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St. James Hotel in Old Montreal

Old is quaint, but nice, new, and chic is better when deciding where to rest your head. Especially when that means ultramodern double fireplaces!

The Casa-approved St. James Hotel is the perfect mix of old and new: outside it's an elegant, stately building but inside it's high-end design with its own equally ambitious restaurant.

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Get Carnivorous

When fingers point to where the meat-focused food trend began, they usually head north to Montreal. Famous for its savory, knife-necessary concoctions, save your Canadian dollars for a top-notch meal.

While Tongue! gets a lot of play, we recommend trying something less glorious but equally delicious. Au Pied de Cochon manages to be modern and warm with wood and tile walls in a long and narrow space, creating coziness without chichiness.

Source: Flickr User kaszeta

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Mount Royal

Or, Mont Royal in Canadian. The view from the top is spectacular any time of the year. Montreal native Phil Kallos says it's a "233-meter high mountain (about 764 feet) at the center of the city, with several lookout points that could be construed as romantic." If a 22-year-old guy says it "could be construed as romantic," then it definitely is.

Phil also recommends Lac des Castors (Beaver Lake), which in the Winter becomes an ice-skating pond.

Source: Flickr User Manticore66669

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Pretend It's France

I mean don't tell any locals that's what you're doing, but go ahead and soak up North America's most French-like city. There are no freedom fries here, only poutine. Which isn't French at all, but c'est la vie.
Start the day with a cafe au lait and pan au chocolat, and then walk the cobblestone streets of Old Port, ride bikes along Lachine Canal and cross its many bridges, and start drinking wine around — what? — noon. It's 6:00 p.m. in Paris!

Source: Flickr User PnP!

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Soak Up the Music Scene

With Montreal-based Arcade Fire winning the Grammy for Best Album, the city may have passed its indie crown to the next big thing, but that doesn't mean innovative isn't lurking in the underground.

Catch a show at local favorites like La Sala Rossa or Orange Divan; ditch the club scene for low-fi techno and electronica at Velvet Speakeasy, a cozy dungeon that specializes in seduction; relax to local jazz at laid-back Else's; or go big, bold, and symphonic at Place des Arts, which hosts an array of concerts and will soon be the brand new home to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

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