The ultimate list for great getaway trips from Montreal [+20 ideas]
This is the biggest list that compiles all trip ideas from Montreal! Whether you are looking for a day trip or a multi-day trip, this is the list you have been looking for!
Montreal is nestled among the beautiful heartland of Quebec. The city is close to other Canadians big cities like Ottawa and Toronto and big cities in the U.S. such as New York & Boston. If you don’t like big cities and are looking for a trip to visit townships and reconnect with nature among lakes, rivers and mountain ranges, regions surrounding Montreal have that too.
Here is the ultimate compilation of day trips and weekend getaways from Montreal. They range from 1 hour to a small 6-hour drive. The article gives you more than 20 travel ideas!
Some of these destinations can be reached by train and by bus. However, for the smaller towns and national parks, I would highly suggest renting a car. If you don’t drive but you still want to get close to nature there is a new a transport company that will take you to many of the national parks, Nana. For a list of National Parks near Montreal go to my other article.
Ready to discover which will be your next trip from Montreal?
Super close to Montreal, around 20 min drive
Îles-de-Boucherville National Park
These are 5 little islands of Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville. They are around 20 min away from Montreal and it is the perfect getaway if you have limited time in the Belle Province. The park offers countless activities from hiking, camping, and swimming. During the summertime, from June 23 to September 3, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, there is a free shuttle bus that is available from the Longueuil metro station to the Îles-de-Boucherville national park. If you are super athletic, you can also get there by bike.
The Cider route
Get into your car and hit the Montérégie’s cider route. Located only 30 minutes away from the busy metropolis, the region feels like a rural retreat full of gourmet stops and cideries. The region’s specialty is Quebec's ice cider, which is a must-try, especially if you like sweet liquor. For a complete list of cider houses and activities go to my other article.
The hangout spot for many Montrealers, this is the place to be during summertime. People from the city and the burbs come to this lake beach. Besides from the beach, there is the Calvaire, a complex of four oratories and three chapels. Another activity is wetlands. Winter and summer alike, the top of the Calvaire d'Oka trail provides an exceptional view of Lac des Deux Montagnes and the Adirondacks. This is around 40min drive from Montreal.
Dive into the history of New France by visiting the fort by the Richelieu River. This place is also known for the Chambly Beer Festival that is held yearly during the first weekend of September. The festival showcases all the breweries from Quebec province, this might the best activity to taste all the flavours that the province has to offer. Besides the beer and the fort, you can also visit the rapids.
Trips that are 1+ hour from Montreal
The Canadian capital is charming and full of things to do to fill your day trip or weekend getaway. If you like museums, then you will enjoy your time in the city. You can visit Parliament, stroll around and eat ar the ByWard Market. In winter, you can skate on the World’s largest outdoor skating rink. In spring, you can enjoy the tulip festival. Ottawa is around 1:30 away from Montreal by car.
Just 1:30 drive North from Montreal, the mountain is the perfect getaway all year round. The mountain is a popular ski resort and in the summer, you can enjoy the lake, hikes and a very colourful pedestrian village. It almost looks like a Disney resort. This is also the perfect place to catch the fall foliage. In the summer, you also have Tonga Lumina, a luminous projection hiking trail through the mountain.
Less popular than Mont-Tremblant, and closer to Montreal, this small mountains offers similar attractions. The town of Saint Sauveur is much charming also.
Cycle Le P'tit Train du Nord
If you like to bike, then this is the perfect day trip for you! This linear bath offers 232-kilometer trail. It follows the rails of an old railway line between Bois-des-Filion and Mont-Laurier. It’s the longest linear park in Canada with activities over four seasons. If you are visiting in Winter, you can also cross-country skiing, winter cycling or snowmobiling.
The beautiful countryside in the rolling Appalachians offers ski hills, history, great food, and wine. Historically, the townships were an enclave of English loyalists at the end of the 18th century. This legacy is mostly reflected in the Victorian houses, round barns, and over covered bridges scattered throughout the region. Here is an article for the perfect weekend getaway in my favourite region.
