Your guide to the perfect picnic: 6 must-try spots

best picnic a montreal ottawa et quebec

Nothing says “summer” like a picnic among friends. Sunshine, warm weather, good times, and a great meal, surrounded by the perfect backdrop. What more could you ask for?

Here are some pro tips for planning a picnic around Quebec City, Montreal, and Ottawa

best picnic a montreal ottawa et quebec

The key: a well-appointed basket

There’s an art to building the perfect picnic basket! (We’re exaggerating a bit, but the right combination of incredible food can really elevate the experience). It’s all about striking the perfect balance. Consider including a few items from each of these categories:

  • Fresh side dishes: watermelon salad, guacamole, hummus with grilled pita, seasonal fruits and veggies.
  • Decadent bites: local charcuterie and cheese, potato salad or burrata.
  • An easy-to-eat main dish: lobster roll, spring rolls, classic sandwiches or paninis.
  • A sparkling drink: we don’t know about you, but we find that bubbles add a little magic to your average picnic! Check out these 5 mocktails made with Eska sparkling water to get inspired. Pro tip: add the sparkling water right before sipping so that the mix doesn’t get flat.
  • Snacks: if you’re spending the afternoon in a beautiful place, it’s easy to lose track of time and get lost in dreamy conversations! You’ll be happy to have some nuts, chips, cookies, or dried fruits to snack on.
  • Water! When you’re spending hours under the sun, staying hydrated is a must. Especially if you’re dabbling in sports, games, or alcohol. Consider packing a few extra bottles than you planned – there will always be someone who forgets theirs at home!
  • Sunscreen: no need to explain why this one’s important.

Best places to picnic in Montreal

Your basket is packed. So, where to? There’s no shortage of parks around town! Aside from the two classics, Mount Royal and Lafontaine, we have a few more favourites to share.

Westmount Park

Designed in a similar style to New York’s Central Park, Westmount is the second-largest park in Montreal. Spread out over 10.6 rolling hectares, this space is home to mature willow trees, a meandering stream, a pond, playgrounds, and several shaded areas. That’s not to mention the iconic Victoria Hall, a neo-Tudor style building that features a gorgeous greenhouse and art gallery.

Lachine Canal

This 13.5km national park smack in the middle of town needs no introduction! It’s the ideal spot to enjoy summer by the water. Pair your picnic with a ride along its gorgeous bike path to scope out the perfect spot to throw down a blanket against a backdrop of boats making their way through the canal’s locks.

Our favourite green spaces for an Ottawa picnic

Dominion Arboretum

As part of the Central Experimental Farm, a 400-hectare project surrounded by urban development, the arboretum is a historic site that’s been dazzling visitors for centuries! Here, you’ll find a research farm, an ornamental garden, and an arboretum bordering a lake that’s home to 2,000 species of trees – some of which were planted in 1889!

Hog’s Back Park

Nestled on the banks of the Rideau River, this park features hiking trails, a waterfall, a dam, and plenty of prime spots to have a bite. It’s the perfect place to soak up the sun and enjoy the soothing sounds of the river.

Lush picnic spots near Quebec City

Île d’Orléans

Located just 15 minutes away from the city by car, Île d’Orléans is hard to beat for a gorgeous day of picnicking. There’s no shortage of breathtaking spots in the 6 villages that make up the island. We suggest setting up at Orléans beach, in the neoclassical 19th-century village of Saint-Jean, or at the maritime park. You’ll be totally immersed in nature, the river, and picturesque landscapes while enjoying a bite.

Bois-de-Coulonge Park

With a show-stopping view of the river, this park is designed for relaxing moments surrounded by nature. Walking trails, gardens, an arboretum, a sugar shack, historic architecture, and a lookout will make this picnic one to remember.

Wishing you an amazing summer full of nature and great meals among friends!


You might also like:

Following your true nature: interview with Anne-Marie Gourgues

5 unusual sports to try out this summer in Quebec

Proud in every colour: your summer mocktails

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