4 things to do in Montebello
Between Montreal, Mont-Tremblant and Ottawa lies the Outaouais region, filled with pristine forests, rural landscapes and rolling mountains. Often overlooked by other more touristic attractions, Outaouais has several small-town that will delight every traveller.
To celebrate my birthday, me and a few friends, decided to discover Montebello, a small town with a rustic charm. Better known for the magnificent Fairmont hotel and its golf, the region has more to offer. Here is a guide of the things to do in Montebello.
It is fairly easy to rent a car in Montreal so don’t be stressed out about this factor. Psst: I left the best for the end ;)
There are two main areas to enjoy the woods. The Plaisance Falls offer great viewpoints of the falls. What a better place to have a picnic? The second area is the Plaisance National Park is known for its 230 species of birds. There are hiking and bike paths. You can also kayak or canoe and camp at the park.
2. Historical site
The Manoir-Papineau, overlooking the Outaouais River, showcases the life of a leading politician in the 19th century. Apparently, the gardens are a must-see. We did not go to see the manoir, sometimes it is hard to have plans that please 10 persons.
Psst: In 2017, all Canada’s parks and historical site (not the provincial ones like the Plaisance park) are free to celebrate Canada’s 150 years as a nation (you can read more about it in my other post here).
3. Scavenger hunt
Explora Géo-Rallye is an electric bike scavenger hunt. Unique on its kind, the route takes you through the village and the golf. This was a fun activity to do with a group of friends. However, I found it a bit dangerous, the bikes are heavy and the route takes you to big streets with traffic. I personally hit a signpost and a few months later I still have some wounds on my leg. Also, I found that the route could have been more beautiful, instead of making us go through the golf, a nice flat landscape through the woods would have been more enjoyable.
4. Parc Oméga
By far the best activity in the region. What could be better than to see wild animals running free from the safety of your car? All the animals are from the northern hemisphere and are in their natural habitat. This weekend getaway will make you feel like you are in a vacation. You can buy carrots and feed the cute deer and wapitis that will poke their heads through your window car to eat the treats.
There are two areas where you can leave the car and walk along these magnificent animals, the Colonization and the First Nations (I know, they could have chosen other names). In the Colonization area there is a farm and animal shows; don’t worry the animals don’t do any tricks and are not trained, it's just their feeding time. The First Nation area showcases 11 beautiful totems make by indigenous artists.
Through the car route, you will see coyotes, arctic foxes, black bears, moose, eagles and beavers, to name a few.
The park is opened all year long and offer very different experiences depending on the season. This gives you opportunities to go back to the park!
Did you know that you can stay at the park overnight in either a tipi or a logged cabin? Imagine taking your morning coffee with a wild deer nearby, I’m definitely adding this to my bucket list!
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Disclaimer: I went to the Parc Omega as a guest of the Outaouais tourism board . A big thank you! All opinions are my own
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