Ryland Peters & Small, £22
19.09.2023 - 16:05 / lonelyplanet.com
Montréal’s picturesque city parks and “the mountain” Mont-Royal are stunning natural idylls within a bustling city but you can’t beat a day trip to really appreciate the great outdoors.
A rental car is the best way to see the countryside where lush forested hills sliced with waterways and spoonfuls of Québec culture await. And remember, no Québec road trip is complete without poutine (French fries, squeaky cheese curds and flavorful gravy) from a casse-croûte (fry shack).
Here are six of our favorite day trips from Montréal to get you started.
Travel time: 30 minutes
Just 30km (18.6 miles) from Montréal near the suburb of Longueuil, lies the opportunity to go hiking amidst 27km (16.7 miles) of trails at Parc National du Mont-St-Bruno. The lovely park has five lakes and plenty of wildlife including 200 species of birds and endangered Western chorus frogs who sing a mating song. The park also has canoes and stand-up paddleboards for rent, and cross-country skiing trails in winter.
How to get to Parc National du Mont-St-Bruno from Montréal: Drive over the Samuel de Champlain Bridge and take Ave de l’Acier. Alternatively, take a bus from Terminus Radisson Sud and change at Terminus Sainte-Julie.
Travel time: 1 hour
Québec might not be known for its wine (yet), but Les Cantons de l’Est (Eastern Townships) region is doing its best to change that. The fertile landscape, dotted with cute cottages similar to what you’ll find in New England, is home to a number of wineries pushing the boundaries of what we can expect from Canadian wine. One particularly notable spot is Clos Saragnat, whose owner invented ice cider – similar to ice wine – and offers tastings. Other great wineries to do tastings at include Vignoble du Ruisseau and Vignoble de l’Orpailleur.
The Eastern Townships is also home to great microbreweries like Brasserie Dunham and gourmet food producers such as Le Musée du Chocolat in Bromont. Further east, meet monks at the Trappist monastery Abbaye de Saint-Benoît-du-Lac and taste their delicious cheeses, chocolates and sparkling ciders.
How to get to the Eastern Townships from Montréal: Drive southeast over the Samuel de Champlain Bridge and on Hwy 10 to the Townships. Some villages worth visiting include Sutton, Dunham, Bromont, Granby and Frelighsburg.
Travel time: 1 hour
In springtime as the snow begins to thaw, so does the sap in maple trees. The sap is collected and cooked down into Québec’s liquid gold – maple syrup. Québécois celebrate syrup season (late February through April) by feasting on traditional food bathed in the sweet stuff at a cabane à sucre (sugar shack). Classic feasts include fluffy crepes, glazed ham, tourtière (meat pie) with homemade ketchup, oreilles de crisse (literally meaning
Ryland Peters & Small, £22
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