With lots of time left to sightsee this summer, many of us are looking forward to getting behind the wheel, hitting the open road and exploring our Canada’s secret treasures.

Although vacations may look a little different this year as we prefer to stay closer to home, the day trip has emerged as the preferred getaway, according to a national survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Toyota Canada.

The main goals for Quebecers’ road trips will be to visit friends and family discover a new city or visit a national or provincial park among other great ideas.

But with everyone aching to get out of the house, popular destinations are bound to be overrun by tourists. Fortunately, there are still plenty of places to visit if avoiding crowds is a priority for you.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack up your vehicle and check out these lesser known but exciting day-trip destinations!

Montreal

  • Sucrerie de la Montagne – This Quebec heritage site is open year round, and it’s as authentic and true-to-history as sugar shacks come. There is a general store, Quebecois restaurant, and bar on site, with all-season activities such as horse-drawn sleigh or wagon rides and musical entertainment.
  • Au Diable Vert. Enjoy a number of fun activities here, including the epic 45-minute VeloVolant, where you can pedal bikes “through the sky” on a cable line and catch a bird’s eye view of wild ravines, rivers, waterfalls and mountains. Cool off on waterslides after, and then explore the quaint local shops and restaurants when you stop near Sutton and Abercorn.
  • The Laurentians. Sure, the Laurentians can’t really be called a “hidden gem,” but there’s plenty of space here to escape the crowds. Make the most of your vehicle and take the take the Chemin du Terroir, a gorgeous sign-posted route that winds through the country roads of Basses-Laurentides and Argenteuil. Here, you can taste locally produced beers and ciders and meet the friendly farmers. Get out and stretch your legs on the banks of the glittering lakes or explore the woods on a foraging expedition.