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Best Whistler Shopping

AOL PICK from our Editors
Though you’ll find many upscale boutique chains here, they’re not notably different from South Beach or Maui, and presumably that’s not what you came to Whistler for. The resort’s home-grown galleries and retailers offer distinctive wares and local atmosphere, and are far more interesting. Most major hotels, such as the Westin, Hilton (with a fine First Nations art gallery, Black Tusk Gallery), Four Seasons, Fairmont Chateau Whistler and such, have shopping arcades with gifts, galleries and garments. But a visit to Whistler would be incomplete without a late-afternoon saunter along the Village Stroll, the resort’s version of a mall.

Village Stroll

Neighborhood: Whistler Village
Whistler Village’s main shopping street is a delightful pedestrian walkway lined with small shops, cafes and galleries. It stretches about a quarter-mile from the Carleton Lodge, jogging through Village Square, then turning west. Unfortunately, Whistler’s growth has spurred a shift from the quirky, unique local retailers that once lined the lane, and faceless chain stores now crop up like mushrooms—The Body Shop, Lush, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Eddie Bauer, Helly Hansen. Local standouts include Armchair Books, Whistler Cigar Co. (yes, they have Cubans), Beach or Bust swimwear, and Keir Fine Jewellery, which specializes in settings with Canadian fair-trade diamonds.

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Village Stroll  

The Plaza Galleries

Neighborhood: Whistler Village
You’ll find art by Really Big Names here (including Picasso, Chagall, Renoir and Anthony Quinn), but the majority of pieces represent Western Canada artists, with works varying from vivid neo-realist to modern aboriginal. By far Whistler’s best and biggest art retailer, The Plaza Galleries has a friendly atmosphere you won’t find in comparable big-city galleries.

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The Plaza Galleries  

Roots Canada

Neighborhood: Whistler Village
Roots is Canada’s iconic active-wear clothing brand, made hip by its visibility during the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, and hipper still in 2010 during the Vancouver/Whistler Olympics. The company’s designs are marked by bright colors and funky practicality, and its prices are well within reach of real humans—the iconic Roots logo T-shirt, for instance, can be had for $26.

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Roots Canada  

Nester’s Market

Neighborhood: Alpine Meadows
The best grocery in Whistler Valley is a colorful local institution with a full range of produce and foods—including BC products—and a very handy delivery service for visitors. You can shop online and arrange for your groceries to be in your condo or room when you arrive. The in-store bulletin board is a great place to check out all things Whistler, too.

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Nester’s Market  

Rogers’ Chocolates

Neighborhood: Whistler Village
Founded in Victoria, BC, in 1885, this is Western Canada’s most popular and most iconic chocolate maker, offering European-style fine chocolate confections, from truffles (“creams” is the old-fashioned name) to candy bars. Artisan chocolate connoisseurs may find these a bit sweet, but they are a BC tradition, and, unlike at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, they are a regional product.

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Rogers’ Chocolates  
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