Montreal is irresistible. It's the most European city on the North American continent. There's French joie de vivre alongside a dynamic urban vibe that's complimented by an arts and music scene that'll keep you entertained and engaged. Vacation rentals offer a great way to see this cosmopolitan city. Stay on the French side, and you can brush up on your French and feel like you're a world away from North America, immersed in the romance
and culture of old Paris
. Stay on the English speaking side, and you'll fit right in, yet still find yourself wondering if your flight didn't cross the Atlantic by mistake. And yes, the city is divided into a French speaking half and an English speaking half, though there are pockets of each language spoken no matter which side you're on.
Montreal's a world-class city, so there's an overabundance of things to do and see. Many movie stars make it their home for parts of the year. How did they go from Hollywood to a northern climate like Canada
? Because Montreal's architecture is so stunning and so well preserved that it's used as a location in many Hollywood movies. You simply can't replicate its old-world, European charm on a soundstage, and it's a lot cheaper to fly a crew to Canada than it is to Europe.
One of your first stops in Montreal should be the Atwater Market for its large selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, gourmet items, wines, ice cream and more delectable goods. Stock up your vacation rental's kitchen.
Be sure to plan some time on Mont Royal, the mountain from which Montreal gets its name. Hike up to the Kondiaronl Lookout to take in a beautiful view of the city, check out Mount Royal Park, designed by famed Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmstead. You can spend hours walking, running, cycling, horseback riding and picnicking there during the summer. In the winter, toboggan or cross-country ski. That's right--instead of thinking Florida or the Caribbean during the winter, take a trip to Montreal--you'll be amazed at how much fun you can have in the winter. Snow can fall fast and furious, but Montrealers are adept and clearing streets, sidewalks, nature paths and ice skating rinks quickly and cleanly.
Vacation rentals make a great base from which to explore, and Montreal vacation rentals are no different. In fact, you can plan wonderful day trips to the surrounding mountains, lakes and woods. Again, you'll be transported a world away as you take in quaint towns that look like French villages. You'll see cottages hugging the Laurentians mountainsides and lakeside villages. Spend an afternoon, or two, shopping in unique shops offering items you simply can't find back home, boutiques with European designs, continental cafes, restaurants and other entertaining attractions. Take a short 45 to 90 minute drive to one of the several dozen ski resorts that surround Montreal.
Back in Montreal, treat yourself to more shopping, fine dining and the exciting nightlife. Check out Montreal's underground, which offers inexpensive clothes, stores, and Metro stations. It's an underground shopping mall. Kayak down the Lachine Canal and then eat at the sugar shacks that feature pure maple syrup and traditional French Canadian cooking. Most visitors want to take in Old Montreal, visiting the Old Port of Montreal, City Hall, Bonsecours Market, the Science Center and more. Or, just absorb the restored and preserved architecture and cobbled streets. But don't limit yourself to Old Montreal. Be sure to take in other areas, such as Ville-Marie, Chinatown, Gay Village, the Latin Quarter and many others