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Burlington Vt., Rochester NY and Syracuse transportation advice

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Mar 24th, 2011, 08:34 PM
  #1
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Burlington Vt., Rochester NY and Syracuse transportation advice

We are taking a college tour in mid April: Syracuse, Univ of Vermont (Burlington) and possibly Rochester NY. We may also throw in a few day trip to Quebec. Our current plan is to fly San Francisco to Burlington. I know that Burlington to Rochester is about 1.5 hrs. We can rent a car and drive that, but Syracuse is 4 hrs away. Should we fly, take a train, drive?? From Vermont, should we drive to Quebec (about 75 miles away) or is a train better? Do we need a car in Quebec? Also, if it is snowing, I am a wimp about driving in the snow. Hate it!! But I can do it if I must. Thanks!
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Mar 24th, 2011, 10:02 PM
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Don't know where you got Burlington to Rochester being 1.5 hours-maybe by plane. Fly into Rochester (connect in Chicago). See the college in Rochester then take 1 of 5 different Amtrak trains to Syracuse to see the college there. Take Amtrak to Albany-Rensselaer which is also a great college (Rensselaer).
Rent a car there and drive north about 4 to 5 hours to Burlington. From Burlington cross the border and drive to Montreal. Drive from Montreal to Quebec City. I hope your french is good. Make sure you both have valid Passports.
Return the rental car to Albany via I-87. Fly home from there or take the train on into NYC for your flight home.
Amtrak does give a discount to family members visiting colleges they are planning on applying to.
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Mar 25th, 2011, 01:50 AM
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These transportation arrangements should make you consider them for a student as well. Several fine colleges in upstate NY, (aware Burlington is not in NY) but flights in/out for visits to/from home can be a bit more challenging than other places, especially in the winter. And rental cars are not an option for students.

Certainly not a deal-killer, but one thing parents and prospective students often forget about is how long, how difficult, and how much it takes for transportation. Few non-stop flights from any of these places to any distant place, and cost is sometimes high. We live in Boston and it took my kids half the time to get home from colleges in NC and GA than it did for many of their friends at much closer in mileage schools in NY state.
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Mar 25th, 2011, 06:23 AM
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Ellen... You are WAY OFF on your distances and routing...

as tomfuller posts... You would be wise to fly to Rochester NY and rent a car... Syracuse is 1.5 hours from Rochester...

It is then 5 hours from Syracuse to Burlington(with Ferry) and 2.5 Hours from Burlington to Montreal and 3 Hours from Montreal to Quebec City... then you have to get back to whatever airport you choose... lots of driving

Amtrak offers the train option and there are busses... good luck!
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Mar 25th, 2011, 07:51 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Sorry, I got my cities and geography confused - I looked at the distances awhile ago and obviously the old memory is faulty. What I meant was driving (not flying time) between Rochester and Syracuse was about 1.5 hrs. I didn't even know about the ferry. And I was thinking of Burlington to Montreal, not Quebec City. Wow. Next time I'll post before I have a glass of wine!

We are actually going to admitted students days which include Syracuse and Burlington at this point...we are still waiting to hear from Rochester...any day now.... so I am potentially factoring them in if that is a go....

Thanks for the college transportation advice. I am not the biggest fan of a back east school with no direct air route home, but I have agreed to take him where he is admitted and check it out. He is very interested in Burlington, so as long as we are there, we will check out the other 'nearby' options.
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Mar 25th, 2011, 07:51 AM
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Depending on your preferred route It takes 5:10 to 6:00 to drive from Syracuse to Burlington. The route through Glens Falls (no ferry) is the fastest.
To get from Syracuse to Burlington by Amtrak you have to go into New York Penn station to change trains.
There is also an Amtrak route from New York to Montreal.
You could take the Amtrak Lake Shore Limited from Chicago to Rochester if you didn't want to fly.
If you take the Amtrak to Montreal you can take ViaRail to QC and not worry about driving a rental car into Canada.
What Major can you find at these colleges that you can't get in sunny (and snowy) California? Remember-Passports!
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Mar 25th, 2011, 07:57 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Sorry, I got my cities and geography confused - I looked at the distances awhile ago and obviously the old memory is faulty. What I meant was driving (not flying time) between Rochester and Syracuse was about 1.5 hrs. I didn't even know about the ferry. And I was thinking of Burlington to Montreal, not Quebec City. Wow. Next time I'll post before I have a glass of wine!

We are actually going to admitted students days which include Syracuse and Burlington at this point...we are still waiting to hear from Rochester...any day now.... so I am potentially factoring them in if that is a go....

