Photo Credit: 3dpete
Getting to know Whistler beyond your, favourite activities, is the big challenge for would be vacation property investors. With only so much time in your schedule to get up to all the exciting things, you came for it’s tough to squeeze in one more activity. Even if that activity is going to mean you potentially find a great investment and get to come back to one of your favorite spots a little more often.
So this little guide will take you through the many neighbourhoods that make up the Resort Municipality of Whistler. We’ll look at what’s there, how close they are to the action, and what you can expect to find.
Let’s start in the place you probably know already, the Village. It’s the spot at the bottom of the lifts. It’s the place crawling with tourists, restaurants, shops, and nightclubs. And it plays a big part in Whistler continually being ranked one of the best resorts in the world. It has all the quaintness of a happening little village and it yet feels as cosmopolitan as any world-class city.
It sits perfectly nestled in the mountains, providing you with breathtaking views every time you turn around. And, in so many ways it feels like the mountains themselves were planning for just such a town to show off their majesty.
However, the important thing to keep in mind with the Village is that you are going to be looking at condo living. Of the just under 8,000 residences, there are hardly more than 40 detached dwellings. The entire place is connected by cobblestone pedestrian pathways and everything you could possibly want is steps outside your door. One of the big appeals of the Village is getting to park the car when you get there and not touch it again until you’re ready to leave.
With Whistler Village being the absolute centre, the areas we’re referring to here are the communities so close to the Village and connected by way of the Valley Trail that they almost feel like natural extensions. They are made up mostly of exclusive little subdivisions with easy access to all the Village has to offer.
One such community is Brio, where you’ll find the Sunridge Plateau development of duplexes with their charming ski-in/ski-out access as well as a number of stunning single-family homes being developed in the area.
To the south of Brio, along the shores of Alta Lake, is Alta Vista where you will find a mix of townhomes, single-family homes, and even luxury chalets.
To the north is Blueberry Hill, which sits right next to the Whistler Golf Course. This is one of the original luxury home developments in Whistler and what could be interesting, for the right investor, is that some properties in Blueberry are zoned as ‘tourist accommodation,’ meaning they can be let out for nightly rentals instead of the usual longer-term rentals.
On the other side of the highway are the neighbourhoods of Whistler Cay Estates and Tapley’s Farm. Again, these communities are all within short walking distance to the Village but just far enough away to provide perfect serenity when you want it. Of course, all with views that will take your breath away. The area has a wide selection of properties ranging in price and style from modest detached single-family homes to elegant luxury chalets.
If you head just north of the Village you are going to run into the collection of neighbourhoods that are well regarded as a hikers paradise. Trails, trees, lakes, and abundance of green space make this a desirable part of town. Not to mention the Jack Nicklaus designed golf course practically right in your backyard. These communities are also where you will find most of Whistler’s approximately 10,000 permanent residents.
The first neighbourhood you’re going to run into when you drive north from the village is White Gold. It’s one of the communities that’s been there the longest and is made up of a collection of single-family detached homes with some attached townhouse properties added in. It’s a great spot if you’re looking to have a bit more space and yet stay nice and close to the Village, without quite the cost of being in Whistler Central.
A little bit further north is the neighbourhood of Spruce Grove. This is known as one of the most family centred areas of the town of Whistler. Spruce Grove is chalk full of sporting facilities, fields and diamonds with all sorts of leagues to keep the kids entertained and engaged if you’re planning to stay for a season.
If you’re looking for something with a little more classic feel to it, you will want to go a touch further to Alpine Meadows. This community is popular because of its eclectic mix of old-school ski cabins seamlessly blended with townhomes and contemporary chalets.
Continuing on just a little bit, you will arrive at a more recent addition, the area known as Rainbow. Rainbow sits on Green Lake, and from many of the detached homes and duplexes, you have one of the most stunning views of both Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain across the lake.
And, as you wrap further around Green Lake, you will wind up in what’s known as the Emerald Estates neighbourhood, named for the colour of the lake you will be looking out onto. Emerald Estates continues the theme of stunning mountain views, incredible amenities, detached family homes, and duplexes.
These are the neighbourhoods you are going to pass through as you enter Whistler driving up from Vancouver. All of these little communities are connected by Whistler Creek at the centre. In fact, Whistler Creek, known to the locals as Creekside is where you will find Whisler’s only gas station. It was actually the site of the original Whistler Village and was where the very first gondola going up Whistler Mountain was built. Creekside is also where you are going to find the public schools and most of the shops frequented by the local population.
Surrounding Creekside is a collection of little communities wrapping along the base of Whistler Mountain’s northwest facing slopes and sitting next to the gorgeous Alpha, Nita, and Alta Lakes.
Situated high above Creekside to the south is the neighbourhood of Kadenwood. This exclusive community is where you will find some of the most luxurious mountain homes in Whistler. Built on the mountain and in the middle of the old growth forest, this community feels like it’s perfectly a part of its surroundings. Kadenwood also features a private Gondola with ski-in/ski-out access for residents.
Just north, on the other side of Creekside is the neighbourhood of Nordic. This popular community is prized for its proximity to Whistler Creek and the Whistler Village, as well as a high number of quiet cul-de-sacs, with single family homes. It is also where you will find the community of Taluswood with it’s beautifully designed townhomes, duplexes, and single family homes built right on the south side of Whistler Mountain, overlooking the Valley.
In the southernmost part of Whistler is where you’ll find Function Junction and Cheakamus Crossing. Function Junction is the business centre of Whistler and as the name suggests, where you will find the industrial area of town. Cheakamus Crossing, on the other hand, has seen considerable development in the last number of years of custom built housing and is still expanding quite a bit as a result.
Just to the north of Function Junction, you will find Spring Creek, a relatively new subdivision that includes a combination of townhouses, and detached single family homes. It’s also a popular spot for employee housing for the many seasonal workers that make their living working at the resort related businesses in the Village. Spring Creek is also where you will find the Elementary School of the same name, making it a popular neighbourhood for growing families who plan to live there full-time.
Between Spring Creek and Creekside, are the communities of Millar’s Pond and Bayshores. These are also popular family friendly neighbourhoods that feature a wide range of townhomes, duplexes, and single-family homes that feel far enough away from the non-stop excitement of the Whistler Village, and close enough to Creekside’s shops, restaurants, and gondola to still feel connected.