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Introducing Whistler

Named for the furry marmots that populate the area and whistle like deflating balloons, this gabled alpine village is one of the world's most popular ski resorts. It was home to many of the outdoor events at the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, so feel free to slip on your skis and aim (if only in your imagination) for a gold medal of your own.

Nestled in the shade of the formidable Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, the wintertime village has a frosted, Christmas card look. But summer is also a popular time, with Vancouverites and international travelers lured to the lakes and crags by a wide array of activities, from mountain biking to scream-triggering zipline runs.

Centered on four main neighborhoods – approaching via Hwy 99 from the south, you'll hit Creekside first – Whistler Village is the key hub for hotels, restaurants and shops. You'll find humbler B&B-type accommodations in the quieter Village North, while the Upper Village is home to some swanky hotels, clustered around the base of Blackcomb. Don't be surprised if you get lost when you're wandering around on foot, though there are plenty of street signs and lots of people around to help with directions.