The Canadian city of Montreal has more than enough to keep you occupied indefinitely. With cultural attractions like the best museums in Montreal combined with an incredible cultural life, excellent food, and that inexpressible joie de vivre, this undeniably French city in North America is a fantastic place to explore.
But although Montreal may sometimes feel like a different country, this remains a Canadian city. And what that means is unparalleled access to stunning natural scenery and pristine wilderness areas. The best day trips from Montreal allow you to enjoy everything the city has to offer but also see more of the province and the country. Whether you want to explore the history of Nouvelle France, kayak sprawling lakes, explore primeval forests, or encounter charismatic wildlife, the best day trips from Montreal can give you a Canadian experience you won't soon forget.
Drop off your unneeded bags at a Bounce luggage storage in downtown Montreal and get ready to enjoy some fascinating culture and phone outdoor activities. These day trips will really help you see the best of la belle province.
How to get out of Montreal
With its unique French-influenced culture, Montreal can often feel more European than most other cities in Canada. But when you try to leave the city to enjoy some of the best day trips from Montreal, you may find yourself reminded that this isn't Europe after all. Montreal does have a train station and a bus station, but don't expect to be able to hop on high-speed trains to everywhere you want to go on one of your Montreal day trips.
The truth is, Canada is a vast country, and the distances between one place and another can be staggering. Montreal's Gare Centrale provides train service to other cities like Toronto and Quebec City, so it is better connected than many other Canadian cities. But if you want to go cross-country skiing or mountain biking in the wilderness surrounding Montreal or visit a National Park, you may find it better to rent a car to enjoy outdoor activities.
On the other hand, within the city, public transport may be all you need, and this guide on how to get around Montreal will teach you everything you need to know about the city's public transit network.
From Montreal to Quebec City
Montreal is full of French-Canadian charm, but if you want a real taste of the history of Canada's French-speaking population, there's no better place to visit than Quebec City. As the capital of the province of Quebec, this city is steeped in the culture and traditions of Nouvelle France.
Quebec City's historic district is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the gorgeous cobblestone streets and old buildings will make you feel like you've traveled to a historic European town instead of being in North America. Plus, Quebec City is home to some fascinating museums and art galleries, and it's one of the best places in the world to experience French-Canadian cuisine.
From the historic district of Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec) to the iconic Château Frontenac, there are plenty of attractions to keep you busy in Quebec City. And if you want to get out into nature, you can explore one of the many hiking trails in Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier or go whale watching off the coast of Tadoussac.
How to get to Quebec City
Quebec City is undoubtedly one of the best day trips from Montreal you can take, and part of the reason for that is how close it is. A train ride of little more than three hours connects the two cities, and it's also an easy drive. This is a day trip well worth taking to see more of the fascinating history of Quebec.
From Montreal to Îles-de-Boucherville National Park
This national park is made up of a series of small islands in the St. Lawrence River, and it's a great place to enjoy some outdoor activities like hiking, biking, canoeing, and kayaking. You can also go fishing or birdwatching in Îles-de-Boucherville National Park.
As close as this park is to the city, it feels a very long way away, partly because it takes a boat ride to get there. If you're pining to explore the Canadian wilderness but don't have much time on your hands, these islands can give you a good taste of Canada's incredible natural heritage that you can see in just a few hours before returning to the city. The islands are also home to some important First Nations archaeological sites, so you can learn more about the first inhabitants of what became Quebec while you recharge your batteries in nature.
How to get to Îles-de-Boucherville National Park
Getting to the park is easy, as there is a shuttle boat that leaves from Quebec City's Old Port. Once you're on the islands, you can explore at your own pace and enjoy the stunning views of the river and the city skyline. In fact, the boat ride is part of the adventure and the perfect way to kick off what's easily one of the most pleasant and easy day trips from Montreal.
From Montreal to Domaine Lebranche
Just a short drive from Montreal is Domaine Lebranche, an organic farm that offers visitors the chance to learn about and experience rural life in Quebec. You can take part in farm activities like feeding the animals or collecting eggs, or simply enjoy the peaceful setting and stunning views. The farm also has a cafe where you can sample some of their delicious homemade food.
This is a great activity for families with young children, as they're sure to love meeting the animals and exploring the grounds. And it's also a nice option if you're looking for something a bit different to do outside of the city. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Montreal but don't necessarily want to venture too far, Domaine Lebranche is the perfect place to go.
Perhaps best of all, this farm is home to a working sugar shack where you can learn more about one of Quebec's most famous exports, maple syrup. Visit in the winter to try syrup and snow cones and learn more about the importance of syrup production to the province.
How to get to Domaine Lebranche
Domaine Lebranche is located about half an hour's drive from Montreal. Once you're at the farm, you can easily spend a few hours there enjoying the activities and amenities on offer. Just be sure to bring your camera, as the views are simply gorgeous.
