Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Canada
Reload this Page >

from KC to Quebec to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia to Main

from KC to Quebec to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia to Main

Old Nov 10th, 2019, 01:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
from KC to Quebec to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia to Main

we'll have 4-5 weeks off this summer and plan to drive from Kansas City, MO to Quebec and then explore the province, drive to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and return back to KC through Maine. Any advise on length of stay at each destination (QC, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia) - my 13-year old son would enjoy some French immersion camp for a couple of weeks (therefore would need a base for 2 weeks) and then we are off to explore. We can also fly to QC and rent a car and focus on Canada only. Please share your ideas and experience. Thank you!
oceanoo is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2019, 08:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 140
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow a lot of windshield time for sure. Do not know if you plan to visit Prince Edward Island if so I have posted our favorite stuff here

Halifax and PEI

Newfoundland is a beautiful place we spent 3 weeks in August 2018. Not an easy place to get to if you plan to drive. Only ferry is from Nova Scotia one for 7 hours and the other 14 hours.
The East and West coast being so different.

A lot of one way roads meaning down the same road to get to a place, not many looping roads. So drive 2 hours down a road spend a few hours checking out the place and drive 2 hours back the same road you came back down. That got old after a while, BUT the views were amazing the entire time, folks very friendly so yea worth a visit.

COD you can only have so much cod it is the first 4 items on every menu which is great, but you can not have cod everyday well we did not. What cod we had was amazing.... but got old real fast. St. Johnís had no problem finding OK food but venture out of St. Johnís and it goes down hill fast. The food on the west coast say Port aux Basques, Deer Lake, Lobster Cove was not good. Bonavista (not on the west coast) has some nice places to dine.

Beware of moose while driving they are definitely around as well as bears. Once you get out of an area the next place not much around so if you are low on gas fill up! The weather was in the 60ís in August and it rained very often so bring layers and rain gear. Once you get out of St. Johnís it get very rural very fast, lots of trees and more trees....lol

They LOVE coffee especially Tim Hortonís no matter what time of day we passed a Tim Hortonís they had a line both inside and the drive through!!!....lol Also the locals accent is sometimes hard to figure out particularly the older folks, I just kinda smiled and said yes.....Then again they probably had a hard time understanding my Jersey accent. Many locals we spoke to worked in the oil fields in Alberta and came back a few months at a time. The cod industry really never came back so many folks do what they have to get by.

ATVís are everywhere in the rural area ie most of the island kinda like the 3 car in the family. Interesting we saw a group of about 25 stopped in a beautiful lookout, I asked a guy what they were doing...25 all in a group. They said they were traveling the island as a group and staying in B&B at night for 10 days ALL on ATV, wow long time riding an ATV....lol Apparently this is a common thing with locals as tour guide the entire time. The guy said when exploring the options you could have camped out instead of B&B.

Have fun it is a beautiful place.

Stuff we Liked

Dungeon Provincial Park
The town and fishing village
The puffins in Elliston and the root cellars
Cape Bonavista Lighthouse ( some puffins here but more in Elliston)
The Matthew Museum

Bell Island near St. Johnís (need to take a ferry to the island)
Iron ore mine tour ( go below into the mine very interesting)

Gross Morne National Park
Tablelands Trail where the earth mantle is exposed

West Brook Boat Tour would NOT recommend, they replaced the walkway through the forest with a 30í wide gravel road 1 mile plus long to the lake. Boring boat tour of cliffs which you will see many along your travel through NB.

Green Point beautiful beach.

Rose BlanchPretty town with a granite lighthouse

Arches Provincial Park
Blow me Down Provincial Park
Trinity Village historic village, beautiful church and craft shops

St Johnís
Signal Hill
Cape Spear Lighthouse
Petty Harbor ( great fish and chips at Chafeís Landing when 2 times that good)
Pippy Park & Memorial University Botanical Garden
Downtown area including

Railway Coastal Museum
Anglican Cathedral
The Rooms (history museum)
Fort Amherst (Lighthouse and Fort)
Johnson Geo Center (great Titanic Exhibit)
Castle Hill National Historic Site ( near ferry to St Johnís )

Salmonier Nature Park
tlc195 is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2019, 04:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,613
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can get summer camp language immersion closer to home if nothing in Canada works out

Language Immersion Programs | Concordia Language Villages
tom_mn is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2019, 05:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you!
oceanoo is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2019, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,716
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Geez, it's 22 hours of driving time before you even reach Montreal.

While I admit that it would be fun and curious (for a while) to get LOST in south-central Quebec, I can't fathom allocating enough time for that when I know that it takes 22 hours to GET to Montreal AND THAT there is SO much more to SEE in the Atlantic Provinces.

Based on your brief outline, I would lean toward flying to Quebec and renting a car... beCAUSE what you don't want to do is SKIMP on the east coast stuff because you're already dragged through the ringer. (though I can see omitting Newfoundland from the plans, also for the sake of common sense)( FLY there someday if you just have to see it)

As to French Immersion... I had enough French Immersion to suit me when merely trying to order a pizza in Riviere-du-Loup one time.

BUT... if it is convenient... I'd opt for Quebec City as a 2-week base rather than Montreal.

Even YOU will feel more immersed if in Q C vs. Montreal, and it will be for the better. Enough people converse in English so you can get by comfortably and safely, but SO much more is French in Q C than in Montreal, that it will be more authentic for all involved.

