In eight days and four cities, you'll explore some of eastern Canada's cultural and natural highlights with this self-drive itinerary. Begin in Niagara Falls, where you'll experience the cascades by zipline and helicopter. Spend a day touring Toronto's landmarks, then drive to bucolic Prince Edward County to relax on the beach or tour award-winning vineyards. In Montréal, sample local delights on a food tour before ending in Québec City with a whale watching excursion on the St. Lawrence.


  • Ride the Niagara SkyWheel for your first glimpse of Niagara Falls
  • Cruise across Lake Ontario to admire Toronto's iconic skyline
  • Go on a walking tour in Old Montréal, the city's historic district
  • Spend your last day in Québec City exploring Petit Champlain

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Toronto, Drive to Niagara Falls, Ride the Niagara SkyWheel Niagara Falls
Day 2 Zipline Over the Falls, Journey Behind the Falls, Scenic Helicopter Flight Niagara Falls
Day 3 Drive to Toronto via the Woodland Cultural Centre, Half-Day City Tour Toronto
Day 4 Drive to Prince Edward County, Explore the Area's Beaches & Wineries Prince Edward County
Day 5 Drive to Montréal, Old Montréal Walking Tour Montréal
Day 6 Montréal Food Tour, Drive to Québec City, Visit Montmorency Falls Québec City
Day 7 Full-Day Whale Watching Excursion  Québec City
Day 8 Explore the Quartier du Petit Champlain, Depart Québec City  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Toronto, Drive to Niagara Falls, Ride the Niagara SkyWheel

Ride the illuminated Niagara SkyWheel for panoramic views of Niagara Falls

Welcome to Canada! When you arrive at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, pick up your rental car and drive 1.5 hours south to the city of Niagara Falls, home to the natural wonder of the same name. After refreshing, head to Clifton Hill, a bustling street lined with themed restaurants, arcades, souvenir shops, and landmarks like the iconic Niagara SkyWheel towering 175 feet (53 m) above the ground. Board the climate-controlled gondola for your first look at the falls and the Niagara River. If darkness has already fallen, you can enjoy a view of the cascade illuminated by colorful lights.

After the 12-15 minute ride, consider other attractions like the Niagara Speedway Go-Karts or Ripley's Believe It or Not!, a museum with odd artifacts, interactive games, and stories. When you get hungry, grab a bite to eat at one of the nearby restaurants or make your way to Skylon Tower to dine in the revolving dining room. Take an elevator up 775 feet (236 m) and sit down to enjoy a gourmet meal with a constantly changing view of the illuminated falls and cityscape below. Indulge in a crème brûlée or cheesecake for dessert to end the night. 

Day 2: Zipline Over the Falls, Journey Behind the Falls, Scenic Helicopter Flight

Glide alongside the Niagara River toward Horseshoe Falls on a 2,200-foot-long (670 m) zipline

Get ready for an action-packed day of seeing Niagara Falls from different vantage points, starting with a 2,200-foot-long (670 m) zipline above the water. Put on your harness and safety helmet, then hook onto the zipline and soar above the gorge, enjoying a bird's-eye view of the natural wonder. After the exhilarating ride, go on the Journey Behind the Falls on your own, an awe-inspiring attraction that takes you into the tunnels behind Horseshoe Falls. Descend 125 feet (38 m) in a high-speed elevator, then look out at the wall of water from your vantage point, where you'll be soaked by the mist.

Don't miss the Cataract and Great Falls Portals, which are directly behind the thundering cascades. End your day with the most unique view of all as you fly above the falls in a helicopter. Head to the heliport, complete a safety briefing and then step inside the helicopter's spacious cabin lined with large windows for uninterrupted panoramic views. Learn about the area's rich history with the onboard commentary as you fly above the falls, rapids, and landmarks like the Niagara SkyWheel or Skylon Tower. After 12 minutes in the air, touch down at the heliport and make your way back to your hotel.

Day 3: Drive to Toronto via the Woodland Cultural Centre, Half-Day City Tour

Enjoy panoramic views of Toronto's iconic skyline on a boat cruise on Lake Ontario

Say goodbye to Niagara Falls this morning as you set off on the 1.5-hour drive back to Toronto, Canada's largest city. On the way, you can make a short detour at the Woodland Cultural Centre, housed in a former residential school. Explore exhibits that delve into the impact of colonialism, the legacy of residential schools, and the ongoing efforts of First Nations communities to preserve and revitalize their culture before completing the drive to your hotel in Toronto. After refreshing, go on a guided tour, starting at the iconic CN Tower for a panoramic view over the city from 1,136 feet (346 m) above ground.

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Then, set off on a fully narrated driving tour through the city to see landmarks like Old City Hall, the University of Toronto, Queens Park, Dundas Square, and Nathan's Phillips Square, where you can stop to take a picture with the famous Toronto sign. Continue to St. Lawrence Market, where you can browse the stalls full of fresh produce, artisanal food, and international delicacies before grabbing a bite to eat. End the tour with a boat cruise on Lake Ontario to admire the skyline or a visit to Casa Loma, North America's only castle, during the off-season.

