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August 1, 2008 4:00 PM   Subscribe

What to see between Montreal and Gaspe?

A friend and I have decided to rent a car and drive from Montreal to Gaspe.

Can anyone recommend must sees and dos between the two places?

I have seen a few other questions on here but they seem to revolve around the maritimes.

thanks!
posted by ouchitburns to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
What's your route and what are your interests? There's a lot to see and do in the Eastern Townships, but not knowing if you're into antiques, mountain climbing, organic farming or historic sites, it's kind of hard to give you suggestions.
posted by Shepherd at 4:57 PM on August 1, 2008


Best answer: Wow... basically half of Quebec!
First you have a couple of possible routes; You can go by the 40 all the way to Quebec (it's the 400th anniversayry of Quebec city) and then take the bridge south, or even keep going to Tadoussac or Baie-Comeau. You can then catch a ferry to cross to the south shore (to Matane). Before that, you'll go through Charlevoix, a region with an awesome landscape and great rivers. (Or you could take the 20 all the way to Riviere-du-Loup, on the south shore. Boring.)

Then, on the south shore, keep going east after Matane towards Ste-Anne-des-Monts (awesome hiking in the Chic-Choc mountains, a national park-check out Mount Richardson). You can stay at the Auberge Festive where you'll find a spa right on the beach, by the St-Laurent. But beware: you may decide to spend the rest of your holidays there. Really. There is also Mont Saint-Pierre a little further east, where you can do hand-gliding. At least take some time to hike uo the Mont St-Pierre, the view is worth it. If you camp, the municipal camping in Mont-St-Pierre is great.

After that there's Forillon Park, with great beaches and landscape and a good camping too. You can do hiking and kayaking. Don't miss Cap Gaspé, which is the most eastern portion of the Gaspésie, a 360 degre view on the St-Laurent, the ocean and the Gaspe bay. There is a great sailing club in Gaspé, you can rent sailboats or do tours.

Obviously you'll want to make it to Percé, and walk by the rocher. But don't hang around too much; it's really full of tourists, and a bit overpriced. And the most amazing place in that aread is really the Rivière-aux-émeraudes, between Gaspé and Percé. I'm not telling you where it is; ask the locals! I'll just say that it's a little canyon river where the water is warm and really turquoise. Then keep going to the Baie des Chaleurs, where the water is also warmer. Lots of small towns, don't miss Bonaventure and it's great river for kayaking.

Once you get to Matapédia you can then head north and cross through the land to make your way back to the St-Laurent (it's pretty easy; just follow the 132). Do not miss Métis-sur-Mer, a small town filled with luxurious houses from the 1900's. It's about 20km east of Ste-Flavie. There's camping Annie right by, or you can drive to the Bic Park (beware though, it is often full; you should call ahead and reserve a spot in the wild area or you'll end up camping right by the 132).

After that, well the 132 will bring you back to Montreal through great little towns, such as Kamouraska and St-Jean-Port-Joli. There's a great bakery in Kamouraska, as well as a nice chocolate factory. A last, surrealist place to spot would be the Madrid gas station in Drummondville, where you'll find dinausors replicas, bigfoot trucks and maybe even Normand L'Amour
posted by ddaavviidd at 5:52 PM on August 1, 2008 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Well it all depends on if you take the 20 or the 40 from Montreal to QC.

If you take the 20, then you'll want to stop just before Quebec City and check out les chutes-de-la-Chaudiere... not the craziest of waterfalls, but a nice place to stretch your legs and change gears before hitting Quebec, and the suspension bridge is great to jump on.

If, on the other hand, you take the 40 to get to Quebec, then I suggest that just before you hit Trois-Rivieres that you start taking highway 138 instead of the 40. Look for the exit for Pointe-du-Lac. You'll be right on the shore of the St. Lawrence, you'll drive through old Trois Riviere and you'll stay on the edge of the St-Lawrence right until you hit Quebec City. It's beautiful country, small houses, mon oncles and ma tantes sitting on their front porches, and tons of cloths lines. You'll be doing 90 the whole way, it's awesome.

I'll skip Quebec city besides saying that you should stay in the old part or on Gande Allée. Doing the tour of the citadel is fun and interesting, and well located for picnics and what have you.

Just after Quebec on the 40 is Cute Montmorency lovely waterfalls taller than Niagra, but usually more interesting in the winter.
 
If you're going in the fall, then make a stop at Ile d'Orléans and pick some apples for the trip... or if you're not in a rush and it's not the fall, take a drive and see what the farmers are selling.

If you take the 40/138 after Quebec then you can take the ferry from St-Siméon on the north shore to Rivière du Loup on the south shore. Of course if you'd rather visit the Saguenay first (there's a huge dam there) then stay on the 138 and take the ferry from Baie Comeau to Matane instead.

I can't help much more than that, but I'll throw out that I loved both Forillon (I found an amazing trilobite there!) and Gaspé.

Oh, FWIW, the drive along the 185/2 from Rivière du Loup to Moncton is one of my favourites, although I can't say the return leaves you with the same impression. You probably won't be going that way though.
posted by furtive at 5:56 PM on August 1, 2008


Oh, and seconding hiking in the Chic-Chocs.
posted by furtive at 5:57 PM on August 1, 2008


Response by poster: thanks so much ddaavviidd and furtive. That is great advice!

I am quite excited to find Rivière-aux-émeraudes.

umm, if people need more specific details, we will be going from the 15th to the 22nd of August and we are looking for both culture and scenery, especially when that scenery differs greatly from what we would find in BC. We have lived in Montreal for the last year but haven't really left the city (we made it to Quebec City for carnival).

we like wine, cheese, kayaking and, totally seriously, organic farming. we considered WWOOF before deciding that we just wanted to tour around.
posted by ouchitburns at 10:42 PM on August 1, 2008


I've done that trip, twice, actually. No, there's not a lot of really super exciting stuff, but it's a pleasant summer vacation, with lots of opportunities for eating wonderful creamy pastries and smoked fish and maple syrup and cheese curds and lots of Canadian stuff like that. We USAians had a fantastic time doing not much more than that. Twice. A whale-watching tour was fun, and I learned a lot of French (excuse me, where is the closest fish market? Can I find lobster nearby? I need a tow truck, please! Hey man, you want this 3X beer?) . We just bopped around and found good food and met a lot of nice folks. It's been 10 years since I've been, but I had a great, easy, laid-back time. I wouldn't say there's a lot to DO, but there's a lot to see, just crashing up and down the highway along the seaway. Enjoy!
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:51 PM on August 1, 2008


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