The summer is here at last and along with it my updated list of my own Top Ten favourite things to see and do in and around Sutton, here in the beautiful Eastern Townships of Quebec. Just so you know, I have discounts for most activities for my guests here at Vert Le Mont B&B.
1. Hike the Moose Back. There are over 250km of trails and circuits of all types of difficulty and length across the Sutton massif. Best known is the Round Top circuit but if you want to avoid the crowds yet still have some great views head instead for the Dos d’Orignal trail which you can make into a 3 or a 4 hour circuit.
2. Visit a vineyard. Sutton is located on La Route des Vins – a signposted route linking 18 vineyards. Each has their own particular attraction but I particularly like Domaine des Côtes d’Ardoise for its beautiful outdoor sculpture exhibition, L’Orpailleur for its wine museum, Domaine Bresee (right on our doorstep) for its delicious rosé and Chapelle Ste Agnès for its breathtaking location.
3. Go for a bike ride. With its rolling hills Sutton is not for the faint of heart but there are easier options available including Sutton to Abercorn and back, the lovely Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail that starts in Richford, Vermont and the Estriade bike path circuit. La Vie Dehors in the village has good bike rentals.
4. Drive the Townships Trail. This sign posted route will take you through some of the Townships loveliest scenery and lead you to some of its prettiest villages. From Sutton you can follow the Trail through Mansonville to the Abbaye de Sainte-Benoît-du-Lac where you can listen to the Gregorian chanting and buy some cheese! Afterwards continue on to Magog and return via Lac Brome (Knowlton).
5. Kayak the calm waters of the Missisquoi River. No experience is needed to spend a day floating along this beautiful river at your own pace.Canoe & Co are the friendly and helpful company that we use for our B&B guests.
6. Relax at a Nordic spa. Spend a day, afternoon or evening enjoying a sauna, steam room and outdoor jacuzzi. The Spa des Chutes de Bolton is a 40 minute drive and Balnea a 30 minute drive. Alternatively we have some excellent massage therapists here in Sutton. A
7. Zip through the trees. If you have a head for heights VéloVolant at Au Diable Vert is not to be missed. Glide through the treetops on a suspended recumbent bicycle which travels only as fast as your pedal strokes. VéloVolant is the highest of its kind, supported by towering maples and pines.
8. Take in a show. The Salle Pelletier at the bottom of rue Maple has an interesting program of movies and live shows. Nearby, the village of Lac Brome (or Knowlton as it is more commonly known) has a program of English language plays and music Wednesdays to Saturdays throughout July and August, with both matinees and evening shows. Shows at Theatre Lac Brome are generally of a good quality and very entertaining; tickets are $32 or $36.
9. Visit an art gallery or exhibition. Sutton has a huge number of artists. You can see their works at the galleries along, and just off, rue Principale by following the Plein’Art walking circuit (Thursday to Sunday). At the Sutton museum there is an interesting exhibit about local Rocket Man Gerald Bull which is open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
10. Go for a picnic. In the middle of Sutton’s rue Principale, speciality store La Rumeur Affamée has a wonderful selection of local cheeses, cold cuts, breads and quiches. Wash it all down with a bottle of wine from Domaine Bresee. Finish with some Belgian chocolates from chocolaterie Belge Muriel or a macaroon from Dessine Moi Un Pain. Nice picnic spots include La Marmite aux Sorcières, Lac Spruce, Au Diable Vert and, if you are a guests, under the pergola here at the B&B.