Mont-Tremblant is a beautiful backdrop for a host of soft and vigorous adventures, including skiing, golf, biking, boating and more.
Under a two-hour drive away, Mont-Tremblant is actually three in one: a year-round resort particularly famous for its ski hills, a town and a provincial park.
Rent a car or fly to Mont Tremblant, which has an airport 20 minutes from the ski hill. The Mont Tremblant Express runs regularly during winter.
Get out of the city for a day and explore the countryside surrounding Montreal. This 8-hr day trip includes not only a visit to the mountains, lakes and forests of the Laurentians, but also to quaint French villages and a cruise on the Lac des Sables in Ste Agathe des Monts.
Book a guided tour of the Laurentians with Viator.
Read the reviews of people who have actually taken the tour. I always add my own feedback and find others' extremely helpful.
3. Quebec City
Ideally, you would spend more than a few hours in Quebec City, but a day trip to the Quebec capital is still worth the effort. Like stepping over the ocean and onto European cobblestone, a visit to Quebec City is a truly unique experience in North America.
Quebec City is at least a three hour drive from Montreal, so an early start is necessary.
Book a guided tour of Quebec City with Viator.
4. Eastern Townships
This southern region of Quebec offers visitors a glimpse back into the 18th and 19th centuries with well-preserved, picturesque towns boasting traditional architecture, such as churches, homes, round barns, covered bridges and more.
This is a great destination for people who enjoy browsing artsy shops and galleries. Campers and outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of excellent trails, lakes and campgrounds.
Canada's national capital of Ottawa is a two and half hour drive away from Montreal - just over the Ottawa River.
Many Ottawa attractions, including historic buildings, museums and natural attractions - will easily fill a day. Parliament Hill in particular boasts grand Gothic Revival style buildings somewhat contrary to Canada's typical penchant for modesty. Tours of Parliament are free.
Book a tour of Ottawa from Montreal with Viator.
6. Take the AMT
Six AMT commuter trains operate between Montreal and outlying regions. These train lines are a great and inexpensive way for Montreal visitors to get out of the city and explore some of the Quebec countryside. From March through October, AMT offers "Train Escapades," which are full-day outings that vary depending on the season, but include cabane-a-sucre (maple sugar/sugar shack) visits in the spring and apple or pumpkin farm sojourns in autumn.
In 2012, summer escapades were cancelled but fall escapades are on track.
Check the AMT website for details.
Formerly a railway track, Le P'tit Train du Nord (Small Train of the North) is now a 200 km bike path/cross-country ski trail that winds through the Laurentians.
The trail is mostly flat, but is far from boring as it makes its way through beautiful scenery, including lakes, forests and forays into charming little towns.
Adding to the convenience and enjoyment of this route, some of the old train stations have been converted into cafes, shops or information centres.
Le P'tit Train du Nord starts about 30 minutes north of Montreal.
It's a bit sketchy to call this a "day trip" because it is close to 10 hours of travel. However, for die hard wildlife lovers who want to see these massive, antediluvian beasts rise and fall so gracefully through the water, book a tour with Viator that will take you from a central Montreal location to Rivière-du-Loup for a three-hour guided cruise.
Book a Whale Watching tour from Montreal with Viator.
Be sure to read the reviews of people who have actually taken the tour. I always add my own feedback and find others' extremely helpful.