Choose your own adventure.
School’s out, but do you really want to head south with the frat pack? Whether you’re into architecture or Arctic adventure, Canada has just the March break package for you.
It’s an experience in itself to arrive at Yukon’s Tagish Wilderness Lodge – the final stretch across a vast frozen lake can only be completed by snowmobile, dogsled or ski plane. The Yukon Winter Sampler is a five-day action-filled package, available throughout March, with cozy log-cabin accommodation for when it’s time to zonk out. After a mushing lesson on day two, you’ll race confidently through the forest, pulled by your own effervescent huskies. You’ll also learn to get about like a local on a powerful Ski-Doo. The reward for making it to a nearby mountaintop? A campfire cookout – think smoky homemade beans and lightly charred organic steaks. And when you feel like slowing down, you can pad around so quietly, in snowshoes you made yourself, that you won’t even startle the snowshoe hares. Or maybe you’d rather ice-fish through a sawed-out hole in the frozen lake? At the end of the day, there’s nothing more relaxing than hitting the hot tub to bask in the alien-green glow of the northern lights.
Aesthetes can plan smart by booking the OPUS Design Package between March 17 and 27, when the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) is running in Montréal. The OPUS Montréal boutique hotel is as striking for its 1914 main building – the first poured-concrete residential structure in North America – as for its recent slick black addition, designed by Dan Hanganu. The Design Package includes a self-guided walking tour of the city’s architectural highlights, tickets to the Canadian Centre for Architecture and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, as well as martinis in the chandeliered Grand Salon of Koko bar, where you’ll get a kick out of the larger-than-life Moooi horse sculpture and electric-green runway. And at FIFA, you can chow down on popcorn at one of nine cinema and museum venues and catch movies and discussions on a fascinating array of topics from the world of art.
From March 23 to April 16, you can take a break in Ontario’s Prince Edward County and work your way around the select restaurants participating in Countylicious – a celebration of the local bounty with three-course, prix-fixe dinners for a friendly $30 or $35 rate. Claramount Inn and Spa offers an all-inclusive package of room, breakfast and a meal from their Countylicious menu showcasing the county’s tasty heirloom and organic veggies, as well as local cheeses and wines – be sure to sample more than one of the crisp, steely Rieslings, which have helped to forge the local wine industry’s reputation. A walk around Claramount’s sprawling grounds by Picton Bay will help you work off dessert before you retire to one of 10 uniquely styled rooms. Tip: Between dinners, follow the “Taste Trail” and stock up on gourmet souvenirs like Sandbanks Estate Winery’s award-winning Baco Noir Reserve or Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company’s strangely delicious Goat Cheese Chocolate Truffles.
Tagish Wilderness Lodge, Box 17, Tagish, YT, 867-332-2113, tagishwildernesslodge.com
Opus Montréal Hotel, 10 Sherbrooke St. W., Montréal, QC, 1-866-744-6346, opushotel.com
Claramount Inn and Spa, 97 Bridge St., Picton, ON, 1-800-679-7756, claramountinn.com
Yukon Tourism, 1-800-661-0494, www.travelyukon.com
Ontario Tourism, 1-800-ONTARIO (1-800-668-2746), www.ontariotravel.net
Tourisme Québec, 1-877-BONJOUR (1-877-266-5687), www.bonjourquebec.com