A unique way to view the city skyline and Mount Royal and then cruise the St Lawrence River in the vehicle that's somehwere between a bus and a boat.
Domaine Emeraude is a gay naturist resort and campground near Montreal; a small, charming, lushly green, campground and resort for men only. The main camp has facilities and a variety of activities, while the large island offers complete peace and quiet; a place to commune with nature. The island has long been naturist-tolerant, and the clothing-optional policy extends across the main camp. Visit for just an afternoon, the whole day or overnight.
Facilities include: 30 trailer sites with services; 60 tenting sites with optional services; a clubhouse and recreation room; an in-ground heated with salt water pool; a 7-8 people spa; 10 cabins, 1 chalet, 1 loft and 3 permanent trailers for rent; a communal bathroom; WiFi internet; self-service laundry facilities; picnic tables everywhere. Located at St-Francois-du-Lac, Quebec, 80 minutes drive north of Montreal, on the south bank of the Saint Lawrence River - see their website for directions in English and French.
Perhaps Montréal´s least appreciated attraction, this Nature Park on several islands in the Riviere de Prairie has walking paths in some of Quebec's prettiest, most historic countryside. Along the way, the old cider mill café has soft and hard cider, and incredible apple pie, open year-round with a terrace overlooking the river. Many birds, including a rare black-crowned heron, summer here.
Further through the woods is an early French settlement (circa 1585), then panoramic vistas at the Belvédère gazebo overlooking the Sault-au-Récollet rapids (Jacques Cartier landed here in 1535). Before the Church of the Visitation, (which predates churches of Vieux Montréal) stand statues of Fr. Nicolas Viel and Ahuntsic, his young Huron acolyte, for whom the district is named. They drowned in 1625 when their canoe capsized in rapids, en route to Quebec City. The youth's statue was once struck by lightning; God's wrath said locals at the time, believing more than friendship existed between them. Another tale of sexual intrique dates to the war between the British and French, when it's said a French soldier lured a British officer to his death at this dam, with promises of sex. Take the Metro to Papineau, then walk to the river by the Champlain Bridge. 2425 Blvd. Gouin Est (514-280-6733).
There are great restaurants to experience in Montreal, but not everyone wants to devote half their travel budget to eating out. You might want to save your dough for drinks, cover charges and maybe a lap dance or two at one of the strip clubs.
Your best bet for food is one of the public markets scattered across the city, and the biggest is Marche Jean-Talon (7070 Henri-Julien), about a three-minute walk from the Metro stop of the same name. The market is open from 7am to at least 5pm on all but four days of the year. You can almost make a meal out of sampling the fruits and vegetables; the competition here is fierce enough that most sellers put out sample plates of their wares. For lunch, there are small cafes, or you can snack on walking-around food like elk on a stick. Jean-Talon also has specialty shops for meat, fish, cheese, pastries and ice cream, plus a vendor of fresh olives with orange rinds and other unexpected stuffings.
If it all seems overwhelming, ask for advice from any of the healthy-looking boys doing their weekly shopping. You might even be able to do some trading -- say, a juicy cantaloupe for a nice bunch of asparagus.
For a great picnic spot, the 3,600-acre Jarry Park is a short walk from the market (four blocks down Rue Jean-Talon, in the opposite direction from the subway stop, then a right on Boulevard St-Laurent and up four blocks). In warm weather, you can always scope out joggers and sunbathers hanging out by the artificial lake. There are softball and soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts and a public pool -- all almost entirely tourist-free.
The most beautiful of the city's parks occupies a 200-hectare chunk of the mountain that lies in the middle of Montreal island. With the highest point at 234m, it has some great views of downtown buildings, the river and some distance beyond.
In the middle of the Saint Lawrence River: an outdoor swimming pool complex, a beach, picnicking, boat rentals, biking, line dancing, in-line skating, music concerts, ethnic festivals, the casino, the biosphere, La Ronde amusement park and more.