Parc du Mont-Royal

Top choice park in Plateau Mont-Royal & the Northeast
Image by Jean-Pierre Lescourret / Getty Images

Montréalers are proud of their 'mountain,' the work of New York Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted. It's a sprawling, leafy playground that's perfect for cycling, jogging, horseback riding, picnicking and, in winter, cross-country skiing and tobogganing (kid-sized rental equipment available). In fine weather, enjoy panoramic views from the Belvédère Kondiaronk lookout fronting Chalet du Mont-Royal, a grand old stone villa that hosts big-band concerts in summer, or from the Observatoire de l'Est, a favorite rendezvous for lovebirds.

It takes about 30 minutes to walk between the two. En route you'll spot the landmark 40m-high Croix du Mont-Royal (1924), which is illuminated at night. It's there to commemorate city founder Maisonneuve, who single-handedly carried a wooden cross up the mountain in 1643 to give thanks to God for sparing his fledgling village from flooding.