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Oh Canada - Quebec City, Montreal & Chemin du Roy Advice

Oh Canada - Quebec City, Montreal & Chemin du Roy Advice

Jan 30th, 2019, 04:48 PM
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Oh Canada - Quebec City, Montreal & Chemin du Roy Advice

Now that we have done our best to wreak havoc on the European continent, we have decided to invade our friendly neighbors north of the border. This autumn we are planning for four nights in Montreal and four nights in Quebec City (with perhaps a drive along Chemin du Roy one way).

Although I have turned over planning to Mary on this one (it's tough for me to give up control, but I promised), I'd appreciate any input on some of your favorite sights and restaurants in those two cities. Mary has picked a couple of good hotels, or at least we hope so. Also, I have read about Chemin du Roy, but still don't get a good feel to what to see along the way. Any help there would be welcomed.

Thanks, and we hope we will be let into your country with no problems.

maitaitom is offline  
Feb 1st, 2019, 08:54 PM
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I only recently discovered that Canada was “my” country. My Mom was born in Calgary and apparently that’s all it takes for me to have (or at least apply for) dual citizenship. That said, I haven’t spent a ton of time there, but my husband and I did take a trip to Quebec City this past December and really enjoyed it!

We loved our stay at Hôtel du Vieux-Québec. Great location, really nice room with a fireplace and the staff was friendly and helpful. If you book through their website you get a free breakfast picnic basket delivered to your door each morning. They use a bakery across the street Paillard - St-Jean - croissants that made you think you were in Paris. https://www.hvq.com/en

We got restaurant recommendations from Trip Advisor forums which are more active than this one. We really didn’t have a bad meal. We always like steak frittes in Paris so we wanted to try L'Entrecôte Saint-Jean which was right down the street from our hotel and liked it. Had a very good Italian meal at Portofino. Excellent gravlax and onion soup at Bistro Sous le Fort. We had the famous Sunday brunch at the Frontenac and enjoyed it. Not cheap but a good variety of food in a beautiful room and the view of the snowy boardwalk was fantastic.

I know you are the master of research and thus don’t often take tours, but in case Mary hasn’t learned quite enough to keep up with you, I highly recommend Robert Vandermeer. We did a walking tour of the old town with him and he was great. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get you his contact info.

I’ve been to Montreal twice but long enough ago that I can’t make any meaningful recommendations. Both are great cities but we loved the European feel of Quebec!

tracilee is online now  
Feb 3rd, 2019, 10:46 AM
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For restaurant assistance:

These classify restaurants by area, type of cuisine, with contact information for reservations.They have user-driven reviews. They also indicate which places are AVV -- that's bring your own wine, in French. A number of smaller places allow this service, usually without any corkage fee.
(Note: I gave links to the French versions of the resto pages. There is a little box top right hand corner to click on for English.)

Last edited by Southam; Feb 3rd, 2019 at 10:48 AM.
Southam is offline  
Feb 4th, 2019, 01:10 PM
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Thank you both. Looks like we are staying at Hotel Le Priori.

maitaitom is offline  
Feb 5th, 2019, 12:07 PM
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We think you'll really like that region of Canada. It's been a while since we've been to Montreal, and probably a lot has changed. But we visited Quebec City in 2011. The TR of visit is one of our first. Under our screen name and reports, it's " Pt. 2:3 Pronged Trip Report: Maine, Quebec City, New Hampshire".

