In contrast with certain other major Canadian cities, Montreal’s festival calendar is good enough that most folks here actually want to spend their summer weekends in town. Still, you’ve got to get away sometime to catch up on your R, R and, perhaps, R (rest, relaxation, romance). Here, our favourite getaways, all within 2.5 hours of the city.
Camp at Oka’s National Park, where you can swim, barbecue and rent boats from the marina. On the Calvaire d’Oka trail, take in the herons of Grande Baie marsh, amidst the historic oratories and chapels of the Adirondack Mountains. Be sure to visit the Notre Dame du Lac Abbey, where Trappist monks produce the famous Oka cheese.
B&B your way through the Eastern Townships by tracing the 40-km long Lake Memphremagog. Take an established driving route, like the Decouvertes Sans Frontières, and you’ll catch beautiful scenery, killer golf courses, and soon, the Brome Fair, (Sept. 3–6).
The Stowe Mountain Lodge is a neo-rustic establishment with modern comforts, like a fitness centre, Jacuzzis and new-age “healing lodges.” Book his ’n’ hers massages — or, if you’re really feeling adventurous, a Segway ride. Really.
The Wakefield Mill Inn and Spa offers luxurious lodgings and a quaint, small-town experience, just about 20 minutes from Ottawa. Opt for a weekend package ($378/person), which includes a two-night stay, a table d’hôte dinner, a country breakfast, a Sunday brunch, an hour-long spa treatment and access to an outdoor hot tub.
Image courtesy of somesatellite.