pls comment on my Montreal/QC plans

Old Apr 19th, 2005, 04:51 AM
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pls comment on my Montreal/QC plans

I have a honeymoon planned for June 30-July 8 and would love to have comments or suggestions on what I have planned.

Thursday - arrive in the morning, do walking tours of Vieux Montreal and the Latin Quarter during the day, jazz festival activities at night. We're staying at the Hotel Le Saint Andre, which probably isn't the greatest place, but I had a hard time finding something affordable available during the jazz festival.

Friday - Do walking tours of Downtown and the Plateau area during the day, jazz festival stuff later on.

Saturday - Visit Mont-Royal and spend the rest of the day going back to areas we didn't have enough time for Thursday-Friday.

Sunday - Monday - We are renting a car and driving to Quebec City and will spend Sunday & Monday on walking tours of the upper & lower town. Staying at Dominion 1912.

Tuesday - checking out and driving to Baie Saint Paul (visit Montmorency Falls on the way) where we are staying at a B&B at Cap-Aux-Corbeax for the next 3 nights. We might go to Grands Jardins on Tuesday for fishing and hiking.

Wednesday - explore our way upward to Tadoussac and visit some villages on the way, like La Malbaie. Can we fit in a visit to Isle-aux-Coudres, or is that too much? Is it worth it to go all the way up to Tadoussac for whale watching?

Thursday - more of the same

Friday - check out early and drive back to Montreal for our final exploring before our flight back home that evening.

Is 3 days in Charlevoix too much? I was debating over checking out Thursday and going back to Montreal for the final night. Or we could just spend more time in Quebec City our final day there and get into Charlevoix later. It's so hard to know where we will enjoy our time the most - we want a mix of culture/activities, fun nightlife, and history/walking tours and quiet time in the countryside.

I decided to rent a car rather than rely on trains & other transportation, figuring that would give us the most flexibility in case we decide we need just a few more hours in our favorite place!

I would love some comments! I can't wait for this trip - I have been researching it for months.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 05:19 AM
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One more thing I meant to ask on my itinerary... Do we have time, and is it worth it, to try to cram in a visit to the Biodome or the Botanical Gardens in Montreal? Obviously there's a lot to do, and I really want to try to get in all these walking tours and spend time at the jazz festival stuff.

If the Biodome & Botanical Gardens are an all-day trip, then I think we'll have to skip it.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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Your plans sound great - a few comments. The hotel St. Andre is in the gay village area. Not too bad an area, and if you walk uphill on St. Andre the neighborhood is quite pleasant. Just realize that there will be many gay bars and shops where you are staying. You are a 10-15 minute walk down St. Catherine to the Jazz Fest from your hotel. The area you pass thru (east St. Catherine) is a little seedy, but ok. Realize the Jazz fest starts up around noon, so the downtown area will be hopping all day and night. If you plan on attending any paid concerts, get your tickets ASAP. However, we have a great time just seeing the free street concerts which are lots of fun. Montreal is a great city for walking and bicycling, and sometimes just strolling up St. Denis with no particular destination can be fun. If the weather is nice, I highly recommend the Botanical gardens, which are the 2nd largest in the world and very beautiful and relaxing. The Biodome is also fun if you have the time.
When in QC, you might want to find the time to drive around Ile de Orleans, which is very picturesque. If you enjoy bicycling, Isle-aux-Coudres might be worth a 1/2 day visit - however the ferry crossing wait can be time consuming. As far as how much time to spend in that area, it depends on what you want. Charlevoix is very scenic, but unless you are into hiking, 3 days might be too much. There were whale watching trips all along the drive, so you don't need to drive to Tadoussac. However Tadoussac is a charming little beach town (water is very cold however!)
and worth a trip. The ferry ride over is fun.
You'll have a great time!
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 04:26 AM
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You'll be in Quebec during the Festival d'ete - tons of fantastic free shows in the neighbourhoods just outside of the old city. It's a good idea to try and get out of the old city for a change (and a breather from all the other tourists!) Just walk right up and out on either of the two main exits (St. Jean and the Grande Allee) and keep on going!
HAve a great trip.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 04:56 AM
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Actually, it looks like we'll be in Quebec City just 2 days before the festival starts - bummer! Are there any festivities that start a little early before the official festival? We'll be there July 3-5 and the festival starts on the 8th.
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 02:38 PM
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hey ac
looks like you're you're going to have to make your own festival! Find Cartier street between rene levesque and grande allee(laurier - the name changes - same street) Grab a bottle of wine at the SAQ, some deli treats at les halles du quartier, and hit the plains of abraham for a picnic.
have fun!
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Old Apr 26th, 2005, 05:45 PM
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If you are still looking for a place to stay in Montreal, I recommend Auberge de la Fontaine,www.aubergedelafontaine.com, on the "north" side of Parc la Fontaine in the Plateau. It's probably a 3-4 star auberge - nothing fancy, but large rooms and a nice breakfast. I love the Plateau with its cultural diversity and off the beaten path restaurants. You get a feeling for the real Montreal.
We are also planning a trip very similar to yours in the Charlevoix region. Have you booked a whale watching trip or kayaking or fiord trip up the Saguenay? Any suggestions for which company or trip? I'm debating over 2 nights or 3 in the Charlevoix.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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I'm offering some comments on the Charlevoix part of your trip. 3 days is certainly not too much - There is much to do and see in and around Baie Saint-Paul.

First, your choice of Auberge Cap-aux-Corbeaux is an excellent one. Very comfortable, great view and delicious breakfast.

Grand Jardins is nice but "Hautes-Gorges de la rivière Malbaie" Park is in my opinion even nicer. The cruise on the Malbaie river is quite spectacular.

Ile-aux Coudres: Worth it, nice views, but at least half-day destination in itself. You can rent bicycles on the island and enjoy a 2-3 hour tour.

I'm not into whales, but the Tadoussac area is great for that.

If you just want to take a very scenic one-day drive, Do the following:
Take route 362 east to Malbaie (nothing special) and then 138 east to Tadoussac. From Tadoussac, take 172 west towards Chicoutimi. Stop in Ste-Rose-du-Nord (go down to the village by the Saguenay) and have a snack on the pier. Continue towards Chicoutimi, cross the Saguenay. If you have time the "Vielle Pulperie" Museum in Chicoutimi is worth a visit. Return to Baie Saint-Paul via 381 south, which basically follows the eastern edge of Grands Jardins Park.

Have a great trip!
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Old May 6th, 2005, 02:10 PM
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Hello! Your plan sounds lovely! The drive to Baie-St-Paul is spectacular, when you finally see the open fleuve below. It never ceases to amaze me. You can also plan to leave for Quebec in the afternoon on Sunday to have a chance to go to the Tamtam just below the Mountain, near Mont-Royal and avenue du Parc. Lots of different people gather there on Sundays to dance, play percussions, have a picnic, see friends. It really is one of Montreal's most charming and less known spots! Also, instead of walking downtown (which looks like any other downtown!) you might enjoy going to Jean-Talon metro. From there, you can explore the Jean-Talon market (the most lively and beautiful in town!), eat at an excellent ethnic restaurant - Petit Alep and drink the best Latte in town at the small and very authentic Café Italia on St-Laurent. It really is a charming neighborhood. Don't hesitate to ask for more info! Enjoy your trip!
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