13 Spontaneous Day Trips That Are Less Than 3 Hours Away From Montreal

Summer has arrived, but we all know the season doesn't last forever. Before we know it, we'll be back in winter jackets and gloves while hiding away from the snow. But, until then, it's our chance to take advantage of the beautiful summer views that come with living in Quebec. And for us city folk, it's good to know that there are tons of cool day trips to take near Montreal that are worth hopping in your car to go explore.

Road trips are awesome during every season.

But there's something about hitting the open road on a hot summer day, while a killer playlist blasts in your car, that brings out the best in us all. 

Discovering the surrounding areas of our city has become one of my favourite things to do, mostly because there's a never-ending list of places to explore.

From gorgeous waterfalls to picturesque towns, there's no denying the beauty that lives all around our city.

There are so many fantastic spots to visit, some of which aren't too far from Montreal, which we've gathered for you below.

Dorwin Falls

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour

Located only one hour from Montreal, this gorgeous waterfall site also offers walking paths through the forest and spots where you can enjoy a picnic, so don't forget to bring a lunch with you.



Distance from Montreal: 1 hour and 20 minutes

If you're looking for a quick day trip that will provide you with amazing lake views, great casse-croûtes, and even better water adventures, then Esterel may be the spot for you.


Park Omega

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour and 50 minutes

Located less than two hours from Montreal, this safari park is 12 kilometres of nature routes that include lakes, valleys, meadows, rocky hills, and a ton of animals.


Lac Meech

Distance from Montreal: 2 hours and 25 minutes

Located in Gatineau Park, this lake has a lot of beauty to offer its visitors. The beautiful water adds a picturesque feel that's ideal for any day trip away from the city.



Distance from Montreal: 2 hours and 45 minutes

The fresh air and picture-perfect surroundings will take you away from your worries in Montreal and transport you to a new setting that's sure to keep you relaxed.


Beloeil / Mont St-Hilaire

Distance from Montreal: 40 minutes

Located less than an hour from Montreal, this is a great spot to spend the day or even the afternoon.

Across the Richelieu River lives Mont St-Hilaire nature reserve, where you can get breathtaking views of the Saint Lawrence River Valley.


Lac Aux Araignées

Distance from Montreal: 3 hours

Lakes are a big part of our province and Lac Aux Araignées is one of the most stunning spots that are ideal for spending a day by the water.

And, during the heat of the summer, are we all not searching for a body of water to cool off in?


Upper Canada Village

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour and 30 minutes

This 19th-century village is an awesome spot for those looking to escape the city.

The old-world charm combined with the good restaurants and calming vibe make this spot a must-see, especially during the summer.



Distance from Montreal: 3 hours

Baie-Saint-Paul has a very interesting history.

Not only is it the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil but it is a place that's swimming in art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants, that make for the perfect setting for a day trip outside of the city.


St. Raphael's Ruins

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ninety minutes away from Montreal lives a special spot that's sure to leave you in awe.

These gorgeous ruins were destroyed by a fire in 1970 and although the church is burnt down, the masonry remains, and it's truly a stunning sight.



Distance from Montreal: 1 hour and 20 minutes

There's something special about the adorable town of Magog.

The quaintness of the town gives guests the impression of being somewhere really far from Montreal, even though it's less than 90 minutes from our city.


Gatineau Park

Distance from Montreal: 2 hours and 45 minutes

Situated in Quebec's Outaouais region, this national park houses 361 square kilometres of stunning land.

With trails running through the dense forests as well as impressive ruins and a lake with mesmerizing turquoise water, there's a lot to see when visiting this national park.


Lake Champlain

Distance from Montreal: 1 hour and 25 minutes

Lake Champlain stretches through both the U.S. and Canada. The wildlife combined with the chilled-out vibe makes this location a must for anyone looking to escape for the day.


Happy exploring!

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.

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