Montreal’s quaint European charm and New World sophistication captivate visitors. Some spend days exploring the city’s varied cultural influences, which spill over into its world-renowned food scene. Others return time and again to join in the array of festivals that pop up in the many parks and spill onto the city streets each spring.
Clearly, there is an endless source of excitement and things to do in Montreal for travelers. But if you have a bit of extra time in the city, or if you’re planning your second or third visit, these day trips—and one sanctuary inside the city—are the perfect way to experience more of Quebec’s unique charm.
Mont-Tremblant and the Laurentians
Just north of Montreal, the Laurentian Mountains are a playground for nature lovers, adventure seekers and travelers simply looking to just kick back and enjoy some knockout mountain views.
Mont-Tremblant National Park sits in the southernmost part of the mountain range, which extends north through Quebec. The quaint town of Mont-Tremblant, Canada’s very own Aspen, lies at the foot of the peak of the same name.
The idyllic country roads on your day trip from Montreal that lead to Mont-Tremblant will take you past tiny villages so inviting you won’t be able to resist stopping for a cheese tasting or just to soak in the region’s history and charm. Take a cruise along picturesque Lac des Sables before a riding a gondola to the top of Mont Tremblant for awe-inspiring views of the Laurentians.
Quebec City and Montmorency Falls
A day trip from Montreal to Canada’s only walled city promises a wealth of history and insight to Canadian culture. Before you explore Quebec City, drive just past it to take in Montmorency Falls and explore the surrounding park. Nearly 100 feet taller than Niagara Falls, Montmorency Falls is one of the region’s most beautiful natural sites.
When you circle back to Quebec City, spend the afternoon touring famous landmarks and historic sites—including the Plains of Abraham, Old Quebec and Notre-Dame de Quebec, to name a few. And be sure to fill up on poutine—Canada’s famous dish of French fries smothered in brown gravy and cheese curds (umm, yes please!)—before hitting the road.
Lachine Canal National Historic Site
If a full day trip from Montreal seems more than you can handle, you can still find respite along the St. Lawrence River. In spring and summer, Montrealers flock to this nine-mile urban park’s green spaces to take advantage of the warm weather. But rather than making the park feel overcrowded, the activity brings the area to life.
Don’t miss the opportunity to walk or cycle one of the world’s most beautiful urban circuits. Your reward, aside from fresh air and exercise, is a prime view of the Lachine Rapids.