Our summers are usually spent exploring our amazing city. We love taking the bus and metro to museums, restaurants, and other great sites, wandering the streets, hitting as much pavement as possible. This summer was obviously different. After having my bean home for three months leading up to summer, I was feeling kinda deflated about how we were going to keep busy for another three months of summer.
And then it hit me: we live in Quebec! Quebec has some of the most beautiful greenspaces in the country. There are more than half a million lakes and 4500 rivers, not to mention handfuls of national and provincial parks. There are beaches, mountains, and even a few places closer to the city that are still spacious and safe. We’ve kicked off summer by checking out some wonderful places – this is where we’re safely exploring while social distancing.
Knowlton. More specifically, Douglass Beach. First off, the drive out there is stunning and so picturesque. The homes that line Lac Brome are breathtaking. Then we hit this family-friendly beach and it has everything we could hope for: a grassy area with shade and spots to picnic, a nice big sandy beach, fresh lake water to swim in that wasn’t too deep, as well as lifeguards, a playground and a canteen with treats. We were able to find a corner away from the crowd to set up, and it was totally feasible to social distance in the water too.
Strawberry picking. There are lots of places to pick your own fruits and veggies, and in the fields, everyone can be more than adequately spaced out. Plus, your kids will be snacking on healthy foods, and you’ll come home with even more!
Recreoparc. Also known as Cote St. Catherine Beach. Located on the South Shore about 15 minutes past the Champlain Bridge, we loved this beach because it had it all: a huge, shallow manmade pond, tons of clean sand to play in, a hill with grass and shade as well as a perfect view of the site, change rooms, play structures, lots of lifeguards, and a snack bar with hot dogs and hamburgers. You can get a one-time entry ticket or buy a pass for the whole summer.
St. Bruno National Park. The trails here are stunning – you’re immediately enveloped in lush, green forest, and as you make your way around their 27-kilometres of trails and five lakes. We’ve picnicked there and even seen a family of deer on the path right next to us. This is a stunning spot everyone should experience. Pay a one-time entrance or, for double the price, you can get the SEPAQ pass to any of the 47 national parks in Quebec!
We have many more outdoor areas to explore on our wish list, such as:
The lavendar fields in Saint Eustache
Picnicking along the rapids and Fort Chambly
Laval Nature Centre
A full-time work-from-home mom, Jennifer Cox (our “Supermom in Training”) loves dabbling in healthy cooking, craft projects, family outings, and more, sharing with readers everything she knows about being an (almost) superhero mommy.