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5 Days in Canada visiting from New Jersey

5 Days in Canada visiting from New Jersey

Old Jul 26th, 2012, 10:13 AM
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5 Days in Canada visiting from New Jersey


We are planning to drive to Canada from New Jersey in the last week of August going into September 3.

We will have 5 days and was initially planning on going to Montreal and Quebec city. I gathered all the information from other posts in the forum and was very excited to visit these 2 cities.

I just found out that one of our friends who will be accompanying us have already visited these 2 places last year.

So i am looking for any recommendation that we can still visit these places but see more of the country side if there is anything that is going to be good to go with the kids.

Should i consider Ottowa instead of Montreal or Quebec City so that way we do not repeat the same places they have visited.

any recommendations are welcome.
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Old Jul 26th, 2012, 11:57 AM
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five days including driving time from jersey is not very long... the drive each way is a full day and that would leave three days for both cities... or am i reading that wrong?
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Old Jul 26th, 2012, 12:08 PM
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We will have atleast 4 and a half full days in Canada. I was not counting the travel time from NJ, that will be apart from these 4 and a half days.

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Old Jul 26th, 2012, 12:12 PM
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from my place to Ottawa is 7 and half hrs.

We are planning to halt in Syracuse and drive to Ottawa from there on the following day so we get there by noon.

we will be there from Aug 29 th noon until Sept 3rd early morning.
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Old Jul 26th, 2012, 07:25 PM
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Ottawa is a very nice city with a compact downtown. You mention "kids" - depending on age they would probably enjoy the very good recently renovated Canadian Museum of Nature (Dinosaur, geology and other exhibits) and the Museum of Civilization. Byward Market district has many little shops, bakeries, restaurants and patios. There are boat tours on the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal and the Canadian Parliament Buildings are quite impressive.

Between Syracuse and Ottawa you will cross the St. Lawrence River in the Thousand Islands area - there are cruises offered by a number of companies from 1 to 3 or more hours. You could overnight in either Gananoque (smaller town on the river) or Kingston (larger town/small city on Lake Ontario nearby with good selection of accommodation and nice little downtown with shops restaurants).

However it is shame to miss Montreal and Quebec City which are quite unique in North America with their combination of historic districts (especially Quebec City), French culture and cosmopolitan character (Montreal). However I think it would be difficult to squeeze these and Ottawa into 5 days.
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Old Jul 26th, 2012, 07:39 PM
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Ottawa is a very nice city, but 5 days there might be a lot. I would suggest a few nights in Montreal, and a few nights in Ottawa. True, your friend was in Montreal last year, but unless they spent an extended amount of time there, I bet there is a lot left to explore - it's a big, spread out city with many interesting neighborhoods, with a different festival every week. We visit Montreal at least twice a year, and have yet to tire of it. Quebec City on the other hand is fairly small, and it might be a 'been there done that' for your friend - even though it's possibly the most scenic city in North America.
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Old Jul 27th, 2012, 07:41 AM
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If you want to explore more of the countryside, you could look at the Eastern Townships in Quebec. http://www.easterntownships.org/

You might also want to look at this thread.

Parliament Hill
Sound and light show every night
Carillon concert every day at 11:00am
Changing of the Guard daily (June -Aug)@10:00
Meet a Mountie

Behind Centre block on the west side is the Cats of Parliament Hill, cat sanctuary. The original occupants were the official mousers in Parliament until they were "fired" in the 60's. There is construction but there is a pathway and signage to the cat condos. If you have trouble, ask one of the Mounties.


Speaking of Mounties - the Musical Ride is not in town but you can go out to the RCMP stables and meet the horses. It's East of downtown, very close to the Aviation Museum,which has a fabulous main hall with planes suspended from the ceiling.

Not downtown but close to, there is the Agriculture Museum located on the Experimental Farm. It's a working farm in city. The animal Barns and tractors are very popular with the kids. www.agriculture.technomuses.ca

Close to Experimental Farm is Dows Lake, there is a pathway that runs along the canal from Dows Lake to the locks. It's a nice stroll. You can also rent paddle boats

If you're interested in Farmers Markets - The Ottawa Farmers Market is on Sundays at Brewers Park, near Carleton University.

A bit west of downtown the War Museum, one of the halls has all sorts of jeeps and trucks and tanks.

Also heading west from downtown is Chinatown (along Somerset) There is a new Chinese arch that was a gift from China. It's stunning. Lots of good places to eat.

Where to stay. I would go with one of the Suites hotels downtown.

Food recommendations - not knowing your budget or tastes, it's hard to offer any constructive suggestions you can check out Anne DesBrisay's Capital Dining, http://www.capitaldining.ca/ reviewer for the Ottawa Citizen) or www.ottawafoodies.com - you can search restaurants by "tag" Or Urbanspoon for restaurant reviews.

One place that is on the don't miss it list is Art-is-in Bakery. Near Chinatown/War museum. Fabulous crossiants/pastries/breads/sandwiches

Or post some details about what you are looking for and I'll try to point you in the right direction.

The National Gallery - there is a big Van Gogh exhibit on now.


La Terrasse at the Chateau Laurier is a nice place for drinks and a light meal.The terrasse overlooks the Rideau Canal

Gatineau Park across the Ottawa River - you could go to the Mackenzie King Estate - tour the house and do one of the Hiking trails.

Museum passport www.museumspassport.ca
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 07:52 PM
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I have spent five days in Montreal every year for three decades and still find lots to do. You have received very good advice, above, about Ottawa too and I only add that it has become more ethnically diverse (ditto Montreal) which means even more good places to eat and drink. In either case a few days in the city and a day motoring into the respective river valleys (St.Lawrence/Ottawa) would make me pretty happy.
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Old Aug 21st, 2012, 02:44 PM
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We have finally agreed on going to Ottawa and Quebec city !!!

Based on the responses I have received I have a fair idea on what we would like to do in Ottawa.
I know need your help in planning my visit to Quebec city.
Since it was last minute we will not be staying in the old city but we have rented a chalet which is in Saint-Ferreol Les Neiges. Someone we know had stayed there last year and they liked the convenience of having a chalet with the kids.

Our plan is to leave NJ on aug 28 and reach our suite in Ottawa that same night.
We will spend 2 full days in Ottawa and head for Quebec on aug 31 early in the morning around 9 am.
I think the drive is almost 6 hrs.

I would like to know if someone can suggest a scenic route where we can take breaks and stop along the way.
We will spend another 2 days in quebec city and head out for Nj on sep 3 rd.

I would like suggestions for planning my 2 days around Quebec cit

Except for the chalet that is booked from aug 31 st to Sep 3 rd I can cancel any reservations in Ottawa.
So if you have a suggestion that might work out better for me I will be glad to hearing it.
If you think I could make more use of my time by not going to Ottawa and visiting another place please give me your suggestions.
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Old Aug 25th, 2012, 03:35 PM
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You probably already know this but the weekend of Friday, Aug 31 is Labour Day weekend in Canada. Expect very heavy traffic Thursday, Aug 30, Friday, Aug 31 and Monday, Sept 3(Labour Day).

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