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Help needed for June celebration trip to Quebec City/Montreal

Help needed for June celebration trip to Quebec City/Montreal

Old Apr 27th, 2013, 08:00 AM
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Help needed for June celebration trip to Quebec City/Montreal

I've never been to Quebec City (nor Montreal, which is the second half of the trip) and the more I look at the pictures and read the reviews the more I fall in love with it. We will be in Quebec City 4 nights (but won't have much of the first day because we are traveling most of the day) and Montreal 3 and then Kingston 1 night on the way home. I had planned on doing the trip as Kingston, Montreal and Quebec City but the Grand Prix is the weekend we would be hitting Montreal and I have no interest in being there for that!!

I believe we (husband and I - no kids) have settled on Hotel 71 in Quebec City. As we will be driving from Detroit and they have a summer package for a very good price, and it includes valet parking. The hotel looks charming - as do most of the hotels in Quebec. It will be nice to deviate from the Marriott-chain type places we usually stay in. I don't have a hotel booked yet for Montreal. I'm thinking downtown vs Old town would be better. One, less touristy and two, we will be coming from Quebec where we will get our fill of 'old town'. Is that right?

My questions...while I'm still in the planning stages....are as follows:

Walking tours - I love them. Thinking about taking one the first day we are there in each city. Which walking tour do you recommend?

Guided tours - yup, love those too. Do any of the museums/historic sights have them. I believe Notre Dame does, correct? And in Quebec City the Parliament Building does.

Lastly - where do the locals go? What place is that tucked away hidden gem?

Interests: art, history, tours, culture, foodie (will need one extra special dinner for a birthday celebration), and photography

In Quebec City we are considering taking a day and driving to Montmorency Falls, and then Ile d'Orleans to visit a winery or two.

On the list of things to do for sure in Montreal are : Museum of Fine Arts ((specifically for the Chihuly Glass exhibit), Botanical gardens (yup, I'll be camera-ready) and Notre Dame.

On the way home we are planning on a boat tour in the Thousand Island area with a tour of Boldt Castle and one last night in Kingston.

Thanks in advance everyone!! <3
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Old Apr 27th, 2013, 03:49 PM
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My wife and I have never been to Quebec City or Montreal or Toronto so We are also looking for guidance as to B and B accommodation. We will use Via Rail from Toronto to Quebec City. Any help with ideas will be appreciated.
We will be there from June 16 and plan to stay for 4 days or more before Via Railing to Montreal then flying to Vancouver. Hope you have a lovely stay as we hope to too. Cheers, Ken
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Old Apr 27th, 2013, 06:10 PM
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I hope you have fun as well! Feel free to watch this post and hopefully we will both get some good ideas!
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Old Apr 28th, 2013, 05:54 AM
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I live in Montreal and have been to Quebec City numerous times, and have been to Kingston once.

My first piece of advice is to set aside time to just explore by foot, public transportation and possibly bike, to soak in your surroundings.

Old Montreal vs. Downtown. Very few Montrealers actually live in Old Montreal, but it still can have a pleasing energy about it on a nice summer's day. There's a predominance of tourists in Old Montreal but many Montrealers "play" there also. I'm not actually that big on downtown Montreal, but there is some interesting architecture in spots. Choosing between those two, I'd pick Old Montreal, although I prefer the Plateau Mont Royal district over both.

Some more activity ideas beyond general exploring of downtown, Old Montreal and Old Quebec (Montreal):
Climb Mont-Royal.
Rent a bike out to Lachine Canal.
Go to Atwater Market and Jean-Talon Market.
Go to the Biosphere in Parc Jean Drapeau.
Have a special meal in one of Montreal's cozy tucked away intimate restaurants, such as le P'tit Plateau.

(Quebec City)
Parc Bois du Coulonge and Plains of Abraham for strolling.
I loved le Cafe du Clocher Penche near the Basse Ville for brunch back when it was just a local hangout. Like most "hidden gems" though, thanks to the internet, it's been discovered and went up in price shortly thereafter.

Explore Queen's University campus. Stroll from the heart of Kingston until you reach the Bellevue House owned by John A. MacDonald, returning via the lakefront.

Panchancho Bakery!

Have a great trip! Daniel
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 05:19 PM
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The wonderful Montreal Jazz Festival begins June 28 with plenty of free and ticketed concerts drawing on a rich variety of musical styles loosely connected to jazz. It is one of the world's great musical showcases. The drawback is the crowds that fill hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, so go looking for accommodations right now. http://www.montrealjazzfest.com/default-en.aspx
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 07:40 PM
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Old Towns in Quebec City and Montreal are different, and both are worth visiting.

I enjoyed the tour of the parliament building in Quebec City. There is a reasonably-priced white-tablecloth restaurant there (Le Parlementiare) that serves Canadian-sourced food. (You don't have to be dressed up to eat there—it makes for a nice lunch, and I think the menu is online.)

Another neat tour was the Citadel in Quebec City, including the changing of the guard. There is also a tour of the Governor-General's residence. I don't remember if you have to book that ahead of time, but it was free.

Daniel is absolutely right about walking all over both cities. There is so much to see and do, and it's great fun just exploring the neighborhoods (especially in Montreal). Lots of neat neighborhood places to get a meal or snack there, too.

The botanical gardens in Montreal were a delight. So was spending a day at Montmorency Falls and the Ile d'Orleans.

Visiting the natural history museum on the campus of McGill University in Montreal is like stepping back in time 100 years. if you like Grace Kelly, the McCord Museum nearby will have an exhibit about her.

Definitely visit Mont Royal for the views of Montreal. Visitiing the Oratoire St-Joseph is also quite an experience. You could also visit the Observatoire de la Capitale in Quebec City (if you want to pay the $10 fee).
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