Bromont, better known for the ski resort, the mountain is beautiful year round. It offers several hiking, snowshoes, ski and bike paths. The township also has several lakes where you can swim or just go for a picnic near the water during the hot summer days.
After exploring the mountains, you can go relax at the Amerispa for their thermal experience. It's a small spa with less fuzz, less crowded and cheaper than the popular Balena Spa. This can be the perfect romantic side trip.
Dunham is home of the wine route of Quebec, and a picturesque town with wineries and Victorian style houses. Almost all vineyards are accessible to the public and you can sample their different products either for free or for a small fee.
A great way to explore the wineries is to do the wine route by car, hiring a tour company or by biking. What better way to enjoy a nice summer or fall day by discoveries wines? The route has also picnic areas or stops at local restaurants to catch a break from all the biking & drinking. The Quebec wine route's website gives you all the directions and which establishments you can visit along the way, this is the perfect day tour.
If wine is not your forté, the region also offers ciders, lots of sugar shacks and fresh berries to pick and enjoy. The fresh air of the countryside and the valley scenery will make the trip worth it.
In Sutton, you will want to play outside. Famous for its ski resort, the mountain has activities year round. After you finished playing, wander around in the quaint village alongside the main street and enjoy bistros and restaurants.
Orford & Magog
Mont Orford is just 1:30 drive from Montreal and its located in the Eastern Townships, a few minutes away from the popular town of Magog. The mountain is very popular in the winter for its ski resort. The mountain is part of the SEPAQ, the provincial parks association. and has different activities to enjoy. In the summer, there is camping, beaches, hiking and bike trails, to name a few. Click here for a complete list of things to do in Orford.
Magog is a popular small town with Lake Memphremagog as a backdrop. There is a legend about a monster, Memphré, a creature that lives in the lake. People have been trying to spot it for the past 200 years. Think about it like the Loch Ness Canadian cousin.
Almost two hours away from Montreal, Coaticook is the home of the longest suspended footbridge in North America, the famous Coaticook ice cream and magnificent views of the valley.
Start your visit at the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook. One of the main attractions is the 169 meters-long suspended bridge on which you can admire the deep gorge. The park has multiple trails for bikes, hiking and snowshoeing. You can also camp on site.
The park offers a one of a kind experience at night. Foresta Lumina, a night-illuminated and multimedia trail, takes you into the world of fairies that live in the forest. Made by the recognized Moment Factory studio, the attraction is 2 km long. Via its scenography, lighting, video mapping and music, the immersive experience is based on the region’s magical and fictitious mythology.
Don’t forget to read the best 6 things to do in Coaticook.
The city is the biggest city in the region and has a renowned university which gives the city a very young and vibrant atmosphere. Like in Montreal, the city abounds of street art, it has 16 mural to be exact. There is even a mobile app that takes you through the whole path and explains you the work of art and the history of the artists. Sherbrooke is also well known for all its craft breweries like Siboire and La Mare au Diable. While you are there, you can also indulge in high tea.
The Green Mountain state is full of charm. If you are looking to relax by the lake, or if you are looking for a beautiful hiking path to admire the fall colours or if you are a ski fanatic or a foodie & beer lover, this getaway is for you! The local scene plays a big part of its appeal. The state has taken pride and value to produce and position their products in the national scene.
Vermont is one the border U.S .state with Quebec and is located only 2:00 South of Montreal. It is one of my favourite getaways.
The city is a classic New England small town, the main action is around Main Street and Church street. The old colonial buildings with red bricks and cobblestones streets are part of its landmark. The city is set to overlook the Champlain Lake which offers great views of the sunsets.
There are more than 50 breweries in the state and Burlington is the central hub. If you are looking to sample some of the best beers that Vermont has to offer, you can go to The Vermont Pub & Brewery.
The small town is known for its outlets and its vast lake beaches. However, nested among the Adirondacks there is the Ausable Chasm, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks. Here you can hike, do river rafting, or experience the river in a lazy tube. Nature here is one of a kind.
