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Itinerary Help - Montreal / Niagara Falls / New England

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Hi,
This is our initial itinerary for a 17 day holiday which MUST commence on 11th October 2013. We cannot change that date. We understand the only possibility of decent fall colours at that time is in Southern New England or along the coast so we spend the 1st few days in that area. Then to NH & VT and onto Boston, Niagara Falls and Montreal. (Yes, we have omitted Toronto, but hopefully for another trip. Montreal really appeals to us.)
Any and all comments, suggestions, thoughts, must do’s / must sees, and help very much appreciated.

Oct. 11 - Fly to Boston (Arriving 17.00 from Norwich UK via Amsterdam using Delta/KLM)
Collect Hire car & drive to Cape Cod area for night
Oct. 12 - (Saturday) Cape Cod or Southern New England (Hotel Cape Cod or Southern New England)
Oct. 13 - (Sunday) Cape Cod or Southern New England (Hotel Cape Cod or Southern New England)
Oct. 14 - (Columbus Day) Southern New England or Mass. (Hotel Mass. or Coastal Maine)
Oct. 15 - Coastal Maine (Hotel Coastal Maine)
Oct. 16 - New Hampshire (Hotel NH)
Oct. 17 - NH - White Mountains / Kancamagus Highway (Hotel NH)
Oct. 18 - New Hampshire or Vermont (Hotel NH or Vermont)
Oct. 19 - (Saturday) Vermont – Green Mountains (Hotel Vermont)
Oct. 20 - (Sunday) Vermont (Hotel Vermont)
Oct. 21 - Travel to Boston, drop Rental Car – (Hotel Boston)
Oct. 22 - Boston – (Hotel Boston)
Oct. 23 - Boston – (Hotel Boston)
Oct. 24 - Fly from Boston (Depart 14.20) to Toronto (Arrive 16.06) - This flight is ‘part and parcel’ of the ‘multi-flights’ with Delta/KLM and is practically a ‘freebie’. It ‘saves’ the possible ‘2 hour plus’ delay at the USA/Canada border near Niagara, (though obviously we’ll be sitting in the airport instead!) and the flight only takes 75 minutes.
‘PROBLEM’: To get from Toronto Airport to Niagara Falls ON (Hotel NF)
Oct. 25 - Niagara Falls ON - (Hotel NF)
Oct. 26 - ‘PROBLEM’: To get from NF to Toronto Airport
‘PROBLEM’: Fly from Toronto Airport to Montreal – This is NOT part and parcel of the ‘multi-flights’ and for some reason costs an additional $1,600. Seems we can get a separate internal flight with Air Canada, West jet or similar for $130 (so slightly cheaper!) - (Hotel Montreal)
Oct. 27 - Montreal - (Hotel Montreal)
Oct. 28 - Montreal - (Hotel Montreal)
Oct. 29 - Fly home from Montreal – (Depart Montreal 20.00 using Delta/KLM)

We would like to go on a whale watching tour at some point. Finally, any help on choice of hotels (assuming it’s possible within the sites rules) would be appreciated. CLEANLINESS IS BY FAR THE MAIN CONCERN. A decent breakfast and a TV would be good too . . . . . . . . . Oh! And a bed, I guess a bed would be handy . . . .
Thanks in advance

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    Oct 24,I don`t think there is any PROBLEM getting from Canada`s largest airport to Canada`s most popular tourist attraction, 125 kms away. What is the PROBLEM you envisage?

    Oct 26, Look at flying to Montreal by Porter airlines out of the Toronto Island (YTZ) airport.

    <<CLEANLINESS IS BY FAR THE MAIN CONCERN.>>
    Could you elaborate? Obviously, none of us intentionally seek out dirty hotel rooms, but most don`t get terribly bothered if the housekeeper forgot to dust a lampshade, or missed a bobby pin on the carpet, or something like that. Are we dealing with a health issue or dirt phobia or cleaniness fetish in your case?

    For whale watching, you are going to have to look for that in the Boston/Cape Cod area.

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    Hi norfolkanway,

    I assume you want to avoid renting a car and risk driving on the proper side of the road :). If so, there are a number of companies that run shuttle services from Toronto to Niagara Falls and Buffalo. Just Google Toronto Niagara Falls shuttle and go from there (likewise for your return trip).

    For your Toronto-Montreal flight, you might want to consider flying out of Billy Bishop airport (YTZ) which is on the Toronto waterfront as opposed to Pearson (YYZ). This adds Porter Airlines to your possible airline mix and between it & Air Canada, you have 15 departure choices (mostly overlapping though not completely) ranging from 8:15am to 6:15pm, allowing you to spend more time in the Niagara area on the 26th (I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice confining it to just the 25th). Both are showing $119/person flight costs and I would assume that Air Canada's service is comparable to Porter's on that route though I'll leave that to others to correct if I'm off the mark.

    Hotels, I can't speak to but if you aren't renting a car I'd recommend something close to the Falls with a view. There're a number to choose from and as you're going to be there after Canadian Thanksgiving, I would think you'll be getting better rates. I would highly recommend the Maid of the Mist boat ride but I see from their website that they're shutting down for the season as of 4:45pm on October 24th. If changing your itinerary isn't on, then Journey Behind the Falls is another great option for getting up close to the Falls.

