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people are always searching for their next escape.

Seat sales.
Round the world tickets.
Backpacking through SE Asia.
Gap years in Australia...
But what about staying here

By the time I was 24 I had travelled, lived and worked in over 30 countries. I was a professional at hopping on any flight I could to get away; I needed to explore, but staying in Canada didn't seem "adventurous" enough for me.  I thought adventure could only be satisfied in foreign experiences on the other side of the world.

In my early 20's I was offered a short term contract for a travel company based in Vancouver. I had never been to Vancouver but thought "What the heck? It's only three months...just another trip and a new experience."

Long story short, it's been three years and I haven't looked back since. I absolutely fell in love with this city. Over the course of these years I was going through a lot of change, including transitioning out of the travel industry. It was SO hard to not have the option of travelling all of the time so I started packing my evenings and weekends with any adventure I could find in and around Vancouver.

Once I started exploring British Columbia, I realized how much I had skipped out on. I couldn't believe how incredible my own country was and couldn't help but wonder why I had never opted to explore my own backyard.

While I'm lucky to have seen and experienced so much traveling the world - this is my home..and I've set out with one mission:

Show people that they don't have to go far to travel.

So here it is: #TheStayCationSeries. My goal is to travel around Canada to showcase what our home is all about while supporting local, sustainable tourism and leaving you with a detailed blog on how you can re-create the trip for yourself.

Coming at your with part five all the way from Whistler, BC

- Ally 

 
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Whistler, British Columbia

Take one of the most scenic highways Canada has to offer 125 km north of Vancouver...and you'll find yourself smack in the middle of adventure city. 

Welcome to Whistler. Home to the 2010 Winter Olympics, some of North America's best skiing/snowboarding and a huge range of activities to pack your stay with no matter your age and interests.

For many Vancouverites, this spot is a no-brainer for vacations - but for everyone who hasn't been here, you'll realize why it's so special the second you start your adventure up the Sea-To-Sky Highway.

WHEN TO GO
This is a prime year-round destination as you can find yourself on the mountain and in the backcountry in both summer and winter.
 

GETTING THERE FROM VANCOUVER
Take the Sea-To-Sky highway or opt for quick scenic flight.
 

 
 
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EVOLUTION WHISTLER

EVOLUTION WHISTLER

Staying on trend with renting the hotels that I wish were my houses, I ended up staying at Evolution Whistler in the Creekside Village.

This one bedroom apartment offered a king size bed, cute bathroom, cozy living room + fireplace, a huge balcony, amazing kitchen and in-suite laundry. To top it off, it's slope side WITH THE MOST INCREDIBLE YEAR ROUND POOL. Sorry for shouting, there's just something so magical about swimming in a heated pool while giant snowflakes fall onto your face. And don't get me started on the eucalyptus steam room...

Constantly rated in the top 10 hotels in Whistler, the property offers one, two and three bedroom apartments with full access to all amenities. For all those with doggos - this spot is pet friendly. Check it out.


 
 
 
 

Packed weekends full of adventure, silent days full of bliss - or both.

 
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The Scandinave Spa

The theory behind hydrotherapy is that water has many properties that give it the ability to heal. Water can store and carry heat and energy + has a soothing, calming, and relaxing effect on people, whether in a bath, shower, spray etc. 

Here’s how the Scandinave Spa works:
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• 10-15 min of heat. Sit in the hot tub, sauna or steam room.
• 10-15 sec of cold. Shock your system and breathe in the cold pools.
• 10-15 min of relax. Hit the solarium and chill out on the beds/ chairs.
• REPEAT.
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I could honestly spend hours at this place. While I find the cold pools really uncomfortable, nothing really beats the feeling absolute bliss your body experiences when it’s cuddled up back in your robe in the solarium.
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Some things to note about the @scandinavewhis: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
• Head up as a day trip from Vancouver or add it to your whistler itinerary
• You can purchase access to the baths, or you can purchase a treatment and enjoy the baths afterwards.
• No talking. This place is a silent sanctuary for everyone to enjoy in silence.
• No phones/cameras. This is your chance disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself. PS: I shot this photo before the spa opened and then the camera went away and all of the rules were followed ;)

 
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Take A Hike

Some of my favourite views can be found around the Whistler area.  From Brandywine Falls to Wedgemount Glacier and all the trails and lakes in between - there are no shortages of trails around here. Reminder: the backcountry is no joke. Make sure you're prepared year-round with trail updates, proper gear and support systems. While it's always enticing to get that shot for social, you rarely see what's behind the scenes and required to get the shot. Be smart!

 
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Snowmobiles + Cabins + Pancakes = Heaven.

 

I've done an adventure with Canadian Wilderness three times now and I can hands down say that this is one of my favourite things to do in Whistler.

The Yukon Breakfast tour hands down is a must. Open to beginner riders, this tour rips through the remote backcountry of the Callaghan Valley to an incredible rustic cabin on Sproatt Mountain. You're welcomed to the smell of brewing coffee and a full breakfast cooked on an old fashioned wood stove, complimented by some of the best views on any day.

Canadian Wilderness offers year-round adventure tours in the backcountry and on the mountain that leave daily from the Whistler Village.

Learn More.

 
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Fly 100 km/hour On Canada's Longest Zipline

Feel like racing your friend through the mountains? This is your chance.  This 3-hour adventure offered by The Adventure Group takes you on a wild ride.

Starting from the Whistler Village, you'll bus out into the wilderness and suit up for a custom 4x4 drive up Rainbow Mountain to your first zipline.

From there, you'll suite up to rip across mountain valleys and through old growth forests on four dual ziplines. Highlighted by Canada’s longest ziplines at well over a kilometre long and 600 feet high, you will reach speeds up to 100 km/hour as you fly through the BC backcountry.

This adventure is offered year round. Learn more.

 
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Throw Axes.

Ever felt like being an aggressive lumberjack? Me either. But I must admit, this place is a pretty fun indoor adventure for a Sunday afternoon.

Drop in with a friend and go head to head on some axe throwing games. The crew will teach you all things safety and techniques to get you and your crew all set up for fun.

 

 
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CORNUCOPIA

Every year, Whistler holds a huge celebration of food and drink over a span of a few weeks.  

"A place of culinary reckonings, where the wild meets the refined and the epic and the epicurious come together.

Cultivate passion. Open wide. Let your tastebuds run wild."

2018 DATES: November 8-18. Tickets and info will be released here.

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BASALT

I can't tell you how many times I've walked by this spot without going in. Huge mistake.

Located in the heart of the Whistler Village,  Basalt is a wine bar, salumeria and restaurant offering artisanal food and featuring wine from both local and international regions.

Add this spot to your list of "Whistler Musts".

Learn More.

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THE GREEN MOUSTACHE

If you're looking for quick and healthy eats, this is your go-to spot that offers all organic food.

For anyone who is also celiac or sensitive to dairy, this is an excellent spot for you to visit for a bite to eat.

The menu offers juices, smoothies, full meals and desserts made of 100% whole foods.

Photo via: The Green Moustache.

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CAMP LIFESTYLE + COFFEE

A short drive outside of Whistler, you'll find Function Junction...and Camp Lifestyle + Coffee.

Ever wanted to roast artisan marshmallows in the middle of your table? This is the spot.  The coffee is fab, the hot chocolate is even better and the ambiance is probably one of my favourites as far as coffee shops give.

Give yourself a bit of extra time to wander around as this spot offers great shopping!

 
 
 
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Special Thanks to TOURISM WHISTLER