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February 15, 2017 | By

Après Ski Guide: Whistler

There are a lot of things to love about Whistler: a world-class après scene is one of them.

 

Photo: Whistler Blackcomb

Besides hailing as the largest ski resort in North America (and the top resort of Ski Magazine readers for the third year running), Whistler boasts a social scene that brings eclectic crowds from far and wide to relax in 5-star lounges, kick back at classic slopeside ski bars, and party late into the night at Euro-style underground clubs. Après at Whistler is an art done up in craft microbrews, delectable PNW eats, and a live music scene to impress all. Head to Whistler for the skiing or just the après skiing…we promise we won’t judge.

In this short guide you’ll find the top 5 après hot spots at Whistler, all of which happen to be situated next to the slopes at the three village base areas. We’ll clue you in on when to go, what to drink, and if you can bring the kids along. Note that each bar has its own distinct character, so trying all of them throughout your ski vacation is recommended. Keep reading for the insider guide to après ski at Whistler.

Garibaldi Lift Co. (GLC)

Photo: Whistler Blackcomb

The GLC is a local and tourist favorite for its all-seasons patio, expansive lounge space, delectable après bites and lively atmosphere that last late into the night. The bar-lounge-restaurant is located inside the gondola building at the base of Whistler mountain, offering entertaining views of skiers making their last run of the day down the slopes. Past awards include best après bar in Whistler, coolest staff in Whistler, and best place to see live music. Head to the GLC for a microbrew and gourmet nachos late afternoon, and stay for the transformation into rockin’ club with live music sets or favorite DJ’s. Whether you rub shoulders with the posh and polished or the local ski bum, you’re bound to fall into a fun groove with a friendly crowd.

 

When You Go:

Get There

Ski to the base of Whistler Village via Lower Olympic on Whistler Mountain or Village Run from Blackcomb. The GLC is located in the Whistler Village Gondola building.

Drink

Warm up with a specialty hot drink, like the citrus-infused mulled wine; the Canadian Cocoa, mixed with crown royal maple finished whiskey, is also a favorite. Beers on tap include seasonal specials from Whistler Brewing, Kokanee and Stanley Park Brewery ales. The cider list is also extensive – Turning Point is always on tap.

Eat

The eats at the GLC are worth an après indulgence, so come hungry. Upscale pub fare meets international flair with favorites like fish tacos stuffed with pan-seared BC rockfish and Indonesian tempeh burger with vegan mayonnaise. We love that there are plenty of health food options like the superfood salad, which is topped with baby kale, raw beets, fresh blueberries and organic hemp hearts.

Specials

$6 Rotating cocktail specials daily.

Live Music?

Yes.

Ski-in?

Yes.

Outdoor seating?

Yes.

Family-Friendly?

Yes: kids welcome until 8pm.

Don’t Miss

Grab a seat on the outdoor patio to soak in the last of the day’s skiers cruising into the base area. You’ll love experiencing the village shift from day to night.

 

Merlin’s

Photo: Whistler Blackcomb

At the base of Blackcomb Mountain you’ll find Merlin’s, a classic ski bar with laid-back après scene that has a reputation for getting rowdy when lifts stop spinning. The service is quick, the location convenient, and the nachos legendary. It’s safe to say that Merlin’s is a no-frills ski bar with the perk of exceptionally friendly service that keeps customers returning weekend after weekend. Note that the music is cranked up after 8pm, and if you can find a babysitter, it’s worth staying late-night.

 

When You Go:

Get There

Ski to the base of Blackcomb Mountain via Lower Merlin’s; you’ll find Merlin’s just next to the Wizard Express

Drink

Opt for something classic like a draft beer (there are 9 regional options on tap), or start with a mixed drink from the cocktail menu. The Dutch Mule offers a spicy ginger kick, and you can’t go wrong with the Cadillac Margarita. We love that Merlin’s offers an actual shot-ski menu, to be shared with up to 6 friends.

Eat

The mountainous nachos are (in)famous, and to be shared between at least 4 friends. Other fan favorites include the poutine topped with chorizo and the dry maple bacon wings. Vegetarians, this is the place to go for a phenomenal veggie burger: house-made quinoa patty with toasted brioche, avocado, and smoked paprika aioli impresses every time.

Specials

$15 jugs of Kokanee daily after 5pm. 

Live Music

Live music gets bumpin’ after 9pm, and noteworthy DJ’s spin a variety of tunes late-night.

Ski-in?

Yes.

Outdoor seating?

Yes.

Family-Friendly?

Yes: kids welcome until 10pm.

Don’t Miss

Line up for an afternoon shot-ski on the bar for a celebratory end to a perfect Whistler day.

