Travel Tips: Northeastern US and Southern Quebec

I’m going on vacation next week, and I’ve decided to rent a car and do a road trip across a few northeastern American states. I’ll start by visiting a friend in New Brunswick, and then cross into Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and possibly New York State. Do any of you have suggestions of things I should go see? I’m mostly interested in natural places, but also in politics and history. In other words, I’d like to hear about scenic places (parks, places I can go for a short hike, etc.), and also places where important history unfolded (battle sites, etc.) I’ll certainly try to visit as many state legislatures as I can find on my path.

Keep in mind that my time is rather limited, so I’d prefer activities that don’t take too much time. If you have experience in renting a car in Canada and bringing it to the US, I’d like to hear about it; I’d rather not have any bad experience at the border. Also, will they allow me in the country even though I don’t know yet where I’ll be staying every night? I’m planning to see where each day takes me and rent a motel room or something in the evening.

Then, the week after that I will be taking a friend and her four-year-old son to visit Quebec’s Montérégie and Eastern Townships regions. Anybody know what we should visit that would be interesting to a young child? We’re already planning to go to the Granby Zoo.

I just made the drive from Massachusetts to Ottawa, Ontario via the Vermont - Quebec crossing last weekend and the border crossing back into the U.S. was 2+ hours and there was nothing significant going on. The duty-free stores just before each side of the border have bathrooms and other facilities even though they aren’t advertised. Gas is more expensive in Canada than it is in the U.S. . Fill up right before you cross back over the border.

Vermont has the Quiche Gorge and the town of Woodstock (close by) that are incredibly beautiful. New Hampshire has all kinds of resorts and multi-purpose mountains (the White Mountains). Maine has some pretty (cold water) beaches and really cool, primitive lobster shacks only open in the summer.

Make sure to ask your rental company if you’re allowed to bring the car into the States, because many of them forbid that in their contracts. When I was checking this last year, Alamo was the only Montreal-based company I could find that didn’t bat an eyelid at cross-border trips. They have good prices too, I heartily recommend them.

If you go to northern New York State, I’d recommend Ausable Chasm and the Adirondack History Museum. And since you’re travelling east anyway, how’s about Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle France? You must try that craziness at least once in your life. :smiley:

Fair warning: maybe they’ve added a few roads since I lived in NH about a decade ago, but the best way to describe the trip from Maine to NH to Vermont is “you can’t get there from here!” (local saying that is surprisingly appropriate).

Anyhow, traveling East-West (i.e. on little winding “highways”) across these states is harder than North-South (where you find the odd interstate to jump on). So, if you’re short on time, I say good luck with finding time to do much other than drive and admire the view (which ranges from beautiful natural wonders, to overly cute antique shops, to double-wides rusting in the woods). Oh, and watch out for the cops in NH. They love to catch out of towners for speeding when you miss the sign announcing the town limit of some little village in the woods that looks exactly like the bits outside the little village.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved living in the White Mountains area – it was so gorgeous – but quick travel wasn’t something you could count on.

Yeah, I’ve looked at a few companies and Alamo seems to be the one with the best rates. They also specifically say that renters are allowed to bring Canadian cars to the US. But do you know if I need something else in order to be allowed to bring a rental car to the US, say, special insurance coverage or something? I’ve never done this and I’m worried I’m forgetting something important that I should know.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I’ve been to the Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France last year, actually, with the same friend and her son. It was interesting, but I don’t remember it being especially fantastic.

The car insurance on my husband’s credit card covered us for travels in the US. If you don’t have this kind of coverage, I would guess Alamo could supply it.

Try again, with more mead! :slight_smile: (I know, it’s not to everyone’s taste.)