Boutiques might have unveiled their fall collections, but don’t be fooled – summer is not over yet!!! Here are eight delightful things to do in Montreal before we kick into fall romance.
1) PICNIC AT LAFONTAINE PARK
With its dreamy fountain, winding pond, bike paths and abundance of trees, Lafontaine Park is one of Montreal’s hangouts of choice when it comes to the picnicking business. Stop at a nearby supermarket (there is one just a few steps away on St-André Street) and grab some paté, fruit, cheese and a baguette. Also, don’t forget the wine! May I remind you that it is totally permitted to drink in Montreal parks as long as there is food involved.
2) SIP ON ROSÉ WINE AT A SUNNY MONTREAL PATIO
Montrealers are very talented at spending countless hours doing nothing but having great conversations while sipping on a glass (or two, or three) of rosé at one of the city’s many terraces. I myself am an expert in the field. Drop by the pretty patio of French bistro “La Croissanterie” or head to the intimate backyard of Casa del Popolo. They are two of my personal favorites. In the nighttime, mingle with locals on the patio of La Buvette Chez Simone.
3) PLAY BEACH VOLLEYBALL AT JEANNE-MANCE PARK
Whether you join a team or simply admire the hot male and female bods working out a sweat under the sun, make sure you stop by Jeanne-Mance Park before the end of summer. The volleyball matches take place every day starting around 12pm until sunset from May to October. Some twenty thousand people of all ages and nationalties have played volleyball in Parc Jeanne-Mance since it started back in 1973. Everyone is welcome from beginners to elite players, and singles to full teams. Since you are visiting and you won’t need a full season membership, it will cost you a tiny 3$ for a full afternoon of fun. No appointment necessary.
4) INDULGE IN BILBOQUET ICE CREAM
Located on Bernard Street in Outremont, Le Bilboquet is a major ice cream institution in Montreal. Although I’m a big fan of their taffy ice cream in springtime, no feeling is comparable to that of sitting on their sunny front porch and orgasm-ing over a spoonful of homemade Bilboquet ice cream and/or sorbet.
4) SURFING ON THE ST-LAURENT RIVER
Surfing ? Where ? You might not know this, but it is possible to surf right at the heart of Montreal. Being the island that it is, Montreal is surrounded by water, including two permanent waves in the St. Lawrence River that allow water babies to surf in the city. I tried this activity with a private teacher last year and loved it. You can obviously also go with your friends and it is very easy to rent a board and get a lesson for a few hours. Read all the details here.
5) DANCE YOUR SUNDAY AWAY AT MONTREAL TAM-TAMS
The Tam-Tams Festival is Montreal’s Sunday ritual of dance and music. Unlike river surfing, the weekly gatherings near the Angel Statue on Park Avenue are a secret to none. Locals, visitors, and even celebrities (Kirsten Dunst was spotted 3 or 4 weekends in a row this summer) all merge to the mountain on Sunday afternoon to listen to the sound of drums and just lay down in the park.
6) GO FOR A WALK IN THE GAY VILLAGE WHILE THE STREETS ARE STILL CLOSED TO TRAFFIC
Only a few more weeks to take advantage of the Montreal Gay Village while it is closed to traffic. Started as an experiment in the summer of 2008, Aires Libres has become a regular summertime “permanent festival” of sorts. Sainte-Catherine Street, the main artery in the village, gets rid of all cars and becomes the perfect place for strolling and people watching. Our very fabulous insider, Daniel Baylis, gives you a few suggestions of things to do on the strip.
7) AFTERNOON LOUNGING BY THE WATER IN THE OLD PORT OF MONTREAL
One my my favorite things to do during the summertime is head to Old Montreal and simply hang out by the water. There are many activities you can do at the port including spending in a glammed- up soirée on the Belvü, a swanky yacht, docked in Old Montreal. The spacious boat’s decks, bars and dining areas are open for after-works drinks and you can even go on a 45 minute cruise every Friday night. For more information, read the post our friend Christophe Bergeron wrote about this Miami Vice- style nautical expérience.