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Montreal City Guide

Relaxing & Unwinding in Montreal

©2006 Golf Dorval/Laurent Cayla Golf Dorval is a great destination, with two 18-hole courses and a training program for children.

Montreal boasts beautiful surroundings of lakes, gardens, and parks so you can while away the hours year-round. Some like to break a sweat with hiking, biking, or rafting through the various areas, while others enjoy sitting back with a picnic lunch and just taking in the view.

Insider's Guide: The Best of Relaxing & Unwinding in Montreal

Insider's Guide: The Best of Relaxing & Unwinding in Montreal

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Angrignon Park (7503 boul de la Verendrye, 514-872-3816) is a 262-acre park that's a great place to relax with more than 21,600 trees, lagoons, rivers, and paths for bicycling.

Outdoor enthusiasts who want to get away from the hustle and bustle find a few hours of solace at La Fontaine Park (Sherbrooke and Ave du Parc Lafontaine, 514-872-2644). Along with paddle-boating on two manmade lakes, you can walk along footpaths or bring your bicycle to explore trails. During winter, you can try cross-country skiing, ice-skating, and snowshoeing.

The Montreal Botanical Garden (4101 rue Sherbrooke E) is a beautifully well-manicured place featuring 180 acres of 26,000 species and varieties of plants. You can stroll through 30 specialized sections of roses, perennial plants, flowery brooks, bonsai, or the largest collection of orchids in the city. In fact, the bonsai and penjing collections are two of the most diverse in North America.

Explore in a safe and controlled environment with a visit to the Montreal Biodome (4777 Pierre-De Coubertin Ave). The former Olympic Veldrome has been transformed into an environmental museum that combines the elements of a botanical garden, aquarium, zoo, and nature center. The four ecosystems maintain thousands of plants and small animals. It also features a 1,640-foot nature path with text panels and maps for a leisurely and educational stroll.

Remain in the car for a close look at animals in their site exhibit at the Park Safari (850 Hwy 202, Hemmingford, 33 miles south on Hwy 15 to Exit 6). The park holds 750 animals, rides, and shows. If you want more low-key fun, you can head to the park's swimming beach or go on a picnic.

Kick back with a book -- four floors worth to be exact -- at Montreal's main library and newest landmark, Grande Bibliothaque du Quebec in the Latin Quarter (475 de Maisonneuve Blvd E).

If you're looking for some green links to relax, you won't have to look far. The Montreal area offers 12 quality golf courses, depending on your level of skill and how much you're willing to spend.

Some good options are Club de Golf de I'tlede Montreal (3700 rue Damien Gauthier), an 18-hole course with its own set of challenging holes. Golf Dorval (2000 Reverchon Ave, 20 minutes from Montreal) has two challenging 18-hole courses, a lighted driving range, and two putting greens. If you're traveling with children, you can try the course's training program for kids.

The Metropolitan Anjou Golf (9555 Golf Blvd) offers 2 courses -- the Championship and Executive Par-3 -- designed with help from golf architect Graham Cooke. You'll encounter huge lakes, ponds, and white bunker sands on the course, so be prepared for some tougher than usual strategies. The driving range also has 52 spaces, so you don't have to worry about waiting your turn.

Need a bit more direction? See the next section for information on some of Montreal's best organized tours.

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