What could you do in Montreal for 72 hours? A lot. That’s the amount of time we spent in Montreal recently.
My husband was speaking at a conference and our son had spring break so we thought why not make it a family adventure. Glad we did. It was a nice break from school and work. All of us enjoy travel and will rarely say no to go anywhere.
We decided to fly out of the closest airport to us which was T.F. Green or as everyone calls it Providence though it is in Warwick and not drive up to Boston fighting the insane nonstop traffic. That meant we had a layover and a long one going and coming. Basically we travel took us a day going and coming. All good as it saved us from having to drive to Boston.
We stayed at the Hotel Bonaventure in downtown Montreal. It is a roof top hotel with 2.5 acres of gardens and water features complete with wildlife on top of Place Bonaventure which forms part of Montreal’s Underground City. It has kept its 1960s cool with decor and feel. The room as comfortable with a window seat and a walk in shower. The staff was friendly and helpful. The restaurants were very good. We spent a lot of time at Le Kube Resto-Bar. The food was amazing. We had dinners, lunches, and afternoon tea with cakes. The fried chicken wings were the best I’ve ever had. And I have my very first poutine there. The selection of desserts plate satisfied our sweet teeth.
Where We Went
I was stupid. I wore brand new sneakers and only brought them to keep my bag light. As a result I got the biggest blister on the arch of my foot. To say it was unpleasant is an understatement. And no I don’t have photos. Dr Pimple Popper would have have relished that pop and drain. So my “injury” slowed me down a lot so I didn’t get to walk around as much I would have liked.
The positive of needing band aids is that we went to a drug store and came across my favorite chocolates from my youth in Ireland. And it didn’t cost me an arm and leg to buy.
The Barbie Expo
I grew up with Barbie dolls. Lots of them. I had the house. The car. The camper. I made clothes for Barbie. When I came across this I couldn’t resist so off we went to explore the downtown shopping district. It is a free exhibit at the Cours Mont-Royal (1455 Peel Street). Bob Mackey loved designing for Barbie and so it many other well-known designers. The designs are amazing.
Biosphère at the Parc Jean-Drapeau
We hoped on the metro to make our way out to see the Biosphère located in the Parc Jean-Drapeau. The Biosphère housed the United States pavilion during the World’s Expo or Fair in 1967. It was designed by American architect Buckminster Fuller. A museum in the Biosphère is focused on the links between society and the environment with the mission to raise awareness, action, and engagement on significant environment issues.
Miroir Miroir: An Immersive Art Experience
Downtown Montreal is a two cities. One above ground and other below it. Montreal’s underground world is connect by tunnels. At first is was confusing as addresses do not tell you if it is above or below, but once you realize it is a world is below your feet as you walk around the downtown, it makes sense given the brutal winters. It allows you to move around without braving the weather.
As we made our way back the Biosphère via the metro and the underground maze to return to our hotel, we came upon an immersive art experience that had just opened called Miroir Miroir (Mirror Mirror in English). Travel is an adventure and we really did not have any plans. Was not on our radar, but why not go for it? I loved it, but I can’t really explain it. Truly an experience and it is different for everyone. I could have spent hours in there exploring, but my feet were telling me it was time get my sneakers off and put the feet up before dinner.
We took cabs and the metro to get around the city. The metro was great and easy to use.
Loved the art. And the vibe.
What We Ate
OK. I was not plant-based on this trip. There were vegan restaurants around; however, my guys were not interested. The food scene is robust with cuisines from around the world. The food is hardy with a French flare.
Breakfast at Ben & Florentine
I was expecting croisant or baguette with jam for breakfast given Montreal is tied to France by language and culture. Nope. Hearty breakfasts rule and everything was great. Especially at Ben & Florentine which was a local chain breakfast/lunch place near our hotel. The menu was vast and plates overflowing with yumminess. Kept us full until dinner most days.
Dunn’s Smoked Meats
Dunn’s got the meats. It is an institution since 1927. Known for their smoked meats and having a Ruben is a must. I went into a meat sweat after eating it, but it was worth it. Go hungry. They had different types of poutine. I got the traditional
Eat My Buns
Our waitress at the hotel restaurant gave us this recommendation as it is her favorite restaurant. I quickly realized by the Satay Brothers would be her favorite place. It was my vibe and my type of food. They are known for their house made buns. We had the special buns which were lobster/crab. The meal was a religious experience. It was so good. It is a must if you like Asian food and want some vegetarian dishes.