What to do for a business honeymoon in Montreal?
August 23, 2013 12:10 PM   Subscribe

My husband and I will be attending the same business conference for a week in Montreal. We will be leaving our toddler at home with family for the first time, so this is the first time in almost three years we are alone together without having to watch our child or rush back to a babysitter. What should we do while we're in Montreal?

We will be in Montreal from October 20 - 25. We will be attending the conference from about 8:00 am - 5:30 pm every day. On our actual honeymoon, five years ago, we went to Carmel for the weekend and pretty much ate cake, drank wine, and watched goofy movies in our hotel room the whole time. (We were surprised at how boring and cold Carmel was.) We'd like to do something more fun, but not *so* much fun that we aren't able to attend sessions the next day. Limitations: I don't drink alcohol anymore. We're not fans of French food or really anything French (sorry, it just doesn't really resonate with us). We won't have a car, so it should reasonably accessible by taxi or public transportation from the Le Westin Montreal hotel. Any suggestions? Thanks!
posted by msladygrey to Travel & Transportation around Montreal, QC (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Montreal's Chinatown district has great restaurants representing many Asian cuisines, and they're mostly quite inexpensive -- and walking distance from most of the big hotels / conference sites.
posted by fikri at 12:20 PM on August 23, 2013

Honestly I think you should stay in your hotel room and have lots of uninterrupted sex. (no slight or offense to montreal, which is lovely)
posted by elizardbits at 12:22 PM on August 23, 2013 [6 favorites]

msladygrey: "We're not fans of French food or really anything French (sorry, it just doesn't really resonate with us)."

Then you should probably stick to walking around St. Catherine's St between Bleury and Guy, which is tourist downtown Montreal. Also maybe check out Old Montreal (and maybe the Notre Dame), which is cobblestones and touristy, too, so you won't have any problems with just English.

There's also the Biodome, La Ronde (a six flags owned amusement park now, I think), the Casino, and if you're into naturey things, maybe climb up the mountain? Great views from there, though it might be snow covered and cold when you're there.
posted by Grither at 12:22 PM on August 23, 2013

Best answer: Eat Maritimes lobster, try poutine, walk around and look at the funky city. It will be cool to cold in Montreal at the end of October, so bring your woolies. Average temps in the day around 50, with lows in the 30s. Brrr.

The Botanical Gardens will have a lantern festival.

Stuff like that.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:31 PM on August 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

You're within walking distance of Old Montreal.

Cobblestone streets. Shops. Excellent restaurants. You can't throw a stone without hitting good places to eat. And, honestly, not a lot of what I'd consider French food.

It will be really nice on a cool October evening.
posted by ChrisManley at 12:36 PM on August 23, 2013

La Ronde will be closed by late October.

Montreal will definitely not be snow-covered at that time. October is often one of the most mellow and beautiful times in the city, perfect for walking and exploring under trees turned yellow and red.

I strongly second Ruthless Bunny's suggestion of the lantern festival at the botanical garden. If you have any interest in plants, visit before sunset, have a look around the grounds and the big greenhouses before exploring the Chinese garden where the lanterns are mostly installed.
posted by zadcat at 12:42 PM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you like seafood, there are many restaurants in Montreal to visit, but one in particular that I've been to time and again is a casual resto called Le Poisson Rouge, 1201 Rachel St., (514) 522-4876. The prix fixe is an amazing deal and the food is out of sight. And the maitre d' knows everything about each fish and its preparation. It's BYOB, so you don't have to bring alcohol if you don't want any.

It's smack across from the north tip of Parc Lafontaine, which is beautiful at all times of the year and not too far away from Old Montreal, if you don't mind a Metro ride. Get on at the Place-d'Armes station towards Montmorency and get off at Mont Royal. It's about a five- to ten-minute walk from there.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:55 PM on August 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

As for food, the Chowhound community can be very excellent at suggesting things, especially if you're clear about what you consider French food/what food you do like and what your budget for meals is. There's no reason to stick to downtown Montreal, though there are good restaurants in that area.

Old Montreal can be very nice. Walking along St-Denis, St-Laurent or Mont-Royal can be very nice. The lantern festival is worth looking at.

There is nowhere you will want to go that is inaccessible by public transit. October is usually lovely (not snowy).
posted by jeather at 1:03 PM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Go to Schwartz's Deli for smoked meat sandwiches and cherry cokes. Go to the mountain and walk the trails leading away from Beaver Pond. Montreal has nice Vietnamese, Greek, Polish, etc food. There seem to be a lot of those automated bike rental stands now.

This may be your only chance to check out a Montreal strip club!
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:19 PM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would visit Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel.
posted by ovvl at 9:09 PM on August 23, 2013

Actually, I was mistaken about La Ronde, which will be open on the weekends at that time.
posted by zadcat at 12:49 AM on August 24, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone
@Ruthless Bunny: That's exactly the type of thing we're looking for... something funky, off the beaten path, and pretty much only found in Montreal.
posted by msladygrey at 4:35 PM on August 24, 2013

I recommend staying at Auberge Bons Matins. I'm a local and this is where my wife and I like to go to get away for a day or two. My advice is go to the grocery store, buy wine, soft cheese, olives, a little cured sausage, some nice bread. Go back to your room and eat, soak in the two person whirlpool tub, and have sex all night. When you're not naked and sweaty you're right near downtown and some nice quiet residential streets too if you want a nice peaceful walk in the evening.
posted by signsofrain at 6:01 PM on August 25, 2013

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