Unique vacation escapes near Montreal
If you’re looking for a truly unique family vacation destination, you don’t have to journey far from Montreal. For out-of-the-ordinary accommodation options, we’ve handpicked some of the coolest escapes that are guaranteed to awaken your spirit of adventure. Tune out the noise, relax, and get ready for fun.
Camping du lac Lyster
360 ch. des Chalets, Coaticook
Located in the municipality of Coaticook in the Eastern Townships, the 60-acre campground is located on Lac Lyster and near all the fun of the Parc Découverte Nature and Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook. Wake up to the sound of loons calling across the water and get ready to take part in one of many nearby activities. If you’re feeling energetic, rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the lake or hike the rocky trails and cliff. Afterwards, you can relax on the camp’s private beach while the kids bury themselves in the sand.
The site’s ready-to-camp tent-cabins are great for those who don’t want to lug half the contents of their home into the woods. Camp in comfort with beds and mattresses, table and chairs, electricity and running water, an outdoor kitchen that’s protected from the rain, and a new bathroom facility just steps away. And of course, cozy Adirondack chairs that allow for an evening of stargazing and roasting marshmallows. If you want to get the whole camping experience, there are also rustic camp sites available. Well-behaved and leashed dogs are allowed on the campsites, but not on the beach or in the ready-to-camp cabins.
Prices range from $105 to $175 for ready-to-camp, and from $38 to $56 for regular camping sites.
Visit campingdulaclyster.com for all details and to reserve.
122 ch. Gilbert, Eastman
You don’t often come across accommodations where you can (literally) climb the walls, wheel your bathtub outdoors, or generate electricity using a bike or human-sized hamster wheel. In the sleek and modern Zoobox Wilderness Lofts nestled into the 1,000 acres that make up Le Vertendre, glamping is taken to the next level. The private site in the Eastern Townships has large chalets and cozy ecological refuges located alongside 15 kilometres of trails for hiking and biking, two lakes and 10 kilometres of streams for fishing, swimming, kayaking, and practicing your balance on standup paddle boards. You’re also only 15 minutes from Mont-Orford and just five minutes from Spa Eastman.
Choosing a Zoobox means you also have a full wall of windows that slide open to reveal nature all around, hammocks for relaxing, a bed that descends from the ceiling, a television with CD-DVD player, and even a popcorn machine. This is definitely glamping! But be ready for a bit of a hike, because they’re all located between .2 and 2.5 kilometres from the reception building and you’ll need to carry in your personal belongings. A minimum of two nights’ stay is required when booking. Prices vary.
Visit levertendre.com for all the details.
Sentiers Pédestres des 3 Monts de Coleraine
6 St-Patrick Ave., St-Joseph-de-Coleraine
For more than 20 years, the organization of the Thetford Region’s 3 Monts hiking trails has been managing and protecting this area of approximately 1,200 hectares, which includes a protected ecological reserve, a 20-kilometre network of trails, and various infrastructures and activities for visitors.
Among the accommodations is the Panoramic Yurt with its views of the mountains, the Wood Yurts that include access to the Little Prince story rally in the woods, and the Desjardins Chalet for those wanting a bit more comfort and the proximity of a park. You can also go full rustic and tent camp in the quiet woods. Wherever you decide to sleep, you’ll have access to three mountains, outdoor obstacle course, geological rally, and a search-and-find game. For something altogether different, try riding the rails on adapted bicycles at Vélorails de Beaulac-Garthby.
Rental fees for yurts are $115, the chalet is $175, and campsites are $35.
Details and reservations available at 3monts.ca.
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Coaticook and Mont-Tremblant locations
Offering a unique take on self-contained accommodations, Uniq glamping tents will be set up in two scenic destinations this summer. From May 13 to August 1, 2022, you can book a stay in one of the tents at the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook, or in the Laurentians from August 4 to October 16. A cross between camping and hotel living, the deluxe tents allow vacationers to get close to nature and the outdoors while keeping the comforts of home.
The Uniq “village” includes 15 tent units available with different bed arrangements that can sleep up to four people, a rest area in a large common tent, a shared kitchen area that includes all you need to prepare meals, a fire pit area, and nearby parking and washroom facilities. You’ll also get all your linens, a fan, and light.
To create a spirit of community while encouraging local business, your stay may include beer tasting, music and games, or special meals by local restaurants. A minimum two-night stay is required when booking.
For details, photos, and reservations, visit hotel-uniq.com.
