Montreal and Quebec City Nov. 16-24

Old Aug 17th, 2007, 08:09 AM
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Montreal and Quebec City Nov. 16-24

My family and I are planning a trip to Montreal and Quebec for the US Thanksgiving week. We have gone on trips to Boston and NY over this timeframe and really enjoy vacationing in cooler weather and less touristy surroundings. In fact, both of them loved Boston so much that they wanted to go back for this trip, but I want to try somewhere new. We are from MN so the cooler weather in mid to late November should not bother us. We love art, history, architecture, nature and food (my daughter and I like to shop but only for a day or so). My children, 13 (girl) and 12 (boy) are well traveled (most major cities in the US, many national parks, Milan and Berlin).

I don't have my itinerary finalized yet, but I would like to know if this timeframe is doable since this is somewhat off season (not summer and not winter)? Or would certain places be closed? Maybe this question is more for Quebec City since the focus is more on tourists. When we were in Boston, we specifically went to Concord and Lexington and the museums were closed for the season - I guess I didn't quite do enough homework.

I am planning on flying into Montreal since it is less expensive, and then taking a train to Quebec. I was hoping not to rent a car since we are willing to walk and take public transportation. I would; however, like to rent a car for a day and go to the Charlevoix region. Is it worth it at this time of year? We don't mind gray, drizzley weather. I see a lot of beauty on those days, too! We would spend three to four days in Quebec City and the remainder at the end of the trip in Montreal.

Any specific suggestions on must sees based on our interests would be greatly appreciated. With my kids, variety is key. They will tolerate and enjoy one art museum, but not 3 in a row. I definitely want to take the kids over to McGill University. We always like to go to universities in areas that we vacation to give them ideas for the future. My son wants to go to MIT as a result. I just don't know who will pay for it, and I don't think he has the math scores, but I don't plan on bursting his bubble at the age of 12.

All suggestions are appreciated. Thank you.
mosey is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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I can't answer most of your questions, but since you are planning to stop at McGill, you might consider visiting its Redpath Museum, which has some fascinating exhibits of fossils, ethnographic artifacts, geological objects, and so forth.
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Old Aug 17th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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I have taken school groups to both Montreal and Quebec - the students have enjoyed, while practising their French -
1. in Montreal - the Biodome, the Science Centre, the Old City, Notre Dame Basilica, the Olympic Stadium, the restaurants and of course, for Grades 7 & 8, the shopping - in November, you can go into the Underground City to visit the stores without going above ground.

2. in Quebec City, anything within the walls of Quebec is historical. Even if you aren't staying there, visit the Chateau Frontenac hotel - it was the site of the meeting of FDR and Churchill that led to the end of WWII. Be sure to visit the cafes and the Rue de Tresor, where street artists are at work, also the Plains of Abraham and the Citadel are very important historical sites. You could also visit Ile d'Orleans, St. Anne de Beaupre Cathedral and Montmorency Falls, if you rent a car.

Bon voyage!
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Old Aug 17th, 2007, 04:31 PM
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We've gone up to Montreal over Thanksgiving weekend for the past 3 years to visit our son who is at McGill. There is definitely lots to see/do in Montreal at that time of year. The christmas holiday season is already underway since the Canadian Tgiving in October is long past.

there are lots of good museums. I highly recommend the Pointe-a-Calliere archeology museum. the fine arts museum is probably the one art museum to hit. The McCord museum of Canadian History, right opposite McGill is also a possibility. For nature/science I really like the Biosphere (buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome from Expo '67) out on Ile St Helene. the CineRobotheque is a fun place to watch some Canadian films (you pick from a big collection and watch at a booth for one or two people)

This recent article on Montreal had good suggestions for food shopping and things to do
There are many threads on this forum with restaurant suggestions
Vttraveler is online now  
Old Aug 18th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. They are very helpful. I went out to the link on Montreal and it was great! Does anyone know of one for Quebec City?

Thanks again for all of your wonderful recommendations!
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Old Aug 18th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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Here's a useful link for Quebec City:

Since you like history and museums, I would say that in Quebec City the Musee de la civilisation is a must. One of its permanent exhibitions gives a good overview of Quebec's culture and society. It's a great museum for kids and adults alike, very well done.

You can take a guided tour of the Chateau Frontenac (the November schedule is limited to Sat. & Sunday afternoons though -

As you know, November won't be the best for outdoor activities. But the Montmorency Falls (10 mns east of Quebec) are beautiful any time of the year (

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Old Aug 19th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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we fly in and out of Montreal and took the train to Quebec without any problems. We took an overview of the city at each location. We enjoyed a boat tour out to Montmorency Falls but you don't get very close. You would have to rent a car to get out there I think otherwise unless a tour bus is running.

We really enjoyed the tour of the Frontenac --be careful it sells out! We were able to get discounted seats on the train the same week we arrived.

The metro system was very easy to navigate in Montreal. Cirque Du Soleil may still be set up near Old Town on the waterfront.
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