With over 8,100 acres of snow-covered slopes, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers and over 200 marked trails, Whistler is not only North America’s largest ski resort, but also one of the best skiing destinations in the world.

It’s renowned for its quality skiing and snowboarding conditions with the area regularly receiving more than 11 metres of annual snowfall, but there are many more great things about this area.

One great thing is how easy it is to get to Whistler as you can fly into Vancouver, which is the closest city. Then if you book car hire in Vancouver you can drive just a couple of hours to the town.

Another thing that makes Whistler stand out from the crowd is its après scene. With the ski season starting in November and running through to late April, we ask you to put your skis aside for one second as we take you through the best bars in Whistler.

Après bars in Whistler

Dusty’s Bar & BBQ

Opening times: 7am -1am

Something from the menu: Try the famous Dusty’s fresh smoked bbq dishes

If you’re looking for the best Whistler bars for après ski, Dusty’s is a legendary place to visit.

Located at the foot of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic downhill course in Creekside, skiers and snowboarders can glide right up to the huge outdoor patio. The venue has picnic table seating, a music stage and an open-centred mezzanine overlooking the main floor, so you can always be involved in the action.

Shell, a British camping and outdoor lover whose blog Camping with Style covers all things related to living an active life outdoors, has been on six trips to Whistler Blackcomb. She told us that her favourite runs in Whistler are the Dave Murray Downhill and Franz, so she spends a lot of time at Creekside where Dusty’s is located.

“With outdoor fire pits you can sit outside, and their breakfasts are simply amazing, and huge. Once you've eaten, it's quick to hop back onto the Creekside Gondola, followed by the Big Red Express lift and you're back at the top near Roundhouse. Go back early evening after you're done on the slopes for the day for more of a party vibe and amazing BBQ food.”

SEE ALSO: 48 hours in Whistler

Merlin’s Bar and Grill

Opening times: 11:30am-late

Something from the menu: You can’t miss the nachos

Located at the bottom of Blackcomb Mountain, where you can catch the Wizard Express chair, is Merlin's Bar and Grill.

Merlin’s has created a welcoming atmosphere and is a clubhouse for those who are all about mountain culture, loads of nachos and making sure every ski day ends with a bang (and possibly a conga line). Being Whistler’s most club-like venue, don’t be surprised if you see people dancing on the bar come the end of the night!

If you’re here in the afternoon, you can enjoy a relaxed vibe on the sun-soaked, slope-side patio and tuck into foods like nachos, poutine, burgers and salads. You can also take your pick from a variety of local brews on tap.

Garibaldi Lift Company

Opening times: 11am-1am

Something from the menu: Order the traditional poutine

Known as “the” place to après, the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC) lounge bar overlooks skiers as they fly down the slopes. The venue welcomes some of the best musical acts fuelling fun and feeding appetites, with a west coast fusion-style menu which includes flatbreads, pasta, sandwiches, salads and shareable appetisers.

The GLC is very family-friendly with its large mountain-facing patios, stone fireplace and big wooden tables perfect for hanging out and discussing your day of skiing. After 10pm, the venue transforms into one of the area’s best live music venues.

Shell especially loved the food and atmosphere of GLC when she visited describing their poutine as “amazing and just the thing to fill you up after a day on the slopes when it's tasty fuel rather than a fancy feast that you're looking for”. She also recommends it to skiers looking to relax as you can share cocktail pitchers, listen to live DJs and music, and sit in front of roaring fires.

The Longhorn Saloon

Opening times: 9am-1am

Something from the menu: The Legendary Bulldog - an inverted Corona in a Classic Lime Margarita

Situated at the base of the Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas, The Longhorn Saloon is a great spot to enjoy a drink after skiing.

UK travel blogger, Rachael Doyle, owner of the Hilltops and Flipflops blog, told us that it’s “not après without doing a shot ski”.

Describing the drink, she says: “It's exactly what it sounds like - an old ski with shot glasses glued to it from which you take a shot with three or four of your mates.”

In the past, The Longhorn Saloon has welcomed some big acts like the Black Eyed Peas, The Beat Farmers, The Wailers and Benny Benassi.

21 Steps Kitchen and Bar

Opening times: 5pm-11:30pm every day

Something from the menu: Try the local wine and beer

Established in 2004, 21 Steps Kitchen and Bar is a locally owned restaurant located in the heart of Whistler Village. The bar offers stunning views of the village and surrounding mountains, while the local photography hanging on the walls enhances the atmosphere within.

Perfect for those of you looking for a casual drink or great modern comfort food, Allie Warner from 21 Steps Kitchen and Bar tells us what she’d recommend you try.

“The items on the menu that I would recommend and that I know are not going to change from season to season are the Thai red curry or white wine mussels, the fried goats cheese and the 21 salad from the ‘small plate’ or appetiser side of our menu. From the ‘big plate’ or main course side of the menu I highly recommend the lamb chop, the prawn and scallop dish and the short ribs.”

SEE ALSO: A complete guide to Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort

Bearfoot Bistro

Opening times: 5pm-10pm

Something from the menu: Canadian Flyte Vodka in the Ketel One Ice Room

A visit to Whistler isn’t complete without heading to the Bearfoot Bistro, the resort’s premier fine dining restaurant.

Here, you can enjoy meals created by award-winning chef, Melissa Craig, try sabering a bottle of Champagne, and visit the Ketel One Ice Room, which is the coldest vodka tasting room in the world.

The menu is full of seafood and wild game which is all local in British Columbia, as well as international foods like Wagyu beef, Berkshire pork and Périgord truffles.

You should top off your après ski experience by entering the -32 degrees Celsius Ketel One Ice Room and taste some of the 50+ vodkas that are stored here.

SEE ALSO: The ultimate guide to the top 20 attractions in Whistler

Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub

Opening times: 8am-1am

Something from the menu: Whistler Brewery Craft Beer or a Guinness

The Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub offers “delicious pub fare including hearty breakfasts, live music, 20oz Perfect Pints and good times”.

Regarded as one of the best bars in Whistler, their ‘After Après’ happy hour runs from 5pm to 7pm and offers pints of British Columbia craft beer and 6oz glasses of house wine for just $5 CAD.

The pub was designed, crafted and transported piece by piece from Ireland, also bringing with it great live music. You can check the calendar of events page to find out who will be playing during your ski holiday to Whistler.

If you’ve been inspired to come and experience the après scene in Whistler, then check out our latest prices for flights to Vancouver and book your accommodation today.

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