Stone path leading to an underground wine cellar. Right: Lounge chair on Saint Gabriel beach.

Stone path leading to an underground wine cellar. Right: Lounge chair on Saint Gabriel beach.

If you've been dreaming of a European vacation but a plane ticket is too steep you can visit a small town near Ottawa that feels like you're relaxing on the coast of France.

Saint Gabriel is a quaint town about three hours from Ottawa. You can sip the afternoon away at a historic winery or relax on a giant lounge chair on a sandy beach.

The Winery, Vignoble de Saint Gabriel, has a bunch of unique activities around the vineyard. You'll find Saint Gabriel beach less than ten minutes away.

Find the winery perched on a hill in historic barns. The many vines produce ten different varieties of wine that you can pair with snack plates they offer. There is a terrace patio where you can soak up the view of rolling hills as you enjoy wine and cheese.

The wine cellar tours will take you deep into a hobbit-hole-looking cellar. The impressive 11-metre by 18-metre cellar contains over 100 French oak barrels. Tours occur twice a day.

The vineyard also boasts trails to explore, an art gallery, a vintage tractor museum and a lavender shop.

The town's beach is on a hidden lake so it feels like you're sunbathing in a cove and features 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. The lounge chairs are free to use and first come first serve.

The price for beach access is $10 per day and it is open until September 5. 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.

Ville de St. Gabriel

Address: Saint-Gabriel, QC

Why You Need To Go: You can escape into a quaint small town that has a sandy beach shore and a winery full of activities and countryside views.

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Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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