Get ready for the slide of your life as you take to your skis in the mighty Canadian West. Yes, Vancouver, British Columbia is a fabulous four-season city. But come winter, its mountains turn powdery white and residents and visitors alike head for the hills!
Right on the banks of the Vancouver River, this beautiful metropolis sets the stage for lots of snow-going action. Within just minutes of the city are several ski resorts to challenge your skills. Love the feel of the wind on downhill or prefer the quiet beauty of cross-country? It’s all yours for the asking in this gorgeous winter wonderland.
Grouse Mountain – High in the Sky
Within minutes of the city is Grouse Mountain wh ere you can head up more than 4,000 feet in the air via their convenient SkyTrain. With 33 downhill and snowboard runs as well as four chairlifts, Grouse Mountain offers the ultimate alpine experience with snowshoeing, snowboarding and mountain ice skating. Find yourself schussing down their new glades for an exhilarating run through the trees. Night skiing is popular up there, where you can watch the twinkling lights of downtown below. It’s pure magic. Take off your skis and explore the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife or even have “breakfast with the bears.” Save with 5 and 10-day Snow Packs. (grousemountain.com)
Cypress Mountain is another ski resort, just half an hour from downtown. Best known as the Official Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard Venue for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Cypress features three mountains with 53 runs and 6 chair lifts. Try snow tubing with the kids. Relax and chill at the Cypress Creek Grill or Gold Medal Café. Save when you buy your passes online. (cypressmountain.com)
Perfect for families, Mount Seymour features 40 trails, five lifts and four terrain parks. Ski, snowboard, or toboggan down the hills. Learn to ski with their Ski and Snowboard School. Buy your passes online and save. (mountseymour.com)
Head North to Whistler
Just two hours north of Vancouver is the one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Yes, Whistler/Blackcomb is the granddaddy of them all and has been recently been named the best ski resort for 2017 in SKI Magazine Readers’ Survey, now three years running. At WB, two massive mountains combine slopes for almost 9,000 acres of snow-covered terrain, 16 alpine bowls, and 200 marked trails. There are endless ways to get your fill of alpine adventure. Want to ski on a glacier? Take your pick of three. Challenge your need for speed on a bobsleigh or skeleton slide. Imagine Twilight Zip Lining that gives you thrills as well as exquisite moonlit mountain views. Get your GPS out on a snowmobile as you drive through endless trails of pure white snow. Dare you leap off a bridge with Winter Bungee Jumping? After the rush, it’s time to raise a glass at one at the many restaurants, bars and cafes in the lovely village. Try their Whistler Tasting Tour and dine in several Whistler Village restaurants. Check out the website for special Ski and Stay Packages. (whistlerblackcomb.com)
Fairmont Vancouver – The Castle in the City
The world-class Fairmont Vancouver Hotel is an oasis in the heart of the city with luxury on every level, providing the ultimate in comfort and relaxation. Each of the hotel’s 557 well-appointed accommodations offers the services of a world-class hotel with the elegance and charm of an English castle. Enjoy the health club, Absolute Spa and dining at Notch8 with its huge breakfast buffet, afternoon tea and an early start to Happy Hour. Shop luxury with designer fashion boutiques like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and St. John, without ever leaving the hotel. (fairmont.com/hotel-vancouver/)
With the best exchange rate in years, the U.S. dollar now goes further than ever in Canada. Time to get packing and head for the slopes! (tourismvancouver.com)
All photos courtesy of TourismVancouver