Ah, Thursday night — the only truly social night of the week. It’s the night when babysitters are booked, friends convene, and drinks are imbibed. There are no family obligations to fulfill, no amateurish weekend crowds to elbow through — and the possibilities are endless. The night starts after work and ends whenever you want. In any city. All over the world. This week, we’re presenting the perfect Thursday night in Whistler, B.C., Canada.
Whistler by moonlight (Thinkstock)
Whistler is a winter sports paradise, but no skis are needed to have a great evening out. During the winter high season, the crowds are deep and rowdy and looking to have fun. So, before the weekend snowboarding begins, take a night to get to know the village: The drinks are flowing, and you’re sure to meet some new friends to hit the slopes with in the morning (but not too early).
(Photo: Scandinave Spa/Facebook)
6 p.m.: Treat yourself! Book a day pass for the Scandinave Spa, just 10 minutes from the center of Whistler, and watch the sunset from your seat in a bubbling hot tub. The spa features three sets of cliffside outdoor pool systems: A hot pool, a freezing pool, and a Finnish sauna. Try them all, and then relax with a hot drink around a warm fire before your night begins.
7 p.m.: You probably packed a lot of warm layers, so head to Whistler village to find something stylish to wear for a long night out. All your fave standbys from Gap to Michael Kors are represented — or hit Roots, Ltd., for classic Canadian shopping and Cool as a Moose for something kitschy.
If you need something that sparkles, Rocks and Gems of Canada, right in the heart of the village, has drawers full of local and exotic rocks, from chunks of shimmering Alberta ammolite to large amethyst pendants. It’s a great place to pick up a souvenir, too.
Yum. (Sushi Village/Facebook)
9:30 p.m.: Is your stomach growling yet? The village has about a dozen fantastic restaurants, including a stunning five-star eatery, but on a Thursday night, the who’s who of Whistler can be found at Sushi Village, a fun little second-floor restaurant where you are warmly greeted by the bubbly staff. Pull your shoes off and throw them onto the pile, then sit at your own kotatsu (the low, traditional Japanese table). Get your order of saki margaritas in before 10 p.m., when the room gets crowded, and check out the wall of autographs and photos of famous patrons and fans.
11:30 p.m.: The perfect place for a nightcap is Bearfoot Bistro. The drinks menu is great, and so are the oysters. But if you’re craving a bit of luxury, order the tableside champagne service and have a look at the decadent dessert menu. Bearfoot also features Whistler’s only ice bar, the Belvedere Ice Room, where you can sip your choice of 50 different vodkas in Canada’s only subzero bar. But the highlight of your evening will undoubtedly be dancing with the restaurant owner in the Champagne Lounge with a big, retro disco ball spinning overhead. Keep the drinks flowing, and when you’re ready to take off, leave the car keys in your pocket and catch a cab at the adjacent Listel Hotel.
2 a.m.: If you still need one last snack before turning in, follow the crowd to Zogs Dogs, where a menu of delicious Canadian goodies awaits. Popular dishes include big bowls of classic poutine (french fries with sauce and cheese curds), thick bratwurst, and the BeaverTail, a warm, deep-fried dough pastry that has become a cult favorite. But no credit card allowed: Zogs is cash-only.
Check out more Thursday Night itineraries in cities around the world!