This Quebec City 3 hours from Ottawa has a sandy beach cove and a Hobbit Hole winery
If you dream of vacationing in Europe but a plane ticket is too expensive, you can visit a small town near Ottawa that makes you feel like you are relaxing on the French coast.
Saint Gabriel is a quaint town about three hours from Ottawa. You can sip the afternoon in a historic winery or relax on a giant lounge chair on a sandy beach.
The wine estate, Vignoble de Saint Gabriel, offers many unique activities around the vineyard. You will find Saint Gabriel beach less than ten minutes away.
Find the wine estate perched on a hill in historic barns. The many vines produce ten different grape varieties that you can accompany with the gourmet dishes they offer. There is a patio terrace where you can soak up the views of the hills while enjoying wine and cheese.
Wine cellar tours will take you deep into a hobbit-hole-like cellar. The impressive 11m by 18m chai contains more than 100 French oak barrels. Tours take place twice a day.
The vineyard also offers trails to explore, an art gallery, a vintage tractor museum and a lavender shop.
The town beach sits on a hidden lake, which feels like sunbathing in a cove and offers views of forest-covered hills in the distance. You can swim or boat in the lake and relax on giant lounge chairs on the sandy shore. Sunbeds are free to use and first come, first served.
The price for access to the beach is $10 per day and it is open until September 5th. The town also hosts a summer festival full of different events, from art workshops on the beach and outdoor movie nights to live music and fireworks.
City of St. Gabriel
Address: Saint-Gabriel, QC
Why you need to go: You can escape to a quaint little town that has a sandy beach and a winery full of activities and countryside views.
Before you go, check out our Guide to Responsible Travel to be informed, be safe, be smart, and most importantly, be respectful on your adventure.