Dusty's Bar & BBQ

Photo: Whistler Blackcomb

Located at Creekside Village (Whistler Mountain’s original base area), Dusty’s keeps Whistler roots alive as the oldest après bar at the resort. The bar opened its doors in the late 1970s as a watering hold for thirsty ski bums, and has remained a popular Whistler mainstay through the resort’s massive growth. Award-winning bbq pairs well with creative cocktails and ice cold beers. Live bands light up the night. Old time locals may even let you in on stories of bygone days and secret powder stashes. For a taste of Old West charm, head to Dusty’s at day’s end.

 

When You Go:

Get There

Take Lower Peak To Creek or Lower Dave Murray Downhill to get to Creekside Village. Dusty’s is at the base.

Drink

If you’re feeling adventurous, don’t miss the Dusty’s Ceasar done up in a beef jerky and celery garnish. Check out the bourbon list for something a little more classic. On a cold day warm up with something sweet – we recommend the Hot Buttered Rum or Chocolate Almond.

Eat

Indulging in fabulous bbq is a must when visiting Dusty’s. All burgers and sandwiches are served with their famous “butt rub mayo”; we recommend the classic pulled pork sandwich or award-winning champs burger. If you’re sharing with friends, order the big rack of Canadian pork ribs: they’re smoked 4 hours with apple wood chips then finished off on the grill and smothered in bbq sauce.  

Live Music?

Yes.

Ski-in?

Yes.

Outdoor seating?

Yes.

Family-Friendly?

Yes: kids welcome until 10pm.

Don’t Miss

Get your goggle tan on outside on the sun-drenched patio – it’s the best sunbathing spot in Whistler.

Longhorn Saloon

Photo: Longhorn Saloon

Just across the base of the Blackcomb Excalibur Gondola is the locally beloved Longhorn Saloon. Home of casual games of pool and delectable pub grub, this is the place to kick back after a day on the slopes to catch your favorite games with Whistler’s favorite microbrews. The heated outdoor patio makes for a lively scene in the late afternoon, while nighttime finds DJ’s dropping beats to a rowdy crowd. The “patio parties” light up just before the sun goes down. Views are perfect for people-watching.

 

When You Go:

Get There

Ski Village Run or Lower Olympic to the main Village base; you’ll see the Longhorn Saloon just across the walkway from both gondolas.

Drink

Longhorn bartenders know how to shake a cocktail. Fan favorites include the margaritas and specialty bloody mary. We like that toasting champagne in ski boots is completely normal at the Longhorn, so don’t hesitate to keep things classy.

Eat

Après plates include favorites like spicy nachos, wings, and pulled pork quesadillas. For something a bit heartier, try the reuben sandwich or jerk chicken wrap, which is stuffed to the brim with guacamole and crispy greens.

Specials

$5 off bottles of wine every Friday.

Live Music?

Yes.

Ski-in?

Yes.

Outdoor seating?

Yes.

Family-Friendly?

Yes, but only until about 4pm.

Don’t Miss

The heated outdoor tables are fabulous – snag one early to get good seats for whatever game is on the big screen.

Dubh Linn Gate

Photo: Dubh Linn Gate

True, one doesn’t usually think of ski towns as having the best Irish bars, but Dubh Linn Gate delightfully surprises après skiers at Whistler every season with its jolly Irish atmosphere, traditional Irish eats, 24 beers on draft and 60 choice whiskeys in the fully stocked bar. The ambiance is urban yet relaxed, and truly resembles that of a pub in historic parts of Dublin. With a little Irish luck you may even catch a live session by folk musicians one evening – best arrive early and stay late to be sure!

 

When You Go:

Get There

At the base of the Blackcomb Excalibur Gondola, look to skier’s right and head just across the Village Stroll: Dubh Linn Gate is steps away.

Drink

Roll the Irish way with a 20oz glass of Guinness (poured the traditional way), or a selection from 60 fine Irish and international whiskeys. Tasting pallets of scotch are available. The bar’s newest addition is cold brew coffee made in-house, then mixed with nitrogen and served from a tap for a smooth, creamy cup of joe you’ll never forget.

Eat

Enjoy classic pub grub alongside Irish favorites like steak and Guinness pie. The Guinness burger is an après favorite for those who need refueling: all natural burger topped with Guinness cheese, pickled red onion, stout bbq sauce and the works.

Specials

Happy Hour daily 5-7pm with $5 highballs, BC craft beer pints, and glasses of wine.

Live Music

Yes.

Ski-in?

Yes.

Outdoor seating?

Yes.

Family-Friendly?

Yes.

Don’t Miss

Musical duet Ruckus frequents the pub throughout the winter; be sure to catch their après show of Celtic classics and creative originals – a unique Whistler experience.

Ready to take the après scene in Whistler by storm? Find the best Whistler ski vacation deals here.