Tiny Val-David is the sort of village where, after a few hours enjoying great food, lovely wooded trails, strong coffee and views of the Rivière du Nord (running through the heart of everything), you start checking out real-estate listings. Its charms have made it a magnet for artists, whose studios and galleries line the main street, Rue de L'Église.
This was a major hippie mecca in the '60s, and there's more than a little New Age energy apparent today. This is balanced (and enhanced) by artisanal bakeries, jazz music in cafes on summer weekends and more than a few arts-and-crafts people. The town's tourist office, in a cute old train station, is handily located alongside the Parc Linéaire le P'tit Train du Nord recreation trail. Check out the Val-David Farmers Market if you're in town on a Saturday morning.