Heading to Wanderlust Whistler (July 30–August 3) this week? There are some pretty amazing towns not too far from the resort that are worth checking out on the front or tail end of your travels. One such destination is the town of Squamish, located just 45 minutes south of Whistler and an hour north of Vancouver, via the world-famous Sea to Sky Highway. Home to about 17,000 people, Squamish was recently named by the New York Times as one of 52 places to go in 2015. Rub shoulders with some of the world’s best rock climbers, mountain bikers, kiteboarders, and kayakers in the town’s local pubs, restaurants, and hangouts while taking in the spectacular scenery.
For yogis, there are some beautiful locations to practice. For a mountain top experience, classes are offered at the summit of the Sea to Sky Gondola (call the gondola customer service for times). Take the class and stick around for lunch and try one of the many hikes on offer.
Another option is to experience Squamish’s spectacular waterfront and take a class at the renowned Yoga at the Spit.
Taught by one of the town’s original yogis, Josee Fontaine, the class is held outdoors at Squamish’s windsurfing and kiteboarding take-off point, the Spit. Classes are taught before the wind starts whistling up the Howe Sound. Stick around to watch the windsurfers and kiteboarders set sail.
For a different perspective of the Sound, try the three-hour journey on a stand up paddle board from Squamish’s Nexan Beach to Britannia Beach, some 25 kms (~15.5 miles) away. Hook-up with Jeff from the Sea to Sky Adventure Company for a guided experience that also includes rentals and a shuttle back to Squamish from Britannia Beach.
If you are keen to sample the local mountain biking, link up with Jeff and his friends again from the Sea to Sky Adventure Company for rentals and guiding. Or explore on your own, but be sure to get a map or download the app of the extensive local trail network.
Squamish also boasts many lakes. A favorite of locals is Brohm Lake, where smooth flat rocks make for the perfect place to spread out your towel. For a bit more activity, try swimming the length of the lake or hiking the perimeter along the beautiful 7.5 km (~4.7 mile) trail.
If you visit the town on a Saturday be sure to check out the Squamish Farmer’s Market, located downtown. Sample local delights from farmers and craft makers, and be sure to check out the Casa Norte food van. The black bean and sweet potato tacos are my food-combo dream come true.
For brunch or lunch, head north through Squamish’s picturesque Brackendale region to one of the best breakfast spots you will ever experience, Fergies. The plethora of Benedict options is nothing short of amazing.
For dinner check out the Howe Sound Inn and Brewing Company for delicious upscale pub food and an amazing selection of local craft beer. Or seat yourself on the patio of the Water Shed Bar and Grill. A local favorite for its one-of-kind location on the banks of the Squamish River, The WaterShed Grill serves basic food like burgers and wings. The view will take your breath away, making it the perfect spot to end your visit in Squamish.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Graham Ballantyne
Jane Emerick is a travel writing momma and yogi adventurer. From the top of the mountain to the depths of the sea and everything in between, find Jane on her snowboard, skis, surfboard, or bike any given day. A self-proclaimed “unorganized Mom,” Jane is a hippy at heart who loves to explore. She teaches yoga and has a background in marketing and writing. Follow Jane on Instagram, or her blog: jumpsuitjane.wordpress.com.