Montreal & Quebec City

Old Jun 19th, 2007, 04:05 AM
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Montreal & Quebec City

Driving up to Montreal & Quebec from NY for Labor Day weekend. Any recomendations on what to do? Anything that I wont find a book? We are a couple in our 20s and love everything that's French. We love sightseeing and walking around beautiful places, but we LOVE peoplewatching streetside on a small cobblestone street.

Thanks,
Sergey
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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Hi,

Beside the Tourisme Montréal web site http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/B2C/00/default.asp I suggest you spend some time walking down St-Denis Street from Mont-Royal to Sherbrooke. Lots of people watching, cafés and small speciality stores you won't find in New York.

You can do this in the morning as it would take you around 3 hours, stop for lunch at Café Cherrier (you said you liked people watching and they have a nice terrace / patio) and head down via the Metro (subway) to the Vieux Port
http://www.quaysoftheoldport.com/ for some fun with Segways and, again, people watching.

Finish it off with with a dinner in le Vieux Montréal and, as the night settles in, take your car to the Belvédère du Mont Royal for a spectacular view of the city.
http://www.aviewoncities.com/gallery...treal&tpe=city

For off the beaten path eateries, try those local stores:

La Paryse (302 Ontario E., 842-2040) for probably the very best burgers you'll eat, seriously

For the best french fries, try Frites Alors (there is one location on Rachel, one stree east of St-Denis http://www.fritealors.com/site_flash/emplacement2.html

For the very best (and sometimes most bizarre) sandwiches in town have fun at the Santropol. They also have a great terrace. Nice people watching too with students, artists, punks, gays and straight eating and drinking. Santropol (3990 St-Urbain, 842-3110) http://www.santropol.com/

Take some time to go get some bagels at either Fairmount bagels or St-Viateur bagels (the debate still goes strong regarding which of the two has the best bagels - I prefer Fairmount...)
http://www.fairmountbagel.com/
http://www.stviateurbagel.com/index/...6619e646e9807d
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Old Jun 19th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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cool thanks.
Any info on Quebec? How long should the drive be?
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Old Jun 21st, 2007, 04:53 AM
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Not familair enough with Québec to provide any useful info. The drive should be around 3 hours or so.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 12:48 PM
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SShprints:

