Who knew? Mont-Tremblant is a Premier Summer Destination

Growing up skiing in the Laurentians, I’ve always cherished the region for its winter allure. However, it wasn’t until recently that I learned of the equally captivating charm of the area in the warmer months. So, I decided to plan a weekend getaway to the Homewood Suites by Hilton Mont-Tremblant Resort and experience the summer magic firsthand.

Located slopeside, our room at the ski-in/ski-out Hilton Homewood Suites in Tremblant offered a great mountain view and was on the doorstep of the charming Euro-styled village. In the morning, we benefited from the included breakfast on the hotel’s mezzanine level before heading off to explore the mountain.

We opted to take the Panorama gondola from the heart of the village to the summit of the mountain. The walk-up price for a ride-up is $29 for an adult ticket, with a small discount if you book online. Option two is to strap on a pair of sturdy shoes, fill a water bottle, grab a hat and slather yourself with sunscreen before tackling the 2.9 km Grands Prix des Couleurs trail that heads straight up under the gondola.

Option one seemed more sensible, and I sat back and enjoyed the view as the canvas grew larger and larger the higher the gondola climbed — BTW, you can purchase a one-way ticket and choose which way to hike.

During the winter, with skiers preoccupied by the cold and gondola windows often frosted over, it’s easy to miss the true splendour of Lac Tremblant. In the warmer months, however, the lake’s vastness and breathtaking beauty come into full view. Its deep blue waters and the lush greens of the surrounding trees create a stunning backdrop for the village below, with its charming red roofs and colourful buildings painting a picturesque scene.

Once at the top, hike the short distance up to the observation tower for an even better view. The wooden structure looks like a studier version of a fire tower without a roof. The 360-degree views are simply stunning.

The mountain has 11 hiking trails of various lengths and levels. Most routes allow dogs on leash. For hiking enthusiasts, the region has over 70 kilometres of trails. Visitors with mobility issues and families will enjoy the Treetop Walk, a 20-minute drive from Tremblant. The elevated walkway is designed for wheelchairs and culminates in a magnificent-looking wooden tower that rises 40 meters into the air and offers a bird’s-eye view above the canopy.

Back in the village, we rehydrated and refuelled at A Mano Trattoria. We grabbed a table on the back patio with an intimate, cosy feel and enjoyed a cold beer while waiting for our pizzas. While sitting on the terrace, a band made their way up to the small stage, which appears to be a permanent fixture in the courtyard-like setting at the back of the restaurant. The live music was a delight that was complimented by a great relaxing meal in a beautiful setting; we could have stayed in that spot all night.

Tremblant’s village can get quite busy, but thanks to its thoughtful layout and the abundance of amenities—13 hotels and 70 restaurants—it never feels overcrowded. That is, unless you’re at the main stage in Place St-Bernard, enjoying one of the fantastic free concerts.

The village is hosting a series of summer concerts, including the Festival International du Blues de Tremblant (July 10-14), Les Rythmes Tremblant New Country (July 19-21), Folk Weekend (August 9-10) and La Fete de la Musique de Tremblant (August 31-Sept 2). There will be 185 performances — on average, two per day if Google’s estimation of 93.6 days of summer is correct.

I love that the main parking lot is out of sight at the base of the pedestrian village and is connected to Place St-Bernard by the super cute Cabriolet lift. The open-top lift adds an extra bit of magic to the experience and saves you from hoofing it up the steep incline. Our stay at the Hilton Homewood Suites came with underground hotel parking, but we hopped on the Cabriolet and rode it over the rooftops down to the base of the village.

Once there, we walked around the southern end of Lac Tremblant to the boat dock and boarded Le Grand Manitou II for a one-hour cruise. After viewing the lake from the mountain peak, it was fun to flip things upside down, reverse perspectives and observe the hill and surroundings from a low vantage point. The cruise is narrated in French and English, and the guide was fantastic. She pointed out different celebrity homes, told us about the history of the area, and offered some tips, like don’t go for long walks in the forest in early May or late in October unless you want to come face to face with a bear — solid advice for city folks.

On our way back to the mountain-side village, we walked past two beach areas. The first is the Beach & Tennis Club, which appears to be a private club but is a paid-access public beach with lifeguards, volleyball courts, change rooms, a beach bar, and food options. The beach is beautiful. We stayed and spent the afternoon enjoying the lake and relaxing on the loungers.

The second, smaller beach, Parc Plage, is free for guests staying in the village. All you need is your hotel access card to get in. There are picnic tables and a sandy beach with a lifeguard. The beach offers a natural, untouched feel perfect for families and those who enjoy lake swimming.

After stopping in at our room to drop off our beach gear and freshen up, we headed back out into St-Bernard Square to La Forge Bistro-Bar & Grill. I had previously enjoyed lunch downstairs, but it was my first time upstairs at the steakhouse. After a great martini, I enjoyed a delicious steak tartar. The service was friendly and attentive, while the leather chairs, beamed ceiling, and stone walls made for a rustic Game of Thrones ambience that was also warm and still managed to feel classy.

For 2024, Tremblant has added a couple of fun new summer features: a synthetic ski run and tubing. Anyone planning a visit to Tremblant should check out their bundle pricing deals, which offer discounts for choosing three or five activities.

A wise skier once told me that those who live in small ski towns go for the winter but stay for the summer. While I have no plans to put a sign on my lawn and begin packing, the endless activities, great vibe, and excellent dining options experienced during my weekend escape will keep me coming back to Tremblant for more summertime fun!

Header image: Drone shot of Tremblant village by Pierre-Alexandre Legault