A Dog Friendly Whistler Winter Getaway

A Dog Friendly Whistler Winter Getaway

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Those dreaming of a winter getaway have many delightful destinations to consider. Sun drenched vacations always seem to top the list, but for those who prefer to embrace the snow, there's nothing quite like a mountain- style holiday. With exhilarating days on the slopes, fireside après-ski R&R, superlative shopping, five-star restaurants and luxurious digs, Whistler Ski Resort is truly a world class destination. Add this to the fact that Whistler is the "dog-friendly" capital of Canada and you have yourself the ideal vacance.

Once you make it up the scenic Sea-to-sky Highway, you will undoubtedly be struck by the warmth of the locals, who, by the way, will most likely acknowledge your dog before remembering to enquire who the lovely creature's guardian is. The canine hospitality even extends to the businesses around town; many of Whistler's hotels, shops, coffee hangouts and the like welcome dogs.

After a bit of exploring and shopping, the looming presence of majestic Blackcomb and Whistler mountains will no doubt beckon to you snow enthusiasts. Drop Fido or Fifi off at the Puppy Zone with Kathleen for a few hours and hit the slopes. Dreamy powder, runs to suit every level of expertise and qualified instructors in case you need a few pointers ensure a perfect day of exercise and exhilaration.

If a slower pace is more your thing, explore the cross-country or snowshoe trails and take in the brisk air with your furry friend. Armchair Books offers excellent, current guidebooks for trails through the surrounding pristine wilderness. If your preference is sipping hot toddies or the slightly more vigorous sport of shopping, Trail Dogs will be happy to take your canine companion for an off-leash hike in the mountain's more remote areas.

As night falls, the day's exertions lend you a hearty appetite and you venture into the village. A Whistler winter evening is a sight to behold. Snowy streets sparkle with light; the village bustles with the dinner and drink crowd. Delicious supper options abound: venison at the Edgewater, fresh oysters at the Rimrock, sumptuous Italian fare at Quattro or Umberto's Trattoria, contemporary French cuisine at the Wildflower in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler; the choices seem endless.

Satiated, contemplations of night life are inevitable. Clubs, pubs, live music and locally brewed beer at the Brew House or Dublin Gate Pub are all options. Or, instead, curl up and rest your weary bones in your chateau, lodge or deluxe hotel room (dog-friendly, of course!) for tomorrow promises further adventure. ■

Apart from the immediate Whistler area, Pemberton, Squamish and Brackendale are some communities in the Sea-to-Sky corridor that are definitely worth visiting. Brackendale is just 35 minutes south of Whistler and boasts the largest gathering of Bald Eagles in North America. Most years, more than 2000 eagles make the Brackendale Eagle Reserve their home and it is said that in winter the community numbers more eagles than people. Brackendale is also home to Bark With Me dog daycare, so if your pup would rather socialize than sightsee, your bases are covered.

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