Some time in eastern Canada
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Jun 9, 2012 11:02 AM Last Post By: saskja
May 19, 2012 7:30 AM
Some time in eastern CanadaHi
My first post (I think) on the Canadian Branch. We plan to drive from Montreal to Baltimore eventually (late May and early June).
We are thinking of three nights Montreal, three nights Québec City, then 3-4 nights on the road, arriving in Halifax NS (where we have friends) for another 3-4 nights. Can anyone suggest some special places to visit on that route, and then further, from Halifax south to Acadia NP in Maine?
We are primarily interested in national parks, state parks, and all things geologically and geographically interesting. But open to any suggestions.
May 19, 2012 10:12 AM
1The Saguenay fjord is a special place to visit. Tadoussac is about 4.5 hours north of QC with great scenery along the way ( Baie-St. Paul, Malbaie ). You could see the fjord with a boat tour and then continue to NB by taking the ferry just south of Tadoussac (St. Simeon to Riviere du Loup ) to the other side of the St. Lawrence. On the way to NS you should see the Bay of Fundy.
I also highly recommend seeing Cape Breton although it would be a slight detour north.
May 19, 2012 9:02 PM
2Here's a not quite Grand Manaan but close suggestion. On the way south from Saint John, NB look for Saint George. At SG turn off towards Letete, NB. Here you will find a ferry that goes to Deer Island, NB. Drive across Deer Island, NB to the south end (less than 20 miles). Here you will find two ferries; one goes to Eastport, Maine the other to Campobello Island, NB. There is a bridge from Campobello to Lubec, Maine. That's where you'll go through Customs and Immigration. This can save quite a few miles but may not save time.
These are very primitive ferries but safe and you go across some really interesting bays and harbors!
May 20, 2012 2:51 AM
3I hadn't realised you could enhance your east Canada trip by using car-ferries so much ... but that is the point of coming to this forum early in your planning, eh.
Thanks a lot ... no doubt I will be back to this thread with further questions - as we develop our itinerary more.
May 20, 2012 3:53 AM
4If your schedule and travel route permit it...a stop in Fredericton, New Brunswick is a must!
Walking along the river, stopping into various shops, is a nice way to get out and stretch your legs.
Go the Legislative Building, they have a guided tour, the architecture inside is stunning and the staircase is one of a kind in the area.
As you travel through NB, a quick stop along the route, for a stretch is Hartford, New Brunswick(north of Fredericton)-get out and walk along the world's longest covered bridge! it's about a 20-30 minute stop for snacks, and a scenic diversion!
Bring walking shoes(sounds like you will if you like National parks) the cities are small enough to be classified large towns in other parts of the world and are easily navigated.
Remember no matter what your exchange is with a local, it will take awhile, they love to chat and offer suggestions and not even a simple purchase of gum at the drugstore is a quick procedure.
I love "downeast" as they call it here in Ontario! I miss it at times!
May 20, 2012 6:17 AM
5Thanks for all that ... all being saved in the data-bank!
And BTW - do any of you recall Norman Hermont & Karen Percy? They worked as reporters on CBC-TV out of Toronto a few years back ... anyway, they're mates of mine (now living in Moscow), and I went to their wedding in Adelaide. The Canadian side of the family (Norman's) put on the next-day breakfast ... they were hilarious. I think I like Canadians (you're a lot like us Australians, except colder!).
TRIP UPDATE: We have increased our Canada Time by quite a bit, and will now include a re-visit to Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies (starting 20 May 2013). Are there any particular tips for sourcing "cheaper" airfares from West to East (ie, to Montreal)? Is it better to fly from Vancouver, or Calgary - or in fact anywhere else? And how far ahead is it generally best to book?
And further - would people recommend a route from Rivière-du-Loup > Fredericton > Fundy NP > Moncton > Nova Scotia, rather than driving around the northeast shore of New Brunswick? And we're fairly committed to going to Cape Breton as well, I expect. And I like the idea of the ferry from Yarmouth to Bar Harbor as well.
May 22, 2012 3:44 PM
6Well ... we have booked our outbound ticket from Melbourne - should be in Vancouver on 19 May. We hoped to spend two nights in or near Whistler ... any local advice on doing this at a reasonable price? We normally spend between $A60 and $A100 per night on lodging on the road, but acknowledge that ski resorts generally cost more.