    Nearby Niagara on the Lake is also well worth visiting. It's easily walkable and a real treat on a Fall day. If you're vinophiles, the Niagara area (as well as the nearby Twenty Bench) offer a number of wineries as well as wine tour companies. Given your constricted timeline, I'm not sure that an organised tour will quite work but if you go to this link (http://bit.ly/Wine_Country), it lists wineries all around the province; Niagara-on-the-Lake will more than keep you busy.

    I hope this gives you a good start.

    u

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    ron
    <<CLEANLINESS IS BY FAR THE MAIN CONCERN.>>
    If you were to see our property ron and know my wife you'd get to know what I mean. Absolutely spotless, nothing out of place. (Personally I think it has something to do with the loss of both parents by the time she was 13 but who knows, and my goodness they would be soooo proud of what she's achieved in her life.)

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    For the Canadian part...
    Since we already know, because we read it in your original message, that you are willing to drive in North America, I'd suggest you get a car at the Toronto airport, drive to Niagara Falls, and then drive to Montreal, and drop the car at the airport there.

    Dropping, in Canada, a car rented in Canada, is a lot easier than trying to drop off a US car up here.

    It's an easy drive from the airport to Niagara Falls, the city of Niagara Falls and the town of Niagara on the Lake are both car-friendly, some of the attractions are spread out, and all in all, having a car in Niagara Falls is handy.

    It's a decent day's drive from Niagara Falls to Montreal, and you can leave when you want.

    If instead you had to get organized in order to catch a bus or limo at a fixed time to either the main Toronto airport (Pearson, YYZ) or the island airport (Bishop)you'd have a fairly uncomfortable morning. If you just left when you want in a comfortable car, life is good.

    Are you a history buff? There's the Canadian Warplane Heritage museum at the Hamilton airport, more or less on the way from Niagara Falls to Toronto.

    The drive from Niagara Falls to Montreal is mostly on superhighways (no tolls)and aside from passing Toronto, there won't be much in the way of traffic. There are a couple of interesting small towns to visit, off the main highway, and the City of Kingston, which is worth a couple of hours.

    Once you get to Montreal, you might keep the car for the first day and visit the outlying attractions, then return the car and stay downtown for a day. Then take a limo to the airport and head home.

    About hotels in central Canada; we do not have the large number of small two star hotels that seem to fill England and France, and the small traditional motels where you park outside the door to your room, have almost disappeared.

    Niagara Falls has lots of big chain hotels; Niagara on the Lake has several small, luxury, hotels, and I wouldn't worry about these being clean. (that said, Canadian TV had a "look at all the germs" special on hotels not long ago.)

    ChoiceHotels.ca will take you to a multi-name chain of mostly mid-priced hotels (Choice Hotels, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suite, Quality Inn and more)and I've stayed happily at dozens of them.

    I've spent a lot of time driving in Canada, and one trick I sometimes use is to leave a city in the early evening, when traffic is calmer and after a light dinner, and drive until 9 or 10 p.m. The next morning I get on the road fairly early, and get to my destination earlier and more refreshed than if I'd had a full day's drive.

    And the en-route hotels are less expensive than the downtown ones.

    Niagara Falls to Montreal is perhaps 500 miles; consider leaving Niagara Falls late one afternoon and staying for night in Belleville. FRom Belleville you can visit Prince Edward County, which is more or less an island in Lake Ontario, and then take a ferry to the mainland and head into Kingston. And then on toe Montreal.

    Hope this helps. Keep posting and you'll keep getting info.

    BAK

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    BAK supplies lots of good advice although the evaluation of traffic Niagara Falls-Toronto is optimistic. The busy expressways can turn into parking lots at any hour of the day or night. While the trip from the Falls to Montreal should take about seven hours plus rest stops, budget at least another hour for traffic jams. East of Toronto is easier going until the snarled spaghetti surrounding Montreal. A pause in the Belleville-Kingston area is a fine suggestion, too.

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    Agree with Southam about the traffic between Toronto and NF. And, I would never leave NF "late in the afternoon" to head to Toronto/Montreal. Traffic is very heavy "late afternoon" to and from Toronto.

    NFW,I like your idea of going back to Toronto from NF and flying to Montreal. But, if it were me, I would entirely skip Niagara Falls. Most here may disagree with me on that. I am just not a fan of NF and Niagara on the Lake. Seems a long way to go out of our way. I would fly Boston to Montreal & enjoy Montreal & its surrounding area fron Oct 24-29. Mt. Tremblant, north of Montreal, is an interesting area to visit. Or even go to Quebec City from Montreal.

    Alternatively, consider flying Boston to Quebec City on Oct 24. Then go to Montreal on the VIA train from Quebec City & fly home from Montreal on Oct 29.

    OB1

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    1) We are Canadian and did a great whale watching day out of Gloucester, just north of Boston.http://www.gloucesterma.com/

    2) I agree with poster above, enjoy Montreal, the Eastern Townships or the Laurentians. Mt Tremblant area is fabulous , with many charming villages along the route .http://www.tremblant.ca/lodging-and-village/index.aspx

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