If you're visiting Montreal—one of Canada's great cities steeped in history and old world flavor—and have the time, explore some of the Quebec province just outside Montreal city borders. There is plenty to do in Montreal, but sometimes you just want to get away from the city for a different experience. You'll find beautiful parks, charming towns, agricultural destinations, and more.
Mont-Tremblant is a beautiful backdrop for a host of soft and vigorous adventures, including skiing, golf, biking, boating, and more.
Less than a two-hour drive away, Mont-Tremblant is actually three-in-one: a year-round resort particularly famous for its ski hills, a town, and a provincial park.
Rent a car or fly to Mont Tremblant, which has an airport 20 minutes from the ski hill. The Mont Tremblant Express runs regularly during winter.
Tour the Laurentians
AddressLaurentian Mountains, Lac-Jacques-Cartier, QC G0A 4J0, Canada
Get out of the city for a day and explore the countryside surrounding Montreal. This 8-hr day trip includes not only a visit to the mountains, lakes, and forests of the Laurentian Mountains; it includes a visit to quaint French villages and a cruise on the Lac des Sables in Ste Agathe des Monts.
Ideally, you would spend more than a few hours in Quebec City, but a day trip to the Quebec capital is still worth the effort. Like stepping over the ocean and onto European cobblestone, a visit to Quebec City is a truly unique experience in North America.
Quebec City is at least a three-hour drive from Montreal, so an early start is necessary.
This southern region of Quebec offers visitors a glimpse back into the 18th and 19th centuries with well-preserved, picturesque towns boasting traditional architecture, such as churches, homes, round barns, covered bridges, and more.
This is a great destination for people who enjoy browsing artsy shops and galleries. Campers and outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of excellent trails, lakes, and campgrounds.
There are so many cities in Canada worth a visit, Ottawa, the capital of Canada, is a two and half hour drive away from Montreal and a great place to check out.
Many Ottawa attractions, including historic buildings, museums, and natural attractions will easily fill a day. Parliament Hill, in particular, boasts grand Gothic Revival-style buildings somewhat contrary to Canada's typical penchant for modesty. Tours of Parliament are free.
Six AMT commuter trains operate between Montreal and outlying regions. These train lines are a great and inexpensive way for Montreal visitors to get out of the city and explore some of the Quebec countryside.
Formerly a railway track, Le P'tit Train du Nord (Small Train of the North) is now a 125-mile bike path (and cross-country ski trail) that winds through the Laurentians.
The trail is mostly flat but is far from boring as it makes its way through beautiful scenery, including lakes, forests, and forays into charming little towns.
Adding to the convenience and enjoyment of this route, some of the old train stations have been converted into cafes, shops, or information centers.
You can drive to the start of the Le P'tit Train du Nord path. It's about 30 minutes north of Montreal.
Cycling enthusiasts Go Biking have an excellent description of the trail including itineraries and suggested stops.
It is a bit of a stretch to call this a "day trip" because it is about 10 hours of travel. However, for die-hard wildlife lovers who want to see these massive, antediluvian beasts rise and fall so gracefully through the water, book a tour that will take you from a central Montreal location to Rivière-du-Loup for a three-hour guided cruise.
The Canadian Railway Museum is in Saint-Constant about a 15- minute drive by car from downtown Montreal, but just over an hour by public transit, so it does take a little planning. The indoor and outdoor exhibitions are really family-friendly as well as comprehensive and detailed to interest adults and interactive and fun for kids.