5 Weekend Trips and Getaways From Montreal

Algonquin Provincial Park has something for every outdoor adventurist
Algonquin Provincial Park has something for every outdoor adventurist | © Max shen / Getty Images
With its proximity to captivating coastal landscapes and the Canadian border with the USA, there are many getaway options for Montreal residents – and they’re particularly envy-inducing. Pop over the border to Burlington and sample some of Vermont’s best beers (don’t forget your passport), or head to the rugged Newfoundland and Labrador provinces to relax in historic fishing villages. So pack your bags and hit the road – these are some of the best weekend getaways you’ll experience.

Tadoussac

Situated at the confluence of the Saint Lawrence River and the Rivière Saguenay, Tadoussac has many whale-watching opportunities over the summer months. Zodiac whales are popular in the area, and lucky visitors will often also spot beluga and minke whales. Besides witnessing these enormous sea dwellers, Tadoussac is a popular base for venturing further into the fjords and surrounding waterways. If you’re traveling as a family or group of friends, you can rent an entire guesthouse in Tadoussac Bay, with panoramic views over the Saint Lawrence River.

ActivitiesWhale-Watching Cruise
From $68 per person
2 hours 30 minutes

Tadoussac is one of the most spectacular whale-watching spots in the world, so it would be a crime not to head out on an expedition while you’re here. After boarding, this small-group tour cruises through the Saguenay-St Lawrence Marine Park, traveling past towering cliffs with the sea breeze in your face. Your naturalist guide will point out and discuss the whales you see on your trip – there are up to 13 species that frequent the area.

Algonquin Provincial Park

A dense, pine-tree-packed provincial park, Algonquin seems as if it’s come straight from a Thomas Cole painting. It’s full of stunning lakes and native animals, and in the autumn, much of the forest turns various shades of deep and luminous orange, covering the park in fiery tones. Whether you want to hike through the many tracks or take it all in from the water, you’ll want to stay somewhere that keeps you immersed in nature. Tucked away on a quiet country road near the village of Dwight on the Port Cunnington Peninsula, Birchcroft Cottage offers two bedrooms and modern amenities, including a wood burner for chilly nights. Dwight Beach is just a short walk away, and Algonquin Provincial Park is a 15-minute car ride away.

ActivitiesAlgonquin Provincial Park Canoe Trip
From $112 per person
6 hours

This group tour is the perfect way to sample a canoe adventure, without the logistics of camping overnight. You’ll cover up to 10 mi (16km) – an exciting combination of challenging paddling, tranquil pauses and a 1 mi (1.5km) hike through lush forest. Daredevils can try cliff jumping, but if you prefer a more low-key cool off, the lakes make for spectacular swimming. You’ll be able to enjoy dramatic views from a scenic lookout, explore, and be informed on, historic landmarks, forage for wild edibles and observe native wildlife such as birds, butterflies, moose and other large mammals.

Burlington, Vermont

Perched on Lake Champlain’s shoreline, Burlington is a bohemian town where performers take to the streets and breweries host live music. You’ll need your passport to get here, but it’s worth crossing the border for this weekend getaway. Prepare to spend your time ambling along wide sidewalks, taking in the beautiful scenery and making the most of the town center’s buzzy atmosphere. Wake up to views over Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains with a stay at this modern guest cabin in a private backyard. Featuring a queen-size bed, a full kitchen with counter seating and even a wood-fired barrel sauna, the studio provides comfort and convenience in equal measure.

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ToursBurlington Brewery Tour With Lunch or Dinner
From $98 per person
4 hours
5 (3)

Taste your way through some of Vermont’s best beers on this Burlington brewery tour. You’ll sample world-class brews, get an insider’s perspective on the thriving craft-beer scene and then meet the owners and brewers behind the city’s most popular pours. Learn about colorful characters and the history of beer brewing in Vermont, as you make your way between your destinations, with pitstops for lunch or dinner at a favorite local spot.

Lincoln, New Hampshire

Another venture for the passport, Lincoln is a cutesy town located in the White Mountains area of New Hampshire, USA. With its multicolored clapboard houses and surrounding natural beauty, it’s an ideal escape for those who want to immerse themselves in the great outdoors. Winter visits are all about world-class skiing, whereas summer focuses on theme parks and hiking trails. Nearby, at the base of the Loon Mountain south peak, this stylishly renovated studio sleeps four and comes with access to an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a sauna and a hot tub. You’ll also find a selection of great restaurants within walking distance.

ToursWinery and Vineyard Tour
From $26 per person
1 hour 15 minutes

Whether you’re a wine aficionado looking to discover the lesser-known New Hampshire wine region, or a curious beginner wanting to dip your toe in, this promises to be an educational day. You’ll take an intimate tour of Seven Birches Winery and chat with the winemaker, giving you the opportunity to pick the owners’ brains on the winemaking process and the local industry. It’s a fantastic way to experience the vineyard, with a tasting session that goes further than usual. You’ll have the opportunity to sample a “wine in progress” – currently in production – as well as some delicious wines that have already been bottled.

Saint John

This far-flung seaport city – the first to be founded in Canada – has reinvented itself in recent decades. Away from the harbor, red-brick and sandstone buildings line streets packed with pubs and restaurants. Overlooking the Bay of Fundy, the town is home to one of Canada’s most incredible natural phenomena – the Reversing Falls, which occur as a result of the tides in the bay meeting the power of the Saint John River. Stay in the heart of historic uptown in this whitewashed two-bedroom suite – it includes a fully equipped kitchen, fresh towels, coffee and tea, and a dedicated parking spot. Located on a hill, the apartment also gives you sweeping views over the harbor.

ActivitiesFundy Coast Photography Tour
From $83 per person
5 hours
4.1 (10)

Capture the beauty of Canada’s coastline on this five-hour photography tour of the Fundy Coast. You’ll begin by exploring the fishing village of Saint John, where your guide will talk you through the history of the town, before moving onto Saint Martins for the chance to take atmospheric shots of the lighthouse and twin bridges, backed by ocean swirls. The remainder of the tour will take you to rocky beaches and sandstone sea caves carved out by powerful waves. Before heading back to town, there will also be time to visit a historical food market and admire the famous Reversing Falls – a natural phenomenon caused by incoming tides that force back the flow of the Saint John River, creating white-water-tinged whirlpools.