From Monreal to Oka Provincial Park
Just outside of Montreal is Oka Provincial Park, a beautiful natural setting that's perfect for a day of hiking, swimming, and picnicking. The park is also home to many important archaeological sites, so you can learn more about the history of the area while you're enjoying the great outdoors.
Oka Provincial Park is one of the best places in the province to see fall foliage, so if you're visiting in autumn, be sure to add it to your list. The park is also a popular spot for cross-country skiing in the winter. The cross-country skiing trails make this one of the best winter activities to do in the area, but it's also a great place to visit in the summer months when you can take on the Calvaire d'Oka, a popular hiking trail that will give you magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and the lake. This is one of the best day trips from Montreal for those who want to do some hiking or cross-country skiing, offering as it does some of the best hiking in Montreal. This huge natural reserve, complete with historic buildings as well as seemingly endless views and hiking opportunities, is a must-visit while visiting Quebec.
How to get to Oka Provincial Park
Oka Provincial Park is located on the banks of the Ottawa River, not far from downtown Montreal. You can reach the park in less than an hour from the city, and it's even possible to reach by public transit, making this easily one of the best day trips from the city.
From Montreal to Mont Tremblant
Mont Tremblant is one of the most popular ski destinations in Quebec, but it's also a great place to visit in the summer months when you can enjoy hiking, biking, and swimming. This charming mountain town is located just over an hour from Montreal, making it the perfect day trip destination.
In the winter, Mont Tremblant is a mecca for skiing and snowboarding, with a large resort that offers something for everyone. But even if you don't hit the slopes, there's still plenty to do in this picturesque town. You can explore the quaint shops and cafes, take a scenic gondola ride to the top of the mountain, or simply enjoy the stunning views.
In the summer, the town comes alive with outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and swimming. There are also several festivals and events that take place in Mont Tremblant throughout the year, so there's always something going on. No matter what time of year you visit, Mont Tremblant is sure to charm you with its beauty and its friendly atmosphere.
How to get to Mont Tremblant
Mont Tremblant is located just over an hour from Montreal, making it one of the easiest day trips from the city. You can drive or take the bus to get there, and there are also a number of shuttle services that run between Montreal and Mont Tremblant.
From Montreal to Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, and it's just a short drive from Montreal. This vibrant city is home to several museums and historic sites, as well as a lively nightlife scene. Ottawa is also the perfect place to enjoy some outdoor activities, with plenty of parks and green spaces to explore.
If you're interested in Canadian history, Ottawa is definitely the place to go. You can tour Parliament Hill and the Canadian Parliament buildings, visit the Royal Canadian Mint, or learn more about the country's indigenous peoples at the Canadian Museum of History. Ottawa is also home to some excellent art galleries, so it's the perfect place for culture lovers. It's also home to seven of Canada's nine National Museums, making this a must-visit for history buffs.
In addition to its many museums and historic sites, Ottawa also offers a lot in the way of outdoor activities. You can explore the Rideau Canal, which winds its way through the city, or take a hike in one of the many parks and green spaces. Ottawa is also a great place for cycling, and you can rent a bike to explore the city's extensive network of bike paths.
How to get to Ottawa
Ottawa is located just a two-hour drive from Montreal, making it one of the easiest day trips from the city. You can also take the bus or train to Ottawa, and there are a number of shuttle services that run between Montreal and Ottawa.
From Monreal to Eastern Townships
The Eastern Townships is a beautiful region of Quebec that's located to the east of Montreal. This picturesque area is home to rolling hills, quaint towns, and plenty of outdoor activities. In the winter, you can go skiing or snowboarding at one of the many resorts in the area, and in the summer, you can enjoy hiking, biking, and golfing. The Eastern Townships is also home to several wineries, so it's the perfect place to go for a day trip if you're looking to do some wine tasting.
There are plenty of different ways to explore the Eastern Townships. You can take a scenic drive through the countryside, stopping at small towns along the way. Or, you can hop on the train and take in the scenery as you travel from one town to another. If you're feeling active, there are also tons of hiking and biking trails to explore. No matter how you choose to spend your time in the Eastern Townships, you're sure to have a memorable experience.
How to get to the Eastern Townships
The Eastern Townships is located just over two hours from Montreal, so it's an easy one to add to your itinerary. You can drive or take the bus to get there.
If you're planning a day trip from Montreal, you'll quickly find yourself spoiled for choice. Whether you want to explore the hiking trails and mountain biking opportunities of the Laurentian mountains, take a boat trip on the St. Lawrence River, or dive into the province's history in Quebec City, you can do it all within a short journey from the city. A little further away, you can visit the nation's capital on a day trip to Ottawa. And while Canada's largest city, Toronto, is a little too far away to visit on a day trip, it's close enough at five hours' drive to be reachable without too much trouble.
Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage and get ready to explore more of Quebec. With so much to do in this region, you don't want to miss out.