Let me introduce you to the place where I grew up skiing in the winter and daydreaming in the summer. I'm fortunate enough to have my cottage in this region of Quebec but I thought I'd feature it on the blog incase you're itching for a trip but on a tight budget and schedule.
The Eastern Townships or the "Cantons-des-l'Est' is an area that is roughly 80km southeast of Montreal. It's on the way to Vermont and New Hampshire. This place is a dream for anyone who loves that New England vibe with covered bridges, rolling hills and surrounding mountain ranges.
Here, you'll find a vast region that is filled with activities during all the seasons. Take a look below at the highlights of this destination:
- A go-to spot for anyone that loves to ski or board. The Eastern Township holds some of the best and most affordable ski trails in Canada. Check out: Mont Sutton, Owl's Head (best poutine ever is made here), Orford and Bromont. Incase you're feeling like more of a leisure afternoon, cross-country skiing is huge in this region of Quebec due to the abundance of breathtaking trails.
- Looking for some RnR after a long day on the slopes? These spas are some of my favourites for their scenic views and relaxing treatments: Le Spa des Chutes de Bolton and Spa Eastman.
- A visit in the Spring proves to be rewarding for "sugaring off", which means the preparation of maple syrup. A must do is to visit a local maple sugar shack and enjoy tire d'erable. Which essentially means, twirling sticky maple syrup that is sitting on a neat pile of snow onto a stick and eating it.
- Spring can also be a wonderful time to go skiing as the temperatures have warmed up so you can finally feel your toes again and have that beautiful sunshine beaming on your face.
- Summer in the Eastern Townships is like a quaint Muskoka. No crowds but still full of natural beauty.
- Grab some friends and check out the Eastern Townships wine route (la route des vins) which comprises of 21 vineyards. This area represents 60% of Quebec's wine production.
- Golfing plays a large part of the Eastern Townships lifestyle in the summer. Voted some of the best golf courses with views are: Club de Golf Lac Brome, Owls Head Golf Club and Club de Golf Dufferin Heights.
- I definitely recommend going swimming or boating in Lake Memphremagog. It's a fresh water glacial lake located between Vermont and Magog.
- After a long day in the sun, head to Magog's downtown to enjoy some drinks and water views at "The Liquor Store" (a popular hangout spot).
- Probably my favourite season to spend time in the Eastern Townships as the fall foliage is out of this world. I recommend taking a drive down the rolling hills even if you don't need to go anywhere. You'll witness red barns, lakes and big blue mountains along the way.
- For any cycling enthusiast, this region will surely satisfy. It can be a bit dangerous as you'll have trouble keeping your eyes on the road, with your gaze being drawn to the astounding landscapes around you.
- Residents celebrate the fall foliage with multiple festivals such as: Owl's Head Autumnfest Outdoor Festival and Mont Sutton Fall Festival.
- Manoir Hovey, a Relais-Chateaux property that has been voted the #1 hotel in Eastern Canada.
- Auberge Aux 4 Saisons Orford, a rustic lodge perfect for a stay close to the slopes.
- Le Pleasant Hotel & Cafe, voted the best hotel in the Eastern Townships on Trip Advisor.