Named for the furry marmots that populate the area and whistle like deflating balloons, this gabled alpine village and 2010 Olympics venue is one of the world's largest, best-equipped and most popular ski resorts. Colonizing two mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb – and lying a mere 90 minutes north of Vancouver, the Village, which dates from the late 1970s, is a poster child for attractive design with nary an ugly building or piece of litter to pierce the natural beauty. Skiing may be Whistler’s raison d’être, but these days summer visitors with their BMXs and SUPs outnumber their ski-season equivalents. Adding more diversity, the resort has recently developed an art scene worthy of a small European city. The caveat? Whistler is busy (2.3 million visitors a year) and expensive. For a quieter, more economical experience, be selective with your dates and don’t follow the herd.