Thanks for the college transportation advice. I am not the biggest fan of a back east school with no direct air route home, but I have agreed to take him where he is admitted and check it out. He is very interested in Burlington, so as long as we are there, we will check out the other 'nearby' options.
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Mar 25th, 2011, 09:00 AM
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Fly or take the train to Rochester even if you don't tour the campus. I've rented a car at the airport after getting off the train. The city bus trip was interesting with luggage.
To take Amtrak from Syracuse to Montreal you take the 7AM train to Schenectady with a 3 hour layover in SDY and the Adirondack to Montreal-total time enroute is 12 hours. (Arrives at 7:10 PM)
http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Conten...mtrak/HomePage
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Mar 29th, 2011, 12:26 PM
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Ellenbw - Just fly into Rochester and rent a car and drive the whole thing. Make sure it's OK to take the rental into Canada. I live in Rochester, and believe me, you do not want to screw around with the train. It's bad. Even if it snows here you'll be fine driving. It's so late in the season at this point the roads will be fine.

Good luck and welcome to Rochester (assuming you come)!!! (P.S. I'm biased, but U of R is the best school on the list.)
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Mar 29th, 2011, 06:03 PM
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Don;t underestimate what the winter can be like in those areas. My first year in school I had a roommate who live in Rochester - and she couldn;t get home for thanksgiving (too much snow - planes grounded one day and backed up the rest). She also had trouble on 2 other trips home during the winter (either plane or car). She ended up transferring to UorR after her first year so she could see her family and boyfriend. And this was from Long Island.

The other thing is that air tickets home need to be bought as soon as class schedules are out - or the student may be either 1) shut out or 2) stuck with really high fares.
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Mar 29th, 2011, 08:29 PM
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nytraveler, the winter on the eastern seaboard has been much worse this year than the winter in the Rochester/Buffalo area. You can't base the weather on your one year with a Rochester roommate many years ago.
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Mar 30th, 2011, 06:08 AM
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or a bus tour in NYC on a bad one in London...
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Mar 30th, 2011, 12:48 PM
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KathyK -- Not to disagree with your weather assessment, but to give you some idea, Syracuse has had 178.6" of snow this year, Rochester has had 126.8", Boston has had 78.8". We just deal with it better.
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Mar 30th, 2011, 12:50 PM
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^ Burlington VT is at 125.3"
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Mar 30th, 2011, 12:53 PM
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^ Sorry, I was going somewhere with that data...Rochester's airport was closed for about 3 hours total this winter.

The problem is that when there are snow storms in NYC, Atlanta, etc, there are no planes so flights EVERYWHERE get cancelled or delayed. Given the bad winter many places had this year it was tough for college kids (as well as everyone else) to get just about anyplace. So that was just a given.

College students do get creative though, spending Thanksgiving with local friends is a popular option. Usually Xmas break is long enough that they manage to get home. It all works out, but sometimes it's not cheap!
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Mar 30th, 2011, 07:55 PM
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My son has STILL have not heard from Rochester... I think this means it is a no.... but I am holding off on air reservations until I know. Being a lifelong Calif resident, I cannot even wrap my head around 125" of snow. Cannot fathom it. I think 20 degrees in the winter in Tahoe is really, really cold. But I told him that if he gets accepted, we will check out the eastern schools...thanks for the tips on getting travel home arranged early.
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Mar 30th, 2011, 08:45 PM
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Parts of Northern California have had more than 125" of snow this winter. A few places had more than 40" in the last month.
Consider flying to Chicago and renting a car there and drive I-90 through Rochester to Syracuse. Following I-90 you will drive through Erie Pennsylvania where my DD spent a semester at Behrend which is a Penn State campus.
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Mar 30th, 2011, 09:39 PM
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My L.A. born and raised son is finishing his 2nd year at Syracuse (Newhouse). Inererstingly, while there has always been some hitch in getting him to or home from school...a delayed flight here or there, the hitch NEVER originated in SYR. In fact, there has never even been a delay leaving SYR in the dead of winter.

From what I hear, the extreme weather doesn't even phase the kids until junior year, when it starts to grow old.
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Mar 31st, 2011, 06:26 AM
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The problem with our weather in Rochester isn't even the snow (although I HATE it)...it's the constant cloudy skies. But if you're only here 4 years it's no big deal. College kids seem to be quite happy here.

Let me know if you do end up coming out here and if I can help you with any other details.
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Mar 31st, 2011, 06:27 AM
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BTW Chicago to Rochester is an 11 hour drive... I'm not sure that makes sense.
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