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I have a confession to make – although I’ve visited Montreal and surroundings in the winter, I’ve mostly spent summers in the Laurentides area. Mont Saint Sauveur is a popular weekend destination during the summer. Since my family owns a house there, I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy several vacations in the area. This year was no different.
We arrived in Mont Saint Sauveur during the annual two week “construction holiday.” Because the good weather is so limited in this area, Quebec enjoys an annual two week “construction holiday.” Most businesses close and everyone goes on vacation. Otherwise, seasonal workers would never enjoy two weeks of great weather!
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As a ski resort during the winter, Mont Saint Sauveur enjoys a superb reputation. The ski slopes surround the housing and lodging of this small town. You can reach a ski slope within a few minutes. But what about during the summer?
Parc Aquatique du Sommet St-Sauveur
Mont Saint Sauveur’s ski slopes work double duty in that they serve a different purpose in warmer months. The water park utilizes both the hills and chair lifts from the ski slopes. This isn’t a little pitiful water park either – there are over 20 activities, including slides, a lazy river and a wave pool. Purchase an adult ticket for $33.66 CDN.
Because the weather is only good for a limited time, people take full advantage of the water park. Opening at 10 am, school buses filled with summer campers pull up to let the youngsters out. When my kids were younger, we spent days going up the hills and down the slides – it was a great way to tire them out! As I’ve gotten older, I don’t enjoy the cold water quite as much!
Find more details on their website: https://www.sommets.com/fr/parc-aquatique-saint-sauveur/
While sitting on my parent’s deck, enjoying a cold brew and the view, we heard what sounded like people being murdered. Blood curdling screams could be heard most of the afternoon up to and even past 10pm. It was only on our last evening that we decided to investigate what was causing all this screaming. It wasn’t someone going down a steep water slide or hitting the super cold water on the slides!
And that’s when we found it – the Fun Park. Nestled towards the end of the parking lot, it really didn’t look like much. Rides on “The Viking,” an alpine slide, could be added to your water park ticket for $12.99 CDN. But if you went to the Fun Park after 7:30pm, the usual unlimited admission of $24.99 CDN was 50% off. Since the park is open until 10pm, that is a lot of fun for little money.
There are lots of little kid rides. A small tower of terror and spinning rides geared towards the 10 and under crowd entertain little ones. A round of mini golf can be added to your ticket, as well as a really steep water slide. But the two rides that interested us the most were the ones we could see while enjoying our cold brew. One ride flashed a red light going up the hill and another sounded like people were being murdered. During the day you could see what looked a chair lift/zip line combination. A roller coaster trail for the alpine ride was also visible.
We tried the zip line ride first. The lady in front of us asked the worker whether she could forego her second turn! I should have run right then and there! You get the joy of experiencing this ride twice in a row! Imagine sitting in a typical ski chair lift, buckled in by a double lap belt. There is a handhold on the outside, but nothing to do with your other hand other than terrorize your poor companion’s thigh. As soon as the ride started, we were pulled backwards rather quickly. I panicked and understood the murderous screams! After teasing us for a few seconds (which felt like minutes!), we released on the zip line! I do think that going backwards was ten times worse than going down. No murders occurred on the ride, although my Fitbit registered quite a few minutes of “activity!”
Next we rode The Viking. This alpine sled ride allows one or two riders to control the speed at which they descend down the roller coaster tracks. A chain pulls you all the way up to the top of the hill. Each sled has a flashing red light on the back to alert riders behind it – and that is what we saw from our deck! You push down to go, and up towards you to apply the brakes. So fun! By the third time going down, it was so dark that I misjudged a couple of turns by leaning in the wrong direction! Enough fun for me!
The wave pool hosts surf sessions. And about once a week they play a movie under the stars – for FREE!
Shopping and Dining in Mont Saint Sauveur
What if you’re not a kid or don’t want to do rides? Mont Saint Sauveur features an active outdoor lifestyle, especially on the weekends. The main road is blocked to vehicular traffic on Sunday afternoons. It is a place to see and be seen. The restaurants and bars either have open windows or terrace seating. During the weekends, some of the more popular places feature live bands. One Saturday night we enjoyed the variety of beers featured at The Buck, listened to a live band at Saint Sau, and ended at the bar in Moe’s. This last stop was mostly because the men did not want to go anywhere near Carol-A-Gogo, with quite the dance scene that night!
What else can you do during the day? There is a well known bakery, called Le Pagé, from which we ordered pies when I was young. There is walking up and down the streets and enjoying local wares. You can also shop at the Tanger Outlets that are featured at so many travel destinations up and down the East Coast. I especially enjoy all the beautiful landscaping in this town and admiring how colorful this town becomes.
Montrealites flock to Mont Saint Sauveur during summer weekends. Vacationers to the Laurentides should add a visit Mont Saint Sauveur. Please note that the entire Laurentides region is home to so many outdoor activities that I didn’t even attempt to summarize those. There are fabulous hiking trails, bike trails, and even white water rafting. If you’re like me and prefer the less active life, there is still plenty to do.
Interested in local craft beer? Visit Dieu du Ciel! which is only about 15 minutes away in St. Jèrome. If you’re continuing north, try Le Baril Roulant in Val-David or Saint-Arnauld in Mont Tremblant.
If you’re visiting the province of Quebec for the first time, you should also visit Quebec City.
Do you have recommendations on where to go and what to do on my next trip to the Laurentides? If so, please let me know!
Annick, The Common Traveler