must-see spots in Whistler:

viii) Brandywine Falls- 

This is the perfect spot for people travelling from Vancouver to Whistler through Squamish. It is one legendary landmark in the Sea to Sky highway, offering amazing hiking trails.

The hike is the perfect detour for someone who is on the run. It is just an easy 1-kilometre hike.

The waterfall is about 70 meters high and crashes down beautifully into an underneath crater.

ix) Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre-

 Whistler’s most beautiful museum preserving the history and heritage of the Squamish people is the Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre.

How To Get From Vancouver To Whistler: 5 Best Ways 3

Photo by U.S. Embassy and Consulates/ Flickr, Copyright 2021

This museum is home to historical art and carvings from the local Squamish people.

And every Tuesday and Sunday evening, this museum hosts First Nations feast and performances for the visitors. There is an on-site cafe and gift shop too.

x) Whistler Backcomb-

Last but not least, a definite site is the Whistler Backcomb. The Whistler Backcomb is home to some of the best skiing in entire North America.

Whistler Backcomb

Photo by Jess Aston on Unsplash

The Whistler Mountain and the Backcomb are the two sister mountains that rise above the Whistler village. Your trip to Whistler would be incomplete without visiting the Whistler Backcomb.

It offers a peak to peak gondola to travel back and forth between the mountain tops of Whistler and Backcomb. The rise to peak gondola provides terrific views of both the mountains and the surroundings.

Here is everything you need to know to travel from Vancouver to Whistler. We have also listed the top 10 sites to stop by on your way. However, these are not the only sites. There is so much more to explore.

If you have any experiences to share, do let us know over the comment section. But whichever season you pay a visit, whether summer or winter, you are going to love your time here. The views and the experience are indeed one of a kind and memorable.

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