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Summer in the City: 4 Ways to Enjoy Outdoor Montréal

From fireworks and festivals to parks and active pursuits

From June 28 – August 2, Montréal’s International Fireworks Competition lights up the night sky with pyrotechnic displays.
Though perhaps most frequently revered as a city full of cultural and culinary delights, Montréal has plenty of options for enjoying the beautiful outdoors – making it a perfect vacation destination for summer travel.

One of the easiest ways to appreciate the summer weather in Montréal is to take advantage of the city’s extensive network of cycling paths. Montréal’s BIXI is a self-serve bike rental service with some 5,520 bikes in 450 stations around the island that visitors can use from April to November. In addition, many tour operators offer a variety of guided tours by bike. Finally, the weeklong Montréal Bike Fest takes place around May or June each year, inviting cyclists of all ages to take to the streets both day and night.

From pedal boats and pleasure crafts to speedboating and rafting, there are many ways to get out on the water in Montréal. Visit the Saint-Lawrence River for kayaking, surfing, and rafting, or the Lachine Canal for milder watercraft options. Adventure-seekers will want to try jet boating, speedboating, and rafting at the Lachine Rapids, for a wild and exciting ride. Alternately, the calm waters of Parc Jean-Drapeau make the perfect setting for canoeing, kayaking, or a pedal boat excursion.

Still looking for things to do in Montréal? Whatever your chosen activity, you can’t go wrong at one of the city’s 17 public parks. Mount Royal offers days’ worth of discoveries – from scenic summits and bird watching to lush cemeteries and two beautiful University campuses. The Montréal Botanical Garden is another excellent option, with a rich collection of 22,000 plant species, 10 exhibition greenhouses, and 30 themed gardens. At the Lachine Canal, cycling, in-line skating, and scenic picnics are among the park’s many appeals.

Those in the mood for a party are also in luck – summer in Montréal means festivals and events of all kinds. The city’s International Jazz Festival plays host to 800 indoor and outdoor concerts, taking place this year from June 26 to July 6. The enormous Just for Laughs Festival tickles the city each summer with galas, street art, theater productions, and stand-up performances, from July 12-26.

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