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Kingston or Gananoque

Surrey UK
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34 posts
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Kingston or Gananoque

We will be driving from Stowe to Oakville at the end of September (c. 24th) and plan to break the journey on the way. Our daughter went to Kingston Uni as an overseas student many years ago and we visited the town then (not much sightseeing though). We thought Guananoque might be a nice place to stop but many of the reviews seem to imply that out side the summer season there isn't a lot going on. We will not have a lot of time - overnight and half a day sight seeing perhaps. Any advice on the route also welcome Current choice burlington to cornwall and down 401 or cutting through the Adirondaks to ogensburg and then the 401. Many thanks

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Oakville
Oakville
Ontario, Canada
Ottawa, Canada
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13,856 posts
47 reviews
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1. Re: Kingston or Gananoque

Hi No1Mom,

As this is a really long post... you might want to "expand" your view of the FORUM Page (just click on the button on the grey bar below your post).

Thoughts on getting to Canada...

I have done a variety of routes from the Burlington VT area.

Option 1 - Take the "middle" Lake Champlain Ferry (Burlington VT to Port Kent NY) and then you`ll be able to visit Ausable Chasm, before popping into the Adirondack Park. Base your exit from the park on Malone NY and head to the Canadian border.

Lake Champlain - Central Ferry Schedule = www.ferries.com/central_schedule.asp

Ausable Chasm = www.ausablechasm.com

Option 2 - Head North out of Burlington and onto Hwy 2 that begins its route thru the Champlain Islands. Take the "upper" Lake Champlain Ferry (Grande Isle VT to Plattsburg Vt) and then pop into the Adirondack Park. Your route will take you thru the upper northeast corner of the Park... aim your exit for Chateaugay NY and head to the Canadian border.

Lake Champlain - Northern Ferry Schedule = http://www.ferries.com/north_schedule.asp

Option 3 - Head North out of Burlington and onto Hwy 2 and wind your way thru all of the Champlain Islands. This will connect you with Hwy 11 that traverses across the top of NY State. Head to the Canadian Border.

For all Options be aware as you approach Burlington VT to look West towards the Adirondacks, on a clear day you`ll see the many many turbines that sit atop the ridge near the Adirondacks (maximum air flow). This windfarm will be passed on both Options 2 and 3 when you get to NY State.

With Option 1 you might want to visit Lake Placid (home of two Winter Olympics - 1932 & 1980). This area could easily merit a longer visit (overnight?)

Canada (Cornwall to Trenton... the 1000 Islands and Eastern Lake Ontario).

With all Options the best crossing (from a scenery perspective) is Three Nations Crossing at Roosevelt, NY to Cornwall, ON. However, this border crossing has had some issues in recent months, and may or may not be open... if not you`ll have to proceed to the Ogdensburg, NY and Prescott ON crossing.

The advantage to the Three Nations Crossing is you`ll get better scenery along the St Lawrence River and the beginning of the 1000 Islands area. Take Hwy 2 which skirts along the shoreline of the St Lawrence.

You`ll pass by Upper Canada Village www.uppercanadavillage.com (a Parks Canada historic site... depicting life in Upper Canada at the time of Confederation - 1867). The Buildings were "rescued" from the lost towns - places that were flooded out in 1958 when the St Lawrence Seaway was built to accomodate great lake shipping traffic. If you are lucky you`ll see a couple of HUGE ocean going vessels (aka Lakers) in the River as you travel west.

If you were only able to make the Ogdensburg crossing, then you`ll join Hwy 2 at Johnstown. Although taking Hwy 2 is definitely a longer option than the Expressway (401) it is very very pretty.

After passing thru Brockville (once a very wealthy town on the River, note the Victorian mansions) Hwy 2 will pass by the towns cemetaries (one on each side of the road) thereafter start watching for signage for Brockmere Cliff Drive / Butternut Bay Road... it will be a left hand turn... but is a short-cut to the 1000 Islands Parkway (turn left when you get to the Parkway).

From here to Gananoque you`ll see many islands, cottages, homes, mansions and even one castle (Singer Castle on Dark Island has prominent red roofs).

Lucky for you the Fall Season is underway in Gananoque and you`ll be able to catch a cruise thru the 1000 Islands (if you can do the 3 Hour Cruise... as it covers a lot of territory, and has an excellent naration). The 5 Hour Cruise (with a 2 Hour stop at Boldt Castle is only available on the weekend during the Fall).

Depending on your cruise time, you can overnight in either Gananoque or Kingston (Gananoque has more small chain Hotels - Quality Inn, Comofrt Inn, Ramada, Where Kingston has more large Hotels - Radisson, Sheraton 4 Points, etc). Eats are also better in Kingston... BUT I can recommend Anthony`s in Gananoque (especially for Breakfast), Paddy`s Pub (for a light bite) or the Gananoque Inn (Fine Dining).

