Places to go in the Eastern Townships?
July 20, 2010 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Where in Quebec's Eastern Townships should a bunch of people go?

I'm helping to plan a mini-tour for a somewhat large group of friends (~25 people... I know) and looking for suggestions for specific tour stops. Some details:

- We'll be camping in Mont-Orford park, so are looking for interesting places to go somewhat nearby (say, within 3/4 hour drive)

- Suggestions for casual places to eat would be great. Since it's a large group, cute and tiny B&Bs etc probably aren't suitable.

- Wineries, cideries, pubs etc would be great. We're already going to go to St Benoit du Lac, anything else close by?

Thanks!
posted by transient to Travel & Transportation around Quebec, QC (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've always been partial to Stanstead, which is right on the border. A number of homes and the library/opera house are bisected by the border. Tours are given of the library/opera house, and it really is a remarkable structure.

There is a new stone circle, and a redevelopment project in downtown that features a new public plaza. There are several restaurants in downtown, including La Vieille Douane and Millie's.

Also, there's the lavender farm near Magog.
posted by Gridlock Joe at 9:56 AM on July 20, 2010


During a wedding I went to in the Eastern Townships, we spent an afternoon at Arbre Sutton Tree Adventures and had a blast.
posted by smitt at 10:16 AM on July 20, 2010


I live in Sherbrooke, not terribly far at all from where you are headed. But before I get to that....in so far as food, I suggest Guacamole y Tequila in Magog for really good Mexican food. Dinner's not overly pricey (12/20 per main) but they are open for lunch during July/August and it's cheaper.

Like wine? You guys can take a winery tour at Le Cep d'Argent outside of Magog. Their whites, cassis and bubbly are pretty tasty.

Onto Sherbrooke--it being a college town, it's a chockablock with cheap food options. Pizza, Lebanese, Louie's (3 locations in Sherbrooke alone) for poutine, hot dogs, hamburgers. It's legendary, apparently. (I myself, as an American, don't really care for poutine.) For microbrasseries, there is Siboire (my favorite), The Golden Lion (Lion d'Or en Francais), BoqueBiere and La Mare au Diable.

Hope that helps a little!
posted by Kitteh at 2:16 PM on July 20, 2010


Kitteh and I are married and both live in Sherbrooke; I'm glad you're already heading to St-Benoît, which is awesome this time of year. Arbre Sutton is also tons of fun.

The entire Wine Route is right in that neck of the woods, and if your group isn't huge on physical activities, there's a ton of different circuits you can check out. If your group is hiking-oriented, just plain hiking up Mount Orford is a (strenuous) blast, with a stellar view to reward you at the top. And you're already there, so there you go.

Bleu Lavande (the lavender farm) is swell, if you like the idea of tons and tons and tons of lavender. The ad agency I work for designed the "look" of the place, especially the labelling and branding for their hundreds of store products, and it's quality stuff.

The Coaticook Gorge is also a beautiful outing suitable to people of varying mobility; if you're visiting in early August, the former "Milk Festival," now with the more pedestrian name "Expo de la Vallée", is nice.

Late August has Stanstead (mentioned above) hosting its own expo, but its site seems to be down for now.

If you'll be around in early September, though, the Magog Fête des Vendanges is seriously awesome -- a local harvest festival, with wines and local delicacies galore.

If you're not Francophones, some of the places off the beaten path can be a bit more linguistically challenging. Depending on the weekend and my availability, I could maybe serve as an ad hoc translator -- MeMail me for more information if you need it.

You'll be here at a great time of year. Have fun!
posted by Shepherd at 4:57 PM on July 20, 2010


Many thanks for the suggestions so far; these are great ideas. Everyone gets best answer! Shepherd, thanks for the offer; we will have at least one francophone with us. Kitteh, I think your microbrasserie suggestions will be popular! Looking forward to following up on all of these suggestions; thanks.
posted by transient at 7:50 PM on July 20, 2010


I'm from the area as well, and I really do recommend the wine route and Bleu Lavande. It's lovely right now. My favorite thing to do around there, though, is bike aimlessly. The bike path that follows Memphremagog Lake goes on forever, and it's just beautiful.

Magog has a few great places to eat, I really enjoyed Au Gré du Vent last time I was in town, but it might be a more intimate/foodie setting than you're looking for. For breakfast, try La Légende.
posted by Freyja at 9:48 AM on July 21, 2010


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