My daughter has been wanting to travel to Paris for the last couple of years. My husband and I have both been, but have not brought our kids yet…so for one of our summer vacations this year, we decided to venture on a 3-day road trip across the border to Montreal, Canada! This trip did not disappoint my daughter, from the French speaking natives to every sign and menu being in French, she definitely felt the European flare everywhere!
A To-Do List in Montreal
Spend the Day in Old Montreal. Travel to a miniature “Paris” with cobblestone roads, window flower boxes, small boutiques, creperies, cafes, and bistros. Indulge in crepes filled with Nutella, pick up some Canadian souvenirs, or shop for some trendy French fashions. Explore different restaurants for lunch and snacks, everyone will enjoy the different cultures and tastes offered. Take a short walk to Notre Dame Basilica.
Find Adventure in Old Port. Located in Old Montreal, Old Port offer a wide variety of family-fun activities including zip lining, ropes courses, paddle boards, site-seeing cruises, vendor tents with unique gifts,a ferris wheel, an IMAX theater and The Science Centre. Visit http://www.oldportofmontreal.com for more information.
Travel Back to the 1976 Olympics! Take a drive or metro ride out to the actual Olympic Park location of the 1976 Summer Olympics. Walk the grounds on your own and then take a guided tour of the original and newly remodeled sports facilities, stadium and pool, which are still used by athletes and locals today (we caught the US Water Polo Team practicing while we were there!). It is amazing to see the planning that goes into a host city preparing to host an Olympics. Visitors can also ride up The Montreal Tower (requires additional fee) for amazing 360-degree views of the city from the Tower’s Observatory. Olympic Park is also the home for Montreal’s Biodome, Planetarium, Botanical Garden, and Insectarium (all require additional entry fees). Visit parcolympique.qc.ca for tour, venue and museum information.
Seek the Thrills at Six Flags La Ronde. Ride on both classic and thrilling amusement rides, and enjoy carnival-themed games and food. Visit http://www.laronde.com for ticket and hour information.
Be Amazed at the Fireworks Display. If you plan on traveling to Montreal in the summer, the city hosts the L’International des Feux Loto-Quebec, which is an international fireworks competition set to music. Suggestions for viewing the fireworks are from the Jacques-Carter Bridge (it is completely closed to traffic on the scheduled dates), from Six Flags La Ronde, or we were lucky and our hotel (Hilton Garden Inn Montreal Centre-Ville) had a rooftop pool and deck and we were able to watch the fireworks right on the rooftop! For firework dates, visit http://www.parcjeandrapeau.com/en/international-des-feux-loto-quebec-montreal/
Shop and Dine in The Underground City. A unique shopping center includes restaurants, hotels, and clothing stores all underground. Visit montrealundergroundcity.com for more information.
Travel to Little Italy! Indulge in the finest Italian delis, restaurants and desserts on Boulevard Saint-Laurent. We enjoyed a traditional Italian meal al fresco at Risorante Corneli and saved room for nocciola (hazelnut) gelato at Gelateria Pierino, which was right next door to the restaurant we dined at.
Dine at a French Steak and Frites Inspired Restaurant. I was so happy my husband happened to find L’Entrecote Saint-Jean on Yelp. One of the Yelp comments stated that it reminded them of the infamous steak and frites restaurant in Paris, Le Relais de l’Entrecote, ironically that was my favorite restaurant on our vacation to Paris 10 years ago, they literally only serve steak and frites! We dined here one night in Montreal and the menu was exactly the same. My family loves steak and frites and this restaurant did not disappoint. Check out one of my quick and easy recipes for Steak and Frites at An Easy and Unique “Steak and Frites” Recipe