Full of flat farmland and soft rolling hills that at times recall landscapes from New England or even the U.K. (ergo the vastly Anglophone vacation set that owns cottages in the area), the Eastern Townships spread out south-eastward from Montreal and engulf picturesque towns like North Hatley, Eastman, Knowlton, Frelighsburg and Sutton. Each is a worthy destination for a road trip, but another fun thing to do in the area in warmer months is drive – or cycle ¬– from farm to farm on a tasting hop. There are numerous cheese shops, cider makers, wineries and gourmet dining experiences to be explored (check out the tourism site linked below for some ideas), and apple picking spots open for the whole family at harvest time, toward the end of the summer. In winter the area is super popular with skiers, both downhill and cross-country, namely at hills like Mont Orford, Mont Sutton, Bromont and Owl’s Head. Spa lovers won’t want to miss the Nordic spa experiences of Spa Eastman, Spa Nordic Station or Spa Balnéa, set in lush natural settings that include frigid outdoor plunge pools, in the winter, for the real polar bear experience.
Photo: Susan Moss