Au-delà du boulot
16 du lac Martinez St., Brownsburg-Chatham
Enjoy Mother Nature’s healing and rejuvenating powers while still enjoying the comforts you want while on vacation. About an hour north-west of Montreal, you’ll find this grounding and relaxing nature oasis where you can stay in eco-friendly lodging beside the lake. Choose between a sleek and absolutely gorgeous eco-cabin on Martinez Lake, one of the two cooler-than-cool domes, or the brand new floating cabin that’s surrounded by the waters of Turtle Lake. Use the shuttle service or carry in all your gear yourselves.
Summer activities on-site include swimming or exploring the two lakes by paddle board or kayak. Fish for rainbow and speckled trout, discover the abundance of wildlife on a hike or relax around your campfire and dream about never leaving.
Visit audeladuboulot.com for details and reservations.
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348 Montée St-Gabriel, St-Sauveur
Rustic, artistic, and altogether delightful — it’ll be hard to choose between the quaint tree houses at this pet-friendly location in Saint-Sauveur. Stay in Le Kube with its abundance of natural light and cozy loft beds, Le Sol with its fantastical bridge, or Le Stella where you can literally hug the huge tree growing right through the middle of the A-frame cabin. All of the accommodations come with electricity, a fridge, a Bodum for fresh morning coffee, cooking equipment, board games, and even a fondue and raclette sets. Just leave your car at the parking lot and carry your personal belongings or use the valet luggage service.
Over 150 acres of private trails are yours to discover, and kids will have a blast at the creative outdoor obstacle course and playground. I’ll bet they’ve never before played in a sandbox nestled inside a boat! Or, play a game of volleyball, badminton, or croquet and hang out in the communal Zen Den where you can while away a rainy day playing board games, perusing the available books, or practicing some relaxing yoga.
From $170 a night, see their website for full details. Chimorefuges.com
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Hébergement Les Pieds sur Terre
3160 6e Rang, Saint-Calixte
Weird and definitely wonderful, these quirky lodgings tucked into the forest will make your kids squeal with glee. If you’re looking for something different while being immersed in natural wonders, each accommodation at Les Pieds sur Terre is more unique and creative than the next and are quite unlike anything around. The Teepee Tiny House is a getaway that’ll be hard to beat, and the brand-new Hobbit House will enchant. But, you might want to also check out the awesomeness of The Double Bubble where you can gaze at the stars from your bed or hang out in the outdoor spa. All come with water for the shower and toilet, basic kitchen equipment, propane BBQ, mini-fridge, space for an outdoor fire, and other necessities. Your personal belongings can be brought in by borrowed cart.
On-site is a mini-farm with pigs, a donkey and a mule, three kilometres of hiking trails, and there are four public beaches and wilderness areas nearby.
Prices start at $170. Pets are allowed for an additional $20 a night.
Find all the different lodgings and details at hebergementlespiedssurterre.com.
2244 ch. du Grand Duc, Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci
Immerse yourself in nature and relax amongst the trees at this eco-tourist site located in the Lanaudière region’s Ouareau forest regional park. If you want to stay somewhere that has everything you need when on holiday but isn’t just the regular type of accommodation, try out one of the nine cabins built on eight-foot high stilts that border the Dufresne River. They’ll give you the impression of living in the treetops! There are also the cozy Cabanitas, which are an impressive 15 feet above the ground, and the Kaboum cabin, great for larger families. Cook underneath your cabin or use the nearby communal space that’s equipped with everything you need to make meals and where you can also play games, read books, or relax.
Hang out on the Kabania site and enjoy hiking the trails of the Forest Ouareau, go tubing and swimming in the shallow river, swim in the pond, play beach volleyball, try out the obstacle course and playground, or simply relax in a hammock. Ah, bliss.
Pricing starts at $110 per night for a cabin (for two, fee for additional people) with a minimum of two nights on weekends and three nights on long weekends.
For more information and reservation details visit kabania.ca.
Les Toits du Monde
1777 ch. des Faucons, Nominingue
Experience the extraordinary in the Hautes-Laurentides, about 40 minutes north of Mont-Tremblant. The six unique ecological accommodations are sure to impress the majority of kids. Stay in a tree house, a hobbit house, a teepee, a Mongolian yurt, an enchanted chalet, or a tiny house. Pack lightly because depending on which lodging you choose, you’ll be carrying or pulling your gear on carts for between 5 and 20 minutes.
Nearby activities will tick the box for those looking for adventure. Test out your aim with an 18-basket disc golf course in the woods, or canoe and kayak the rivers and Petit Lac Nominingue. Try out paddle boarding, swimming on-site or enjoy the adjacent beaches. And, you can go hiking, fishing, tubing, or cycling along the Petit Train du Nord Linear Park.
For details and pricing visit lestoitsdumonde.ca.