A Brief Summer Guide to Explore Quebec
What’s great about summer in Montreal? Almost everything! I have heard hearsay from so many locals about how great summer is but now, I am finally experiencing it for myself. Today was another of those hot, sunny days. Since Daniel wanted to hit the gym, I decided to bike together with him as a form of workout for myself. His gym was near Atwater Market, a place which I have wanted to visit quite some time ago but the plan was never fulfilled until today. The market mainly sold local products i.e. vegetables, fruits, meat and cheese produced by the farmers in Quebec. The prices may cost more than what you can find in a regular supermarket but the quality of the products is definitely higher too. Aside from consumables, my eyes were presented the beauty of the colourful flowers which were waiting to be taken home by their new owners. It made me dream about having my own little garden, with my homegrown fruits, vegetables and flowers! I am not sure if I am blessed with green fingers. The only type of plant which I have grown is bean sprouts from green beans. It was a project which I had to do in Primary Three!
Two weeks ago, there was an Outdoor and Travel Festival (http://www.parcjeandrapeau.com/254-Outdoor_and_Travel_Festival-event.html) at Parc Jean Drapeau. There were many exhibitors sharing their love and passion with regards to outdoor trips and activities within and near Quebec. When I say Quebec is big, I think that is an understatement. Some of the places which I thought were interesting to visit were at least 8 to 10 hours drive away! My list of top summer activities includes water rafting, camping, kayaking and trekking. Since I have collected a number of brochures which would be forgotten soon, I decided to make a brief summary of what I have for my safekeeping and also for those who are planning their summer trip in Quebec.
Côte-Nord Duplessis (www.tourismeduplessis.com)
This region offers a change in scenery. With a shoreline which stretches out up to 1000km, this place offers an abundance of maritime heritage. The main excursions are guided through Sept-îles and Mingan archipelagos where are you able to see St Lawrence River becoming a gulf. Other activities include whale watching, horseback trail ride, trekking to the waterfalls and camping.
Another town near the coastline, Essipit is known for its aboriginal community, called the Innus. They have whale-watching cruises and camping too. However, what’s special about this place is that they have hunting grounds where you can actually hunt for bears and moose! Not a fan of animal hunting but this was probably the way of life in the past.
Île Saint-Bernard (www.ilesaintbernard.com)
Île Saint-Bernard is located in Châteauguay, only 20 minutes drive from Montreal. Many activities have already been planned out from May to October this year. You can check on the website to see if any particular event or activity catches your eye. Environmentally protected, you can embark on hiking trails that are perfect for bird watching and photography. There are also educational activities created for children to learn about the surroundings around them.
Propulsion Rafting (http://propulsion.ca/)
The Rouge river is located just one hour from Montreal. It claims to offer some of the best whitewater rafting experience in North America. They offer different kinds of rafting experience, depending on what kind of challenge you are up to. I highly suggest that you go with a group of friends because the fun factor will be doubled or even tripled!
Adirondack Coast Wine Trail (http://goadirondack.com/)
Adirondack Coast is not located within Quebec but it is part of Vermont, United States. Vermont lies to the south of Montreal and you will need about 2 hours drive to reach Adirondack Coast. If you are not a Canadian, do check that you have a valid visa to cross the borders. The land is filled with grapes, growing from the hybrids of European grapes and hardy American rootstock that can withstand the cold winter temperatures. Hit on the trail if you have a special love for wine!
Virginia Beach (http://www.virginiabeach.com/)
With all the on-going camping and trekking activities, now we have a beach which may prove to be the ideal location to chill and simply do nothing at all. Virginia Beach is located in the East Coast of United States, about 14 hours drive from Montreal. Unless you are up for a road trip, taking a plane may prove to be a much easier option. Some of their activities include nature and eco tours, fishing and boating, and surfing. They also have golf courses for those who might want to give a swing.
Whatever I have stated here is probably 1% of what is out there. This will give a brief idea of what can be expected this summer but if you have something particular in mind, for example, camping with kayaking experience, please do more research to ensure that you have the best pick possible. All the best and have a kick ass time!
Signing off with love,