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First Trip to Canada with 8 days (Montreal/QC/And?)

First Trip to Canada with 8 days (Montreal/QC/And?)

Old Apr 15th, 2019, 12:41 PM
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First Trip to Canada with 8 days (Montreal/QC/And?)

Hi! This is our first trip to Canada, and I need help trying to plan out the logistics of where to go/stay and how to get there. We have only booked flights, nothing else, so I have a lot of room for flexibility.
Land in Albany at 1:30am on Sat. 5/25 (stay the night near the airport, and then leave later that morning).
Take off for FL at 7:40am, Sun. June 2nd, (back in Albany some time on Saturday night).

We were thinking Montreal and QC, and perhaps another quaint town during the time that we have. My friend suggested Mont-Tremblant. Any other suggestions? We are mid 50 mid 60 and have no problem walking. We love tours, walking and exploring, eating, unique activities, just not climbing, hiking, biking. We like quaint towns as well as beautiful scenery. We did whale watching recently in Alaska, so not looking to do that.

So....
1. What would be the best way to get from Albany to Montreal?2. If I renting a car, should I drop off the car same day or will I need it in Montreal, QC and perhaps Mont-Tremblant (or similar town)? If we kept a car, we are open to drive/stay in different towns, but if a car isn't needed we would take day trips, but to where? And is there transportation to visit other towns? Please help!Once I figure out where we're going, I'll probably ask for accommodation recommendations!
Thank you so much!
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Old Apr 17th, 2019, 12:14 PM
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I would rent the car in Albany and split my time between Montreal, Quebec City , and stops along the route. .. Lake George, Saratoga... and possibly an Adirondacks sidetrip.... this makes a circular route with the return to Albany...
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Old Apr 17th, 2019, 03:21 PM
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I guess you know that Abany isn't really that close to where you want to be? Maybe 6 hours, and an international border crossing, which can take time.

Note that it is cost prohibitive, if not impossible, to drop a rental car in a different country.

Last edited by elberko; Apr 17th, 2019 at 03:40 PM.
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Old Apr 17th, 2019, 05:13 PM
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Train #69 the Adirondack leaves the Albany-Rennsaleer station at 11:10AM every day. The train arrives in Montreal 8 hours later a little after 7PM. Rent your car in Montreal and drive it only in Canada.
On the way back you can get off the Adirondack in Ticonderoga and rent a car there to see what you want of upstate New York.
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Old Apr 20th, 2019, 01:44 PM
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Hi Garyt22!
I was thinking that we would go to Montreal, QC and head to Vermont at the end. I'm still in the early phases of planning this trip (I know, I need to put a rush on it), so I'll look into both NY and VT.
Thank you so much for your reply!
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Old Apr 20th, 2019, 01:46 PM
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Hi Elberko!
I googled the time between Montreal and Albany, and it says 3 1/2 hours. Is this not correct? Also, we're going to end the trip in Vermont most likely, so we'll be returning the car back to Albany before our flight.
Thank you for your reply!
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Old Apr 20th, 2019, 01:49 PM
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Hi Tom!
Thank you for your reply! What do you think of renting a car in Albany where our plane lands, driving it into Montreal (google states 3 1/2 hour drive, minus border delays), then keeping it through Canada and driving back over the border to VT after QC and spend a few days there. We'll then drop it off back at Albany before we take off from the airport? I'm not sure about parking rates, etc. in Montreal and QC though. I'll have to research that.
Thanks again!
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Old Apr 21st, 2019, 06:50 AM
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Renting the car makes the most sense because of the distance between the cities you wish to visit... hotel parking can be pricey, but the freedom of having the car is worth the trade off.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2019, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by garyt22
Renting the car makes the most sense because of the distance between the cities you wish to visit... hotel parking can be pricey, but the freedom of having the car is worth the trade off.
I agree Gary, thank you!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2019, 09:21 AM
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Have you thought about flying in/out of Burlington VT instead of Albany? It is closer to Montreal but might be more expensive and doesn't have many direct flights. I think the 3.5 hour time from Albany is accurate if you go up I87. We live in north central VT so don't go that route when we drive up.

You won't need a car while you are in either QC or Montreal but it would probably be worth renting one for travel to and between them and back to VT/NY.

I am not familiar with activities in the Mount Tremblant area so can't help there. It emphasizes winter skiing and summer activities and late May might be a little early.

Île d'Orléans is a good day trip from Quebec City.

You might consider spending some time in the Eastern township area SE of Montreal on the way to VT. There are wine and cider routes. This is the area where Louise Penny's mysteries are set. The abbey St Benoit du Lac on Lake Memphrémagog is an interesting and scenic stop.
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Old Apr 24th, 2019, 08:47 AM
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Thank you for your reply Vttraveler!
We decided 3 nights in Montreal, 3 nights in QC and then another 2 or 3 nights in somewhere else in the area, while heading back to Albany. The Eastern Townships were recommended to us previously as well. I think that would round out our Quebec vacation rather than VT. The reason why we're not flying into Burlington is that we are flying SouthWest free. SW doesn't go into Burlington, unfortunately.

