Photo cred - slimmer1972
Yes, we know, winter is pretty much the worst, especially these days what with the ice storm revival going on. But winter can be fun (in moderation of course) provided there are fun activities to distract you from it and it's not getting in the way of, you know, your daily functions.
As we live in what is known as an arctic climate, we shouldn't be too surprised when temperatures drop, the snow piles on, and we basically go into deep-freeze mode for what seems like an eternity. There's no denying that winter is literally the bane of every Montrealers existence, but embracing it can actually be rather invigorating when enjoyed outside of the city, and here are a few places to do it.
The Ride: 134 km north-west of Montreal, nestled in the Laurentian mountains, expect plenty of stunning scenery.
Length: 1.75 hours
Quebec City, QC
The Ride: 251 km north-east of Montreal, Quebec City is located in the Saint Lawrence River valley with the Laurentian Mountains lie to the north of the city.
Length: 2.5 hours
- Check out the Quebec's Winter Carnival, said to be the biggest in the world, for ice & snow sculpture competitions, snow tubing, food tasting, extreme activities and much more
- Stay in the only Ice Hotel in North America
- Visit the Aquarium du Québec to see polar bears, sea walrus, seals and Artic fox living outdoors
Village Vacances Valcartier, QC
The Ride: 272 km north-east of Montreal, Village Vacances Valcartier takes you through Quebec City and is surround by natural beauty.
Length: 3 hours
- Go tubing with over 42 exciting tube and crazy carpet slides, including The Everest, The Himalaya and the The Tornado
- Slide down the "Vertigineuses" frozen water slides
- Go snow rafting down the slopes aboard a 12-passenger boat
- Race your friends with the mini-formula drag race on ice
- Enjoy some evening skating on paths equipped with sound system
The Ride: 198 km west of Montreal, not the most exciting drive, but it is Ontario after all.
Length: 2.25 hours
- Skate on the Rideaux Canal Skateway, the largest outdoor skating rink in the world
- Go ice fishing on the Ottawa River
- Check out Ottawa's Winterlude
- Get your pancakes and sugar shack on at Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush
- Go cross-country skiing at Gatineau Park with nearly 200 kilometers of groomed trails
The Ride: 175 km south-east of Montreal, the trip to Vermont offers some stunning mountain views and scenery.
Length: 2.5 hours
- Visit the Killington Resort
- Enjoy a relaxing mile-and-a-quarter ride in an enclosed 8-person gondola cabin to the top of 4,241-foot Killington Peak
- Take a snowcat-drawn sleigh ride
- Explore the land on an invigorating snowshoe tour
- Visit the Jay Peak Resort
- Go skiing/riding
- Escape the snow at the Pump House indoor waterpark
Niagara Falls, On
The Ride: 680 km south-west of Montreal, this is technically not that close to Montreal, but the scenery along along the St-Laurence River and around Lac Ontario is well-worth the drive.
Length: 6.5 hours
- Check out what the Natural Wonder looks like frozen from the Niagara SkyWheel
- Take in the view from the Skylon Tower
- Go skating at Rink on the Brink, the outdoor skating rink that overlooks the Falls
- Get lost in the Souvenir City Headquarters with 15,000 square feet of souvenirs, chocolates, homemade fudge, glassblowing demonstrations, and lots more
- Explore all the fun and excitement of Clifton Hills
Cover photo cred – HomeAway