Pack your car for the ultimate road trip (or your carry-on for a 65-minute flight from Toronto) and head to Mont-Tremblant in Québec, Canada, for the stuff of which family memories are made in winter, spring, summer or fall. From poutine to panoramic views, there’s an activity for every member of your family—both adrenaline junkies and those who like to keep feet planted firmly on the ground. Heed these tips and travel like a Tremblant pro.
One hundred and thirty kilometres northwest of Montréal, among the Laurentian Mountains, Mont-Tremblant is home to one of the best ski and snowboard hills east of Canada’s famed Whistler-Blackcomb.
As with most major ski hills throughout North America, Tremblant has developed a reputation as a year-round family travel destination. And that’s because it’s so much more than just skiing—though there’s plenty of that, too.
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You need not ski, nor even visit when there’s snow on the ground, to fall in love with this charming resort. I know, because before last winter, I didn’t even like cold weather (despite being a bona fide Canuck) much less know how to strap on a pair of skis.
Tremblant changed everything. (And we’ve been five times since.)
It’s a veritable wonderland, teeming with activities for the young and young-at-heart. If you can’t find something to do there that makes you smile, you haven’t looked hard enough. This is where memory-making is at its best, so don’t be surprised if you leave a little piece of your heart here with every visit.
You won’t need a vehicle if you stay, play and eat in the village. So if you fly into Tremblant’s tiny but bustling airport, the shuttle is the best way to and from your lodging—book and prepay online and you’ll save 10 percent.
Driving in summertime? Consider coming into the Tremblant core well before nightfall, unless you like the idea of hundreds of nocturnal deer who line the road into the village staring you down.
If you’re not a slave to your airline’s schedule, plan to stay at least three or four nights to get your bearings and have enough time to try out several activities but also leave yourself room for downtime. This is vacation, after all.
In winter, choose lodging based on where you plan to spend most of your time. There’s an upper and lower village, connected by a free cabriolet “people-mover” that operates only during the daytime. The walk uphill after dark in the coldest winter months is about my least favorite thing here, so if you think you’ll spend the majority of your days and evenings up at the mountain, pick a hotel in the upper village, such as the Fairmont Tremblant. It matters far less in nicer weather and the lower village is wonderful and shouldn’t be overlooked.
This is the time to indulge and splurge on at least one fabulous, memorable meal. Try a variety of Tremblant village restaurants, but make dinner reservations before you arrive. They’re always busy and the demand for seating often outweighs the supply. Check out our complete restaurant guide to Mont-Tremblant pedestrian village for the tips, prices and insight on what to order for you and the kids.
There are four important things you need to know to take your fun to the next level in Tremblant:
- Take advantage of the kids’ programs. There’s a summer camp and snow school. Do this particularly in winter if you and your kids are at different ski levels. This will ensure you have time to explore the mountain at your own pace, knowing that your kids are well looked after.
- Take advantage of the $5 per night Ski Valet. Unless your hotel has a place to store skis and snowboards, the Ski Valet at the base of the mountain is where you can keep everyone’s skis and boards. It will save you from traipsing them to and from your hotel during your visit.
- Go up the gondola to the summit. Even if it’s summer. Or even if you’re not planning to ski or snowboard down. The panoramic views from 2,871 feet above sea level are breathtaking.
- Try something new. Maybe you’ve never been mountain climbing or snowmobiling. Never heard of horse-sledding? Check it out at Tremblant. Whatever it is, there are dozens of activities to choose from in every season.
In winter, staying at an official Tremblant hotel includes passes for free ice skating and night tubing, while in summer this includes your gondola rides.
In summer, buy the activity passes; they’re going to save you a lot of money. The more activities you buy at a given time, the more you’ll save.
Just book your trip already—I guarantee you’ll fall in love with Tremblant.
And if you’ve never been to Québec, consider exploring other areas before or after your visit to Tremblant. TravelingMom Anuja de Silva suggests the Eastern Townships, and I couldn’t agree more.