Do you know if there are routes published anywhere that would help us road tripping from QC to the Eastern Townships. We want to start in Montreal, then head to QC, then road trip for 2 or 3 nights before heading to Albany the night before our early flight. Is there anywhere else you would suggest as well as the Eastern Townships? Is 2 or 3 nights too much time there?

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Old Apr 24th, 2019, 10:49 AM
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The most direct route southeast from QC toward the Eastern townships is the Transcanadian Highway. It is pretty boring but would only take a few hours.
The Chemin du Roy on the northern shore of the St. Lawrence is more scenic but takes longer and goes in the wrong direction. It might make sense to drive on part of that between Montreal and QC. There is a recent thread about this and some other Quebec info on Fodors
Oh Canada - Quebec City, Montreal & Chemin du Roy Advice

Once in the Townships there are a lot of things to see. The tourist office suggests many different themed trails, and you can of course mix and match them to combine history with wine info, etc. If you are a fan of Louise Penny's mysteries it is definitely worth stopping at the bookstore in Knowlton. If you haven't read any you might want to take the first along so you understand references to her imaginary town, Three Pines.
https://www.easterntownships.org/tourist-routes

The quickest way to get from the townships to Albany would be to take rte 10 west in QC then south on I-87. Parts of I87 are very scenic, and you could detour into the Adirondack park. If the weather is nice, the ferry crossings across Lake Champlain are quite spectacular with the Adirondacks on one side and the Green Mts on the other.

There are also many scenic ways to go through VT as you travel from QC to Albany.
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Old Apr 25th, 2019, 12:43 PM
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Thank you so much Vttraveler, that's a wealth of informatoin! I've actually been following that other thread as well! I think my immediate concern in this stage of my planning, is if we are leaving from QC and have 3 nights free, is that enough time (or too much time) to visit the Eastern Townships? I saw this link and looks like we'd like to follow this trail, though I still think I'll need to research more detailed routing information:
https://www.chemindescantons.qc.ca/index_en.php
What 3 towns should we stop to sleep, or should we just stop in 1 or 2 as "home base" and day trip from there? Should we take the trail and stop each night in a different place? So many questions...so confusing!
Thanks again!
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Old Apr 25th, 2019, 01:39 PM
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It's hard for me to judge the amount of time you should take since we have tended to see the Eastern Township sites very gradually over the years usually on our way to/from Montreal. I think you could see a lot with 2 overnights especially if you had time the day of arrival to and departure from the area

I know there have been other threads specifically on the Eastern townships in years past and these might give more ideas on restaurants and hotels. Magog on the northern end of Lake Memphremagog is one town you might enjoy. The landscape is more mountainous that far east.
Sutton, Bromont and Lac Brome/knowlton are other possibilities
https://restaurantloeuf.wixsite.com/mystic

Here is a thread with some restaurant recommendations. As I mentioned in this thread, L'Oeuf has been one of our favorites for small town bistro food. The owners have been slowing down and at first announced last fall they were not going to do dinners any more but it now appears they are open for both lunch and dinner on certain days with reservations. They also run a very simple auberge.
Area between Montreal and Lake Champlain, VT
https://restaurantloeuf.wixsite.com/mystic
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Old Apr 25th, 2019, 01:42 PM
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Oops. i realize I didn't put in the correct thread link for descriptions of different towns where you might want to stay
Magog, Lac-Brome, Sutton or ??
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Old Apr 26th, 2019, 12:08 PM
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Thank you! I've read both threads that you linked, and I took down notes. L'Oeuf sounds great!
We finally found a very nice B&B called Au Manior de la Rue Merry in Magog. We wanted to find one with a king bed and they were very limited. So we will take day trips from here. Someone had mapped out a few routes for me, so that was very helpful too.
If I have more questions, I hope I won't be bothering you (or anyone else) for help!
Again, you've been so helpful, thank you!
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Old Apr 26th, 2019, 07:42 PM
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I will drive my own car in the US and Canada but I am reluctant to take a rental car across the border due to possible insurance issues. I have no problem with driving a rental car in Canada that I rent in Canada.
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Old Apr 27th, 2019, 04:58 AM
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That auberge in Magog looks like a great choice. It is always nice to be in walking distance to some restaurants.
Magog is near the Abbey church I mentioned above. there are some services each day where the monks do Gregorian chant. The abbey has an orchard and makes apple products and cheeses and has a good gift store. It appears that they have also added guided tours

You probably won't go this far on the eastern side of Lake Memphramagog, but if you do the Haskell Library and Opera House in Derby Line/Stanstead is an interesting place that straddles the international border in QC and VT.

Lac Brome is famous for duck (even has a duck festival in the fall)

I don't want to oversell L'Oeuf. I was just happy to see they are open for dinners again some nights.

Do feel free to send along any other questions. If you have questions specific to the Eastern Townships it might be good to start another thread. There are other Fodorites who are familiar with this area but they might not always pick up on a general thread about Montreal and QC.
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