July 15, 2011 - Maybe it's the long wait that makes Montrealers so captivated with summer. Or, maybe it's their natural inclination to fête, especially in warmer weather. Whatever the case, nothing quite compares to how they embrace all there is to do when the sun is shining and the mercury climbing. Here's a brief guide on how to enjoy the better life in balmy Montréal temperatures:
Start with a terrasse
The pretty umbrellas pop up in spring, and mark the beginning of leisurely meals or cool drinks out in the urban open. Enjoy a tête-à-tête under a lush canopy of green, clink champagne flutes on a chic hotel rooftop or get an up-close view of the daily goings-on streetside. Lingering is especially fun when everything is closed to cars, and the people-watching possibilities endless.
Play or lounge, park-side
If you're the athletic type, Montréal's parks offer a wide range of sports, like volleyball or tennis, and are an excellent way to mix with the locals. Picnics, too, are par for the course, with people toting along barbecues and gathering friends to share a good meal and lively conversation. In the mood for an outdoor movie? There's plenty of screenings to go around, especially at Théâtre de Verdure in Parc La Fontaine. Or if park time is you time, just find a spot, throw down a blanket and chill out with a book or music, piped in through your earphones.
Catch a festival
In this town, it's next to impossible to miss one. From downtown's legendary Jazz Fest to Sunday morning's tam tam gatherings at the foot of Mount Royal an electronic mash-up at Piknic Électronik on Île Sainte-Hélène, there's always a good vibe, maximum mingling and plenty of music to dance to. You can bust a gut at the Just For Laughs or enjoy the jaw-dropping pyrotechnics of the International des Feux Loto-Québec come nighttime. And you don't want to miss downtown's new Place des Festivals, the nerve centre of Montréal's cultural calendar.
With the St. Lawrence River right beside, you can suit up for a wild jet boat ride or try some kayaking. If calmer suits you better, a cruise is a great way to enjoy the water and the beautiful city skyline. Or a stroll along the Quays of the Old Port lets you soak all the activity up, from the curiosity-sating Centre des Sciences to quirky but cool places to unwind, like Muvbox, the ultra-modern shipping container-turned-restaurant.
Hop on a bike
With over 560 kilometres (350 miles) of bike paths and BIXI, the vast public bike system (that you can enjoy with a swipe of your credit card), this city is fast becoming a pedal-pushing mecca. Or make it an exercise/sightseeing/culture combo by going on a guided bike tour. One of the best ways to see the all-Montréal is often on two wheels.
And that's just a peek at the fun. Join us for this sun-soaked bliss and discover the quintessential Montréal summer!