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Where to Stay in Whitehorse

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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. 


 

Staying at the Edgewater Hotel

Take a step back in time and explore what its like to stay at a historic Klondike Gold Rush hotel.  The Edgewater Hotel roots date back to the time of the gold rush in the late 1890’, been destroyed in one but two fires and now welcomes visitors from across the world to this beautiful historic hotel.

Here is our experience staying at the Edgewater Hotel in Whitehorse, Yukon!

History of Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater Hotel, located at the historic corner of Front and Main Street, was established in the 1890’s under the name Windsor Hotel.  The hotel welcomed the territories most distinguished founders and stampeders heading down the Yukon River to try and strike rich and find gold.  The location across from the White Pass and Yukon Route Train Station  played a large part in its long history and popularity as a hotel of choice in Whitehorse.

In 1905 a fire destroyed most of downtown Whitehorse including the Windsor Hotel.  The hotel was reborn as the White Pass Hotel shortly after the fire and would remain the White Pass Hotel until 1961 when another fire would take the hotel.  This was the beginning for the Edgewater Hotel when it was rebuilt after the second fire.

Regardless of the name the hotel has been welcome thousands of visitors across the world including stampeders seeking gold, miners, river boat crews, train passengers, mushers and mounties the Edgewater offers a piece of history in the ideal location.

In 2017, the Edgewater Hotel underwent a 2.2 million dollar room renovation now brining modern comforts with historic touches.


Getting to the Edgewater Hotel

Free Shuttle from Airport – The Edgewater Hotel offers a free shuttle bus that will pick you up right outside the front dors of the airport and take you to the hotel.

Taxi – You can get a taxi from outside the main doors of the airport.  It is a quic, less than 10 minute drive from the airport to the hotel.

Car – If you rent a car and drive to the hotel make sure to stop at the Visitors Centre for your free 3 day city wide parking pass! This pass will allow you to park anywhere. The Edgewater Hotel also offers free parking at the back of the hotel.

Walk – You can also walk from the airport to the hotel.  A 45 minute walk on a nice paved path that takes you around the airport and through the city.  If you are looking for some exercise to walk off the jet lag this is the perfect way to do it!


The Rooms

The newly renovated rooms are absolutely stunning and well worth every penny to stay at the hotel  With 33 modern guest rooms with a wide variety of room types to choose from there is something for everyone.  From a standard room with one double bed, a deluxe corner room king to the executive suite no room will leave you disappointed.

We checked into a King Suite Room located on the top floor of the hotel.  This 550 square foot one bedroom suite features one king room, a full kitchen, four piece bathroom and large sitting area with a sofa bed.

The kitchen area comes with a table that will seat four, full set of cutlery and dishes, pots and pans and cleaning supplies.  The kitchen is a great option if you enjoy cooking your own meal or being able to reheat leftovers.

The King Suite is the perfect size to fit 2-4 people with their spacious sitting area, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.  This was the perfect place to sit back and relax after a great day of exploring.

All the rooms come with free wifi access, bedside USB and charging sations, large flat screen TV’s and evening turn-down service, microwave and coffee maker and fitness centre access.

Note The hotel does not have an elevator to take you up to the rooms so be prepared to take your bags up 1-2 flights of stairs (there are only three floors in the hotel).  The front desk would be more than happy to assist you in bringing your bag to your room.  If you would prefer not to deal with the stairs rooms are available on the main floor.


Dining

Tonimoes Restaurant is the on-site restaurant in Edgewater Hotel. The restaurant is on the main level of the hotel and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.  They have a wide range of options on all of their menus and everything is very reasonably priced.

The hotel is also only one block away from many restaurants as well as Starbucks and Tim Hortons.


What to do near the Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Whitehorse and steps away from all the main attractions and best places to eat.  With so many options to explore in Whitehorse you could spend a day or a week adventuring through the Wilderness City.

For a full list of what to do in Whitehorse check out our detailed post here!

For a list of what to do within 30 minutes outside of Whitehorse make sure to check it out here!

 

 

Top 13 Things To Do In Whitehorse

Summer days in Whitehorse are endless! With some days having nineteen hours of daylight leaves you with a lot of time to explore.  Spending time outside exploring the beautiful Wilderness City, walking along the banks of the Yukon River, take a step back in time on the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site or learn all about Whitehorse and the Yukon’s past in one of the many museums.  The beautiful city of Whitehorse offers views of the surrounding mountains from anywhere in the city is a must visit place on your trip through the Yukon.

