This October our family had a week off without a clear destination in mind. We decided to stay north of the 49 for this vacation because our country is a glorious, massive nation filled with stunning beauty and people! Also, we do love going to the US but felt uneasy about doing so given the political tension and ever-changing border regulations.

I have had the fortune of spending time in most of Canada except for the provinces of Newfoundland and Quebec. This year we decided to change that!

Given that we wanted to experience a new area, see if the “mountain” really felt like one, and to immerse ourselves in the French culture, we picked Mont Tremblant as our destination.

After deciding to go there in the middle of October, we immediately got excited at the potential of seeing the full spectrum of colours that fall in Eastern Canada can deliver. We certainly weren’t disappointed! This was the view from our hotel:

We chose the Fairmont Mont Tremblant because of our good experiences at other Fairmont hotels. I have stayed in rooms from other major hotel chains and find the décor, comfort (fireplaces and sofas!) and pool area for the kids to be superior at Fairmont Hotels.

The location of this one turned out to be spectacular because we were able to stroll out of the hotel patio area to the hiking trailheads, gondola lift, and the pedestrian resort.

Our two goals for this trip were to be outside as much as possible and eat our way through the day! It’s hard to be in an area with expert-level poutine, croissants, and crepes without wanting those daily. We certainly achieved both of these goals! We had wonderful eating experiences in every restaurant we tried.

I was really excited to try hiking in an area with a higher elevation and some views along the way. My concern about this “mountain” being an Ontario-like mountain was quickly dashed when we began our village to summit ascent up one of the Mont Tremblant hiking trails. It was great to be climbing uphill and feeling my legs working hard again, after missing that from living in the West!

We went up the “Caps” trail with our two boys who are eight and ten-years-old. It (Here is a link to the hiking trail maps of the area.) This trail is listed as “strenuous” but our boys didn’t seem troubled by it at all. This trek took most of the morning and had several beautiful vista stops along the way.

One of the great benefits of hiking a ski terrain area is that you can take the gondola back down from the top! People think that going down is easier but I find that with the steeper descents, the downhill part is the one that really shreds the legs. This leads me to confessing that I chose to run down the mountain while the rest of my family cruised above me on the gondola. That was a dumb decision! I could hardly do stairs for the rest of the trip.

On the second day of our trip we used the hotel bikes, which were actually quite good, to bike around the trails to the village and the other side of the lake. We spent most of the afternoon on bikes. I found it very helpful that the hotel provided the bikes, helmets, and even water bottles for us so that we didn’t need to haul those all from home in London, ON.

The trails are well marked and maintained, with maps at every junction. I do have to say that we found it challenging to maneuver around tourists who are not used to walking on bike paths, spreading their group across those. I finally just started hollering, “Watch out!” and they moved over to one side. The tourists tend to stay close to the populated areas so once you get out a bit there are very few pedestrians on the bike paths.

The third day we decided to hike up the other side of the mountain on the “Grand Brulé” trail. We agreed that although longer, we liked this one better mainly because it had less mud. I do suggest wearing hiking boots for those trails, as there was a good amount of water and soft ground to go over.

At the end of that day, it was great to sit down to a dinner at the Choux Gras Brasserie Culinaire for our anniversary. We chose this location not just because it was in the hotel, but also because I had been following their instagram account and was intrigued by what I was seeing there.

Our experience there was really incredible and made our special day feel even more wonderful. We had the seafood tower, which I highly recommend!

Our family was in Mont Tremblant for four nights, which my husband and I agreed was a great amount of time to be there. We drove from London, ON, arriving at dinnertime so the four nights allowed us to have three full days there. I believe there is a Porter Airlines flight direct from Toronto to Tremblant so we might try that in the future.

Our kids told us that of all the places we’ve been to around North America, this was one of their favourite trips. The combination of the accommodations, hiking, biking paths, and incredible food certainly made it one of my favourites, too. As I am an avid skier from the West, we have already planned to come back to Tremblant in the winter to give their skiing a try!


Disclaimer: I received a “media discount” at the Fairmont Hotel. This discount did not influence my opinion of our stay there – my words are my own.