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With non-stop festivals and foodie delights at every turn, Montreal attracts hordes of tourists eager to sample the culture and style of this sophisticated metropolis. But after you’ve viewed a Cirque Du Soleil performance and munched on a St. Viateur bagel, it’s time to dig into Montreal’s more unexpected experiences. Here are some alternatives to the big-ticket attractions.
You know you can ask the concierge to arrange a jeep tour or recommend a local restaurant. But did you know they’ll also hunt down the perfect souvenir or replace those dress slacks you forgot to pack while you lounge by the pool?
Most concierges want to do whatever it takes to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. The best part is that the concierge’s time and expertise is usually complimentary, though you’ll of course be charged for items and services purchased on your behalf. Gratuities aren’t mandatory but are always appreciated (a simple thank you in person or a sincere email when you return home go a long way, too).
Here, some surprising requests that you can ask of your concierge:
Call it street food, street grub, or — like those smooth and slick Montrealers call it — cuisine de rue. But whatever the nickname, the wheels are rolling, the grills are sizzling, and hungry diners are bellying up to food trucks all over town.
While these mobile kitchens might not be new to the residents of some lucky American cities, they’re a relatively new arrival in Montreal, no thanks to strict regulations and policies. Like back home, locations can vary, but Streetfood Quest conveniently maps them out. (The website itself is French only, but it’s easy enough to navigate.) The next time you’re in town and hungry, check out these pioneers that have paved the delicious way:
Now that spring has sprung, it’s become much more comfortable (and sensible) to head north on vacation. What better way to take in the blooming landscape than by traveling at ground level? You can with Amtrak’s “Weekend Getaway Fare” on its scenic Adirondack train between New York City and Montreal for $89 round-trip.
No matter where you’re traveling, there’s nothing like a long line to put a damper on your vacation. Which is why we were happy to learn about SecurXpress, a reservation system for security lines that’s being tested at Montréal, Canada’s international airport. After passengers submit their flight and contact info online, they receive a text with an arrival time. Then, when they get to the airport, they can head straight to security and skip the line. Not bad. This free service is available for all domestic and select international routes, and each reservation covers up to five travelers.
While it’ll take some time for other airports to adopt the system – clearance rules make it especially tricky for flights in and out of the U.S. – ticketed reservations aimed at slashing wait times aren’t new. Here’s a quick look at similar systems that are helping travelers avoid the wait…
In a city that claims to be the most European city in North America, I was expecting a restaurant scene with white table cloths and extravagant prices to match. But Montréal surprised me. From no-frills lunch spots, to after-work happy hour bars, and high-end dinner options, this island city in the province of Quebec has plenty to offer, all at a reasonable price. Here are some of my favorite restaurants in Montréal: Read more
I often find myself traveling like I picture Robert Frost would: choosing the road less traveled. So when I began considering a recent trip to Montréal, I knew one of the biggest draws of the “most European city in North America” was Old Montréal, the historic, French-influenced neighborhood on this Canadian city-island, but I wanted to go beyond its cobblestoned streets. From cute boutiques to urban kayaking, and even an eco fashion museum, it turns out (unsurprisingly, of course) that there’s a lot to see and do in Montréal that doesn’t involve getting sucked into the tourist traps near the city’s port. Here’s what you should check out:
In life, being in the right place at the right time can come down to serendipity, but in travel, it is almost always the result of good planning. To avoid crowds and inflated prices, we recommend the period between high and low seasons when the weather is fine, places are still open and happy to welcome travelers, and you can explore a destination at your own pace. We call this magical time and space continuum the Sweet Spot and make it a point to round up the best of them for you each season. We’ve covered the 40 best places to go this fall and grouped them by region. Our editors have even included picks for our favorite fall festivals, ranging from the fun to the downright funky – time your visit accordingly, and add some oomph to an autumn escapade. Follow the links to right to discover this season’s Sweet Spots.
