Unless you’re an avid skier or snowboarder, you may not have heard of Mont-Tremblant. The small city in Quebec’s Laurentian mountains is known for its world-class ski resort. But it’s much more than just a winter-sports paradise; in fact, there’s plenty to do year-round -- even if you’re not enthusiastic about careening down slopes.
Whether you make the Tremblant resort your base of operations during a winter visit or you opt for a boutique bed-and-breakfast in Mont-Tremblant village after the snow melts, it’s easy to imagine yourself in the idyllic Canadian mountains.
Here’s our list of can’t-miss experiences in one of Quebec’s premier vacation destinations for both winter and summer seasons.
Skiing and/or snowboarding
The slopes at the Mont-Tremblant resort are great for all levels of winter sports enthusiasts. Beginners take lessons to learn the basic technique, and it’s worth trying for the views alone -- even if you only make it down the bunny hill.
If you’re afraid to ski or you’re just really bad at it, dogsledding is another unique way to get down the mountain. After a short lesson, you and your partner will get on a two-person sleigh with your own pack of snow dogs, following a line of other sledders as you traverse a snowy trail that includes dips, twists and turns. It’s a surreal experience that will quickly become one of your most memorable travel experiences.
Feast on Raclette
When it comes to dining experiences in Mont-Tremblant, nothing is more unique and engaging than a traditional raclette feast at La Savoie restaurant. Similar to fondue, raclette is a special melted cheese made in Switzerland, which has become a big part of culinary culture in the Laurentians, as well. A wedge of cheese is positioned at an angle on a specially designed contraption affixed with powerful heat lamp, so it drips as it melts. The person closest to the raclette is dubbed the “cheesemaster” and is responsible for scraping it onto everyone else’s plates to be eaten with slices of ham, salami, cured beef, raw and pickled vegetables, crusty bread. The perfect accompaniment to your favorite French wine, bon appetit!
A short drive from the Mont-Tremblant resort is the town’s quaint village, set on the shore of Lake Mercier. During warmer months it becomes a verdant escape for shopping, strolls along the beach, and visits to the nearby theaters and art galleries for a taste of Quebecois culture.
Get in touch with nature at Domaine Saint-Bernard, one of Canada’s most gorgeous national preserves. A bird garden and astronomy pavilion, the area offers sprawling hiking and biking trails for ecotourism enthusiasts.
Try to make back the money you spent on souvenirs (or ski rentals, should you visit in the winter) at Mont-Tremblant’s casino. Win or lose, the casino’s fine-dining restaurant is the perfect place to celebrate or ease your pain.