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Roadtrip from Montreal to ?????

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jokemaker323
posts: 261
reviews: 6
Roadtrip from Montreal to ?????

I am considering taking a roadtrip, but the only problem is I have no idea where to go. I'd be willing to travel as much as 10 hours in one direction depending on the destination.

The roadtrip would take place in the end of March/early April so I would imagine it isn't the prettiest time to travel around (brown post winter). I do really love winter so travelling north if roads and destinations 10 hours north of Montreal exist, I would be very open to that. I have four wheel drive and good tires, but obviously I still need reliable roads.

When I randomly look at a map, it seems so desolate north, and that is really appealing to me if it is pretty except for the lack of roads. I love nature, can really enjoy cool little towns along a good roadtrip, and just need some ideas of where to go if anywhere cool exists! I'm guessing I won't be finding any polar bears by car but I figured I'd throw in that hail mary while I am here :)

Let me know what you think :)

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 37,819
reviews: 54
1. Re: Roadtrip from Montreal to ?????

I would suggest you also post on the Road Trips forum:

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Tri…

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Montreal
posts: 3,258
reviews: 37
2. Re: Roadtrip from Montreal to ?????

jokemaker, your profile says your location is also "jokemaker". It really helps us to know where a person is coming from, so we have an idea of what would best seem like a different experience to him.

Also, are you taking this roadtrip alone? There are a lot of neat roadtrips to be had, i myself do this from time to time. Quebec, Charlesvoix, Saguenay, Dunham and the wine route, Mont-Tremblant....

jokemaker323
posts: 261
reviews: 6
3. Re: Roadtrip from Montreal to ?????

Would be travelling with wife and we are both western and 30. She is from Vermont and I moved around a bit but similar places. Thanks for any help you can give. As a total aside (I will likely start a separate thread), is Quartier International a well located/nice area to live in Montreal or not so much?

Edited: 9:13 am, March 21, 2012
Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
posts: 10,417
reviews: 54
4. Re: Roadtrip from Montreal to ?????

@Jokemaker even if you did give us some more infos about your point of origin it would be nice to update and expand your profile for future references.

I disagree a bit with my esteemed colleague Silve about the roadtrips. She might not have noticed that your stated dates of visit are late March / April. This is really the in between season so the winter activities are gone (particularly this year with the weather whe had in the last 10 days) and the summer ones will not start until late May, only June in some areas.

I have checked many possibilities for you but all national parks seems to be closed at that time and, yes, if you drive 10 hours due north of Montréal it will be quite desolate and with the weather this year you might not even find any more snow anywhere.

So here is what I suggest: drive to Québec City, spend a few days around and then venture farther on the North Shore in the Charlevoix area, it will be bare compared to other seasons but still agreable. There is no Fjord cruises on the Saguenay River at that time but you can take one of the roads along the shore and drive back on the other. There sill be no whale watching cruises neither at that time. Then you could backtrack to Saint-Siméon or go all the way to Baie-Comeau to take a ferry to the South Shore of the Saint-Lawrence. Then you could drive around the Gaspé Peninsula. The road makes a loop all around it. Almost all atractions will be closed and many hotels/motels too so you will have to make advance inquiries but the scenery will still be the most magnificient in Eastern North-America anyways. In Percé you might be able to charter a zodiac to sail around Bonaventure Island as the ferries are not working there until May.

But it will be quite a trip. Just to give you an idea Montréal to the tip aof the Gaspé Peninsula (either the towns of Gaspé or Percé) are around a 12 hours drive straight from Mtl. So you might want to focus only on the Charlevoix and Saguenay or only the Peninsula after Québec City that is a must in all seasons.

Well I will just end by suggesting that you visit the official website of the Québec Ministry of Tourism www.bonjourquebec.com and you will see plenty of pictures, roadmaps, adresses, etc covering all the areas that I mentioned.

Montreal
Destination Expert
for Montreal
posts: 4,501
5. Re: Roadtrip from Montreal to ?????

Although every young person in Québec pictures doing a road trip around the Gaspé at some point, I'd say that it's a LOT of driving for really not much. Well, that describes almost anywhere in Canada, of course, but especially at this time of the year, it would make a very long trip for very little of interest. I would say backtrack and head to Ottawa instead -- it's a lovely city, although of course much lovelier in the summer. But it also gets you out of Québec and into Ontario, which may give you a slightly different take on Canada. Plus, it has some very impressive museums and the National Art Gallery is one of the best in Canada (although it actually feels a little like someone with a ton of money decided to build a worthy collection and went through the list of the big names in art and bought one of each).

But even better, I would head south to Vermont or New Hampshire or even the coast of Maine. They are beautiful states with tiny picturesque villages nestled in valleys and the friendliest people around (well, after us here in Québec or course :). It's a lovely area of the States indeed.

jokemaker323
posts: 261
reviews: 6
6. Re: Roadtrip from Montreal to ?????

Thanks all. Tristou, Are there no similar towns like the ones you described in Maine within Quebec or east? We would prefer to avoid the USA for this trip.

It sounds like the timing of our trip really stinks as it is a pretty brown time of year right now. Weirdly warm the last few days but clearly still winter/early spring and the trees are bare and grass yellow. Hmmmmm. Nature is definitely nice all year, but not sure if anyone thinks of any places they would definitely go in April.

What about that fjrod? and I didn't even know there were wineries in the region. Are they open? Do they make good wine?

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
posts: 10,417
reviews: 54
7. Re: Roadtrip from Montreal to ?????

There is no wineries in Charlevoix or Saguenay, the northenmost ones are at Orléans Island. Most wineries in Québec are along the Vermont border in the Eastern Townships area.

As per the Saguenay Fjord all you will be able to do will be driving on the roads on both shores of the river and do some trekking. I checked the welcome centers and one is opened almost all year long, well except November and ... April! But the rustic "calets" location is still available. check www.sepaq.com

So it is really not the best of times to come around, particularly this year. I would really try to postpone the trip until our Victoria Day weekend which is in May, one week prior to the US Memorial Day week end

jokemaker323
posts: 261
reviews: 6
8. Re: Roadtrip from Montreal to ?????

THANKS!! You guys have no idea how much I appreciate your help.

Are there whales in the fjord in late April?

Is the wine in the region good and worth visiting?

If I were to alter the roadtrip idea into more of a mix of a little driving and renting a cabin type place somewhere, where would be the most beautiful place to rent a cabin/cottage/house at the end of April? Preferably in a nice surrounding but with at least a couple places to eat within 10 min drive...

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
posts: 10,417
reviews: 54
9. Re: Roadtrip from Montreal to ?????

Whales are not in the Fjord proper but in the estuary while the fjord is upstream. This is why on many queries we suggest that people take two different cruises from Baie-Sainte-Catherine / Tadoussac. Fjord cruises can also be taken at some other points upstream. Well I must say that there will be no large whales around then but, still, the endemic belugas will be around, the only place in the world south of the Arctic circle where these animals are found but really no cruises will be offered at this time of the year.

As I suggest previously most of our summer / fair weather activities starts in May, during the Victoria Day week-end.

jokemaker323
posts: 261
reviews: 6
10. Re: Roadtrip from Montreal to ?????

Thanks again guys. I just wanted to re-ask my final topic:

'If I were to alter the roadtrip idea into more of a mix of a little driving an'd renting a cabin type place somewhere, where would be the most beautiful place to rent a cabin/cottage/house at the end of April? Preferably in a nice surrounding but with at least a couple places to eat within 10 min drive and ideally with a nice small town in the vicinity...'

Edited: 11:26 pm, March 26, 2012