Tremblant, a bilingual pedestrian village in Quebec’s Laurentian mountains, is known as one of the best ski resorts in Eastern North America and welcomes more than 2.6 million visitors each year. But while it has a deservedly stellar reputation for snow sports, the long summer days are just as exciting.
Whether your idea of Quebec resort life is skiing, snowboarding, outdoor adventure, festivals, water activities, or an impressive culinary scene, you’ll find a place to indulge yourself in Tremblant (Not to be confused with the municipality, Ville de Mont Tremblant) – regardless of the season.
Winter brings a piste of heaven
As a top-tier ski destination, winter is easily the most popular time to visit Tremblant ski resort. Ski season runs from November to April and a $17 million investment in 2018/2019 brought the skiable area up to 102 trails stretching more than 50 miles. Skiers and snowboarders flock to the mountain at all times, especially for competitions such as The Moguls World Cup in January and The Legends Classic in March. But even during the high season, skiers of all skill levels can attend snow school and purchase lift tickets at affordable rates.
While Mont Tremblant is a ‘planker’s’ paradise, for snow bunnies there’s more than just skiing. How does a snowshoe-and-fondue tour sound? With the unique ‘Dinner at the Refuge,’ you can catch a summit sunset before a guide leads you down through the snowy forest to a shelter for the meal. The fondue dinner is paired with wine, but don’t get carried away – you’re only halfway down the mountain. You’ll use headlamps to hike the second half under the stars. The trip lasts 5-7 hours, so for a shorter experience you can skip the snowshoes and ride in a snow groomer instead.
Still have some fuel in the tank? Take a break from the adrenaline rush with some lower-energy activities, such as fat tire biking, ice skating and tubing. Just be sure to leave some time for R&R. No matter what activities you pursue, layers are highly recommended as the temperatures can fall well into the negative digits. Even if you rent your equipment, spring for some of your own extra gear such as facial shields, gloves and proper footwear. For those with glasses, your lenses will fog and freeze up if you don’t treat them with protectant before you hit the trails and slopes.
Summer activities are only growing
In the summer months, wildflowers blanket Mont Tremblant’s summit in an array of colors due to the region’s mild climate. You’ll see plenty of them on a Ziptrek Eco Tour, flying high above the forest on a 5-line, side-by-side zipline course. In between zips, you’ll learn of the mountain’s ecology and ways to be a part of nature’s balance. And speaking of balance – if water activities are more your thing, canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals are available on the Rouge and Diable Rivers, as well as on beautiful Lake Tremblant. While on the lake, board the open-air pleasure boat Le Grand Manitou II where you’ll tour the lake’s shoreline and learn of the region’s stories.
Back in the village, summer isn’t complete without attending the Tremblant International Blues Festival. More than 100,000 fans make their way to the festival each July for ten days of blues music across four outdoor stages and many other local venues. Legends and newcomers alike headline more than 100 live shows. For something more low-key, find your inner peace at Wanderlust; the four-day yoga festival caps Tremblant’s summer events in August, with concerts, lectures, fitness classes and silent discos in tow.
Year-round indulgences in Tremblant
Scandinave Spa Mont-Tremblant offers a series of thermal and chilling pools for the ultimate in hydrotherapy along the Diable River, all in complete silence. Or turn up the volume at Casino de Mont-Tremblant as you try your luck at the tables or catch a show. Free shuttle service is offered between the village and casino. The resort boasts plenty of shops and more than 30 restaurants and bars ranging from a SAQ bottle shop to fine dining such as Choux Gras Brasserie Culinare (French) and O-Wok (Asian). Favorite mid-range offerings include Pizzateria (pizza), and Au Grain de Cafe (coffee). Finally, no mountain town would be complete without its own microbrewery; Microbrasserie La Diable has blonde, red and Belgian trappist ales, wheat beer, double-black stout and rotating monthly specials.
Hotel Quintessence is a luxe 5-star retreat on the lake and well within walking distance of the village. Fairmont Tremblant, at the top of the village, is a popular home base where amenities are ample. And Ermitage du Lac offers single rooms, as well as suites with full kitchens in a boutique lodge setting. If sleeping under the stars is more important than a high thread-count, campsites pepper the range, including many within Parc National du Mont Tremblant.
If it’s true that ‘to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven,’ then Tremblant offers experiences of ecclesiastical proportions. Whether you’re a ski bum coming for the pristine runs, or a summertime outdoor enthusiast, one trip to this jewel of the Laurentians will have you reminiscing for many seasons to come.
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