While one could occupy themselves for weeks on end with things to do in Montreal, occasionally it’s nice to get out of the city on a day trip into the gorgeous surrounding scenery and townships. Whether it’s flying high in the forest trees, checking out some unique museums, or chowing down on some Quebec cuisine; renting a car to explore these nearby gems is definitely worth it…
When you think about it, this is one of the most important historical museums in Canada. The railway across the great white north is what built the modern country we know today. From technological innovations and marvellous feats of engineering, to the actual workers who risked their lives to complete it. The museum features permanent and temporary exhibitions, guided tours, animations, educational activities, demonstrations, tram and train rides and many fun themed events. You can get there by bus and car, however we think it would be most appropriate to get there by train! Hop on the Candiac/St-Constant commuter train from the Lucien-L’Allier station! More details here.
Parc national des Iles-de-Boucherville
Located just a few kilometres from Montreal in the middle of the St.Lawrence river is a chain of islands that form a stunning national park. Come walk, run, bike, canoe, cross-country ski, and snowshoe around in this stunning slice of nature. All the gear needed to do these activities are available to rent from the park, including a contraption called the “mobile elliptical cross trainer.” A trip to the park is not only great for outdoor activities, but an educational experience as well! Learn about wildlife, conservation, and the historical First Nations presence in the area. More details here.
Domaine Labranche (Saint-Isidore-de-laprairie)
Visit this gorgeous part of Quebec to see a historic sugar shack (cabane a sucre) and their vineyard where they make some succulent wines and serve farm fresh food. If you’re looking for a unique and delicious culinary experience, a domaine like Labranche is an absolute must! Check out their menu and schedule here.
Sucrerie de la Montagne
This sugar shack distinguishes itself for the others for two very important reasons: It’s open year-round, and is an official Quebec Heritage Site. This is a “throwback” style sugar shack, where they do everything the authentic old-fashioned way. There’s a general store, a fantastic restaurant serving authentic Quebecois cuisine, a bar, and little cabins you can rent should you want to stay the night. You can also buy a maple perfume! Check out their details here.
Tree-top trekking 150 feet in the air? Arbraska is definitely not for those with a fear of heights. But if you’re into the physical thrill of zip-lining through a forest, then Arbraska will be a fun-filled day. Try their other activities too like the GPS Rally, Via Ferrata, or a trek in the darkness of night! There are Arbraskas all over Quebec, so check out their locations here.
Granby Zoo is the largest zoo and conservation centre in Quebec. Get up close and personal with endangered and exotic animals, splash around in the amazing wave pool and water park, or take a ride on the Anaconda roller coaster! Located about an hour outside Montreal, Granby Zoo is a great day trip for families and friends of all ages. Check out the details of the zoo here.
75 minutes outside Montreal is Canada’s biggest themed water park. Canada’s largest wave pool, 35 water slides (including the tallest in North America,) lazy rivers, the insanely fun Boomerango water ride, and much more. (Check it out in the video.) Get all the details on Calypso here.
Photo credits: Exporail, Chris Desrosiers, La Branche Domaine, David Carrier for Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville, Zoo de Granby.
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