Gnomeversation: Small Talk with a Whistler Expert
Gnome’s Note: Hello chaps, it’s the Travelocity Roaming Gnome! Even though I have a rather impressive list of travels under my belt, globetrotters like me still fancy a few new travel tidbits now and again. That’s why I’m interviewing Travelocity’s very own destination experts. Meet me here to learn insider tips about these smashing places.
What an epic ski destination! The latest winter games left oodles of fantastic additions for travelers to enjoy in Whistler, so says Sebastien Dubois, one of Travelocity’s Canada experts.
He tells me that Whistler Olympic Park should be on every skier’s to-do list; it has more than 55 miles of trails! Sebastien also says the Peak 2 Peak Gondola that connects Whistler and Blackcomb mountains is an amazing ride; and the Whistler Sliding Centre plans to introduce several new experiences this season.
Look at fabulous Whistler!
Oh, did I mention that Sebastien is a native Canadian and he worked for Tourism Whistler way back in the day? Splendid! This chap really knows his stuff.
Roaming Gnome: Is Whistler best for families, couples or people traveling alone?
Sebastien: Everybody will have a great time in Whistler. The ski school has a program for all ages, so it’s great for families. They will take good care your kids and before you know it, your little ones will be better skiers or snowboarder than you are! Couples will enjoy the romance of the destination, the great lodging options and the large variety of restaurants — more than 90 of them!
One great thing that people traveling alone should know is that every day on both Whistler and Blackcomb, you can meet up with a mountain guide. It will allow you to ski with a local and also to meet other travelers. And it’s totally free!
Roaming Gnome: I love taking pictures when I’m on vacation. Where’s the best place for a smashing photo op?
Sebastien: You will be taking picture all the time when you are in Whistler then! Believe it or not, I still take my camera with me when I go skiing. There are great picture opportunities from the Peak 2 Peak gondola and on the 7th Heaven and Glacier lifts.
Roaming Gnome: Go on, you can tell me: what’s the one thing you wouldn’t do in Whistler?
Sebastien: Bungee jumping! Many of my friends did it and loved it; I just cannot get do it!
Roaming Gnome: Tell me something about Whistler that most people wouldn’t know.
Sebastien: You can start skiing about an hour before everyone else if you buy a Fresh Track Breakfast ticket. It’s an on-mountain restaurant and offers a great breakfast buffet at the top of Whistler most mornings. You buy your breakfast tickets before – it sells for less than $20 on top of your daily lift ticket – and they will let you ride Whistler gondola starting at 7:30, which is an hour earlier than the regular crowd. Having the feeling that you are the only one on the mountain is something you have to experience!
Roaming Gnome: Now that you have me thinking about food, what’s the best thing to eat in Whistler?
Sebastien: That is a though one! There are more than 90 restaurants and bars in Whistler. I personally love the Burger at Splitz. If you like to try local food, here is a cool option for your dinner: Whistler Tasting Tours offers a guided tour, where you will walk from one restaurant to another enjoying a four courses dinner (one course in each restaurant) in four different restaurants. What a great way to experience the local cuisine! Don’t you think?
Roaming Gnome: Yes, I do agree indeed! What are some of your favorite hangouts?
Sebastien: Apres ski at the Garibaldi Lift Co. is something you don’t want to miss. There is nothing like a beer and a pile of nachos after a day of winter activities.
Roaming Gnome: As much as I love my mumsy, I also love Mother Earth as well. Any green initiatives going on in Whistler that travelers should know about?
Sebastien: Whistler is a very environmentally conscious destination. Many hotels are green certified. The city operates a large fleet of biodiesel buses; the local Fitzsimmons Creek Renewable Energy Project is producing enough power to match the total annual energy consumption by Whistler Blackcomb (lift operation and on-mountain restaurant).
If you have time, I suggest you take the ZipTrek tour. While enjoying Zip lining and the great views, you will learn a lot about Whistler’s special ecosystem and what the community does for it.
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My name: The Travelocity Roaming Gnome
How I earn my keep: I roam the world finding great deals, upholding the Travelocity Guarantee, and looking rather handsome while doing it.
What kind of traveler I am: A small and perfectly-formed one.
Greatest travel lesson learned: Just because you can climb into the overhead baggage compartment and stay there for the rest of the flight, doesn’t mean you should.
Travel ambition: To never again miss my plane because I’ve stopped to take a photo with a fellow traveler who’s spotted me. Ah, it’s tough work being a charmingly lovable travel mascot, I’ll tell you that.
First thing I do in a new place: Make friends.
When I’m not traveling: I’m browsing the SkyMall catalogue, toasting crumpets, testing beard conditioners, and planning my next trip.