Will you have a car? There are a few things outside the city we enjoyed. But Quebec City itself is interesting to explore. We liked staying near the St Jean Baptiste Gate-lots of restaurants and walking distance to Chateau Frontenac, the TI Center for walking tours, etc. Interesting to learn about the history of the French in the area; Samuel de Champlain and Jacques Cartier. Also high level meetings between Churchill and Roosevelt. Lots to see and do. We think you'll enjoy it. We want to return-when it's warmer weather.
tomarkot is offline  
Feb 7th, 2019, 06:41 AM
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Thanks T&M, We are spending four days in Montreal and four in QC (taking the train). We are renting a car for last day since we have a late afternoon flight out of Montreal. We will drive part of the Chemin du Roy on the way (any suggestions on places to see along that route?) . Merci!

maitaitom is offline  
Feb 8th, 2019, 04:54 PM
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Hi T & T,

Our trip to Montreal was up through Toronto and Ottawa; then heading west to Algonquin Park. Our visit to Quebec was from Maine. So we didn't travel that Chemin du Roi, except for a small section from Quebec to Trois Rivieres before turning south toward Vermont. So, unfortunately, we don't have any info to offer. But knowing your intensive research, you'll come up with some interesting things to do that last afternoon. Happy Planning!
tomarkot is offline  
Feb 8th, 2019, 07:04 PM
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The Chemin du Roy is the old road between MTL and QC on the St-Lawrence north shore. It's mostly the same as highway 138 with some bits on parallel roads where with the occasional ancestral home, villages and their big churches as well as roadside farmers' stands. I'd say the best parts are between Cap-de-la-Madeleine (Trois-Rivières) and Neuville. Follow the blue signs.

If you're there during fall colors, I suggest driving further inland from Trois-Rivières to Montréal. Frankly, unless you plan on staying in QC (it's really small), I'd rent a car in MTL or for at least 2 days in QC. The train ride is really boring. It doesn't even stops in QC. You have to transit to a bus in Charny.

East of QC, the old road continues as "Boulevard Royal" and there are more ancestral houses, big churches including Ste--Anne basilica, Montmorency falls, Cap Tourmente if you're there during the Snow Geese migration and you could even drive up to Baie-St-Paul which has a completely different scenery.
Erick_L is offline  
Feb 9th, 2019, 09:05 AM
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We agree about renting a car out of Quebec City if your group is open to it. You'd probably enjoy visiting Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre. Also, the drive along the St. Lawrence Seaway to the charming town of Baie-St-Paul.
tomarkot is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 07:09 AM
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My husband and I live in north central VT about 3 hours from Montreal and 5 from Quebec City. We have always visited using our own car so i can't comment on the train between Montreal and QC other than to say I think that it is easy to take it and there is a shuttle built into the schedule that gets you to the main QC train station. That is quite an impressive building, by the way.

We have driven the Chemin du Roy from Quebec City to Trois Rivieres, and it is a pleasant drive. There aren't a lot of sites to see inside. In general, if you are going to be traveling in the fall you may find some places already closed for the tourist season.
One museum that shows the history of New France is the Maison Saint-Gabriel in Montreal. It is a little out of the way (not in the current Old Montreal neighborhood) but very interesting.

Some restaurants we like in Quebec city are the Lapin Sauté and the Bistro St. Malo. Le Paillard in the Upper City is very good for pastries and sandwiches. If you take the ferry across to Lévis (recommended as a way to get great views of the city) there is a brew pub in Lévis called Le Corsaire.

I agree that there are lots of good day trips from Quebec City but I also think you would find plenty to do right in the city especially if you are interested in museums. The Île d'Orléans would be another good day trip right outside the city.
Vttraveler is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 08:28 AM
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Thanks everyone! Great info.

