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Montreal/Quebec City Advise needed for trip in June

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Apr 23rd, 2013, 04:30 PM
  #1
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Montreal/Quebec City Advise needed for trip in June

Hi guys....as you may know I had posted a question about where to go for a 40th birthday celebration (unfortunately, mine!!). I think I've decided on Montreal and Quebec City. I live outside of Detroit and like the idea of a road trip!

The trip will start on 6/7 and I have to be back to work on 6/17. Those dates are not flexible as this is the time I have requested off of work and I can't change it.

I'm just starting to plan the trip thinking that we would stop for a night on the way to Montreal from Detroit, which would put us in Montreal on 6/8 for 3 nights, then off to Quebec City. To my horror I discovered that weekend is the Grand Prix in Montreal. I have no interest in the Grand Prix whatsoever, and am also dismayed that hotel prices are outrageous (like $400+ a night), if there's any availability at all. I also don't want my first experience of Montreal to be wall to wall people.

My question is, would it be crazy to drive from Detroit to Quebec City and start our vacation there and work our way backwards? It looks like Google Map puts us on 40 near Montreal. Will we be stuck in crazy traffic jams going around Montreal on the way? It's possible we may leave Thursday evening (6/6) and drive for a few hours just to get some of the 12 hour trip under our belts.

Any help/suggestions are welcome. I feel like I can't even begin to plan an itinerary until I get this part figured out first!

Thanks in advance,
the birthday girl
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Apr 23rd, 2013, 06:55 PM
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The freeway drive from Windsor, where you cross into Canada, on through Toronto to Montreal is nine hours with any respect for speed limits plus at least an hour or two for traffic congestion around the two big cities. Quebec City is another couple of hours further on.
If you want a break, Kingston is a pleasant small city on Lake Ontario, maybe three hours east of Toronto. It has a major university and lots of colonial history. It could be comfortable stop Detroit-QC.
Delta flies non-stop from Detroit to Montreal.
The grand prix race is fortunately quarantined on a city island in the St. Lawrence River (think a better managed Belle Isle.) Only a few downtown blocks are closed off for the Eurotrash festivities. That's easily avoided but the hotel rates aren't. Same thing happens at the end of June for the wonderful international jazz festival and mid-July, to a lesser extent, for the comedy festival. Montreal is a party city!
My favourite thing in Quebec City is the trooping of the colours by the historic Royal 22nd regiment on the Citadel, except when it's raining (it musses the bear skin hats.) Adding to the ceremony is the Van-Doos' magnificent billygoat mascot, Batiste, who won't stay in step with the regimental marching song, the greatest march in Canada. (Van Doo is slang for 22 in French.)
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Apr 24th, 2013, 04:08 AM
  #3
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Southam...thanks for the reply. It looks like Google Map is saying Detroit to Quebec is ~11.5 hours. Are you saying to add another 2 hours to that? If so, yes, stopping on the way is probably what we will do. And thanks for the tip in Quebec!
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Apr 24th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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Yes, allowing for rest stops plus traffic. I figure on 10 hours into the centre of Montreal. Although the 401 expressway is as much as 12 lanes wide going across northern Toronto, it can clog to a standstill at any time of the day or night. Ditto churning through Montreal's strangled interchanges. And the access roads into Quebec City, while a smaller urban area, can still get congested at rush hour. One other caution: Parking in the city centres can be a challenge. In Toronto it is expensive; in the two Quebec destinations the most scenic old streets are very narrow and jammed with the residents' own vehicles.
Despite all that: Go, and bon voyage.
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Apr 24th, 2013, 03:52 PM
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Thank you. I cannot wait - the more pictures I look at online of Quebec City the more I already love it!
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Apr 26th, 2013, 03:35 AM
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Since December 2012 there is a way to bypass Montreal entirely.

http://www.a30express.com/en/

Mark
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Apr 26th, 2013, 06:19 AM
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Hello wingsgal,

I think Detroit to Montreal is already a long enough drive, and I'd say it's probably 3 hours more to Quebec City with traffic considered. I'd second Southam's suggestion of staying at Kingston instead for your first night out of Detroit, a historic stop where Lake Ontario meets the Saint Lawrence River... a charming, interesting small city. Then, you can push on to Quebec City the next day.

Best wishes, Daniel
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Apr 27th, 2013, 07:55 AM
  #8
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Thank you. I think I'm going to post another thread to restart the conversation because we have decided on the trip...now just need help planning it!

Awesome news Mark....thank you!!!!
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