Ever since my friend showed me pictures of her vacation in Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada, I have been dying to go. While she goes for the skiing and I can barely master the bunny slope (and by barely, I mean not at all), it’s just such a picturesque and charming town. It reminds me of a Norman Rockwell painting or a Dickens’ Christmas Carol village. Even with all of the snow, it just makes me feel all warm and happy inside.
Dream vacation planning is one of my favorite ways to destress, especially during the busy holiday season. Even if I don’t have immediate plans (or the finances) to hop on a plane in the near future, just the act of creating the perfect itinerary- right down to what I’ll eat and where I’ll stay- soothes my tired soul. I think it tricks my brain into believing that we’re really going somewhere exciting. Like, it thinks, “oh, she’s looking for the best vacation rentals in Canada, she must be serious! We’re going on a trip! Hooray!” Whether you’re planning a “brain vacation” or a real one, Mont-Tremblant should definitely be high on your travel bucket list this time of the year! Check out 10 exhilarating things to do in Mont-Tremblant this season!
10 Fun Things to Do in Mont-Tremblant
I partnered with Luxury Retreats to share these fun ideas of things to do in Mont-Tremblant. Since I know that not everyone loves to play outside in the snow, I’ve broken this list down into two categories: one section for my snow-loving pals and one for those who prefer mellower sightseeing activities. Of course, if you love both, you can mix things up and really see all that Mont-Tremblant has to offer!
Let’s start with the obvious! If you love skiing, you’re going to adore Mont-Tremblant. My friend skis here regularly and she always has a blast. The region is home to the highest point of the Laurentians, making it Eastern North America’s #1 ski destination. People come from all over the world to hit the legendary slopes of Mont-Tremblant. Quebec gets its fair share of that trademark Canadian snow, but should Mother Nature have an off year, the ski resorts in the region use state-of-the-art snow making machines as a backup plan.
If the idea of flying down a mountain on two narrow sticks freaks you out as much as it does me (remember my bunny slope fiasco?), try snowshoeing instead! The ski resorts in Mont-Tremblant rent out shoes and have plenty of trails to explore, but I think it would be amazing to trek through some of the trails in the national park (Park national du Mont-Tremblant). It features over 29 miles (48 kilometers) of trails leading through some of the most breathtaking views in Quebec. FYI, snoeshoeing is quite a workout! When you’re looking at vacation rentals, you might want to choose one with a hot tub to soak away those muscle aches after a day of hitting the trails!
3. Winter Hiking
Of course, you don’t have to strap anything onto your feet to explore the snowy countryside! Well, maybe except a pair of warm boots and some thick socks! Both Domaine Saint-Bernard and Park national du Mont-Tremblant feature miles of groomed hiking trails that are just right for a walk through a winter wonderland. In the national park, the trail runs along the east shore of Lac Monroe (Lake Monroe). The Domaine Saint-Bernard trail is super kid-friendly. You might even come across some sweet little birds that will eat right out of their hands! Even though both of these trails are well-traveled, make sure you follow the basic safety rules for hiking. Grab a paper map from the tourist center (in case you lose your phone or reception) and make sure someone knows where you’re going.
Prefer to see the gorgeous views at a faster pace? Hop on a snowmobile! I haven’t been on one since I was a kid, but I remember how exciting it was to zip around the snowy landscape with the powder whooshing behind me in my wake. Cana-Doo Adventures is a great choice if you need pretty much everything to get started. They not only offer snowmobile rentals and guided tours, but the clothes that you’ll need to keep warm as well. Tours run from 1-8 hours, so you can squeeze in a quick ride or spend the entire day zipping around. If you prefer to go out on your own, the Activity Centre offers private excursions (they also have guided tours). You must be 18 to drive a snowmobile, but you can bring along passengers as young as 5 (for an extra fee).
5. Ice Climbing
I saved the most extreme winter sport for last in this section! While you’ll never, ever, ever see me scaling icy mountain walls (you’ll never see me scaling non-icy mountains, for that matter), if you really want to get your thrill on, ice climbing is definitely the way to go! Certified instructors at Mont Tremblant Ice Climbing School will teach you everything you need to know to safely climb the slippery slopes, starting with a natural frozen waterfall. No experience necessary, they teach all skill levels.
Culture & Other Activities
The Domaine Saint-Bernard’s Velan Astronomy Pavillion is a must for your itinerary if stargazing gives you happy chills. The Pavillion introduces a new theme each month, with animations and exhibits on the cosmos, a projection room, and a gorgeous outdoor observation area. The highlight of the tour, though, is the observatory with the telescopes, especially for budding astronomers. They host events every Saturday night, so plan accordingly.
It’s no surprise that a town as gorgeous as Mont-Tremblant has a budding artist community. Check out local talent on display in several locations throughout The Village. For example, in Place de la Glare, you’ll find year-round gallery-style displays in the remodeled train station. You can also tour the Public Art Circuit, which features about a dozen pieces of art scattered throughout the town in parks and municipal buildings. These works of art commemorate different events in the town’s history.
I have always wanted to go on a real sleigh ride. You know, like the kind in Jingle Bells? At the Activity Centre, you can do just that. Your driver will even regale you with folk tales and songs while you travel by horse-drawn carriage through the stunning mountainside! They offer group rides (hot cocoa included!) or smaller private rides for up to 4 people.
9. Sugar Shack
For kids and kids at heart, make sure you add a visit to the Sugar Shack to your itinerary! Learn how maple syrup gets from the tree to your table, then sample some tasty sweets! You can also buy authentic maple products here. You know, the real stuff, not the “maple flavored” stuff that we’re used to buying in most grocery stores. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that up until recently I had no idea that the stuff you buy in the big plastic bottles for $2 is not actually real maple syrup. Did you know that? How did I not know this? I guess it’s kind of like how a lot of people don’t know that American cheese isn’t actually cheese.
No trip is complete without a little souvenir shopping, right? While the resorts feature some of the biggest names in sporting and luxury goods, when I travel, I like to look for the smaller local-owned shops. That’s where you find the real treasures. My rule of thumb: I don’t buy anything that I can find back home or online (unless I find an amazing outlet store). If you’re looking for specialty shops, head into the Village. You’ll find everything from jewelry to home decor. Petit Hameau, in the downtown, is another great shopping spot filled with charming shops, boutiques, and places to grab a bite to eat.
Sounds like a real dream vacation, doesn’t it? I think I could be content just strolling through the gorgeous Village all day, then relaxing in a luxury vacation villa at night! If you’re going to take a dream vacation, you should definitely live it up in the lap of luxury, don’t you think? I am madly in love with this Grand Foret Villa from Luxury Retreats.
Isn’t it gorgeous? Can’t you just picture yourself walking up those stone steps onto that wood porch? Waking up with the sun and stepping out onto the balcony with a hot cup of coffee? My brain is already there! Now to get my body to follow!
What types of activities would you do on your dream vacation in Mont-Tremblant? Would you go for the snow sports, the culture, or a little of both? Have you ever been there? Share your thoughts below!