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Destinations: Whistler, British Columbia

Fantasizing about your dream log home retreat? Look no further than the idyllic, Canadian getaway of Whistler, British Columbia.

We spoke with Whistler Real Estate Company Ltd. and found that Whistler is not only a great ski destination, but it’s also a naturally beautiful location to build or buy a log home.

Photo courtesy of whistlerrealestate.caPhoto courtesy of Whistler Real Estate

The log home landscape

Ever since Whistler’s early days, log homes have been very popular, and many fine examples can still be found scattered throughout the resort.

Today, contemporary architecture is more common for new homes in Whistler than log, yet having said that, many of the West Coast Stylings and Post-and-Beam homes use log for detailing and beam work, keeping some of the tradition and feel of a log home.

With the huge range of options available, Whistler can be whatever you make it. It is accessible to everyone and everything from accommodation to lifestyle can be tailored to suit your desires. There are properties available to meet all requirements, including condos, townhouses, family-homes, and luxury chalets.

In terms of current-home styles, Whistler is heavily influenced by trends in Vancouver and along the West Coast, as well as community policies supporting long term environmental sustainability. Most of the existing log homes in Whistler are older homes, many dating back to the early days of the ski resort. In the newer homes, log is primarily used as an accent rather than structurally.

Photo courtesy of whistlerrealestate.caPhoto courtesy of Whistler Real Estate

Photo courtesy of whistlerrealestate.caPhoto courtesy of Whistler Real Estate

Land availability in Whistler

Land use is very restricted in the resort of Whistler itself, but in the long-standing residential neighbourhoods closer to the heart of the resort there are still a few undeveloped lots that come available for sale occasionally. There are more opportunities for vacant land in some of the newer, luxury neighbourhoods such as Stonebridge, WedgeWoods, and Kadenwood. Due to our mountain surroundings, available land is limited.

Pemberton, a primarily rural town about 30 minutes north of Whistler, provides another opportunity for land availability.

As most log home lovers know, construction can be long, so it is important for anyone looking to build a home in Whistler, log or otherwise, to do as much of the work as they can early on. Not all of the builders in the area are familiar with log construction so it is important to select builders carefully by asking to see their resume of log homes and viewing these properties to see how they have stood the test of time.

Photo courtesy of whistlerrealestate.caPhoto courtesy of Whistler Real Estate

Whistler as an outdoor destination

The most obvious of all of Whistler’s appeals is the mountains – dominating the skyline, Whistler and Blackcomb offer world-class skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and sightseeing. The location itself is an area of incredible natural beauty that also acts as a big draw.

Whistler is a year-round destination with an annual visitation of over 2 million people. While it is famous mostly for its winters (and as the host mountain resort for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games!), it is a little-known fact that the summers see more tourist traffic. As a destination, it serves to provide incredible outdoor experiences that leave lasting memories.

At the same time, the town has a strong and vibrant local community of just over 10,000 permanent, full-time residents. In addition, Whistler sees over 2,000 seasonal workers come and go each season and have about 11,500 second-home owners.

Whistler is consistently ranked as the number one mountain resort in North America and visitors come from all of the world to ski, snowboard, mountain bike, and more. The community is flanked by two incredible mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb. During the winter there is a massive 8,171 acres of skiable terrain, giving way to some of the world’s best mountain biking in the summer. You will also find four golf courses, lakes, amazing restaurants and night life along with simply breath taking views.

Despite being a ‘young’ resort, Whistler has a deeply rooted and rich history. A visit to Rainbow Park is a reminder of this with the some of the log cabins from the Rainbow Lodge still standing and dating back to the 1900’s.

Photo courtesy of whistlerrealestate.caPhoto courtesy of Whistler Real Estate

Whistler as a cultural destination

In addition to the mountains, visitors will find 3 world-class golf courses, a plethora of lakes and parks, adventure activities (from bungee jumping, zip-lining, and heli-skiing to horseback riding, ATV’ing, and bear tours), relaxing spas and wellness getaways. The Valley Trail is a paved walking/biking trail that runs from one end of town to the other and is perfect for a leisurely stroll, bike ride and roller blading. There are activities for all ages and abilities.

In addition to the plethora of outdoor activities, each month sees events and festivals come to Whistler. From international musicians, film and book festivals, to world-renowned sporting events, there is something for everyone.

Arts and Culture play an integral part in the community which offers a museum and many art-galleries, including the brand new Audain Art Gallery and the SLCC Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre.

A world-class resort deserves world-class food, après, shopping, and nightlife and Whistler has all four. Whistler’s pedestrian-only Village is nestled at the base, chock full of overflowing patios, restaurants and nightclubs, as well as shops, spas, a movie theatre and so much more.

Photo courtesy of whistlerrealestate.caPhoto courtesy of Whistler Real Estate

Photo courtesy of whistlerrealestate.caPhoto courtesy of Whistler Real Estate

Enjoying all four seasons

Each season brings with it a new adventure and there is simply no bad time to visit or live in Whistler. Whistler is close to the coast, meaning summers are warm enough to swim in mountain lakes and moderate winter temperatures make powder days pleasant.

Choose a time that reflects what you want - whether it’s beautiful fall colours, snow in winter, sunshine and adventure in summer, or a combination of the above in spring!

The best time to build is after the snow has melted – through the spring and summer.

Skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, running, relaxing and sunbathing by the lake, paddle boarding, yoga, camping, enjoying après on a patio, eating out, and more adventures than you could list!

It can’t be overstated how friendly Whistler is and the unique lifestyle for log home lovers and beyond - it’s a place where everyone values the reason for living here. For more of a look into life in Whistler, here a video from The New York Times, "36 Hours in Whistler."

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