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  • Writer's pictureCarey Tate

Road trip destinations for your summer "staycations."

Summer in Québec is short but sweet, and there is so much nature to see and fun to be had! Here are some road trip ideas; whether you want to unwind in the elements or keep the kids entertained until back to school, you have options!


This beautiful area extends far past the famous ski hill. One of the most popular hiking spots is in the Le Diable sector. For scenic views of Lac Monroe, the approximately 3-hour walk from La Roche to La Corniche and back offers two scenic viewpoints and a combination of uphill and downhill terrain. Keep an eye out for deer, and bring your hiking boots! Admission into the park is free for children 17 and under and $9.55 for adults. Although the sector of the park is a 40-minute drive to the downtown Tremblant village, you can stop by the Saint-Sauveur area on your way home for comparable shops and restaurants.

PHOTO: Eastern Townships

This Eastern Township haven is quaint and conveniently located. The drive will take you approximately an hour and a half and is 20 minutes away from the Bromont ski hill that transforms into a water park in the summer. Even closer is Lac-Brome, where you can go horseback riding or rent watercraft and hit the lake. Downtown Knowlton is a gem and sprinkled with art galleries, cafés, and inns; Douglass Beach is a great spot to relax beachside, and the Knowlton Marina has a cute restaurant with a great view of Lake Brome.

Éco-Odyssée PHOTO: Ottawa Tourism

Approximately a 30-minute drive from Ottawa and 2 hours from Montréal, this quaint town is great for adrenaline junkies and outdoor enthusiasts! The Great Canadian Bungee is nearby at Morrison's Quarry and is the highest spot to jump from in Canada at an impressive 200 ft! Éco-Odyssée is another one-of-a-kind nature excursion. You can kayak, peddle boat, or walk through their water and land labyrinths that span over 6 kilometers. Keep an eye out for beavers and other animals along the way. For a two-hour excursion through the maze with a two-seater canoe, it's $50.

Family Fun

PHOTO: Plage Saint-Zotique

This beloved beach is 45 minutes away from Montreal and accessible by the Soulanges bicycle path (Route verte #5). This is more of a family-friendly spot for a lively day and less of a tranquil retreat, but it's perfect for some aquatic fun. There is an inflatable obstacle course entitled the "Eau Défi," a splash pad and kayak, paddle board, and peddle boat rentals (at an additional cost from $10-20). Food trucks are there during the weekends, and of course, an ice cream shop is on-site. 5 to 17-year-olds and seniors over 65 pay $12 to enter; for adults, it's $15. Parking is also $5. The beach is open daily from 9 am to 7 pm. Reserving your spot online is highly recommended.

PHOTO: Upper-Canada Village

Far from a boring museum, Upper-Canada Village is a re-creation of life in an 1866 rural English Canadian setting. The buildings, actors, costumes, and modes of transport are straight out of your history textbook and featured are 40 historical buildings that were once homes, mills, and workshops. Admission for a family of up to 5 (2 adults, 3 youths/students) is $80. It will take about 1hr 30 to get to the Village in Morrisburg, Ontario.

PHOTO: Parc Oméga

Best known for its majestic Fairmont le Château Montebello Hotel, a high-end getaway for Montréal and Ottawa residents, this town is a 1hr15 drive from the 514. If a night here is not in your budget, there are some great activities in the surrounding area. Parc Oméga is a drive-in safari, and you can feed the deer parked along the road, or drive-by arctic wolves, elk, bison, bears, and foxes. The park is open from 9 am to 5 pm, and ticket prices can be found here. Downtown Montebello is charming and quaint; its cheese factory, breweries, and chocolate shops make it a foodie hotspot worth checking out.

SOURCE: Upper Canada Village, Parc Oméga, Plage Saint-Zotique, Éco-Odyssée, Great Canadian Bungee.


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