The ski resort village of Whistler Creekside has an origin story that surprises even the most frequent visitor to Canada’s biggest and best ski resort. The ‘Creek’ is the original village base for Whistler Mountain and site of its first gondola. The village was built out of a forested wilderness by the intrepid outdoor pioneers who founded one of the premier ski resorts in the world.
That’s a pretty legit ski pedigree.
While Whistler Village has grown well-beyond its humble beginnings at the Creek, Whistler Creekside doesn’t just have history cred on its side. It’s a bustling and friendly ski resort village in its own right, with great restaurants, lodgings, shops and access to the slopes as much as the main village north of Creekside.
Reasons to Enjoy Whistler Creekside in Winter
Whistler Creekside Skiing
The largest ski resort in Canada is all about snowsports of course, and the Creek is a big part of that. The Whistler Express Gondola gets you up to the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain in 20 minutes. From there you have access to Whistler Blackcomb’s 200 runs, 16 alpine bowls, and 3 glaciers. With over 8,000 acres of terrain, Whistler Blackcomb is big, so pace yourself. Map out your daily runs the night before, but be flexible to discover new parts of the mountain, or stick with favorites that hit that sweet ski spot.
Tired legs can download in the gondola at the end of the day, but save energy to experience the epic Peak to Creek run, 11 kilometers down Whistler Peak to, you guessed, Creekside village base. If you’ve got mad ski skills, don’t miss the Creek’s other epic run, and ski like an Olympian on the Dave Murray Run, site of the 2010 Winter Olympic downhill races.
If skiing isn’t your thing, no worries. There’s plenty to enjoy in Whistler off the slopes.
Free Day Skier Parking
It’s true, day skiers can access one of the 1,400 free parking spaces at Creekside. Trust me, this is a BIG bonus, especially as the parking lot is just steps away from the gondola.
It Takes a Village
Whistler Creekside Village has various shops and services to keep you stocked up, fed and watered during your stay. Groceries and libations can be found at the Creekside Market grocery store and the BC Liquor Store. There’s a bank, ski fashion and gift shops, coffee shops like Tim Hortons and Starbucks, and Whistler Kids ski school.
Part of the appeal of Creekside as the original village base was its access to nearby lakes for recreation, swimming and fishing. Alpha, Nita, Alta Lakes are all in or nearest to Creekside Whistler. Take a break from the slopes and enjoy a brisk walk on the beaches of Alta Lake, Whistler’s largest, try ice-fishing on Nita Lake, or play in the park and walk the dog in the park next to Alpha Lake.
Check out our guide on where to have fun with kids in Whistler in winter
Where to Eat at Whistler Creekside
Dusty’s Bar & BBQ
This is Whistler’s original watering hole, site of many epic après parties and memories going far back into the 50 year history of the village. The beer is cold, the BBQ ribs are tasty, and kids are welcome until 10 PM, so consider Dusty’s very family-friendly.
You can even score a delicious breakfast here before you hit the slopes. While it’s true that Dusty’s opens at 11:00 AM, Dusty’s Backside opens at 7:00 AM, perfect to grab coffee and a baked goodie to go.
Less a café than a fine dining restaurant that maintains a casual vibe, the Rimrock’s service and delicious menu is legendary. Just a short hop from the main Creek village, this restaurant has been serving locals and lucky visitors since 1986. Be sure to make a reservation to enjoy a dinner of warm wild mushroom salad and perfectly cooked fish or steak. You can thank me later.
This bright morning coffee spot is located at the Nita Lake Lodge, across the highway from Creek village. Fix Café serves an excellent café latte, made from Doi Chaang coffee beans grown in Thailand, as well as an impressive assortment of pastries, smoothies and bread. Take a flat lay shot of your coffee and upload to your Instagram via the café’s free WiFi.
Red Door Bistro
Another hidden gem hiding in plain sight, the Red Door Bistro serves a dinner menu of French-inspired cuisine with ‘west coast soul’. The room is intimate and cosy, but relaxed enough that your flannels and jeans fit right in. The menu is ‘meat-forward’ as they say, but the menu offers lots of other choices like duck, mussels and bouillabaisse.
This is the home of tasty wood-fired pizza, with an emphasis on local and organic (where possible) ingredients, and a value statement that includes education, authenticity, and community connection. At Creekbread, food is sacred, and you can choose from flatbread pizzas with or without tomato sauce. Every Tuesday is benefit night, when a portion of each Creekbread sold is donated to a local non-profit group. Do good, and eat well. And if you want to avoid lines of hungry pizza peeps, get there by 5 PM.
Thanks to reader and loyal Creekside booster Andrew, we’re pleased to include the Southside Diner in our list of recommended spots. From breakfast poutine (be still my heart) and bennies, to traditional diner faves of burgers, BLTs and meatloaf, this crowd-pleasing locals’ hangout is a great spot to start or end your day on the slopes.
Rolands Creekside Pub
If you’re looking for a casual pub dining or night out, check out Rolands, located next door to the Red Door Bistro. Rolands serves up fresh local ingredients, cold brews, and promotes sustainable Ocean Wise Seafood. Save room for dessert, order Mom’s apple pie, it’s made by Mrs. Roland.
Whistler Creekside Hotels
If you’re wondering where to stay at Whistler Creekside, rest assured. There are some great Whistler Creekside accommodation options, from luxury hotels with great spas to family-friendly condominium suites, Airbnbs and home rental options.
Evolution is a resort home away from home, with fully kitted-out condominium style suites with kitchens, laundry facilities, and multiple bedrooms. There’s lots of room for families, including Fido as Evolution is pet-friendly (for an extra fee). Evolution has secured ski storage so no shlepping equipment up elevators, which is always a bonus especially when travelling with kids. The lodge is slope side so you won’t have to travel far to get to the gondola either.
The interior courtyard features a pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room, all of which are open year round. If you haven’t gotten enough of a workout on the slopes, you can hit the resort’s fitness facility. There’s a games room common area for kids and tweens to shoot pool or to make new friends while playing on the Nintendo Wii stations. In the summer months, the sun chairs appear and there’s a BBQ for grilling outdoors. On the day of the check-out, guests can obtain a day pass so they can refresh after a day of skiing before heading home.
Similar to its neighbor Evolution, Legends Hotel offers roomy condo-style suites with full kitchen and laundry facilities for families and larger groups. For example, its three-bedroom suite is 1,290 square feet and can accommodate eight people. In terms of mountain access, the lodge is right next door to the Creekside Express Gondola – fresh tracks here we come. You can check the kids into ski school here and then head up to the mountain to access Creekside’s runs and connect to the rest of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
Nita Lake Lodge
A lovely slice of luxury on the lake, Nita Lake Lodge invites guests to check in and bliss out in their oversized suites overlooking glacier-fed Nita Lake. Suites feature king-sized beds, basalt fireplaces and double-soaker tubs, perfect for a romantic couples getaway. The two-bedroom suites are great for two couples travelling together, and include a large balcony with partial lake views.
There’s pampering to be had as well. The Lodge has a full-service organic spa offering facials, esthetics, massages and body treatments. The Spa Industry Association of Canada and Spa Inc Magazine selected the Lodge Spa as one of the top 25 spas in Canada in 2018. There’s a courtesy shuttle to the base of Whistler Mountain, or into Whistler Village, just 7 minutes away.
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Disclosure: The Travelling Mom thanks Tourism Whistler for hosting her stay in Whistler Creekside. As always, her opinions are honest and her own. This post contains affiliate links.
Photo Credits: Tourism Whistler, Mike Crane, Justa Jeskova