Weekend Getaways in Montreal

If you’re looking for a great weekend getaway but don’t necessarily want to spend a ton of money you can still target a foreign country, just set your sights higher than tropical. Montreal is really a great place to go for a weekend getaway and the prices are much better than they would be if you were trying to find a tropical oasis for your quick escape from reality.

Old Montreal

For history buffs and those with a great sense of nostalgia an Old Montreal weekend getaway will give you everything you want and need. Old Montreal or Vieux-Montreal is the oldest area in the city having been established in 1605 as a fur trading post. The area grew and was quite successful. The area grew and in 1725 it was fortified and remained French until 1760 when it was surrendered to the British army, the fortification wasn’t destroyed until 1821. Old Montreal contains some of the oldest buildings, dating back to the 1600’s and it is one of the oldest urban areas in North Americas. Visitors can tour noted building such as Montreal City Hall, Bonsecours Market, Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel and Chateau Ramezay. In addition you can visit Champ de Mars which is a large expanse that gives you great views of downtown Montreal. The Champ de Mars has some fascinating archaeological remains which provide evidence of the fortified settlement. Old Montreal has the look and feel of times gone by and what better way to explore the city and see the sights than in a horse drawn carriage or caleche. You can choose from a 30 minute or 60 minute horse tour through the city and get all the highlights from your carriage driver. In the center of Old Montreal you’ll find countless cultural landmarks, boutiques, sidewalk cafes and antique shops, everything you need to add that extra spice to your Montreal getaway weekend.

Nature Lover’s

Nature lovers visiting Montreal will find plenty of wildlife in and around Montreal but two places that are bound to be highlights of your trip are the Biodome and the Botanical Gardens. The Biodome is an oasis in the heart of the city with several amazing ecosystems recreated inside the building. There is a Tropical Forest, Laurentian Forest, the St. Lawrence Marine ecosystem, representations of the Arctic and Antarctic.  The Biodome offers self guided tours with information posted on panels throughout. The Botanical Gardens or Jardin Botanique de Montreal has a collection of more than 22,000 plant species and cultivars, 10 exhibition greenhouses, and about 30 thematic gardens. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and there to provide you with information and keep the gardens beautiful throughout the year. In addition to the Biodome and the Botanical Gardens in Montreal, Mont Royal is a must for Nature Lovers. This park is the best in the city as the 101 hectare park lies right in the city, including part of the mountain and the city’s highest spot, 234 meters high. The park was designated as such in 1876 and provides visitors and locals with a beautiful view of the city and a place to enjoy the outdoors.

Educational Getaway

If you’re ideal weekend getaway in Montreal includes some educational highlights then you’ll definitely want to stop at the Museum of Archeology and History and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The Museum of Archeology and History is set on the very same grounds that Father Vimont held mass for the founding of Montreal in 1642. The land now serves to invite visitors to celebrate the history of Montreal and the area prior to settlement. Architectural remains of human activity more than 1000 years ago is displayed in situ and hundreds of artifacts are held within the museum. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts seeks to promote Canadian and international artists through their past and present artwork. Founded in 1860 the museum was one of the first in North America, there are currently almost 35,000 creations to examine reaching from antiquity to modern art and covering almost every aesthetic possible. Together the two museums give visitors and locals a great look at what the city of Montreal is and what it used to be.

Excitement and Thrills

If you’re idea of a vacation is more Vegas than museum Montreal has that too, in fact it has that in abundance. The Casino du Quebec in Montreal is a great place to start with all that a modern casino has to offer from slots to poker and more. You can easily spend your entire vacation just soaking up the casino night life, but what fun is that when there’s so much going on. Montreal has its own unique take on cuisine and a regional flare like nowhere else. The best restaurants in the area, Aux Cuisine de Terroir, Torque! and Chez L’Epicier give you an upscale version of the local food with traditional classic French style using regional ingredients that include a lot of wild game and freshwater fish in addition to the seasonal vegetables. But one restaurant that is a must if you’re looking for decadence in Montreal is Restaurant les Princesses, one of the famous topless breakfast joints in the city, although they serve more than breakfast. Montreal also has an incredible nightlife that can keep you dancing until at least 3am. Montreal is truly a great party town with no pretenses to be found

The Winter Getaway

If you’re headed to Montreal in the winter time you still can have an incredible time even in the frosty environment. The Underground City will protect you from a lot of the frigid north and you can shop your butt off. The Underground City is under the heart of the city and stretches 19 miles long and it is simply full of shopping. The underground passages also connect shopping malls, apartments, hotels, businesses, museums and other establishments, meaning you actually never have to go outside if you don’t want to. But if you do want to go outside Montreal has a lot of wonderful winter sports you can participate in like downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, skating, tobogganing and anything else you can think of to do outside. If you’d rather watch sports then there are a number of professional teams to watch such as the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Alouettes, Montreal Impact, Montreal Junior Hockey Club, and the Montreal Sasquatch.

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