Bonjour mes amis! This February I went on a trip with my youth group to Canada – Four days, three nights, endless memories! We visited Montreal for a day and a half, and then spent the rest of our time in Quebec City. The journey there was interesting as our bus ride there lasted more than 12 hours when it broke down in Vermont. On the upside, at the middle-of-nowhere gas station we met Miss Vermont! Since we were running late we missed some activities planned on the itinerary, but it was for the better! Our first night happened to be the last night of igloofest celebrations in Montreal, and it was incredible! The DJ was great and the atmosphere was one of a kind. We were in the French speaking area of Canada, so I did learn some really simple French from signs and friends, but I have a long way to go! Now let me ferme la bouche and let’s get to this list!
- Go to the Mount Royal overlook
- Absolutely stunning views and you can cross country ski, snowshoe, and sled around the park
- Try to visit during a winter festival
- There are many festivals, but I would have to recommend igloofest, it is fun for all ages with art displays and music. Just being in Montreal in the wintertime is great, with the waterfront lit up and all sorts of free events like these festivals and slides, there are countless things to do
- Visit the underground city
- Not only is it an escape from the cold, but you can shop all around and explore the city through the attached subway system
- Take a stroll at night
- Not only is the city beautifully lit up, but many of the streets still have holiday decorations up – very festive!!
- Go on the ice cutter ferry ride across the St.Lawrence
- It is a little chilly, but not only is it a super cool to be at the bow of the boat and watch the boat pass through the ice but also it is the most beautiful view of Quebec. It is a short ferry ride, but most definitely unforgettable.
- Visit the Ice Hotel
- Every year the ice hotel has a different theme, so you should go back even if you have seen it before! It is an incredible work of art and if you are interested in staying, paying for a night gets you a room in the ice hotel and the adjoining regular hotel. Not to mention the whole area is a waterpark in the summer and a tubing park in the winter – I would definitely recommend the tubing!
- Go dog sledding
- Have the opportunity to see Canada’s wilderness while dog sledding along a trail, maybe get to meet some husky puppies!
- Visit a sugar shack
- Some tasty treats, but be careful as it is a slight tourist trap, buy only what you may not be able to find at another store/souvenir shop. Great in wintertime because you can witness the syrup making process.
Hope this list of Canadian wintertime must dos helps you plan your future trips, and please let me know if there is anything I should add! If there was one thing I would advise against it would be a tour guide. Unless you are with a really big group or feel really nervous about getting lost, I would recommend against a tour guide/going through a touring company. There may be some wrong turns, but there is much more freedom without a tour guide. We had a group of almost 40 middle schoolers, high schoolers, and five chaperones and I honestly feel that if we did our research we could’ve had a better time without the tour guide. Our tour guide was not the nicest, but also there were times we would drive down a street with really cute shops but when we asked her if we could pull over she would respond “It is not on the itinerary”. If I were to go back I would do my research and plan the trip without a tour guide.