Travelingmad provides a good tip with the montreal tourisme url. Don't retrict yourself, though. Go to Bonjourquebec.ca and you can select links to a variety options for every region in the province.
From my experience, I would urge you to divide your stay equally between Montreal Quebec City. Montreal is hip, cosmopolitan, and urbane, but Quebec City is absolutely charming!
While in Montreal, spend some time in Old Montreal where you'll discover several tourists sites, including the Old Port, monuments, religious and government buildings, tourist shops, and a host of good French restaurants, distinctly Quebecois in flavor. Speaking of food, heading north from Old Town, try to enjoy at least one evening's dinner in Little Italy in the section near Laurier Street. You'll find many good, authentic Italian restaurants (Montreal boasts a large Italian immigrant base- really!) in an area which borders an open meat and vegetable market. Then, for shopping enthusiasts there are several upscale establishments to be had on St. Catherine Street- one of the main east-west arteries- where you can spend as much $$ on items you thought you could only find in Paris or New York. There are a variety of other vacation options available as well- for those who like gambling, Casino Montreal awaits; outdoor activities beckon also: canoe trips, duckboat excursions over the rapids, horse riding trails just outside the city and guided hiking walking tours throughout the city and to Mont Montreal. Although that gives you plenty to do, I recommend that you also reserve some time for one short trip across the St. Lawrence to the South Shore (Rive Sud). It's Montreal's suburb that feautres modern shopping malls alongside quaint (if sometimes a bit worn) old villages such as the one in Old Longueiul. My favorite: Sunday brunch at one of the eateries along rue St. Charles.
Then proceed on to Quebec City- about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Montreal along the north shore of the river. I suggest that you go to Haute (high) town- and check into a hotel ( or bed and breafast)within the old city walls to embrace French Quebec as it was in 1770. The paved cobblestone streets will fool you into believing you've been transported to France during a bygone age. You'll therefore be impressed by the many historical sites. As in Montreal, there are several shops, Quebcois restaurants and stores within walking distance asw well. Yet even more rewarding are the breathtaking natural vistas. Sitting on the bluff which overlooks the St. Lawrence, Quebec City gets its name from its location- "where the river narrows." As you look north along the river from the patio that borders the famous Hotel Frontenac, for example, you'll be able to see where the St. Lawrence grows wider, providing a panorama of luscious beauty against the mountains which dot the horizon. After drinking in this ambiance for a day or so, on your way out of town you can make a quick return to the current era by stopping at the new Hudson Bay Company, a modern department store that nonetheless traces its roots back to the famous fur trading enterprise that helped to settle Canada.
All in all, this will be a great experience for you. Before you leave the States, you may want to learn a few French phrases, but you'll discover that you won't really need them. While it's more the case in in Montreal than Quebec City, English is spoken just about everywhere you go in these two cities. Indeed, the friendly proprietors are happy to accommodate your needs, and-despite the myth- do not take offense when you are not speaking their preferred language.
I hope some of these tips assist you in your planning. But whether you follow them or end up just winging it, I'm sure you'll have a great time in La Belle Province. It's a magical place that once you've visited will call you back again and again.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 04:06 PM
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I just got back from Canada and visited both these cities. Initially, I was going to stay over night in Quebec City, as Ive always seen pictures of the Chateau Frontenac Hotel and I got a great internet deal on the Fairmont Hotel website.
However, I changed my mind a few months before going, as I discovered it would be possible to do a day-trip there, with Via Rail.I wasnt sure how difficult the jounry would be or what there was to see in Quebec City, but I took the chance.

True - I found out there arent many trains between the two cities, but those that run are fabulous! Clean and efficient with friendly, cheerful staff and nice snacks. I left Montreal at 7am and arrived in Quebec City at about 10.15. I spent several hours there, including taking a walking tour of the city, people watched in the squares (although there seemed to be an abnormal number of teenaged kid school trips that day...not so calming an experience!) ate food and a maple icecream (wow!) and returned on the 5.15 pm train, which is the last one in the day.
I think Quebec is very touristy, but its great for a day trip. I met a couple who werent so keen on their hotel and were a bit tired of the tourists and keen to get back to their base, Toronto. Quebec City is a lovely place to spend a day - better still if you have a car and can drive and spend a bit longer there if need be ie into the evening. But I think the restaurants didnt seem as good as they are in Montreal and it didnt feel so much like a 'real'city- so I was pleased to have made Montreal my base, rather than vice versa. Both are nice, but in different ways and I think for more than a day Montreal won me over.
I think I gained several kilos in weight in Montreal - the food in every restaurant or cafe I went into was delicious - from the croissants in the station (and Ive lived in France so am fussy!) coffee at Tim Horton (yum), and the amazing maple and gingerbread starter I had at one restaurant on Peel St. The delicious chinese food at Zen, the steak at L'Entrecote and the exquisite Portuguese restaurant - Ferreira. People were really friendly, helpful and good fun and so unagressive and nice as compared to New York or London! Loved the fact I could speak French too. I think you can eat well, explore some nice streets in the old town and walk along the sea front, and walk/drive on the Mont Royal, for a weekend, and do Quebec for a day trip.
Have fun!

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Old Jun 23rd, 2007, 04:04 AM
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SShprints:

I apologize for the many typos and spelling gaffs in my post above. I tried to correct them seveal times, but-after doing what look like a perfect version- the site posted my unedited, flawed draft. Sorry-hope you do get the essential thrust of what I was trying to say. Have a great Labor Day week-end vacation!
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