Mont-Tremblant, a wildly popular winter ski resort town in Quebec, is a hidden gem in summer with many fun things to do. Explore the great outdoors with a bird’s eye gondola view, then stroll the charming pedestrian village. And even luxury Canadian resort prices are lower in summer in ski towns. What’s not to love?
Ski resorts no longer stay dormant in summer. In fact, summer can be the best time to visit a ski resort, particularly if you choose one like Mont-Tremblant, in Quebec. This French-inflected winter wonderland transforms to an even more activity-laden warm weather destination. And if your hometown’s summer is so hot and humid that you can rarely enjoy outdoor activities, Mont-Tremblant in summer features high temps in the 70s, (or 20s, if you are Canadian) which means you can truly enjoy these adrenaline-fueled activities all summer long.
Canada is a great ‘starter’ foreign country if you want to expose your family to international travel. It is close enough for many in North America to drive to for a weekend getaway, and a short flight from my home in New York City. [though Air Canada somehow stretched both legs of our trip into day long misery]. In winter, you can fly into Mont-Tremblant, but in summer, the drive from Montreal is about 90 minutes.
While we concentrated on outdoor activities, there are also plenty of indoor things to do in Mont-Tremblant in summer. So get that passport and head north, eh?
Below, find my list of the best things to do in Mont Tremblant in summer.
Stroll the Pedestrian Village
No matter when you visit Mont-Tremblant, the pedestrian Tremblant village is amazing. Hotels, restaurants and boutiques line this wide, car-free boulevard. You can pretty much let kids loose here (at the end, there are cars, but basically cars driving slowly into the parking lot).
In summer, kids play on the playground, get ice cream or a giant beaver tail pastry (vegetarian alert: no meat, just butter, sugar and eggs. Lots of all three) and at night, listen to free concerts. Every restaurant has outdoor seating, so even while you are eating, you are treated to the spectacular street scene.
At the very end of the pedestrian village, rent bicycles. There are sizes for kids through adults, with bike seats and trailers for those too young to pedal on their own. Then hit the glorious wide, paved bicycle paths. You are biking on the cross country ski trails and there are some hills, but we saw kids as young as five cruising along.
We crossed a couple of wooden bridges and rode to an old town. If you bring lunch, there are picnic tables along the way, but no water. Although, with no humidity, we weren’t really thirsty and felt we could ride all day!
TravelingMom Tip: If your kids are a little older, rent mountain bikes for more thrilling rides. And if you are an inexperienced rider, there are guided tours on e-bikes.
Go for a Hike
The ski-in ski-out nature of the pedestrian village means hiking trails – the ski trails in winter – are also at your fingertips. You are at the base of the Laurentians so there are many options. We saw a few waterfalls and lots of colorful wildflowers.
You can also find more trails in Mont-Tremblant National Park.
Ride the Panoramic Gondola
The Panoramic Gondola ride to the top of the mountain offers 360 degree views when you get to the top. There is a restaurant at the top, and you can hike down or ride the gondola back to the pedestrian village.
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TravelingMom Tip: If you hike down, be aware that a 3-4 mile downhill hike will strain your calf muscles. Be sure to stretch!
Beach & Tennis Club
The Beach & Tennis Club on Lac Tremblant is filled with activities for the entire family. There are 25 clay tennis courts. Water sports include leaping off the inflatable mountain, renting a canoe, kayak, pedal boat, sailboat or paddle board and waterskiing, wake boarding, wake surfing or tubing.
Or you can swim at the lake beach, read a book while your kids swim – there are lifeguards – and play in the sand.
This interactive night-time activity includes a ride on the Flying Mile chair lift and a short hike. You are ostensibly searching for a sleeping giant, one who makes the mountain tremble (the English translation of Mont-Tremblant).
But the story takes a back seat to the thrill of walking around at night, and seeing the illuminated installations. The sounds are not too scary, but young children, particularly those afraid of the dark, may find parts alarming.
TravelingMom Tip: The walking paths are quite dark. If you have glow necklaces or glow sticks, bring them for the kids.
Rock climbers can enjoy two types of climbing. There is guided cliff climbing, with belaying and rappeling, and an outdoor climbing wall, like you see at climbing gyms. You can also just watch.
Note: my youngest daughter is a serious rock climber.
As you my have guessed, a Mont-Tremblant summer is filled with outdoor activities. So what to do when it rains? In the pedestrian village, there is an escape room and laser tag, and adults can take the free shuttle to a nearby casino.
Since none of this appealed to us, we headed to the Scandinave Spa. This year-round refuge, open to those 18 and up, has you lock up your cellphone and enjoy hot tubs, cold plunge pools, swimming in the (cold) Diable River, steam rooms and saunas. We brought our bathing suits, a stack of unread New Yorkers and refillable water bottles. We figured if we were going to get wet, we might as well stay in swim suits.
The spa hands you a padlock, robe and two towels when you enter. You can wear flip flops – they also sell them – but Sandinave Spa is impeccably clean so you can be barefoot everywhere. In winter, the walking paths are heated! We did the spa routine three times: a long warm soak, a brief cold plunge and a long rest. You can lounge under heat lamps, or in Adirondack chairs by a fire. At one point, someone from the spa walked around handing out shots of cold, fresh pressed apple juice.
Scandinave Spa has a no talking policy but sighs of pleasure are fine, and yelps from the shock of icy water. If the water treatment isn’t relaxing enough, you can get a massage: Swedish, (of course) deep tissue and prenatal are some of the offerings.
Where to Stay in Mont-Tremblant
Hotel ski resort prices are much lower in summer. We stayed at the luxury Fairmont Tremblant resort, which has a large outdoor pool and outdoor hot tub (plus indoor too for inclement weather) and a cold plunge pool. The hotel has a free guided nature walk and free yoga on weekends in summer and outdoor dining for those concerned about Covid-19.
My Mont-Tremblant summer vacation whetted my appetite for a winter trip. But there were also all the things we didn’t have time for: mini golf, eurobungy, go-karts and a zipline. There is also birds of prey show, and you can take an apprentice falconry class. There are golf courses, horseback riding and whitewater rafting.
Note: I won this trip to Mont-Tremblant. I would absolutely return on my own dime. And that dime goes further in Canada, with a favorable exchange rate.