The hub of the Yukon and capital city of the territory, Whitehorse is home to just over 27,000 people over three-quarters of the entire population! With so much at the city’s doorsteps you could spend a day or a week here and never run out of places to explore. We have compiled a travel guide to Whitehorse to make sure you see Whitehorse to the fullest.
Being in one of the most northern parts of Canada you are in a place many will never get the opportunity to experience which is a shame as it is one of Canada and the worlds hidden gems. You are so far north that you can drive south to reach Alaska!
Whitehorse, known as the Wilderness City really earns its name as from wherever you stand in the downtown core you can see the mountains in the distance surrounding the city. This is thanks to a law that prevents the construction of any building talker than four stories throughout the city.
Whether you view the city as a big bustling town or a small gateway to the rugged wilderness one thing that everyone will agree on is that Whitehorse is worth a visit.
Here is our Travel Guide to Whitehorse – The largest city in northern Canada!
Shuttle – If you are staying at any of the main hotels (Edgewater, Best Western, Days Inn, etc) there is a free shuttle from the airport right to the steps of the hotel of your choice. The shuttle meets you outfront the main doors of the airport.
Taxi – You can take a taxi from the airport or find one the downtown area very easily.
Rental Car – There are two rental car agencies Budget and Driving Force. Everyone seems to rent from Driving Force as it is on the Travel Yukon website but we wished we had rented from budget as we watched them process three people in the time Driving Force to process one persons rental car. Both are the similar price you just may wait in longer lines if you rent from Driving Force. Make sure you stop by the Yukon Visitors Centre to get a free three day city wide parking pass!
Walk – You can walk a beautiful paved path from the airport to downtown that will only take about 45 minutes and it is well worth the trip! Once downtown you can get to anything in the downtown area very easily on foot.
Where to Stay
Whitehorse has a lot of options when it comes to where you want to stay and something for every budget.
Edgewater Hotel– This historic hotel that opened its doors during the Gold Rush in the 1890’s just underwent a 2.2 million dollar renovation to make it the hot spot to stay in downtown Whitehorse. The Edgewater Hotel offers free wifi, microwaves, airport shuttle and is steps away from all amenities as well as the Yukon River.
Best Western Gold Rush Inn – This historic downtown hotel with a spa is located right in the heart of the city. Your stay at the Best Western includes free wifi, mini fridges, microwaves and complimentary airport shuttles.
Days Inn Whitehorse – Close to the waterfront this downtown hotel offers free wifi, laundry facilities, sauna & fitness centre, free parking and spacious rooms.
Coast High Country Inn – Stay like the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge did at the Coast High Country Inn. Located next to Jim Light Park and connected to the Yukon Convention Centre. The Coast offers newly renovated rooms, along with complimentary wifi, fitness centre and airport shuttle.
Where to Eat
There are so many places to eat and drink in Whitehorse! Make sure you try as many as you can as nothing will leave you disappointed.
Fast Food – There are many chains like Starbucks, Tim Hortons, KFC, Marble Slab, Dominos Pizza, McDonald’s, A&W and much more if you are looking for a quite bite to eat.
Sit Down Options:
Dirty Northerner Public House: The Dirty Northern Public House is an upscale pub that geatures great beer, excellent wood-fired pizza and juicy burgers. With its ‘rustic-glamour’ sitting on Main Street is a crowd pleaser for sure.
Klondike Rib & Salmon – This is a favourite for both local and touirsts alike. Known for its authentic northern flavours and great service. The restaurant is set in one of the oldest operating buildings in Whitehorse and is worth checking out. The interior is small which can mean lineups but it is worth the wait.
The Wheelhouse Restaurant – One of Whitehorse’s newest additions the Wheelhouse Restaurant is one of the most upscale restaurants in the city. Sitting right on the Yukon river you are in for a treat for both the view and the food. The restaurant pays homage to the time prior to the development of the highways in the Yukon, when the waterways were the mainway of transport.
Heading on a camping trip or have a kitchen in your hotel room? Make sure to head over to the Great Canadian Superstore for all of your grocery, kitchen and even clothing needs. They have everything you would expect out of a normal Great Canadian Superstore from fruits and veggies, meats, desserts, cannoed goods and more and at great prices!
Walmart – There is also a Walmart in town for frozen and boxed food but they do not have as many fresh options as the Superstore does.
Forgotten things in your suitcase or didn’t want to pack certain items to try and keep the weight down in your bag or looking for souvineers? There are lots of options for shopping in Whitehorse.
Sporting Goods Store – Coast Mountain Sports has everything you will need hiking boots, clothing, bug spray, bear spray, camping equipment and everything else outdoors you could imagine!
Toiletries – If you forgot some toiletries, drugs, sunscreen and more there are a few options throughout Whitehorse including Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart and Great Canadian Superstore.
Souvenirs – Looking to take home a keepsake from your time in Whitehorse. The downtown core has lots of stores to offer you a wide selection and guarantees you will find something to suit your fancy. From Bearpaw Music & Gifts, Paradise Alley Gifts and more make sure to walk the streets and check out all the local shops.
You may wonder about whether your cell phone will work in Whitehorse. Well the answer is yes! There is full cell coverage in Whitehorse for Rogers, Bell, Telus and other major phone companies. Cell coverage once you leave Whitehorse begins to get sparse as you are on the roads but while in the city there is nothing to worry about.
Things To Do In Whitehorse
With so much to do right in the heart of downtown Whitehorse you could spend days exploring the Wilderness City without seeing everything.
For the top things to do in downtown Whitehorse make sure to check out our post here.
For the top things to do within a 30 minute drive from downtown Whitehorse make sure to check out the post here.