maitaitom is offline  
Apr 15th, 2019, 09:23 AM
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Sports can be a good way to experience local Quebec culture. The best example of this would be to catch an ice hockey game. One could compare the Montreal Canadiens team to the Dallas Cowboys as an iconic franchise. Depending on which end of autumn you visit, the season will just be starting. Be sure to wear a Toronto Maple Leafs team jersey to the game, in order to elicit a wide variety of colourful jouall (local slang french) from fellow onlookers.
Too bad for the local CFL football team, les Alouettes. If your trip had been a decade ago, then you could've witnessed their heyday, during which they served as our answer to the Pats. Hall of Famer QB, Anthony Calvillo, and his coach Mark Trestman were both in their prime. They were dominant and awesome, a model of consistency on both sides of the ball, while it lasted. Alas, they are now among the worst teams (cue Johnny Manziel).
If you're willing to do a bit of digging, the late Anthony Bourdain favoured a couple local eateries in that neck of the woods. I don't remember which restaurants those were offhand.
My wife hails from Montreal and I worked there during the '70s. Bon chance!
I am done. The true-dope.
zebec is offline  
Apr 16th, 2019, 03:55 PM
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We are going to Quebec City this summer and we are staying in the same hotel at you! How funny is that? For once you will be following in my footsteps. I have followed in quite a few of yours.

We are driving up as we live in New England so we will have a car. I will keep you posted.
Sberg is offline  
Apr 16th, 2019, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by tracilee View Post
I only recently discovered that Canada was “my” country. My Mom was born in Calgary and apparently that’s all it takes for me to have (or at least apply for) dual citizenship.

Were you one of those people who woke up Canadian ten years ago now?

That is among the more adorable videos on YouTube, particularly in the category of those created by a Federal Government.

NorthwestMale is online now  
Apr 16th, 2019, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tomarkot View Post
the drive along the St. Lawrence Seaway

Hooray for "old school".

And I too wholly endorse driving along the St. Lawrence, but not on the main/fastest highway... take the slower route, nearer to the river shore, and pass through the many adorable towns situated there.

NorthwestMale is online now  
Apr 17th, 2019, 08:04 AM
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SBerg, I expect you to take copious notes about Quebec City. Have a great trip!

Northwest Male ... love that video. I feel Canadian already, and, yes, we're going through the small towns. Any favorites of yours?

zebec, we will be in Quebec City when hockey season opens, and since the Nordiques fled to Colorado, I guess it's no hockey for me on this trip. The good news is that since I have become more balance-impaired as I grow older, I'm sure I'll be in the penalty box more than once for tripping.

maitaitom is offline  
May 25th, 2019, 02:04 PM
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One suggestion if you are taking route 138 (chemin du roy) is to take a self-guided tour of the Borealis museum in Trois-rivieres – we decided to take the 138 instead of the faster highway 40 (it was only slower by a few minutes). At the museum we learned about the pulp and paper industry in Mauricie and had a nice lunch on the terrace.

Bon voyage!
jacolis is offline  
May 30th, 2019, 12:43 PM
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Thanks jacolis, I will check it out.

maitaitom is offline  
May 30th, 2019, 01:36 PM
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We live in metropolitan NYC area and are astounded at the lack of train service from here to Montreal -- 11 hrs from Penn Station departing at 8 a.m.! And then we have learned that you miss the connection to QC so must spend at least one night in Montreal, we were planning on 2-3, plus another 3 hr train ride to QC, and then since there are no connections back to NYC, you must again travel thru Montreal, again missing the connection so another night in Montreal. The prices of these trains are more than a direct flight to London with return from Paris (in October) so guess that's what we'll do! Flights also very high. Our next door neighbors are Canadian (western) and say driving in Montreal or QC is horrendous due to heavy construction (their son is at university in Montreal) so we are not inclined to drive. Cruises take you up the St.L thru Newfoundland, Bar Harbor, Newport, etc., all of which has already been seen by us, not interested in a 10-day cruise with only one day in QC. If you know of an alternative to what I've outlined above for this Fall, please advise! Otherwise, it's not taking place this October.
aliced is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2019, 07:02 AM
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aliced--there are buses between the Burlington VT airport and Montreal. You might be able to work out a schedule flying to Burlington or driving there and parking a car in one of the long term lots.

We haven't driven to Montreal for over a year and I wasn't aware of highway construction issues mentioned by your neighbors. It does look like there is a lot of road work going on in 2019.

You would probably get more responses if you start a separate thread asking about NYC to Montreal public transit options.
Vttraveler is offline  
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