Montreal is booming this summer with hotel deals, restaurant openings and tons of exhibits. Here are some of the top ways to explore the city’s highlights, from A to Z (well, almost).
A is for astronomy. The Space for Life institutions opened the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium featuring astronomy exhibitions and shows.
B is for bike. Travelers and locals alike can cycle throughout the city with BIXI’s bike sharing program with over 400 bike stations in Montreal. The city has over 300 miles of cycling paths.
C is for circus. Striving to be an international capital of circus arts, the city features TOHU, a top performance venue, as well as the international headquarters for Cirque du Soleil in the Cite des Arts du Cirque. From July 3-14, the city will host Montreal Completement Cirque, a festival featuring performances from over 100 circus artists from Belgium, Germany, Spain, Canada and Wales.
D is for designers. From Sept. 3-6, Montreal’s designers are showcasing their spring/summer 2014 looks at the city’s very own fashion week, joining the ranks of other fashion weeks around the world.
E is for exhibit. One of the top exhibits this summer, running June 22 through Sept. 29, is the Les Mosaicultures Internationales Montreal, returning after 10 years at the Montreal Botanical Garden. Over 40 plant sculptures from over 30 countries will be on display, with the theme of Land of Hope.
F is for food trucks. Officially debuting after a 60-year ban, food trucks are back in action in downtown Montreal. A few trucks visitors can expect to see on the street are Crepe-moi, Grumman 78 and Nouveau Palais.
G is for Grace Kelly. The McCord Museum will feature an exhibit on Grace Kelly, From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly—Behind the Icon, from June 6-Oct. 6. Guests will have the chance to see over 100 objects and archives available to the public for the first time in North America, such as love letters and clothing.
H is for happy hour. From 5 to 7 p.m. (cinq a sept) Montreal’s microbreweries, rooftop bars and lounges feature happy hour specials.
J is for jet boating. Summer is the perfect time to go jet boating in Montreal exploring the Lachine Rapids.
K is for KYO. The new Japanese restaurant located in the boutique Hotel Place d’Armes offers Japanese comfort food in a tavern-like setting.
L is for Le Saint-Jude spa. The new spa—featuring Scandinavian hot and cold baths, a Finnish sauna, and wellness classes—is opening in a former church in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood.
M is for museums. And Montreal has quite a few for travelers to choose from, including the Pointe-a-Calliere, Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History to Montreal Science Centre in the Old Port. In addition, from June 8 through Oct. 20, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will feature a Chihuly exhibit with the artist’s glass sculptures designed with the museum’s interior architecture in mind.
N is for nature. Montreal features 17 nature parks throughout the city. Every Sunday from now through Sept. 22, Parc Jean-Drapeau will provide the setting for Piknic Electronik, an electronic music series.
O is for Old Port. The port features a maze, the Labyrinthe du Hangar 16, filled with obstacles and slides, taking about an hour to an hour and a half to go through.
P is for performances. A number of summer festivals offer performances, including the Just For Laughs comedy festival—the largest in the world. Taking place from July 13-28, the comedic festival features 1,600 performances, with 1,200 of them being free outdoor shows.
Q is for Quays. The Quays of the Old Port are hopping with all types of activities, restaurants and exhibits. Head to the Clock Tower Beach for fireworks on select nights from June 22-Aug. 3.
R is for restaurants. Le Serpent, part of the same team behind restaurant hotspots Le Club Chasse et Peche and Le Filet, opens this month in Old Montreal.
S is for summer deals. Thirty three- to five-star hotels are offering a Summer Sweet Deal package with rates starting at $116 per night and 50 percent off the third night. Hotels include the InterContinental Montreal, The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal and Loews Hotel Vogue.
T is for Tripes & Caviar. The food club made its restaurant debut in Montreal last month with its theme of “cooking without waste.” If travelers are open to new ideas, like eating hearts and intestines, this is the place.
V is for the Village. As a very LGBT-friendly city with a large gay community, the Gay Village is a neighborhood featuring cute cafes, antique shops, bars, restaurants and B&Bs. During the summer, the area becomes a pedestrian-only zone.
W is for walking tours. Local Montreal Tours takes travelers on guided tours through the streets of Montreal exploring the best in food and beer. Your client can try Italian canolis and Ice Cider on the Jean-Talon Market Food Tour through the Little Italy neighborhood, or go on the Montreal Brewpub Experience visiting three of the city’s microbreweries.
For more on Montreal, visit tourisme-montreal.org.