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Tales of the Skiing Passes and Canopies of the Pacific Northwest

Welcome to part 2 of my Pacific Northwest adventures! If you missed it, check out part 1 of my Pacific Northwest adventures here, where I go into detail about the cities of Seattle and Bellevue, Washington where you can live out your best PNW city dreams. But, today's post is a little bit different (this one is for all the granolies - the word I've been using to describe those that like the outdoors more than the indoors, like me sometimes). We are saying bonjour! to Whistler, Canada and also hello to Camano Island, Washington which I bet you've never heard of before. After reading this post, I hope that you will add both of these naturally beautiful destinations to your bucket list. Let part 2 commence!


Whistler, Canada


Whistler, Canada is largely a ski town that is north of Vancouver, Canada and is home to Whistler Blackcomb, a.k.a one of the largest ski resorts in North America. Whistler truly is a magical place, where the snow-capped mountain peaks will make you feel like you're in a Hallmark movie set. Whistler is a destination that caters to the ski and snowboarding junkies out there (my brother said that he saw a kid with a pacifier skiing down the mountain, if that means anything to you), but you can also engage in other mountain activities in the winter, like snowmobiling, winter ziplining, snowshoeing, heli-skiing and more. Dog sledding is also an option, which is the most Canadian-sounding activity and one that you're sure to enjoy.


Tips for Whistler Blackcomb:

  • Renting ski and snowboard equipment at Spicy Sports Blackcomb is fairly cheap, and now you can book online to get up to 20% off. The staff at Spicy Sports Blackcomb are friendly, helpful, and quick, so that you're able to get on the mountain sooner. You can also rent recreational bikes and e-bikes for a daily rate. Spicy Sports Blackcomb is also really convenient as it's only a few minutes walk to the Blackcomb Gondola!

  • Get to the ski resort early - the resort is open from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. mountain hours, and we arrived right around 9 in order to get a good parking spot and get fitted for our skis. Pro tip: If you're parking in the Upper Village, park on Blackcomb Way in front of the Le Chamois Hotel, in the circle in front of Le Chamois Hotel, or in parking lots 6,7, or 8 which offer complimentary parking from 6am-12am (if you're lucky enough to get a spot in the morning!)

  • Last upload to Whistler Mountain is at 4 p.m. - remember this if you're a foot traffic person and want to grab one last picture at the top of the mountain before the lift closes for the day.

  • If you want to avoid the more expensive food options in the Upper Village, there are some low-cost food options off of Northlands Boulevard near Day Lot 4, including Tim Hortons, La Cantina Tacos, The Royal Taste of India, and more.


Photos from Whistler Blackcomb


Whistler Blackcomb is open for spring skiing, and visitors can still take advantage of all the outdoor activities mentioned above, along with other activities that the ski town offers including golf, bear viewing, whitewater rafting, and more. Whistler is also a great shopping and restaurant destination with Whistler Village (be sure to check out Crepe Montagne for an awesome sweet or savory crepe and Cow's Whistler for the largest selection of cow merch that I've ever seen.)


Highlights from Whistler Blackcomb:

  • I have something embarrassing to admit...I didn't actually ski the day we were at Whistler. I had EVERY intention to, but in full transparency I got too scared and also I was so out of shape (and also my ski boots were too tight) that my calves completely tensed up and I could barely even walk from the parking lot to the mountain. Truthfully, I was a bit relieved that I didn't ski because the green beginner slopes in Whistler are more like the blue intermediate slopes in North Carolina - I am not cut out for the skiing life and am definitely a summer sport girl. But mad respect to those that ski in Whistler on the regular, including what looked to be newborn babies almost. Enjoy this funny video of me below that my brother took while making fun of me as I was being passed by three year-olds on skis while I could barely walk.


  • While I didn't ski, my brother did, and I'm so proud of him! He conquered the blue intermediate slopes multiple times, and was skiing for a good 5 hours! It was really fun to watch him and see how far he's come with skiing. Proud big sister moment. Picture of us in our ski gear at the top of Blackcomb Mountain to the right!

  • I thoroughly enjoyed the solo lift ride to the top of Blackcomb Mountain - the calmness that I felt looking across the pristine, crisp, snow-covered landscape was unmatched, and I highly recommend it to anyone, not just ski or snowboard aficionados.


Restaurants/Bars in Whistler that My Brother and I Enjoyed:

  • Creekbread Pizza: Creekbread is a cozy restaurant in Creekside that serves flatbreads made from 100% organic Canadian wheat in what is called, you guessed it, a "Creekbread." Hang out at the bar and you might just meet some fun seasonal workers! As my brother and I were leaving the restaurant at closing, we saw people in full ski gear come in and start filming a commercial - of course we didn't recognize who they were but we wish we had asked the staff what the deal was. It's too bad that my brother and I sadly missed out on our Canadian commercial debut!

