Is everything close in October? Is it still worth it to take a day trip down there via bus from Vancouver? Any stores and restaurant open at all?
October is shoulder season and the weather may be foggy and rainy. The restaurants and stores will be open and the Audain Gallery is fabulous any time but to be honest it would not be my choice time to visit Whistler.
Oct 08 is our Thanksgiving; things slow down after that date before ski season starts in late Nov.
The Peak to Peak gondola will not be running at that time. Stores and restaurants will be open as will the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre. You might be able to cycle the Valley trails. You could take the Whistler sightseeing tour with Landsea Tours. That tour includes admission to the Cultural Centre and a visit to Shannon Falls.
October 7th is the last day for Peak to Peak, then it's closed to ski seasons. The October 6-8 long weekend is also the "Turkey" Sale, which is previous seasons ski gear/clothing on discount. A lot of locals come up for the day/weekend. The parking lots are always fun. Plus the farmer's market is in full swing still. So if you have to come in October the 6-8 is the best weekend to come. Keeping in mind that it's pretty busy. If you want a bit of peace and quiet, come after. Stores and restaurants opened year round.
Ah perfect I’ll be there on the 6!!! So glad the p2p still runs as that’s what I’m looking to do. Will take bus and DIY type of trip!