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Need help - Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont foliage trip

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Need help - Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont foliage trip

We're planning a trip to explore Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont, hoping to catch the fall foliage change. We have 2-3 weeks for the trip. We'd sure appreciate suggestions (more/less days, towns/places to see, alternate routes, etc.) as we sketch out the details.

When should we start the trip to hopefully hit the color change in full glory at sometime during the trip?

Please comment on our first draft itinerary. Thanks for your insights!

Day 1 - 8p arrive in Montreal

Day 2, 3, 4 - explore Montreal (is 3 days too much time?)

Day 5, 6 - day trips to the Laurentians (is one trip enough?)

Day 7 - day trip to Eastern Townships

Day 8 - drive to Quebec City thru the Eastern Townships (autoroute 10 to 55 to 20)

Day 9, 10, 11 - explore Quebec City and Ile d'Orleans (is 3 days too much time?)

Day 12 - day trip to Cote de Beaupre

Day 13 - day trip to Charlevoix

Day 14 - drive to Burlington, VT via autoroute 40 to 89 (is there a more scenic route?)

Day 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 - explore Vermont (any suggestions?)

Day 20 - drive to Montreal for a 6p flight departure

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1. Re: Need help - Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont foliage trip

Hard to predict mother nature but fall foliage starts in the Laurentians about the last week of September and works its way south through Vermont into the first week of October.

A nice trip through the Laurentions would be from Lachute take rt 327 up to St Jovite then take rt329 back to Lachute and then back to Montreal.

So many rts for the eastern townships but i usually drive out to Huntington and pick up rt 202 then take it all the way to Sherbrooke.

Vermont rt100 from start to finish wont disappoint,side trips are encouraged. be aware fall foliage is a big deal in many places and hotels can be sold out so you might want to book ahead.

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Los Angeles, CA
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2. Re: Need help - Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont foliage trip

Thanks Jim.

We are tentatively thinking Sept 26- Oct 15. Should we move that up a few days?

Do you think basing in Montreal and making day trips to the Laurentians and to the Eastern Townships makes sense? We'd prefer basing in one location to avoid packing and moving too often.

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3. Re: Need help - Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont foliage trip

These dates should be fine.

Keep your "day trip to the Eastern Township" when you return to Burlington... as it is on the way.

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4. Re: Need help - Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont foliage trip

I would keep these dates, or else you'll be too late

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5. Re: Need help - Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont foliage trip

How are you "arriving in Montreal" at the beginning of your trip? I'm asking because you might want to switch your itinerary a bit. I would start with Quebec/Charlevoix/Côte-de-Beaupré, as our leaves turn sooner, and then move south to Montreal, Eastern Townships, Vermont.

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Hotel Quebec Inn
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6. Re: Need help - Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont foliage trip

Yeah, starting in QC does make the most sense, but I can't easily get to QC from LA. We can fly direct to Montreal in 5 hrs. To QC with layover takes 8.5 - 10 hrs with less convenient flight times.

We are considering shifting our dates to Sept 23 - Oct 12. The flights on those dates will cost about $160 more for the two of us. Do you think it's worth shifting a few days earlier for the extra cost?

We could also shift a week earlier Sept 19- Oct 8 without an increase in cost. Is that too early?

I know this is a bit granular given the unpredictability of nature. Given your summer weather relative to norm, do you think the change will be earlier or later, or just no correlation?

We know that we won't catch "peak" in all places, we're just trying to improve the chance we'll catch it somewhere between QC to Vermont.

Thanks!

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7. Re: Need help - Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont foliage trip

Here in the Québec City area, the "color peak" is around the last week of september and the first week of october.

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8. Re: Need help - Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont foliage trip

Would definitely recommend driving the Kancamagus Highway in northern NH as part of of your foliage tour in Vermont. It's a 60 mi. stretch through the White Mountains between the towns of Lincoln, NH and Conway, NH. Get an early start and head to Flapjacks in Lincoln for the best pancakes you've ever had (seriously) and then enjoy the drive. I vacation in New England / Quebec every autumn and love this drive.

Check it out: www.kancamagushighway.com

It'll take you about 2 hours from Burlington to Lincoln and 3 hours back to Burlington from Conway, but there are lots of scenic places you'll want to stop and explore / take pics / stretch your legs, so you could make a day of it.

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9. Re: Need help - Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont foliage trip

Those dates will be fine for doing the Laurentians,Eastern Townships, and Vermont and New Hampshire. i'll second that Kancamagus Highway and perhaps staying overnight in Conway but do make reservations, and while in the eastern townships try to get to Knowlton.

If you are driving to all these places presumably in a rentacar in my opinion the Quebec City area might be a bit of overkill and be best left for another trip in the future perhaps coupled with a trip to the North shore and or the Gaspe regions of Quebec..

Edited: 28 August 2013, 11:23
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Los Angeles, CA
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10. Re: Need help - Montreal, Quebec City and Vermont foliage trip

Thanks for the timing help. Bought the airline tix, so with any luck, we'll catch the peak somewhere.

Ima_spursfan, thanks for the Kancamagus Highway tip. We had actually thought about making it into NH, now I think we'll do it.