Shop Neighbourhoods

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Here’s a how-to guide to find your way about Whistler’s shops.

First of all, help abounds. So don’t hesitate to ask the friendly Village Hosts for tips, or go to the Visitor Information Centre for easy information.

So let’s start in the  Main Village  and work our way out from there.

The key in this part of town is not to take things at face value. What may look like a line of T-shirt shops may not in fact be just a line of T-shirt shops. There are some original Whistler stores here and while they may have morphed over time, there’s still a flare of the old ski town within.

The Main Village stores also run fairly current lines. Between the mom and pop old-school haunts there are some trendy anchor tenants. There are also some cool art galleries to uncover, fun hotspots for quick grab-and-go treats and some great clothing stores with more than just ski gear.

And, of course, there’s many a patio to take a break and watch the world go by as you stroll along. There are also a few village squares to take a rest. Great places to soak in Whistler culture, watching the ebb and flow of the ski town walk by.

 Village North  flows seamlessly from the Main Village. Head towards the hub of this village neighbourhood at Whistler Olympic Plaza — there’s always something going on there. The ice rink is not to be missed. Find your inner kid and lace up your skates. You won’t be able to find a more magnificent backdrop to take turns around the ice. There’s also a pretty great playground for kids, with coffee shops for adults in close proximity!

Village North has a fun mix of stores — clothing, jewelery, outdoor sports stores and more.

 Marketplace  is next. It may seem like it’s the hub for necessities and services — post office, liquor store, grocery store and health clinics. But there are some cool finds in this neck of the woods too. And not just of the culinary kind, although there are a few of those. The other great perk to Marketplace is, let’s be honest, the free parking! Just remember, there’s a 30-minute rule for the spots around the perimeter.  

 The Upper Village  is a short jaunt over Fitzsimmons Creek to the base of Blackcomb Mountain. From ski shops to luxury stores lining the inside of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, there’s a little something to tempt everyone up here.

There’s a few great après spots as well, and you’ll find the Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre, which is a must-visit.

A short bus ride to the south will take you to  Creekside Village , the original Whistler ski base. Called Franz’s Walk, it’s a mini-version of the main village, where you can find the necessities of life (or the necessities for your ski vacation) — booze, food, gear, coffee. But Creekside isn’t just a place to fuel up. There are hidden shopping gems at Creekside and a little further a field, beyond the pedestrian walk way, there are some old-school Whistler diners and a new hotel and rail station with beautiful lakeside patio views. It’s worth the short trip to get a different point of view.

And let’s not forget  Nesters , a short walk to the north on the Valley Trail along Highway 99. It’s a locals’ favourite. You’ll find groceries, sushi, coffee and the barbers too. A one-stop shop.

So there you have it, folks. That’s all you need to point you in the right direction. The rest is up to you.

SHOP FUNCTION JUNCTION

Ahhh,   Function JunctioN , a place close to the hearts of all locals. There’s more reason than ever before to come to Function.

Function is Whistler — all the things that make us tick, and then some. It’s not just that it has the coolest neighbourhood name. Function has gone through a transformation from the industrial hub to a cluster of fun finds, all in a very organic and ordinary way. It has simply evolved over time.

What began as a back-of-house centre, serving the main town with all the things we didn’t want tourists to see, has now developed into a niche neighbourhood all on its own. And it’s getting trendier by the day, helped along by the 2010 Olympic athletes’ village legacy neighbourhood just across the highway with a resident population of hundreds.

The south end of town has never been so dynamic. If you’re into poking around little one-of-a-kind shops this is the place for you.

There’s a fast-growing art scene in Function, helped in part by top-of-the-line art gallery space. There’s a laid-back friendly vibe down here where you can grab a beer at the local brewery and some treats at the wicked bakeries and eateries. Look out for the new organic market too — reason alone to visit Function. Don’t miss out on the trampoline facility, which provides hours of entertainment. There’s another new gym just along the road too, and a marvelous martial arts academy, which offers a range of classes.

This is also the spot to pick up some of those necessities — hardware for the house, garden supplies, everything for your pet, and you can even get your car fixed while you’re at it.

Like the village, there are places to get your boards and skis tuned. Whistler’s only ski and snowboard factory calls Function home too. The neighbourhood has something for everyone. It may not have sidewalks, it may not have friendly, pedestrian walkways and brightly coloured hanging flower baskets, but that’s all just part of its charm.

And it’s true; construction companies have set up shop here, along with the building supply stores. This is the true heart and soul of a resort town. So, if you really want to know what goes on behind the scenes, come to Function and find out.