Canada isn’t notorious for its short travel distances. From Montreal, it’s just as expensive and far to get to Paris than to get to Vancouver. True story!
But Eastern Canada is a bit luckier than its Western equivalent in terms of day trips and weekend getaways. From Montreal, you can as easily reach the Quebec capital, the US or a remote cabin in the forest in just a few hours. Let’s have a closer look.
Ottawa: 2 hours
While most Canadians have been to the capital on a field trip as a kid, you probably know it wasn’t my case. I only visited Ottawa for a few hours two years ago! But from what I’ve gathered, the city made huge efforts to evolve past its boring dormant-office-city status into a vibrant capital with a strong focus on green travel, architecture and food. Ottawa doesn’t disappoint!
Quebec City: 3 hours
Probably the most popular daytrip from Montreal and the vicinity! Everyone I know has been to Quebec City with his/her family as a kid, either in the summer or the winter. Regardless of how many times you visited in the past, Quebec City always has something new to explore. If you travel by car, you can even add a day trip (yes, a day trip within a day trip – inception, much?) to Ile d’Orléans or Chutes Montmorency for good measure!
Boston: 6 hours
Boston itself is a very interesting city, but when you add in a potential trip to Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Boston would be one of the most popular day trips from Montreal. Put on your boat shoes and striped shirt, it’s a nautical holiday in Massachusetts – indulge in local specialties like Sam Adams beer, lobsters and chowder!
New York City: 6 hours
Ahhh, the Big Apple. The city that never sleeps! The most iconic and glamorous day trip from Montreal! New York City is all about shopping, eating, drinking and living large, and offers thousands of options in doing so. There’s no such thing as a shortage of activities there! The hustle of Times Square, the musicals of Broadway, the original restaurants of Greenwich, the upscale properties of the Upper East Side… there’s something for everyone. You can choose to spill one of the city’s most lavish hotels or load up your credit card at Barney’s, but whatever your choice, NYC definitely lives up to its reputation.
Toronto: 8 hours
Canada’s biggest city has nothing to envy to NYC or London. Far from dull, Toronto is vibrant, lively, artsy and simply gorgeous. You can opt for Kensington’s markets, the greenery of the Isles or the heights of the CN Tower. Toronto benefits from a lovely location on the banks of the Lake Ontario, and very close to the iconic Niagara Falls (the Canadian ones of course!).
Laurentides / Eastern Townships: 2 hours
Montreal being an island, it’s quite easy to get away from it all and get to the countryside in just under two hours. There are basically two options: the Laurentides or the Eastern Townships, in opposite directions. The former will guarantee a true Canadian vacation, log-cabin style, in the woods, while the latter will offer a relaxing holiday by a lake. Both options are appealing and are located near several attractions like spas, historical villages and shopping centers.
Which trip sounds most interesting to you? Have you been to any of these places from Montreal?