Après Ski (French: after skiing) refers to any form of entertainment, nightlife or social events that occur specifically at ski resorts. Whistler is consistently rated one of the top après ski destinations in the world. If you class yourself as a social skier, one that enjoys the après ski scene just as much as the on-mountain action, you will be delighted at the abundance of ski-in ski-out pubs and bars at the foot of Whistler Blackcomb. For the benefit of our readers and future travellers to Whistler, Whiski Jack Resorts conducted some primary research on the après scene. It was a tough slog but after sampling a taste (or many) of the local après offerings, we have compiled this unofficial guide to Whistler’s famous après ski scene.
This was a tough decision the two contenders, The Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC) and The Longhorn Saloon, both a snowballs throw from the base of the mountain. The GLC is perched on the base of Whistler mountain and is the best spot to watch on-mountain events like King of the Rail, the Fire and Ice Show, Crankworx’ Joyride plus many more. The Longhorn Saloon’s patio comes alive each day around 3pm as people make their way from the slopes, loosen their boots and tip back some bevvies. On a sunny day the Longhorn’s patio is drenched with sun and there’s always a festive atmosphere in the air. We really can’t choose between these two legendary après spots, both patios rock so we declare this one a tie!
We may be biased, but we believe Whistler produces the best Caesars in the world so the competition in this category is stiff. If you’ve never experienced a Canadian Caesar before it’s a cocktail which combines vodka, Clamato juice (tomato juice plus clam juice), Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, horseradish and a decoration of garnishes only limited by the imagination. It is the seamless balance of ingredients and interesting accouterments that make the perfect Caesar. Our vote goes to Stonesedge Kitchen. It is a slight detour off the Village Stroll but the garnishes and Caesar creativity will blow your mind.
Nachos are another après ski classic and best enjoyed with a group of friends and drink in hand. The Longhorn Saloon wins the prize for best nachos due to the sheer size of the portions. Not only this, they tend to consistently get the cheese to chip ratio correct and have a range of topping to choose from creating a customizable nacho experience.
To experience the best après live music a trip to Whistler Creekside is in order. Dusty’s Bar and Grill hosts some iconic après bands like the Hairfarmers. Après at Dusty’s is always packed with jovial skiers and riders swapping stories from the day. On sunny days crowds spill onto the patio creating one of the biggest après party locations in Whistler.
If you are after a true classic Whistler après spot then check out Tapley’s Neighbourhood Pub located on the Village Stroll. Affectionately named, “the local’s living room”, Tapley’s is Whistler Village’s oldest pub and boasts a local music scene, Whistler’s largest selection of beer and the best place in Whistler to catch a game. Bump shoulders with real Whistler locals who can tell you a story or two about Whistler from days of yore.
We believe you are now ready to experience Whistler après ski. There are plenty of other great spots around Whistler like The Crystal Lodge, Dubh Linn Gate, La Bocca, Zogs, Merlins, Black Pub, The Amsterdam Café and Rolands. Prepare to go big on the mountain and reward your efforts in the company of good friends at the end of the day. Epic days on the mountain always end with Après.