May 23, 2012 3:10 AM
May 23, 2012 3:32 AM
May 23, 2012 6:11 AM
9Thanks for that ... will check all ferries to see whether they are still on life support.
Meanwhile - we're having a little difficulty renting a one-way car from Montreal to New York City, via Halifax NS. Now call me old-fashioned, but I would have thought that in 2013 rental car bookings between the USA and Canada would have been totally straightforward and seamless ... but apparently not.
Any locals have a view about a car rental company for this trip (Montreal to NYC) that is available at a reasonable price?
May 23, 2012 7:36 AM
10I think you should go north of Halifax and visit the island of Newfoundland. It is amazingggg.. camp and hike and see all there is to see at Gros Morne National Park, visit historical outport communities and take a sea kayak out and see whales, birds, caves etc.
Once in a lifetime trip.
May 23, 2012 12:15 PM
Seeing all of Newfoundland properly would be a 2-3 week trip in itself. The OP only planned 3-4 days for the drive from Montreal to Halifax. If they were in Cape Breton already a side trip to just the west coast of NL to see Gros Morne would take about a week. If NL is a once in a lifetime trip you should plan a separate trip.
There is still nothing straightforward about leaving a rental car in another country in NA. The franchise you rent from will then have to pick up the car in another country. You will have better luck if you rent an American car in say Burlington VT 2 h from Montreal and then leave it in NYC. It will then appear as a Burlington-NYC one-way rental although you will be taking the very long way around.
May 23, 2012 3:54 PM
12Thanks for that ... we will probably stretch our time in eastern Canada to include Cape Breton etc, but not enough to include a week on Newfoundland. In terms of the rental car, we might drive to Portland, and then through the White Mountains, and return it to Montreal - it is hugely cheaper at first glance ($600 v $3000). We would then look at bus, train, or air to get us to New York. But I will check the Burlington option too - hadn't thought of that.
May 26, 2012 6:12 PM
13Thanks for the cuisine and geography tips saskja ... yes, we will almost certainly head to Tadoussac, and the ferry across to R-de-L and then New Brunswick, and then will work out our plan that includes Fundy NP, Cape Breton, Halifax, and then back to Maine via Saint John (and as noted above, perhaps return the car to Montreal for both economic and logistic reasons).
The thing is : how do you think a car rental agency would need to pay for a driver to bring the car back to Montreal? Think salary, gaz, mileage and the non-revenues on the day the car would be driven back. Well there you have it!
I suppose I expect a certain percentage of (say) Avis cars to be fungible between USA-Canada ... in other words a car goes from Montreal to New York, and simply becomes a NYC car, and eventually might return to Montreal through a reverse one-way rental. Certainly in Australia this happens between all states - but maybe all the North American "Avis" agencies are more strictly local and independently owned franchise businesses, and therefore they own a specific fleet of cars that don't transfer across borders, or even offices.
BTW saskja - your link (100 Things To Do ...) seems broken.
May 31, 2012 1:10 AM
14Here is our revised Eastern Canada itinerary - how does this look?
30 May - YVR to Montreal (Fly)
31 May - Montreal
01 Jun - Montreal
02 Jun - Québec City
03 Jun - Québec City
04 Jun - Québec City
05 Jun - Tadoussac
06 Jun - Tadoussac
07 Jun - Fredericton
08 Jun - Moncton
09 Jun - Truro
10 Jun - Sydney
11 Jun - Cheticamp
12 Jun - Antigonish
13 Jun - Halifax
14 Jun - Halifax
15 Jun - Fundy NP
16 Jun - Fundy NP
17 Jun - Saint John
18 Jun - Lubec Maine
19 Jun - Bar Harbour
20 Jun - Bar Harbour
21 Jun - Camden
22 Jun - Portland
23 Jun - St Johnsbury
24 Jun - Montreal
A rental car loop Montreal-Montreal (including a dip into Maine and NH) is certainly proving a lot cheaper. Thanks for any comments.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$255.15 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$169.00 per night
Des MoinesBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$129.00 per night