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Domestic Destinations: Montreal
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In a Nutshell:
Happening neighborhood: Plateau Mont-Royal, especially around Saint-Laurent Boulevard, is known for its trendy clubs and restaurants, as well as its cosmopolitan atmosphere, beautiful parks, lovely residences and magnificent architecture.

If you only do one thing: Tour the streets of Old Montreal and pop into the Notre-Dame Basilica, which is one of the oldest cathedrals in North America, impressive for its neo-gothic architecture, stained-glass windows and twin towers.

What's new: Opening in a few months on Saint-Laurent Boulevard is the Multimedia Complexe for the New Cinema and Technologies, which will offer a cinematic experience beyond IMAX, beyond 3D, into virtual reality.

Old-faithful restaurant: Le Paris opened in 1956 and has been serving authentic French cuisine to a devoted clientele ever since.

Of-the-moment restaurant: The spectacular design of Restaurant Mondo Saks in the Mondo Saks Complex is drawing people as much as the menu, with dishes from around the world. Two 20-foot-high water sculptures frame a 6-foot-wide crystal globe and chefs work in an open kitchen and put on a lively show. The Saks Restaurant, in the same complex, offers haute cuisine in a more sophisticated setting.

With the kids: Located east of downtown is the Biodome, which re-creates – indoors – four ecosystems, including a tropical forest and the depths of the Saint-Laurent River.

Side trip: Visit Mont-Tremblant, a quaint, European-style village at the foot of the breathtaking Laurentian Mountains, just an hour away.

Off-the-beaten track: Try jet boating or riding the rapids on the Saint-Laurent River, which forms the city's southern border. You board at the Old Port of Montreal.

Average per-night lodging rate: $106

Distance from airport to city center: From Dorval Airport: 12 miles; from Mirabel Airport: 31 miles

Information: 202/659-8990 or 800/363-7777,

Montreal Calendar:
  • Summer Concerts at Notre Dame Basilica. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra performs on various dates, July 8-Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$30. Information: 514/842-9951.

  • "Asteroids: Can They Fall on Our Heads?," through Sept. 19. Learn about the progress of Toutatis, an asteroid that will pass within 1.5 million kilometers of Earth in the year 2004. At the Planetarium de Montreal. Information: 514/872-4530.

    Recent Post Stories:
    Urban B&Bs: Recommended Inns in Five North American Cities
    Montreal's Not-Quite-French Allure
    Isn't it Romantic? In Montreal, the Answer is Oui
      Online Resources:
    Montreal Airport
    Public Transportation
    City Government Site
    Olympic Park and Stadium
    Live Cameras
    Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
    Canadian Centre for Architecture

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