Here are our top 13 things to do in Whitehorse, Yukon!

Visit the Visitor Information Centre

Your first stop in Whitehorse should be to the Visitor Information Centre where you can speak to a local expert about everything to do in town and the surrounding area.  Here you can grab free maps and brochures on activities available all throughout the Yukon.  If you are looking for a bit more guidance a local guides will be able to assist you in booking tours for your.


Walk the Waterfront

Just steps outside the Visitor Centre is a paved path that follows the Yukon River.  Take a walk along the footpath to get some great views of both the river and Whitehorse.


Spirit House 

As you walk along the river don’t forget to look across the water to see a First Nations burial ground.  It looks like a home with a white picket fence, but it is actually a place where the ashes and personal effects of the deceased were laid to rest.  This final resting place for the First Nations is called the Spirit House.  Please do not take photos of the site or visit the site as both are considered disrespectful.


MacBride Museum of Yukon History

The MacBride Museum offers a comprehensive look of the people and events that shaped the Yukon.  Explore the museum to learn the stories of the gold rush, discover the truth of the Robert Service Ledgend at Sam McGee’s Cabin and more.  The MacBride Museum was named Canada’s #1 most under-rated attraction by MSN Travel Canada and it really is!


Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

The Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre is a place where the Kwanlin Dün First Nations people celebrate both their heritage and contemporary way of life.  The purpose of the cultural centre is to revive, preserve and demonstrate the values, traditional ways of life, language and practices of the Kwanlin Dün people.


Old Log Church Museum

Step into the Old Log Church Museum and experience history of the people and places that built Whitehorse.  From 1861 onwards the museum looks at the history of the area and its pioneers.  A visit to the museum will help provide a better understanding to the first chapters in the Yukon’s history.


Whitehorse Fishladder & Hatchery

Explore the Whitehorse Fishladder & Hatchery where you can learn about salmon migration.  The Whitehorse Fish Ladder is believed to be the longest wooden fish ladder in the world.  Building the ladder will aid the migration of the Chinook salmon on the final leg of their journey to their spawning ground at the headwaters of the Yukon.   With the help of underwater cameras, TV monitors and viewing platforms you can watch the fish.  You can experience and learn about the migrating salmon and freshwater fish on your visit to the Whitehorse Fishladder & Hatchery.


Whitehorse Rapids Dam

The Whitehorse Rapids Dam also constructed in 1958 is located next to the Whitehorse Fishway & Hatchery.  This 15,000 horsepower hydro generating station provides power to the people of Whitehorse.  The force of the water rushing through the dam is quite the site to see and provides a great spot to watch the sunset.


S.S. Klondike National Historic Site

The S.S. Klondike National Historic Site is looks at when Whitehorse was a hub for transportation for the region for both miners and their families during the Klondike Gold Rush.  The S.S. Klondike hauled fuel, food and passengers back and forth between Dawson and Whitehorse.  This now Parks Canada National Historic Site is situated on the banks of the Yukon River in Whitehorse free for the 2017 year for those to explore.  To read all about our experiences make sure to read it here.


Explore the Downtown

Downtown Whitehorse has so much to offer in a compact area.  You can step outside from any hotel room and explore the city on foot.  From the various museums, national historic sites and beautiful boutique stores you could easily fill an entire day exploring the downtown.  Take a stroll along Main street and pop into some of the boutiques like Paradise Alley for souvenirs, Midnight Sun Emporium for local, hand-crafted products like moccasins and mammoth ivory jewelry.


Stop to Visit the 11 Metre High Healing Totem

The healing totem stands 11 feet high on the banks of the Yukon River in Whitehorse. This beautiful totem pole was a 20 week project that took 20 carvers in total to hand carve.  The healing totem is a symbol of the people impacted by residental school experience.  The healing totem is at the end of Main Street on the waterfront, next to the White Pass building.  You can read more about the healing totem here.


Yukon Transportation Museum

Explore the history of transportation in the Yukon that helped shape the territory it is today.  The museum looks at over 100 years of transportation history in the territory.  You will learn about pilots, the building of the Alaska Highway and so much more.


Explore The Murals in Whitehorse

Since the early 1900’s, dozens of murals have been painted on buildings in Whitehorse all over the city.  There are tons of beautiful murals on the sides of buildings throughout downtown Whitehorse.  Each mural depicts something different all with significance to the people of Whitehorse.  Murals range from landscapes, famous Yukoners, animals, historical images and more.


With so much to do and explore in Whitehorse where will you start first?