Lake Placid, NY
Lake Placid is in the beautiful region of Upstate New York. The two times Olympic city has hosted the event twice, firstly in 1932 and the latest in 1980. Here you can go and wander around the Olympic installations or visit nature. Lake Placid, Tupper Lake, and Saranac Lake make up a region of the Adirondacks called the Tri-Lakes region. Here you can hike the Whiteface Mountain and see its castle! You can also go see the High Falls Gorge.
Between Montreal, Mont-Tremblant and Ottawa lies the Outaouais region, filled with pristine forests, rural landscapes, and rolling mountains. Often overlooked by other more touristic attractions, Outaouais has several small-towns that will delight every traveller. Montebello is widely known for its magnificent Fairmont hotel and its golf. Parc Oméga is by far the best activity in the region. What could be better than to see wild animals running free from the safety of your car? All the animals are from the northern hemisphere and are in their natural habitat. This weekend getaway will make you feel like you are on a vacation. You can buy carrots and feed the cute deer and wapitis that will poke their heads through your window car to eat the treats. Here are 4 things to do in Montebello.
Trips that are 3+ hour from Montreal
About 3 hours away north of Montreal, the park is one of the biggest in the province. It has more than 150 lakes of all sizes which are perfect to swim on a hot summer day or to Canoe your way through to admire the fall colours.
Lake George, NY
This 32 miles long lake is a hot destination for Americans during the summer. This resort town lives by the lake and its numerous water activities. While on shore, you can go hike the Prospect Mountain and then refresh yourself at one of the many breweries of the region.
Thousand Islands & Kingston
Kingston was Canada’s first capital city. This historic city has become a foodie hub. The main attractions are Fort Henry and of course the Thousand Islands national park. The park encompasses 1000 islands located in the St Lawrence river in the western portion of Lake Ontario, between Kingston and New York state border.
Pro tip: Kingston can be a great stop if your are going from Montreal to Toronto as it is in the middle of two cities. Why not stop here for a bite and a beer before hitting the road again? Trust me, you will want a break from the 6 hour drive.
If you got more than 1 day
Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs (known as Île Verte) is a heavenly island in the Lower St. Lawrence region. Words lack to describe this island. Maybe Idyllic landscape, charming, nature sanctuary will fit. The island has one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. In this untouched rugged island, you can see whales, seals and other wild animals. Oh, and did I say that you can sleep in a lighthouse?
This is by far one of my new favourite destinations from Montreal. This tiny island of around 15km long is only accessible by ferry during the summertime. The island is offshore from the village of L’Isle-Verte which is around 4:30 away from Montreal.
This can be one of the stops of a great road trip to Gaspésie, the region of Quebec by the sea. For more info about this epic road trip, click here.
Lobster rolls, fresh seafood, and craft beer are the perfect ingredients for a perfect weekend getaway. For the past few years, Portland had paved its way into being a key player in the food and beer scene and was named the restaurant city from Bon Appetit Magazine in 2018. So be prepare to eat the best lobster rolls ever!
Portland will seduce you with its old architectural buildings made with red brick, cobblestone streets and the sea breeze along the harbour. After a stroll around the beach, head back to the city and visit a few art galleries and shop at some thrift stores. Of course, the Portland Head Lighthouse needs to be part of your must-see attractions. For a complete list of things to do in Portland, click here.
The White National Forest, NH
This New Hampshire national park is beautiful. You can take a scenic route on your way to Portland. The panorama is astonishing. Cutting through the mountains, you will drive by lakes, rivers, dense forests, to name a few. Along the way, you can stop several times at observation points, do some hiking and explore the areas. Note that the National Park offers different activities such as skiing, hiking, camping throughout the seasons.
The Saguenay Lac-St-Jean region is full of activities. The main attractions are the Lac-St-Jean and the Fjords. Also, don't forget to visit the St-Felicien Zoo, where animals are free and you are in a cage.
This marine sanctuary was originally established to protect the biodiversity of the region. Always wanted to see beluga whales and blue whales? Then this is the park for you! You can Kayak next to these amazing animals!
Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County, or the county, as the locals call it, is tucked between Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. The island lake is home of more than 30 wineries and a dozen craft breweries. This is the perfect playground for many Torontonians as it offers access beautiful to lake beaches, great food and great wineries. In this guide, we will share the best thing to do, where to eat, drink and sleep in Prince Edward County. The county is very rural and has 3 main towns Picton (the hub), Wellington and Bloomfield. Between the fields and forests, you will get a glimpse of English colonial architecture as the region was a loyalist hub.
Quebec City is by far one of the most picturesque cities in Canada. It mixed colonial history between French and English and is characterized by being the only remaining walled city north of Mexico. The city is one of the oldest cities in North America as it celebrated its 400 years birthday in 2008. Wander around and get lost on the hilly cobblestone streets overlooking the Saint Lawrence River. The main architectural landmark is the Chateau Frontenac. In winter, you can attend the famous Carnaval de Québec. Just outside of Quebec City you will find the Montmorency falls. Did you know that these falls are 30 meters higher than Niagara Falls? However, they are less imposing since they are not that wide. The good part is that they are also less crowded!
The Charlevoix is by far one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Belle Province. Did you know that the road trip from Quebec to La Malbaie is one of Canada's most scenic drives? You will see dramatic mountains cliffs going into the Saint-Laurence river which gives breathtaking viewpoints. The main activities of the region are the Massif mountains, the artsy towns of Baie-Saint-Paul and La Malbaie. The region is 1 hour north of Quebec City so I would suggest combining both destinations for the best mix of nature and history. Here you will also find of of the most beautiful hikes in Quebec. The region has many boutique hotels and of course the castle-like Manoir Richelieu, a Fairmount hotel.
Go to top things to do in Charlevoix to know more about this beautiful region!
Toronto is the biggest city in Canada and it is full of activities. The city is one of the most multicultural diverse cities in the World! It has endless things to do and eat. Take a stroll around Kensington Market, go play on the islands in Lake Ontario during the summer, indulge in some art at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario), get lost in one of the numerous parks that the city has. And of course, you need to go to the iconic CN Tower and the Distillery District.
The park is located north of Toronto. This could be the perfect mix of outdoor adventures and city discovery.
The bay is home of the World’s largest freshwater archipelago, the emerald shoreline will leave you astonished. It offers several types of camping and glamping. The rustic cabin for two in an island beach sounds like the perfect getaway!
This destination does not need an introduction. The falls have been showcased over and over again. The falls make the border between the US and Canada in this section, so half of it is in the state of New York and half is in the province of Ontario. You can also stroll down Clifton Hill, it is like the mini Las Vegas stripe.
Niagara on the Lake
NotL is the perfect getaway for wine lovers and foodies. Here you can indulge in wine and champagne tasting while eating in farm to table restaurants. Inside the Canadian heartland of the Ontario province, you will find a small Victorian town surrounded by miles and miles of vineyards. Only 2 hours away from the busy Toronto metropolis, and a 30-minute drive from the world-renowned Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a great foodie getaway. The wine region surrounds the Niagara peninsula and offers unusual warm temperatures allowing the vines to survive the harsh Canadian winters.
The historic city of Boston is only 5 hours away from Montreal. If you are a history buff, then this city will delight you as it is full of museums marking the key role that the city played in the American Revolution. It is also known for its numerous team sports and Ivy league universities such as Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Berklee, Tufts University among others. The city is characterized by its colonial architecture with its predominant red bricks.
New york, NY
In a short 6 hours drive, you will find yourself in one of the most exciting cities in the World. While you could live here all your life and always find something new and exciting to do, New York can be a perfect trip from Montreal. So get ready to crunch all the things to do in New York into a short stay.
Another historic city very close to Montreal, Philadelphia is an 8-hour drive. Whether you will be channeling your inner Rocky, eating your heart out while deciding which restaurant has the best Philly Cheesesteak, admiring all the street art or learning everything about the American independence, this city offers great things to do.
So which destination will be your next getaway from Montreal?
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