The picturesque landscape of the Eastern Townships boasts lush rolling hills, translucent lakes, quaint villages and charming country farms. Bordering northern New England, the area, also known as Cantons-de-L’Est, is a popular four-season resort destination featuring art galleries, theaters and antique shops as well as opulent Victorian homes and spectacular vineyards. Autumn brings a kaleidoscope of colors and fall harvest festivals, and winter offers wonderful skiing and snowboarding on some of the province’s highest peaks. As the weather warms, spring and summer are the opportune time for outdoor activities, such as golf, boating and swimming. Year round, visitors enjoy panoramic vistas and gourmet experiences as well as a variety of things to do.
Nature lovers enjoy hiking and skiing in the majestic surroundings of the Mont Megantic and Mont Orford as
well as regional parks, such as the Parc de la Gorge-de-Coaticook, which contains one of the world’s longest suspension footbridges. The 200-kilometer Les Sentiers de l’Estrie forest hiking trail enables visitors to observe an astonishing assortment of flora and fauna as it crosses the peaks and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains. Water enthusiasts are drawn to the sports and other aquatic activities available on Lac Massawippi, Lac Megantic, the Parc National de Frontenac and Lake Memphremagog, which is home to the waterside Abbaye Saint Benoit du Lac. The monks’ chants, cheese, jams and cider are famous throughout the world. The Eastern Townships have the highest concentration of golf courses in Quebec with courses that provide a rewarding experience for players of all skill levels.
Known as the Queen of the Townships, Sherbrooke is home to the fine art displays of the Musee des Beaux-Arts
and the Musee de la Nature et des Sciences, which is housed in an elegant building with marble stairs and granite floors. Founded in 1843, the Anglican Bishop’s University in the borough of Lennoxville features architectural gems, such as St. Mark’s Chapel, an ornately decorated edifice with stained glass windows and carved pews. The campus is also the setting for the 600-seat Centennial Theatre. This performing arts venue hosts a range of opera, dance and children’s productions as well as classical, jazz and rock concerts.
The Le Vieux Clocher de Magog is a 400-seat cabaret-style concert hall renowned for its warm atmosphere and variety of performances. Valcourt is home to the J. Armand Bombardier Museum, which honors the inventor of the snowmobile. Annually, over 500,000 people visit the highly regarded exhibits at the Granby Zoo, which houses animals from Africa, Asia and South America and its adjacent water park.
Many of the region’s villages offer an eclectic mix of shops and boutiques that feature a range of products, such as gifts, chocolates and works by local artisans. The area’s restaurants serve a variety of cuisines that produces a gastronomical delight that will please even the most discerning palette. There are also numerous spas and health centers where you can relax and rejuvenate. Tour the local wineries in the Brome-Missisquoi region and discover the cultural activities in pictorial villages like Dunham, Knowlton and Sutton while enjoying a picnic or wine tasting.