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  1. Default houston to quebec, canada advise

    planning to drive houton to quebec in march....anyone ever done this? what type of terrain are the roads? straightways, hills, mountains? planning also to rent a vehicle for this road trip, any experiences on different car rental companies...most of them i checked does not allow their vehicles going out of state...also what type of weather should i expect in march going there?
    Thank you in advance...this is my first looong road trip hope it goes well with your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default It's up to You

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by roadtrpnew
    planning to drive houton to quebec in march....what type of terrain are the roads?
    The beauty of the trip you've got ahead of you is that you have your choice of terrains. You could do a 'heartland America' route through the Ozarks, then across the farmlands of Illinois and Indiana, cross into Canada around Detroit and then up through southern Ontario to Québec. Or you could do a 'river route' by following the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, seeing Niagara and then following the St. Lawrence into Québec. Or, a third alternative, a 'mountain route' where you first go east to Birmingham, Alabama and then more or less travel northeast along the spine of the Appalachians. Of course, you can also mix and match among the three. So, which of the three alternatives most appeals to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by roadtrpnew
    rental companies...most of them i checked does not allow their vehicles going out of state
    Are you checking their web sites or talking to an agent? I suspect that if you deal with a human you'll find that most, if not all, of the major companies will allow the car into Canada for the proper d'argent. Are you also facing an age problem (under 25)?

    Quote Originally Posted by roadtrpnew
    what type of weather should i expect in march going there?
    March is perhaps the most unpredictable month of the year, particularly along the Appalachians and in the northeast (southeast of Canada). You could hit anything from warm and sunny to snow or golfball-sized hail. But in general, it will be moving on toward Spring and the trip will be doable. Just allow yourself a bit of time in your schedule for weather related delays, keep and eye on the forcasts, and you'll be fine.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    The beauty of the trip you've got ahead of you is that you have your choice of terrains. You could do a 'heartland America' route through the Ozarks, then across the farmlands of Illinois and Indiana, cross into Canada around Detroit and then up through southern Ontario to Québec. Or you could do a 'river route' by following the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, seeing Niagara and then following the St. Lawrence into Québec. Or, a third alternative, a 'mountain route' where you first go east to Birmingham, Alabama and then more or less travel northeast along the spine of the Appalachians. Of course, you can also mix and match among the three. So, which of the three alternatives most appeals to you?

    Are you checking their web sites or talking to an agent? I suspect that if you deal with a human you'll find that most, if not all, of the major companies will allow the car into Canada for the proper d'argent. Are you also facing an age problem (under 25)?

    March is perhaps the most unpredictable month of the year, particularly along the Appalachians and in the northeast (southeast of Canada). You could hit anything from warm and sunny to snow or golfball-sized hail. But in general, it will be moving on toward Spring and the trip will be doable. Just allow yourself a bit of time in your schedule for weather related delays, keep and eye on the forcasts, and you'll be fine.

    AZBuck
    thank you AZBuck..
    pretty interesting route...do you recommend yahoo or msn maps in order for me to get directions for those, or should i buy maps then trace routes?

    i havent talk to any agents on car rentals, just checking out thier websites and policies. i am not facing any age problem...i havent rented a car for a road trip, i guess there are a lot of insurance i can get, what is the most important one, or least important for that matter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Default It's up to You - II

    Quote Originally Posted by roadtrpnew
    do you recommend yahoo or msn maps...or should i buy maps then trace routes?
    For this kind of planning, I'd suggest that you get a good paper road map of the US, or better yet of just the eastern US, that you can look over at your own pace and mark up any way you want. Start by just looking at what's between your start and end points. See, in a general sort of way, what's along the three basic routes I outlined. Look for major parks and cities along the way that appeal to you. And then start marking out possible routes. Once you've got a basic route, get the appropriate state maps, or start visiting their websites, or come back here for more detailed suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by roadtrpnew
    there are a lot of insurance i can get, what is the most important one, or least important for that matter.
    That is really up to you and your circumstances. The first thing I'd do is contact your own insurance company and see if your coverage extends to a rental. Also check with your credit card companies to see if they offer any coverage when you charge the rental on their card. Do you belong to AAA? - I believe they also extend coverage - but I could be wrong - ask them. If you are really devoid of all other coverage, then what you need most, I think, is liability insurance. This covers you for what you do to others, and it's where the huge settlements for 'pain and suffering' come into play. Probably the least important (again - my opinion) is collision coverage. All that would pay for is the damage you do to the rental car - but it's important if you don't want to be responsible even for that.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
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    761

