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Head for the hills in search of supreme relaxation and an adrenaline-pumping adventure
Not a skier/snowboarder/bike-rider in Vancouver? Blasphemy, we know. That doesn’t mean Whistler holds nothing for you. (As someone who is averse to any X Games-like activity, I felt this way about Whistler for a long time.) In fact, it’s possible to have a weekend filled with thrills and leisure without participating in any of the standard sporting adventures.
Click through to see how Whistler can entertain on both ends of the spectrum.
If you want to luxuriate in complete relaxation, this is the place for you. With pools, massages and a beautiful setting, Scandinave Spa is able to put you in a tranquil frame of mind. The spa has a strict no-talking policy, so not only will your body get a break, but your mind (and mouth) will too. At first, the silence is almost eerie, but it’s not long before you become accustomed to the soothing sounds of silence.
The pools are situated on the side of a mountain, offering a stunning first impression. It’s like wandering into Rivendell. You expect Legolas to pop out from behind a tree to hand you a biscuit wrapped in leaves while you soak in one of the baths.
Oh, the baths. Scandinave incorporates what they call hydrotherapy. I call it getting super comfortable and relaxed in a hot tub for 20 minutes and then shocking the hell out of your body with a 20-second dip in an ice-cold pool. The no-talking rule is put to the test when you submerge yourself in frigid waters. Cue the strangers laughing at my pathetic gasping and rapid-fire breathing.
After a decent chunk of time in the pools, you can continue to sink deeper into utter relaxation with a massage. Choose from various practices (Swedish, Thai, couples), but know that no matter which type of massage you pick, you’re going to be in heaven. Once you add it all up – the pools and lack of noise pollution and muscle-melting massages – it’s impossible to leave Scandinave anything but calm and collected.
Cost: Services starting at $58
How do you feel about dangling 600-feet in the air with nothing between you and Mother Earth but a harness? If you’re anything like me – a career acrophobic (fear of heights) – it sounds like hell. But in actuality, it’s an exhilarating, visually (and literally) breathtaking experience that can be enjoyed by all.
The nearly three-hour Superfly Ziplines trek features four different lines, including Canada’s longest ziplines, which will have you moving at speeds of 100 km/hour. Our group was made up of all ages (ages seven and up). A young boy, around the age of eight or nine, was giddily flinging himself off the platforms and laughing hysterically as he glided through the air.
I was slightly more cautious on my first run, but after the initial 10 seconds of gut-wrenching anxiety, the rational side of your brain kicks in and you realize that you’re flying hundreds of feet in the air and it is awesome. The sense of speed is incredible and the eye candy is unbelievable. Where else can you get those kind of visuals?
After your first run, any lingering fears will be forgotten and you’ll be eager to hop on the next line. It really is an adventure, and the excursion, led by two able and knowledgeable guides, never lags. It’s simply a fun time, and you’ll be talking about it for hours afterwards.