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A Travel Guide to Whitehorse, Yukon

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!

Getting Around

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.

Groceries:

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.


Shopping

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.  


Cell Coverage

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. 


 

6 Reasons to Drop Everything and Visit Whitehorse Right Now

Ever dreamed of heading to a remote location filled with dramatic landscapes that go on forever? See an abundance of wildlife without having to hike deep into the forest? Well a place like this is not as far as you think! Yukon Territory in northern Canada, more specifically, Whitehorse, offers all of this and so much more!

Whitehorse, the capital city of the Yukon is home to three-quarters of the population of the entire territory.  But the small big town has so much to offer year round it is a place that should be on every travellers bucket list.  Whitehorse, also known as the wilderness city, was the hub to the Klondike Gold Rush just under a century ago and still is a living remembrance of the importance and historic of this momentous event.  Today, it is a hot spot for outdoor enthusiasts, adventure seekers and those looking for truly rugged and unique experience.

Here are the top 6 reasons to drop everything and visit Whitehorse right now!

The Midnight Sun

During the months of summer Whitehorse experiences the midnight sun.  The sun is out to play all day long and does not set until close to midnight!  You have 16-19 hours of sun a day depending on what month you visit in (July averages almost 19 hours of sun a day).


Yukon Wildlife Preserve

If you want a way to be able to see wildlife without the possibility of running into them while hiking then the Yukon Wildlife Preserve is the perfect place for you! Here the main animals throughout the territory are visible living in their natural habitat.


In One Day You can Hike Through a Canyon, See a Moose & Relax In Natural Hot Springs Then Sleep in a Cozy Hotel Room in Whitehorse

Whitehorse has so much to in and around the city.  You can head over for a short or length hike through the stunning Miles Canyon just on the outskirts of the city.  Then head over to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve where the territories more prominent animals live in their natural habitat for everyone to experience and learn about.  Close by take a dip in the Tahkini Hot Springs where you can spend as little or as long as you would like in these natural springs.  All while being no further than 25 minutes to your hotel room back in Whitehorse.


Experience the Rich Culture of the First Nations

The First Nations people lived peacefully in the Yukon long before those who flocked north when gold was found in the early 1900’s.  As you explore the city it is easy to see the emphasis Whitehorse takes to both preserve and celebrate the rich culture of these people.  Many beautiful paintings, carvings, sculptures and more allow you to understand and explore their history and traditions.


Experience The History Of A Real Life Gold Rush Town

Whitehorse was a hub for the Gold Rush that started in 1896 with thousands of prospectors passing through and some settling in the city on their way to find gold.  With Whitehorse being on the railway of the famous Chilkoot Trail the city was a hot spot and would continue to grow.  Talk a walk through the town and you will see historical sites, like the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site, artifacts and stories that still remain.


Friendliest Locals You Will Ever Meet

Often when you travel you don’t get a chance to interact with the locals but in Whitehorse and the Yukon in general you will encounter the nicest people.  If you are lost, looking for a good recommendation on food or hiking trail the people of Whitehorse would be more than happy to provide you with all the information you will need.  Make sure to stop and talk to a few while you are exploring Whitehorse you will definitely learn a thing or two you didn’t know before!


Yes, Whitehorse might be far for some to reach, but it is well worth the journey.  If you crave adventure, enjoy the true beauty of nature and want to travel to a peaceful and rugged place in Canada then book your trip to Whitehorse now!