Kingston`s main attraction is it`s lovely waterfront setting. For "fun" and FREE you can ride the Wolfe Island Ferry (good photo ops)... just walk on. Othere great spots are Old Fort Henry an UNESCO World Heritage Site... open year-round.

When leaving Kingston for Oakville you can either take the 401 or continue along the waterside highway that is Hwy 3 - Bath Road (aka the Loyalist Parkway) and onto Picton at Quinte Isle (Prince Edward County). You cross an inlet of Lake Ontario by Ferry - FREE to reach the Peninsula. Once across the Ferry watch for the signs to Lake on the Mountain (5 minutes up the hill) a unique natural feature and affords great views of Lake Ontario (from the Parking Lot across the road) you`ll be able to see the Ferry from which you just came.

Make your way thru Picton and keep to the Loyalist Parkway and back out to the 401 (at Trenton). Or if there is time stop to see the huge sanddunes that form at Sandbanks Provincial Park.

LOL, Looks like I`ve given you quite the list of info... now all ya gotta do is choose. (Think that might be the hard part).

:-)

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

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Burlington
Burlington
Ontario, Canada
Cornwall
Cornwall
Ontario, Canada
Johnstown
Johnstown
Ontario, Canada
Brockville
Brockville
Ontario, Canada
Kingston
Kingston
Ontario, Canada
Oakville
Oakville
Ontario, Canada
Loyalist Parkway
Loyalist Parkway
19 Reviews
Gananoque, Canada
Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County
Ontario, Canada
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
13,856 posts
47 reviews
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2. Re: Kingston or Gananoque

Ooops,

I should have also mentioned that if you overnight in Gananoque, be sure and check out The 1000 Islands Playhouse (summer theatre) they do excellent productions and have a show almost every night.

Check out their Website - The 1000 Islands Playhouse = www.1000islandsplayhouse.com

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
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78,859 posts
99 reviews
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3. Re: Kingston or Gananoque

Hi No1Mum;

There are some car rental companies that will not permit their cars out of the state or out of the country, or charge a premium if they do. Most of the larger rental companies will allow cross border travel.

Ensure that the car rental company notes on the rental agreement that they authorize you to take the car into Canada. You may be asked by Customs when entering Canada, or when re-entering the US, for this documentation.

Kingston is 18 miles / 28 km west of Gananoque. If you decide to stay in Gananoque overnight, I strongly recommend the Islandview Inn Bed & Breakfast, which is located only 1 block from where the tour boats dock, and the St Lawrence River.

www.islandviewinnbb.com/

The Holiday Inn Express would be my second choice, but is located at the opposite end of town.

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g182143-d578912…

Best Regards

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Kingston
Kingston
Ontario, Canada
Surrey UK
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34 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Kingston or Gananoque

Wow what a lot of information! will let you know the outcome of our discussions. We are actually starting and finishing our journey in Oakville - we head off in early September taking the road south through Buffalo and then travelling up through vermont, new hampshire and Maine before heading back as described. We will be hiring the car in Toronto and crossing the border twice, must admit that everything we have read so far had left us confident that this would be okay but very greatful for the advise to ensure that it is expressly permitted on the rental agreement. Many many thanks for the time and effort in all the responses

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Oakville
Oakville
Ontario, Canada
Maine
Maine
United States
Toronto
Toronto
Ontario, Canada
West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
Level Contributor
78,859 posts
99 reviews
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5. Re: Kingston or Gananoque

You're Welcome !

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
13,856 posts
47 reviews
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6. Re: Kingston or Gananoque

Hi No1Mum,

You are very welcome... always fun to work with a "prepared" Traveller who has read some and knows a bit about the area they are asking about.

TYPO...

I noticed when I re-read that I made a typo The Loyalist Parkway (aka Bath Road) is actually Hwy 33 (NOT Hwy 3 as I originally typed it).

This area holds a special passion for me... I call it "My Big Backyard" and it includes Upstate NH, Vt, NY, the Eastern Townships, the Laurentians, the 1000 Islands, Eastern Lake Ontario, The Gatineaus, the Ottawa Valley, the Rideau Canal, Algonquin Park and the Muskokas... Stunning natural beauty... from Spring to Fall you'll find me out exploring it... it really is a special part of the world.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

PS... If you need more info on anything post again, or drop me an PM (Private Message)... to do so just click on my highlighted TA User Name.

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Loyalist Parkway
Loyalist Parkway
19 Reviews
Gananoque, Canada
7. Re: Kingston or Gananoque

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