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this would be ideal; but is it possible?

Houston, Texas
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this would be ideal; but is it possible?

I've used the SEARCH box and I would like some more suggestions that are perhaps a bit more current and more targeted.

I can get into Montreal, Ontario, or Toronto easily. I can rent a car or not pending your recommenations.

I would like to find a place about 1 hour's drive from a major city that would have a cabin, hiking, fishing,fireplace, etc.......for 4 days, being able to drive into the city for either early morning explorations or night-time fine dining.

I would then like to stay in another city for 3 but in a downtown convenient location to sights. i am hoping there might be a train connection offering dinner and wine between two cities.

I appreciate all ideas at your earliest convenience since I will be going in either late September or mid-October. I realize this is probably the highest tourist season because of the fall foilage. Are rates exceptionally priced higher at that time for accommodations and restaurants?

Thank you so much.

Sharon

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Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: this would be ideal; but is it possible?

Southern Ontario is getting to be one giant conurbation around the Toronto area; have a look with satellite view on www.maps.google.com ... people commute more than an hour from the suburbs to get into the city for work. So if you want something less urban, you're going to have to go more than an hour out, and yes, once out there, you will need a car.

I'm wondering... when you said "Montreal, Ontario or Toronto", if you actually meant Ottawa instead of "Ontario" ... Ottawa might be a better option, since it's a smaller city and Gatineau Park is nearby.

For train service between cities (Toronto to Montreal, Montreal to Ottawa, Montreal to Quebec City) , have a look at VIA Rail www.viarail.ca - they are the passenger train railway here in Canada (like Amtrak). There are other commuter trains serving various cities and suburbs

Montreal, Canada
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2. Re: this would be ideal; but is it possible?

Interesting question. Justneed a bit more info.

You say you wish to arrive into one of the 3 cities, then pick a 2nd city to travel to and explore. Does the 2nd city have to be within these choices?

The obvious paring with Montreal would be Quebec city, which is what i am thinking of suggesting to you.

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: this would be ideal; but is it possible?

Hi - I just meant I can fly into anywhere that would be convienient from Houston that would get me into whatever area is suggested for a split between "natural" lodging and a bit of solitude to do some writing and drawing, and then a few days to take advantage of all that Montreal or Quebec can offer. I have been to both before, but not for several decades and long to go back.

smk

Toronto
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for Algonquin Provincial Park
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4. Re: this would be ideal; but is it possible?

So... you want to rent a cabin that would be a base for fishing, hiking, outdoorsy stuff like that, but also a base for exploring a nearby city?

You *can* get a cottage under an hour from a major city, but you'd probably be compromising on location. The cottageable areas so close to major cities just aren't the nicest, and it's a matter of physical geography as much as suburbanization -- big cities like Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa are located on the unscenic Great Lakes-St. Lawrence lowlands (Ottawa Valley in the latter case), not the rocky, lake-studded Canadian Shield. An hour is probably the bare minimum to get into shield country from Montreal or Ottawa, twice that from Toronto; there are cottages within an hour of Toronto on Lake Simcoe or Lake Scugog but that's just not the same. And when you're driving into a major city, an hour's drive on google maps can be a lot more than an hour, depending on traffic, plus however long it takes to find parking.

Maybe an alternative would be to visit smaller towns from the cottage, and save your big city adventures for the second leg of the trip. Here on the Ontario side for example, Parry Sound, Hunstville, Bracebridge and Gravenhurst are towns in the heart of premier cottage country, all roughly 2 hours north of Toronto. They're not metropolises, but they all have some nice restaurants and stuff. Peterborough is a medium-sized city very close to the Kawarthas, another great cottage region. There are some decent cottage lakes in the Frontenac area close to Kingston, another medium-sized city with a lot of history.

Late September and early October are actually not the highest tourist season. Yes the fall colours make it a popular time but not as popular as July/August when the kids are off school and the heat makes the water tempting. Just watch out for the Thanksgiving long weekend, October 12-14 this year.