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe that early/first 2-week base in Q C ... and then backtrack with the son for a few days in Montreal... then you decide if you're game for the major undertaking that is the giant loop beginning with Hwy #117 and around toward Chibougamau... and then Roberval and Saguenay (by then at some point you'll all wonder whether you wasted two weeks on French Immersion (for surely having felt that you'd subsequently created your own).

If not game for that long haul, then a smaller circuit from Trois Rivieres to Saguenay and back along the St. Lawrence before crossing over to go northeast toward Riviere-du-Loup and through New Brunswick.

I JUST now wrote a reply on another Canada/Nova Scotia post that would offer details on many highlights there... and I have many others scattered around on Fodors.

What you DON'T want to do is to tackle all of these amazing option and only then find yourself in Sydney, NS with 36 hours of driving time back to Kansas City. Better to fool yourself in advance and make the endeavor more tame, rather than bite off so much and then leave yourself exhausted and missing out on so much potential for which there just wasn't time or energy.
NorthwestMale is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2020, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 105
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ohh! Some serious car travel involved with this plan.
To recap: Kansas City to Quebec; 23 hours minimum, divided by 7 hours per day actual drive time= 3.5 days
Quebec to Sydney, Nova Scotia to get ferry to Nfld, 12 hours = 2 days
Ferry to Nfld; either 7 hours to Port Aux Basques, or 14 Hours to Argentia,plus the return to Sydney, either 2 days to and from Port aux Basques, or 4 days to and from Argentia.
Sydney to Kansas City. 34 hours
You're looking at a absolute minimum of about 9 days just travelling. And that is without sightseeing anywhere.
I like road trips and have done some really long distance trips that were and are still considered nuts by others. We have driven coast to coast more than once.
If you want to see places and things that are different, this is my suggestion: Ignore Nova Scotia, P.E I. and New Brunswick, not because they aren't worth visiting they definitely are, but if you want to experience unique places,
Fly to Quebec city, find a base, in the old town if possible; if your son wants to learn French this is the place to do it. It is a completely fascinating place, the only walled city in North America, lots of history, great food, interesting shopping if that is part of your vacation activities, stunning views, plenty of other places to visit within 60 mins drive. About 16 days in Quebec
After that fly to either St John's on the east coast of Nfld, or fly to Deer Lake on the west coast, then 10 days or more in Nfld, rent a car in either of the airport locations and then drive across the island, drop the car at the other airport, and fly home from there. There is a drop charge to leave the rental at another location, it cost us about $400 Canadian to drop the car in Deer Lake, it also saved 2 days drive and all associated costs to take the car back to St John's, that was with Budget car rental, other companies were slightly more, but companies like Hertz wanted about $2000, obviously they really don't want to allow one way rentals.
The details of what you see and do in your destinations can be worked out after you decide where you're going and how you're going to get there

wanderingcanadian is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2020, 08:32 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,613
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is a completely doable drive, advice to the contrary is not helpful. Lots of people do 12-18 hours driving in a day and like to do so. I do.
tom_mn is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2020, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,740
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd consider flying into Montreal and home from Halifax, or the reverse. Put the itinerary together through a multi-destination search function. Quebec City has less service. And Montreal is a special city to visit. Unfortunately there will be at least one transfer on any of these routes.
Southam is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2020, 05:05 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 105
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The drive from KC to Quebec in one long drive is doable the question is, does the OP want to do that
wanderingcanadian is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2020, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 56,585
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
The question for me would be "is the road trip part of the experience or is it merely a means to an end?"

DH and I did plenty of road trips through Europe in our youth, but the holiday began when we got on the cross channel ferry, i.e. the fun was also in the getting to where we were going, [and on occasions we had no particular place in mind] not just what we did when we arrived. What I don't see is any reference in your OP to an interest in the areas between KC and Quebec, and Maine and KC, so that would tend to suggest that those drives would be "dead time" as a means to an end.

Given that you want at least 2 weeks in Quebec, and are interested in other parts of Canada as well, I think that really you have answered this yourself - drop Maine, [which with the rest of New England is surely worth a road trip of its own] fly to Quebec and go from there.

annhig is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2020, 11:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,716
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tom_mn View Post
This is a completely doable drive, advice to the contrary is not helpful. Lots of people do 12-18 hours driving in a day and like to do so. I do.

What you like isn't relevant to the OP or to this thread.

And Tierra del Fuego to Utqiagvik is a "completely doable" drive as well, but that isn't relevant to the OP or to the thread either.

NorthwestMale is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2020, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 849
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I know nothing in particular about French immersion camps but want to point out that French is also an official language in New Brunswick so you might find something there. I am assuming you want a camp that is designed specifically for an anglophone child who wants to learn French.

eliztravels2 is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2020, 10:34 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,716
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow, eliz... that's a very good point!

I recall how unique and nearby to Moncton is Dieppe...

and at this point, the OP could use plenty of options, just so they don't create for themselves a horrendously long drive home, OR miss out on some choice possibilities.

Though surely Quebec has deeper options for being immersed in French culture.
NorthwestMale is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Jun 26th, 2003 12:38 PM
Dec 15th, 2002 07:01 AM
Crawford Blakeman
Aug 7th, 2002 09:32 PM
Jim J
Jun 20th, 2001 04:44 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -