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8 Romantic 'Secret' Spots In Montreal That Are Perfect For A Fall Date

There's always something new to discover, even if you think you've seen it all.

People in the dining room of a boat overlooking the Saint-Lawrence. Right: People at the Bon Secours outlook.​

People in the dining room of a boat overlooking the Saint-Lawrence. Right: People at the Bon Secours outlook.

Autumn in Montreal is a love story waiting to happen. The dropping temperatures are a perfect excuse to draw closer to a loved one, and the city, with its canvas of fall colours, provides the perfect backdrop for heart-fluttering encounters. It's all about finding cozy indoor corners to cuddle and taking full advantage of the outdoors before the frost sets in. While the trees transition to shades of amber and gold, parks take on a new life, and the city's hideaways become the go-to spots for those in the know.

The Montreal Botanical Garden transforms into a luminous spectacle, drawing couples to its glow. Jarry Park, with its discreet enclaves, becomes a prime spot for quiet lakeside conversations and picnics shielded by cattails. And if you're looking for an unparalleled view, the St. Lawrence River beckons from the deck of Montreal's only floating terrasse.

Beyond the popular tourist destinations, Montreal has secret spots perfect for those seeking a low-key rendezvous this fall. Whether it's a leaf-strewn park path or a hidden viewpoint in the Old Port, this is the season to rediscover the city's lesser-known gems.

Summit Circle Lookout

Where: 32, Summit Circle

Reason to go: Elevated above the city, this Westmount outlook offers an unmatched view of Montreal's skyline. By day, you can see well past downtown and by night, lights glitter, creating a shimmering spectacle. The adjacent Summit Woods offers walking trails, allowing couples to do some sightseeing and enjoy a casual stroll. It's a place to connect and appreciate both the city's expanse and its natural surroundings. For a memorable date with a view, Summit Circle delivers.

Montreal Botanical Garden

Where: 4101, rue Sherbrooke Est

Cost: $22.75/adults, $16.50/students

Reason to go: The Montreal Botanical Garden becomes enchanting during the fall, especially with its Gardens of Light show. As the sun sets, the garden transforms into a luminous wonderland. Vivid illuminations breathe life into plants, pathways, and sculptures, creating an atmosphere that's both romantic and awe-inspiring. It's an immersive experience that combines the natural beauty of autumnal foliage with artful light displays, producing scenes that feel almost otherworldly. Whether meandering through the glittering paths or stopping to admire a striking installation, there's an undeniable sense of magic in the air.

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Belvédère Bon Secours

Where: 400, rue Saint-Paul Est

Reason to go: This Old Port lookout, part of the Marguerite Bourgeoys Museum, is one of the best observation decks in the city, with sweeping views of the city's historic waterfront. You can just head up to the vantage point for $9 or add on a museum visit for $5 extra. If you opt for the latter, you and your date will get insight into the early days of Montreal and can check out exhibits and artifacts that chronicle the city's development and religious foundation. Just steps away, the Old Port offers a variety of shops and romantic restaurants, providing ample opportunities to extend your date with a meal or casual browsing.

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Parc Dante

Where: Corner of de Gaspé and Dante

Reason to go: This Little Italy park becomes a prime outdoor date spot during the fall. Under vine-covered awnings, couples can find a bench to take in the brisk air and watch falling leaves. Not far from these cozy spots, Pizzeria Napoletana offers tasty slices, and Pasticceria Alati-Caserta tempts cannoli — both perfect snacks to enjoy within the park's confines.

Montreal Boat Tour

Where: 200, de la Commune Ouest

When: Until October 22, departures at 11:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Reason to go: Croisières AML presents a unique way to experience Montreal during the fall. As the city's "only floating terrasse," it provides unparalleled views of Montreal from the heart of the St. Lawrence River, giving you and your date an exclusive vantage point to admire the city's skyline and changing foliage. The 1h30-minute cruise costs $45 per person and stretches across 20 kilometres. There are also brunch and evening options, depending on your preferred time of day and budget.

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Chinatown Koi Pond

​Where: 999, rue Saint-Urbain

Reason to go: Located within the Chinatown Holiday Inn in Montreal, the koi pond is a lesser-known gem. The indoor haven showcases a pond filled with fish and dotted with plants, lanterns and walkways. For couples, it may offer a change of pace from loud restaurants or crowded tourist spots, instead encouraging conversation and connection. The location in a hotel means you're steps away from dining options, so you can make a convenient transition from relaxing by the pond to grabbing a hearty meal.

Parc Jarry

Where: 205, rue Gary-Carter

Reason to go: This Villeray park offers a unique spot tucked away behind cattails, providing the perfect hideaway for a fall picnic. This enclave ensures privacy away from the park's main pathways, allowing for an uninterrupted experience. You'll get a great view of fall foliage complimented by the sounds of the nearby fountain adds to its relaxed vibe. With its natural shield from the rest of the park, this secluded spot is ideal for those seeking a peaceful outdoor moment during the crisp autumn months.

Jean Drapeau Waterfall

Where: Near 41, chem. du Tour de l'isle (exact coordinates)

Reason to go: This hidden waterfall is the epitome of a tucked-away gem in Montreal, ideal for those wanting an autumn date with a touch of adventure. A short 10-minute walk from the Jean-Drapeau metro station, this natural wonder requires a bit of off-the-beaten-path trekking, adding a dash of intrigue to the outing. You'll need to take some unmarked paths to get there, which means there's room for exploration and a chance of finding your own secret spot. If you grab a warm beverage on the way, you can make this locale your autumn retreat, away from the city crowds. Pack a light snack, and you have the makings of a simple, sweet date, without the usual distractions. Plus, the waterfall's ambiance shifts as the day progresses, from soft light in the morning to golden hues at sunset, offering a special experience every time.

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