What to do in Whitehorse?
We often get the questions “Where should I go in the Yukon?” and “What is there to do?” To answer the first question: Everywhere. The second question will take me a few posts to answer, starting with Whitehorse.
Whitehorse was our “resting place” since Gaia and I had spent the previous week motoring up the Stewart-Cassiar with hopes of beating my husband there. (He was flying). It was a tight race, and due to poor scheduling choices, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. But in the end, I won, and was able to be the first thing he saw when he arrived at YXY.
I had visited the city approximately 5 years prior with my daughter and immediately fell in love. The people that live here sure know how to take advantage of the long days. At 10pm on a beautiful summer’s evening the sun is high in the sky and the playgrounds are packed with kids. There is no shortage of things to do and see (and eat!) here so let’s get on with it.
What To Do?
Visit a Museum or Interpretive Centre
Among the many options are the
Beringia Interpretive Centre,
Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre,
Yukon Transportation Museum,
& Copperbelt Railway & Mining Museum.
The MacBride Museum offers a somewhat authentic experience for a small fee.
Ride the Waterfront Trolley
Located outside of the museum and spanning from the S.S. Klondike, the trolley is a novelty for adults and kids. Required tickets can be purchased for a nominal fee at the MacBride Museum.
Bike around the city
Icycle Sports and Cadence cycle rent bikes if you didn’t happen to bring your own.
Tour the historic sternwheeler which used to carry both cargo and passengers between Whitehorse and Dawson City on the Yukon River.
A Short drive from the City:
A beautiful place to go for a hike of various lengths. The trails are also bike-worthy but can be kind of technical. Families with young children may get more enjoyment from hiking the trails.
Takhini Hot Springs
It was so hot the entire time we were in the Yukon (believe it or not) that we didn’t even get to enjoy the hot springs, but we did drive out to see them. Less than half an hour from the city of Whitehorse, these gems looked like a great time.
Yukon Wildlife Preserve
In the same area as the Takhini Hot Springs, lies the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. Leave your truck behind and tour the grounds to see some of the beautiful animals native to the Yukon. Since each animal gets its own generous sized enclosure, it takes between 1-3 hours to cover the entire preserve. The trail can be either walked or biked. We highly recommend biking.
There are well maintained trails at Miles Canyon, Mount McIntyre, and Grey Mountain. There is also a great multi-use trail that borders the river and heads South of the city.
Some trails near the top of Mount McIntyre require a vehicle with 4x4.
When we were in the city, we visited Icycle Sports which has everything you need for your next bike trip, knowledgeable, friendly staff, and a coffee shop. There is also an app called “Whitehorse Trail Guide” that you can purchase for a one time fee, then download and use with or without wifi. It contains most of the trails in and around the city.
Rafting, canoeing, jet boats, so many options!
Miles Canyon, Mount McIntyre, Grey Mountain.
Canada Games Centre
A large recreation centre with a great pool (a sure win for kids.)
Where to Eat?
The city is gifted with quite a few culinary hotspots. Believe it or not, we actually had some amazing Mexican food in the land of the Northern Lights.
Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters
My favourite part about this place is the coffee. My second favourite part is that it’s connected to a bike shop.
Roughly 30 km out of town is this little gem sandwiched between two must-see places: the Hotsprings and wildlife perserve.
Pop in for a tour and a pint. If you like Radlers, you have to give their Lemon Lavender Radler a go. I buy it by the flat.
A relatively new joint with a happening scene located just a few minutes out of the city. Their scotch eggs are apparently legendary.
A local go-to for cocktails and snacks.
Klondike Rib & Salmon
The fish and chips are divine, and the atmosphere is bang on.
Delicious Mexican food with an authentic Mexican vibe. We had the privilege of dining on the patio and listening to live music.
Smoke & Sow food truck
Based at Rotary Park, tales of this truck & its delicacies extend all the way up to the Dawson City Music Festival.
A local favourite in the heart of downtown. Pop in for a divine lunch-sized pizza.
The Chocolate Claim
Need I say more? Chocolate, coffee & soup are some top sellers here.
We honestly couldn’t keep up with it all, there was something for everyone around every corner. TripAdvisor has some great honest reviews on things to do and providers in the area.