Not to blatantly preach, like an Arcade Fire song, but getting in your car and driving 5-hours in any direction, could be your only escape from the neon luminescence of Montreal this summer.
So if you're overwhelmed with the chaos of the city, a weekend road trip might just pull you out of the slump you're in. So why not check out all of the amenities Quebec has to offer and see how far you can end up in just a 5 hour drive.
1. Montmorency Falls (2h 45min)
Located in the area of the small town of Sainte-Anne de Beaupré, these giant waterfalls have all kinds of organized touristic excursions. There's a hiking tour that leads to a bridge over the falls (see picture), and the park also offers double zip line adventures. Also, visit the nearby Canyon of Sainte-Anne de Beaupré; this region won't disappoint in terms of its natural beauty.
2. Saguenay (4h 30min)
This lake, also referred to as a sea, is one of the most impressive natural bodies of water in the province. The Fjord-du-Saguenay National Park is packed with great activities including their amazing campground. There is the option of bringing your own tent or what they call "camp and fish" which is a package for a cabin rental
3. Victoriaville (2h)
Victoriaville is a great little town with cute little B&Bs, farms, and all kinds of outdoor activities. It's proximity to Nicolet River makes it a nice fishing and boating spot. The Victorin Hotel offers four-wheeler rentals and a track to ride them on.
4. Lac Brome (1h)
Located in the Eastern Townships, Brome, is a great remote town, which has a lake accessible to all nature-lovers. There is a Spa/hotel called Auberge West Brome that is so big it looks like a compound, it has its own farm and offers tours of all the local wineries. Did someone say WINE TASTING!?
5. Baie St-Paul (4h 30min)
Baie St-Paul is a destination for those who like to be in the middle of nowhere. Even though this it's a small town, their Hôtel La Ferme is a super modern joint, that has a spa, 3 restaurants and incredibly chic rooms (see photo). Believe it or not this resort is located in the middle of a field. It's an amazing destination that you have to check out.
6. Réserve Faunique Des Laurentides (5h)
This national park has many campgrounds and different "Pavillions" with available rooms. You have the option of fishing, swimming and exploring their wildlife preservation centre. They also give bear watching tours, where they take groups on forest walks, in hopes of spotting the infamous black bears of the region.
7. Lac-Etchemin (3h 30min)
The Chaudière-Appalaches region, is a quiet destination that has a population of 4000. The Etchemins Eco Park is where you'll find a beach, waterslides and camp sites. They also have a great public golf club with an amazing course.
Photo cred - TripAdvisor
8. Saint-Félicien (5h)
This destination is in the Saguenay lac St-Jean area, that is also famous for their cheese. Zoo Sauvage St-Félicien is a pretty big park with all kinds of exotic animals. The zoo offers after hours, behind the scenes tours of the animal's quarters as well.
9. Shawinigan (2h)
This location is right on the St-Maurice river and is a decently sized city, with all kinds of different outdoor activities. There is a small island on the river called Île Melville, complete with a park that offers Arbre en Arbre excursions. This set of tours is like an above-ground obstacle course, set high up in the trees, with zip lines and little draw bridge.
10. Quebec City (2h 30min)
St-Jean is coming up and there's no better place to celebrate the holiday of the 24 then the capital of the province. Other than the crazy national holiday parties they have a beautiful aquarium which is definitely something to visit. Old Quebec, comparable to Old Montreal, is a great place for little restaurants and pubs with a European feel.