What’s Happening in 2014: Festival de Lanaudière in Joliette is in its 36th year and is considered to be North America’s premier classical music festival. The Fernand-Lindsay Amphitheatre can accommodate 2,000 people under its roof plus there is room for 6,000 more of your likeminded aficionados on the lawn. Festival concerts are also held in area churches where the architectural beauty adds a sense of intimacy to the event.
Why You Should Go: Lanaudière-Mauricie is a destination that offers year-round outdoor pleasure, encompassing two national parks (La Mauricie National Park and Parc national du Mont Tremblant) as well as stunning regional green spaces. Yet this rural region is only a short drive from Quebec’s two largest city centres: Montreal and Quebec City. You can do it all here: biking, swimming, fishing, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. The area is home to some of Canada’s most unique spa destinations (KiNipi, Spa Natur’Eau or the unbelievable La Source bains Nordiques), picturesque farmland (great for fall drives), charming historic villages like Terrebonne in Lanaudière or Trois Rivières in Mauricie, hundreds of outfitter lodges (try four-star Auberge du Lac Taureau), gorgeous resort properties (Auberge Le Baluchon and Auberge de la Montagne Coupee), and a thriving agritourism circuit as well as a network of bike trails.
Vacay.ca Visuals Editor Julia Pelish says: “While Montreal and Quebec City are renowned for their culture and joie de vivre, there is a level of authenticity in Mauricie and Lanaudière