By: Nicole Fisher
The great American road trip; synonymous with unhealthy snacks, boring i-Spy games, and way too many family sing-alongs. We’ve got a solution to one of those problems: No matter what road you ride along in the USA, there’s some quirky sight for you to see before arriving at your destination. We found the top 10 roadside attractions across the country. Kill the time with these must-see stops along the way.
There’s a certain magic known only to those who spend time out on the slopes, found in those glorious moments of carving out solitary paths through a snow-clad winter wonderland – it’s only natural to want to pass that enchantment on to the brood. Of course, the littlest ski legs have some way to go before they’ll be shredding black-diamond trails – that’s why our editors have rounded up these 10 family ski resorts, right here in North America. Spread out from the Northeast to the Rockies and up past the Canadian border, these family ski-friendly mountain playgrounds offer not only superior kid-geared instruction and picturesque beginner’s terrain, but snow-centric and off-slope activities that the whole family can enjoy. Check out what these mountains have to offer with our Family Ski Resorts Slideshow.
Grab a friend and board Amtrak’s Adirondack Line for a long weekend getaway in Montreal, Canada’s capital of culture. Buy two round-trip tickets from New York City starting at $189 – 25 percent off seasonal rates. This discounted rate is available for travel in September.
The Adirondack Line provides service between New York City’s Penn Station and Montreal’s Central Station. This scenic ride glides along the Hudson River, making stops at some of Upstate New York’s most charming riverside towns. After a stop in Albany, the train continues on through the stunning Adirondack Mountains before crossing the Canadian border into Quebec.
September serves as an ideal time to visit Montreal with average temperatures hovering around a comfortable 70 degrees. The end of September also marks the beginning of Canada’s fall foliage.
This summer, fly to Canada on Porter Airlines with one-way flights starting from just $67. These rates slash up to half on current airline pricing and include all taxes and fees. Enjoy ideal summer temperatures in Toronto, along with restaurants, art, and nightlife in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. Or, fly to Montreal, where you can experience the unique French-Canadian heritage along with the famous Montreal International Jazz Festival from June 28-July 7.
Sample one-way fares from the U.S. to Canada:
- New York City (Newark)–Toronto: $67
- Boston–Toronto: $73
- Chicago–Toronto: $89
- Washington, D.C.–Toronto: $89
- New York City (Newark)–Montreal: $125
- Boston–Montreal: $162
Book fast, because this sale ends Friday, June 1. Travel is valid from June 14-September 3. Book online at the Porter Airlines website and enter the promo code AIR.
See our Canada destination guide for more trip-planning information.
Travelers looking to know the soul of a destination need not look further than its lifeline – the flowing waters of its river, from which nourishment, trade, transport, recreation, and more nods to cultured civilization have all sprung forth. Riverboat cruises, long popular with Europeans, are experiencing a surge of interest on storied waterways around the globe, thanks to the intimate and enriching destination approach they provide on routes impossible to replicate by any other means. Leave the over-the-top, Vegas-style mega-ships out at sea, and parking and traffic headaches back on land. Instead, opt to cruise the meandering rivers of a region’s heartland aboard small ships, ranging from luxury riverboats to vintage paddle wheelers. Every river bend reveals a destination’s new face, courtesy of a constantly shuffled deck of quaint riverside towns, historic monuments, and pristine countryside.
We could all use some unbridled vacation time right about now, so we’ve concocted a list of the best spring break destinations to party at during this raucous time off. For some of us, this short break is an excuse to visit the world’s most happening nightlife spots, where bars and red light districts are more popular than sightseeing. You’ll find plenty of forbidden fruit on offer in a liberal European capital, a Thai island, and, closer to home, a Canadian city (all known to offer a good dose of culture, too). For those content with the spring break destination staples of beaches, bikinis, and beer, we’ve included two homegrown beach cities that make the grade and, of course, Caribbean and Mexico options. Rounding out our list are some unexpected spots, however, including something for do-gooders, a ski getaway, and a desert-fringed lake in America’s Southwest. Party on! Start planning your escape with our Spring Break Destinations slideshow.
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