Since you mentioned fishing, bear in mind that trout season in Ontario closes September 30. Other species are mostly open throughout sept-oct. I don't know what the fishing seasons are in Quebec.

As to your car question, you'll definitely need one when you're going to the cottage. You could end the rental after that and take the train to your other city if you want.

Of course my whole answer is focused on the Ontario side of things, but since you've posted in the Montreal forum I'm sure the Montrealers can explain what things are like in their neck of the literal woods.

Montreal, Canada
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5. Re: this would be ideal; but is it possible?

Near Montreal, Saint-Adolphe d'Howard is a lovely village with a lot of lakes and beautiful cottages. It is near Saint-Sauveur city, and about 1 hour's drive from Montreal. Keep in mind the rush hour traffic during the week.

It isnt as far out as Tremblant and sometimes... that's a good thing!

I LOVE this website for searching and renting cottages in quebec:

http://www.cottagesquebec.com/

Do go through it, and you will quickly see what areas have a concentration of pretty cottages for you to rent out. There are some pretty areas just outside Quebec City as well.

Though i am less knowledgable about Ottawa's surrounding regions, i think the people around the Ottawa forum could help you out if you post there.

I would advise against Toronto for what you are searching for. It is a big city and it sprawls forever. It sounds like you're a bit of an artistic person and i feel that even staying in the city, it would suit you less. That being said, i don't know you so that's just my first impression :)

Montreal, Canada
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for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
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6. Re: this would be ideal; but is it possible?

I was scratching my head a bit since most of the places that I know are farther than 1 hour from the downtown core of a big city but then my esteemed colleague Silve came up with Saint-Adolphe d'Howard and that makes sense.

Another possibility would be on the Québec side of the Ottawa River near Montebello. It will clock at just an hour to Ottawa and 1 hour 20 to 30 to Montréal.

This is a nice area of rolling hills with many lakes. The most remote and «wild» cottages are also the most expensive; the very exclusive Fairmont Kenauk, cottages in the only «old growth» forest close to big cities in Eastern North-America. But you will pay dearly for it. Otherwise check what is available around with Silve's link.

Near Ottawa the Gatineau is neither a Natianal Canadian Park nor a Provincial one; it is part of the National Capital area and rents cottages, yurts and permanent tents. Could be expensive for one person though while it will be low season for all cottages/chalets renters in the Province and they will be more than accomodating.

Finally the Mont-Sainte-Anne area is very close to Québec City, it is actually the area where the Canadian Shield meets the Saint-Lawrence River and the dulll Plain of Saint-Lawrence disappear.

Baie Saint-Paul is a bit farther away, the drive takes about 1h15 from Québec City but the area is more stunning than what you can find in either Québec or Ontario farther west.

Montreal
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7. Re: this would be ideal; but is it possible?

I, too, would vote for the area past Québec City -- it is just a bit further than what you're asking for, but really, the whole Charlevoix and Saguenay region has the grandest nature east of the Rockies. Another option would be to go back to the U.S., actually -- Vermont and New Hampshire both have some very impressive mountains with tiny little villages and lots of cabins hidden throughout, so although you don't get Canadian trees and lakes, shhhh! They're actually almost same, except that here of course they speak French :)

Montreal, Canada
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8. Re: this would be ideal; but is it possible?

«...the whole Charlevoix and Saguenay region has the grandest nature east of the Rockies...» Sorry Tristou but the Gulf side of the Gaspé Peninsula is more stunning and should rank as no 1 with the magnificent Percé area as the crowning jewel. But this much farther away from Québec City!

.

port republic
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9. Re: this would be ideal; but is it possible?

Jacques Cartier Provincial park is 30 mi from Quebec City and they have cabins to rent

Massachusetts
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for Quebec City, Block Island
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10. Re: this would be ideal; but is it possible?

What about the Eastern Townships, www.easterntownships.org. They are no more than i hour by car from Montreal and have everything you are looking for, plus some excellant dining in the area as well and a great wine route!

JDP