Gone are the days when Trois-Rivières was just a pit-stop between Quebec and Montreal. Trois-Rivières, underestimated for too long, has now grown into a road-trip destination of its own. It offers exciting winter activities for all levels of winter lovin’, hip microbreweries, and stylish independent stores. Why not hit the road for Trois-Rivières this winter?

Rendez-vous at HI-Trois-Rivières, where the weekend fun kicks off. If you’re in town and its Friday night, then head straight to Le temps d’une pinte, a brewery that is only steps away and offers 15% off all beers for HI members. You don’t need to reserve, but it is a pretty popular place, so it wouldn’t hurt to call ahead. In fact, it’s worth it, just to make sure you get a chance to savour their awesome food and beer, brewed on the spot by the way. If you can’t decide on what beer to drink, it’s alright! You’re not the first one in such conundrum, Le temps d’une pinte offers a tasting board.

Ready to party late into the evening? Head to the Boulevard des Forges, where you’ll find ample choice of bars and clubs.

Saturday

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If you want to have breakfast at a restaurant, head to Panetier, where you’ll find a great selection of breads and pastries. It’s only a short walk from the hostel – not much energy will be required prior to your caffeine kick.

Once you’ve regained decision-making capabilities, choose between these two options: roaming through the city or discovering nature at La Mauricie National Park. Keep in mind that a lot of things are closed on Sundays at Trois-Rivières, so if you were aching to see a particular store, today’s the day.

My local boutiques recommendations include La Meraki, A.T.D. Boutique Atelier, EMA Expérience métiers d’arts and le Brun en ville. If you need to satisfy a sugar craving mid-day, go to Petit B.

While in the city, you must also visit the old prison, located downtown. It’s surprising to think that this place was still open in 1986! The prison tour will literally give you goosebumps and HI-Members get $1 off at the door. Booking a guided visit in advance is a good idea. If you are “lucky,” your guide will actually be a former convict.

In Trois-Rivières you can purchase a museum card that costs $30CAD and includes access to over 12 establishments (worth over $75), so if you’re thinking about visiting more than one attraction, you may want to consider it. It’s valid for life or until you’ve used up all the coupons.

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If your heart is set on nature for the day, the Mauricie park is about a 45 minutes ride from the hostel. And if you’ve ordered your Discovery Pass, park access is free for all of 2017! You haven’t ordered your pass yet? It’s not too late, click here.

When dinner time rolls around, there are several options on Forges Street. Bureau de Poste is always a good one: who can say no to a full meal for only $5 dollars? If you want more of a quick bite, there are excellent sandwiches at Marché Notre-Dame and once again, HI Members get a discount. If you are feeling more like a sophisticated gastronomical experience, you must dine at Le Buck, a local bistro in partnership with the brewery Trou du diable (more on this later). Absolutely everything on the menu is excellent!

For those on a budget, there’s a fully equipped kitchen at the hostel!

Want to party somewhere unique? Then head to the Coconut Bar, an authentic tiki bar, only a few minutes from downtown by car. I bet you did not expect to find such a place in Trois-Rivières!

Sunday

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Start the day at café Frida. Its reputation now exceeds town limits (to at least Montreal and Quebec!). Brunch is served until 3PM, so you can take your time, enjoy a good coffee as well as one of their delicious vegetarian plates.

A full belly and a Sunday afternoon are a perfect combination for a stroll along the historic neighbourhood, which is simply magnificent. You might even have a bit of picturesque snow while you admire the ancient homes and add it to your Instagram feed.

Next, take your car, sharpen your skates, and head towards the domaine de la forêt perdue. Don’t worry about the skates, you can rent some there. But do worry about going, because there are about 15 kilometres of ice trails amongst frozen trees. It’s unique and a good few hours of entertainment are guaranteed!

Finally, wrap up the day with a pint at the Trou du diable, the famous brewery in Shawinigan, before hitting the road home… or to your next destination!

Ps: do not drink and drive!

Photo Credits: Béatrice Bernard-Poulin du blogue Eille, La Cheap.

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