Even with a really long five-day weekend, there’s not enough time for all the fun activities at Mont Tremblant, Quebec’s top mountain resort, for active families visiting in summer.
Seven miles of canoeing, six miles of mountain biking, five fun-filled evenings watching lively musicians in the streets, four laps around Lake Tremblant aboard surf bikes, three trips to the French sidewalk cafe, two panoramic gondola rides up to the mountain summit, one thrilling alpine luge ride down.
Only five days.
Somehow, some way, my two young sons, husband and I were able to experience these wonderful activities and more at Canada’s world-class, four-season Tremblant Resort. While we frenetically ran from one activity to another, my in-laws managed to golf at two of the area’s best championship golf courses: Le Diable, the only Arizona-style golf course in Québec, and Le Géant, renowned for its magnificent scenery.
Every summer we pick a new vacation spot. This year we chose Tremblant because it met our two main criteria: it offered activities for all ages and interests and it was easily accessible (by car for my Bostonian family and via plane for my in-laws, who flew into Montreal from Los Angeles.) We had hoped to make it to Tremblant in winter, but a ski trip never materialized. So, we shifted gears and drove seven-and-a-half hours to vacation at the mountainside resort during the “off season.”
It’s a good thing we did. Tremblant, located in The Laurentians region north of Montreal, has already earned its reputation as one of Eastern North America’s preeminent ski resorts. Yet, like most of the families we met, we were blown away by the myriad of summer activities available and endless events happening all day and night in the heart of the village, flanked by an array of colorful rooftops and eclectic boutiques.
After our long drive, we arrived at the European-inspired Tremblant a bit weary and checked into the picture-perfect Marriott Residence Inn, located smack dab in the middle of the bustling pedestrian village. After reuniting the kids with their grandparents, we picked up a 120-page activity guide and were instantly overwhelmed. One tip we do have: the Tremblant Activity Pass can give everyone in the family a choice of 14 different activities suited to different age ranges, for a big discount, if you purchase it when you get there.
Too Much Fun for a Tremblant Weekend
Where should we begin? The friendly front desk clerk suggested that we purchase a family activity passport. I did just that and we were well on our way to a fun-filled and exciting vacation. We chose a day at the Lake Tremblant Beach & Tennis Club, a round of miniature golf, mountain bike rentals, and an alpine luge ride. This inaugural North American thrill ride, however, is not for the faint of heart as it can race down the mountain at speeds topping 20 miles per hour.
We also visited AquaClub La Source, Tremblant’s indoor and outdoor pool club, complete with waterslides, a Tarzan rope that swings across the pool, two hot tubs (one for adults only), and a fitness center. My kids would have been quite content to stay here for the entire trip.
But, too much to do. Too little time. We had to save a day for a family canoe trip and the Birds of Prey show at the mountain summit. We signed up for the canoe trip at the Tremblant activity center, which was filled with mainly athletic-looking Canadian tourists inquiring about rock-climbing trips, rafting excursions, hiking trails, and more. The canoe excursion began with a half hour drive to the majestic Mont-Tremblant National Park, Québec’s largest national park surrounded by lakes, rivers and mountains. Once there, we were taken by bus to a designated area along the Diable River and dropped off with our canoe and paddles. The only instructions: meet the bus at the second bridge in four hours. We leisurely made our way down the calm river, stopping for lunch along the sandy bank. We counted beaver dams, herons, frogs, and deer.
The next day, we were in for another treat: an up close and personal visit with Mozart, a great horned owl; Einstein, a black vulture; Goliath, a soaring bald eagle; and Sunshine, a snowy white barn owl. The Birds of Prey show takes place everyday from late June until late September, twice per day.
If we had one more day, I may have joined the grandparents at one of the golf courses to take a few much-needed lessons. I guess I’ll have to wait until the snow melts.
Plenty to Do in Winter Too
As the last leaves fall and the vibrant autumn colors make way for snow-capped mountains, La Station Mont-Tremblant gets busy gearing up for the cold weather season when skiers from around the world converge on this pristine mountain village, ranked the Number 1 resort in Eastern North America by Ski magazine for several years. The mountain resort boasts a wide variety of learn-to-ski and ride programs for all ages and abilities, as well as childcare for your youngest family members.
Yet, even if you don’t alpine ski, Tremblant offers plenty of winter activities for everyone. The resort boasts a thick winter activity guide, which includes detailed information about cross-country skiing, skating, snow tubing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, and more. For those who wish to stay toasty warm, there’s always the movies, the indoor AquaClub, shopping, a myriad of restaurants, and even Le Studio Créatif, where you can paint your own pottery.
Trip Planning Details for a Mont Tremblant Family Adventure
The lovely Marriott Residence Inn offers studio and one-bedroom suites as well as two-bedroom units. Special rates are often posted on their website. The Marriott’s spacious contemporary rooms come with a full kitchen and cooks will be pleased to learn that a huge, full breakfast buffet is included in the daily rate. For more information, call the Marriott Residence Inn at 888/272-4000.
Tremblant also offers a wide range of other hotels options, including Homewood Suites by Hilton, Fairmont Tremblant, Le Westin Resort and the posh Ermitage du Lac, which opened in 2004. But families can also stay in any number of the resort’s condo rentals. For more information on the Tremblant Resort and its myriad of accommodations, call 888/738-1777 or log on at Tremblant.ca.
Photos courtesy of Tremblant.ca
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