Day 4: Drive to Prince Edward County, Explore the Area's Beaches & Wineries

Go on a self-guided wine tour to some of Prince Edward County's vineyards

After a restful night in Toronto, the road trip continues with a 2.5-3-hour drive along Lake Ontario to Prince Edward County, a charming area known for its rolling hills, sandy beaches, and lush vineyards. Depending on the route you choose, you may pass small towns like Cobourg or Belleville, which offer opportunities for quick stops and a bite to eat. When you arrive, check into your hotel, then enjoy the rest of the day at your own pace. if you want to relax, head to Sandbanks Provincial Park, home to an enormous stretch of beach.

In addition to the towering sand dunes and crystal-clear waters, the park also has plenty of trails, so you can also go on an active adventure here. Wine lovers may prefer a self-guided wine tour instead, visiting renowned wineries and vineyards like Huff Estates Winery or Sandbanks Estate Winery. Tour the property, learn about the winemaking process, and sample local varietals to savor their distinct flavors. In the evening, make your way to the town of Wellington to enjoy dinner overlooking the water at restaurants like Drake Devonshire or the Boathouse.

Day 5: Drive to Montréal, Old Montréal Walking Tour

Stroll along the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal on a guided tour

Bid farewell to Prince Edward County and Ontario this morning as you set off on a four-hour drive to Montréal, the largest city in Québec. On the way, consider stopping in Kingston to explore the historic downtown area or the Thousand Islands region for a scenic boat cruise along the St. Lawrence River. Back in the car, complete the drive to your hotel to check in. Then, meet your guide for a tour of Old Montréal, the city's historic district. Wander down the cobblestone streets lined with historic buildings and listen as your guide teaches you about how the city has evolved over the years.

Stop in Place d'Armes to see the imposing Notre-Dame Basilica. Admire the basilica's twin towers, elaborate carvings, and stained-glass windows before exploring the tranquil interior. Then, walk along the Old Port to admire the picturesque waterfront. After the tour, ride La Grande Roue de Montréal, the largest observation wheel in Canada, to enjoy panoramic views of the cityscape below from your climate-controlled gondola. Then, end the night in Plateau Mont-Royal, a trendy neighborhood full of eateries offering a diverse array of cuisines.

Day 6: Montréal Food Tour, Drive to Québec City, Visit Montmorency Falls

Sample local delights on your food tour in Jean-Talon Market

You may want to skip breakfast this morning before you venture out on a three-hour food tour starting at the Jean-Talon Market. Follow your guide through the lively market, where stall after stall brims with colorful produce, artisanal cheeses, and sweet pastries. Then, savor an array of Vietnamese, Italian, and Latin American dishes that have enriched the city's food scene. Move on to local delights at some of the best hole-in-the-wall gems. Along the way, meet the chefs and vendors who will provide insights into the craftsmanship that goes into creating Montréal's culinary delights.

With a full stomach, start the three-hour drive to Québec City, the province's capital. Before checking in at your hotel, drive 15 minutes north of the city to Montmorency Falls, a 272-foot (83 m) cascade that looms 98 feet (30 m) taller than Niagara Falls. Admire the falls from the different observation decks, then cross the suspension bridge for a dose of adrenaline. Back in the city, step back in time to the colonial era of New France with a stroll through the UNESCO-listed Old Québec. Wander along the fortified city walls, marvel at the iconic Château Frontenac, and grab dinner from one of many eateries. 

Day 7: Full-Day Whale Watching Excursion 

Keep your cameras ready and try to capture a shot of a humpback whale breaching

Get ready for a full-day whale watching adventure, starting with a 2.5-hour transfer to Baie-Sainte-Catherine. From here, you can board a boat cruise to Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, often referred to as one of the best places in the world to see whales. Thirteen different species frequent these waters, and depending on the time of year you visit, you may spot beluga, minke, fin, humpback, or blue whales.

As you cruise across the water, your guide will share insights into these incredible creatures and their behaviors. When you finally spot them, get your cameras ready in the hopes that they breach. The cruise will also take you past landmarks like Phare du Haut-Fond-Prince, an iconic red-and-white lighthouse, and the Saguenay Fjord, so there's plenty to see. After a few hours on the water, return to the shore for your transfer back to Québec City.

Day 8: Explore the Quartier du Petit Champlain, Depart Québec City

Spend your last few hours in Québec City exploring the charming Quartier du Petit Champlain

As your eight-day road trip across Ontario and Québec draws to a close today, spend your final few hours in the city exploring the Quartier du Petit Champlain, a picturesque neighborhood nestled within the old city walls. Stroll along the cobblestone streets lined with colorful French-inspired architecture, boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. Stop to admire local artwork or sample fresh croissants at one of the patisseries. Just keep an eye on the clock so you have time to drive to the airport, drop off your rental car, and head inside to catch your flight home. Safe travels! 

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Map of Road Trip Across Ontario & Québec: Cities, Lakes & Countryside - 8 Days
Map of Road Trip Across Ontario & Québec: Cities, Lakes & Countryside - 8 Days