Whether enjoying the Laurentians’ world-class resorts, slopes and parks, soaking up Montérégie’s bucolic beauty or touring the Eastern Townships’s excellent vineyards, there’s something for everyone a short distance from the city. And the breathtaking sites and splendour of historic Québec City and Ottawa, the nation’s capital, simply can’t be missed.
For fine dining and simple relaxation on fabulous natural surroundings, the Laurentians are about an hour’s drive from Montréal. Featuring world-class resorts and parks-including the famous Mont-Tremblant four-season resort-here you’ll find plenty of water sports, challenging golf courts, mountain biking, rock climbing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and fantastic downhill and crosscountry skiing.
A short hop south across the river, the Montérégie region is a treasure trove of inviting attractions. Explore the Richelieu Valley, visit Chambly’s famous microbrewery, or enjoy a picnic among the apple orchards on tranquil Mont Saint-Hilaire. Close by, Parc Safari is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Eastern Townships / Estrie
Head south from Montréal and you’ll find yourself in the picturesque Townships region, well known for its bed-and-breakfast inns and gourmet cuisine. Tour vineyards and sample homemade wines, jams and syrups; then visit the Orford Arts Center for a summer concert under the stars.
Just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Montréal, Québec City lives up to its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. Located on a spectacular bluff overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the streets and buildings of Cap Diamant, Québec City’s historic quarter, and Place Royale recount the history of New France. Inside the city’s old walls, the aroma of fresh bread, croissants and coffee waft through the narrow streets–an irresistible atmosphere of Old Europe is so pervasive that you’ll find it hard to believe that you’re still in North America.
Ottawa, the nation’s capital, is only two hours from Montréal and home to the Canadian Parliament and federal institutions. The city will astound you with its imposing government buildings towering above the Ottawa River–especially the magnificent Library of Parliament and its superb Gothic Revival architecture. Each spring, the city welcomes visitors from around the world for the Canadian Tulip Festival, the largest in the world, with the breathtaking beauty of millions tulips abloom throughout the Capital Region. Ottawa is bursting with grand museums and beautifully designed parks along or close to the historic Rideau Canal which runs through the city center. During the lively Winterlude Festival, the Canal is crowded with skaters gliding along the world’s longest skating rink.