  • Table Nineteen: Table Nineteen was by far my brother and I's favorite restaurant in Whistler. Table Nineteen offers menu items that contain ingredients that are locally and ethically sourced, including a spring 3-course special available until April 24th, as well as half price pizzas and $7.50 pints of beer and glasses of wine from 3-5 p.m. Oh! And a 3-course fondue for $54 a person. Here's all that we ordered:

    • Queso Flameado Shrimp Dip $19

    • Calamari $21

    • Caesar Salad $18 (My brother and I agreed that this was one of the best caesar salad's we've ever had!)

  • Crepe Montage: I would highly recommend this classic French crepe restaurant for a hearty brunch during your skiing getaway. The hash browns here are fantastic, and I also ordered the Praline crepe with vanilla ice cream. My brother ordered the Pacific Eggs Benedict.



Camano Island, Washington


Welcome to one of my favorite parts of my trip to the Pacific Northwest, which is when my brother and I got to visit Camano Island, a lesser-known destination that's only a little bit more than an hour away from Seattle.


How did I find out about Camano Island? Well, good question. I learned about this gem of an island through a travel conference that I attended back in January, and I'm so glad that I did! My brother and I were able to stay one day in Camano before we headed back to Seattle to fly back home. The main reason why we wanted to visit Camano was the PNW ziplining tour that was arranged for us by our friends at Canopy Tours NW at Kristoferson Farm, however we were pleasantly surprised by all of the treats that Camano provided outside of this tour. We had a blast relaxing, recharging, and experiencing the charm of this island that keeps on giving.


Camano Island Highlights:

  • Ziplining through the stunning PNW scenery: Canopy Tours NW is the number one thing to do in Camano Island for a reason. Imagine zipping through the likes of western red cedar, western hemlock, big leaf maple, and more on 6 different ziplines (the longest of which is 660 feet!), while also embarking on a log bridge walk and 2 short bridge walks.

    • The guides that take you through the forest and on the tour are fantastic - they're so energetic, knowledgable, and they make up fun challenges when you're zipping through the trees, such as screaming your favorite movie quote while you're midair.

    • The scenery will make you fall in love with the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest - my brother and I had never experienced this type of terrain before and we were in awe.

    • Ziplining costs $75 for youth under 12 and $115 for adults ages 13 and up. It's a great activity to do for birthday celebrations, and they also have a group option as well.

    • Although Canopy Tours NW guides are fantastic and they really care about your safety, clumsy people like me can still get hurt.

      • While I didn't suffer an injury, my foot slipped through one of the holes of the log bridge walk, which made for a very memorable moment for my brother in particular. That's why when I'm traveling, I like to have peace of mind with travel insurance in case I did happen to get hurt. I personally use SafetyWing's Nomad Insurance made for nomads like me who need coverage outside of our home countries. SafetyWing Insurance starts as low as $45.08/4 weeks, and includes medical and travel insurance while abroad. You can use my access code linked here to get started with SafetyWing: https://safetywing.com/nomad-insurance/?referenceID=25131217&utm_source=25131217&utm_medium=Ambassador. (It helps me out when you do, as well!)


Photos from our Canopy Tours NW ziplining tour!


  • Kristoferson Farm: Canopy Tours NW is located at Kristoferson Farm, which is a certified organic farm that offers not just ziplining, but special events, team building through Terra Teams, and its own farm store that offers homemade products either from the farm itself or from local vendors. Check out items such as lavender soap, apple cider caramels, and more in their online store that can be found here.

    • Note: Kristoferson Farm is down a stretch of road that is surrounded by some of the most beautiful farmland imaginable. The quaint, romantic farm was acquired in 1912, and since then 6 generations of Kristoferson family members have kept this special farm operation going. The farm has goats out back, as well as fields of lavender, which was a dream to see in person. You will fall in love with the farm's beauty, and I personally would love to host an event there one day. Thank you to the kind Kristoferson family members who showed me around!



  • Staying in a treehouse!: Pete Nelson from Nelson Treehouse, I might just have to ring your line after staying in one of the most unique accommodations that I've ever stayed in - a treehouse! In fact, when I was telling the locals that we were staying in a treehouse on the island they told me that they had never heard of it before - which speaks volumes about how secluded and magical it is. The owners of this treehouse really put their heart and soul into this space, and it shows. The Nut House treehouse offers guests:

    • A tent site and fire pit,

    • An outdoor kitchen,

    • Hammocks for lounging,

    • A BBQ grill (for grilling up the inexpensive, yummy oysters from the nearby grocery store),

    • Trails out back,

    • Visits from the resident squirrel (be sure to leave out some nuts for him!)

    • And more!

Jan and Paul, thank you for having us, and will will be back!



  • And finally, while there are so many additional highlights that I can write about from this trip, I will end off this post by mentioning a visit to Camano Commons, which is a marketplace that is home to an assortment of restaurants, pastries, coffee, ice cream, and gifts galore. Camano Commons is open from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Sundays.


What other posts do you all want to see about my trip to the Pacific Northwest, or about Seattle, Whistler, Bellevue, or Camano Island in general? The options are endless - I can write about the best aprés ski places in Whistler, the shopping in Bellevue, the nature in Camano Island, etc.! Let me know by dropping me a line at caroline.stratos@gmail.com!


See you next time, Pacific Northwest!

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