While on a recent business trip, my husband was talking to a man from New York who told him he was planning to spend his second summer holiday in a row in Quebec. At Mont Tremblant.
Summer? At one of the most popular skiing destinations in Quebec?
Mais oui! It turns out that these ski places also cater to a summer crowd, and he said that his kids had never been more active, on the go from dawn ’til dusk every day of the holiday. And it was very reasonably priced.
So with that bit of inspiration we decided to spend the May long weekend at our local ski resort, Blue Mountain, in Collingwood, Ontario. The drive up was virtually pain free (cottage country traffic is one reason we prefer to drive 18 hours to Nova Scotia every summer!). The weather was perfect, so summery in fact, that we ran out of shorts and t-shirts and I felt like an idiot for packing long sleeves and sweatpants for the cool mountain evenings. There were none of those, but what there was was a whole lot of fun.
Gondola rides up the mountain, hikes up and down several trails, exploring nearby caves, fireworks, tree-top climbing, rock climbing, mini-golf built into the bottom of the mountain, and a self-propelled roller-coaster ride down the ski slopes. Not to mention the swimming. And the eating. There was lots of that. An on-site candy store guaranteed that my three boys had stars in their eyes with daily permission to choose a treat.
The customer service was excellent, the facilities all so close to hand, and even on one of the busiest weekends of the year, we never felt pressed or harried. Sure, there was a bit of a Disney-fied feel to the groomed hiking trails and the constantly-swept main square. But to tell the truth, I needed a bit of that fakery and convenience. We were well overdue for a family holiday, and I needed easy.
So if you happen to live near ski slopes, check out what they have to offer in the summer season. Our experience was truly wonderful.