    Default Winterland

    Hi Roadtrpnew,

    what type of terrain are the roads?
    One things that's for sure, when the road gets bumpy, you'll know you're in Quebec!:-) Watch out for potholes during thaw some of them can almost swallow your car! Okay, I'm exagerating a little bit but be careful, especially if you drive a rental.

    also what type of weather should i expect in march going there?
    As AZBuck said, March is kind of unpredictable, it's not spring yet but it's not winter anymore either. Just make sure your car has all the basic winter equipment and read these Winter Driving Tips.

    do you recommend yahoo or msn maps in order for me to get directions for those, or should i buy maps then trace routes
    If you are a AAA or a CAA member you can order free maps, itineraries (Triptiks) and guidebooks. Still, I think a good road atlas is a must have for any traveller.

    Do you have any specific destination(s) among Quebec? What's the purpose of your trip? Would you like a few suggestions? I lived in Quebec all my life and I know my province very well so if I can be of any help...

    Cheers!
    Geneviève

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise
    Posts
    527

    Default Take the Double Six

    Go straight north, and pick up US 66 in Missouri and take it through that state and Illinois. This will run you through the beautiful Ozarks and you'll be by the Lake of the Ozarks and Branson. I suggest spending a night at the Rail Haven or Rest Haven motels in Springfield, Mo., Munger-Moss in Lebanon, Mo., and Route 66 Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois. While there, you can check out the new Lincoln Museum and Library, a must stop. You can also have a Cozy Dog, and enjoy a real live 66 Roadhouse at the Curve Inn or George Ranks.

    Our first trip on 66, we were blasted by a really nasty snowstorm by Joliet and Pontiac, Il. near the end of March, so like AZBuck said, be ready for anything. We've also seen it at 80 degrees.

    Keep on Down that Two Lane Highway and Eat that Cozy? Dog. -- RoadDog

  7. Default update

    i just registered to be a member of AAA...checked out internet triptik and i want to print detailed maps, but the one showing on my screen is so small, there are 40+ pages to print..any ideas to probably lessen the pages and view on screen with bigger map...btw we are planning in doing this trip for 1 week round trip so im looking for the fastest/shortest route possible...we are visiting a freind in Quebec.

    Gen,
    I would like to have suggestions regarding places to visit, restaurants near or in Quebec, that is where we plan to go sightseeing and stuff..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Default A Real Push

    Quote Originally Posted by roadtrpnew
    btw we are planning in doing this trip for 1 week round trip so im looking for the fastest/shortest route possible
    Your most efficient route is 2110 miles long. It goes like this: I-10 to Baton Rouge, LA; I-55 up to Memphis,; TN I-40 to Nashville; I-65 to Louisville, KY; I-71 to Cleveland, OH; I-90 to Syracuse, NY; and I-81 to the Canadian border. In Canada, take the 401 freeway to Montréal, and Autoroute 20 to Québec. You will need at least three days each way to make the trip, even with multiple drivers, if you plan on stopping for the evening. That really doesn't leave much time for sight-seeing along the way, or even more than a couple of days in Québec.

    Quote Originally Posted by roadtrpnew
    checked out internet triptik and i want to print detailed maps, but there are 40+ pages to print
    It is the nature of TripTiks to give a moderately detailed picture of the road you're going to be travelling on. They're really not meant to be scalable in the sense that you want. I'd suggest going to (or calling) your local AAA office and asking for their Eastern USA map. That will let you get an overview of your route. They will also be happy to mark the above route on the map if you want. About a week before you leave, ask them to make a TripTik for you and they will not only print out the 40+ pages, but mark your route on them along with marking portions of the road that are under construction or are subject to extra strict law enforcement.

    AZBuck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Attractions? You got it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Roadtrpnew
    Gen,
    I would like to have suggestions regarding places to visit, restaurants near or in Quebec, that is where we plan to go sightseeing and stuff..
    I assume by "Quebec" you mean Quebec City?? There is so much to do in that area, I don't know where to start! First Quebec is considered a World Heritage City by the UNESCO. Needless to say, traditionnal French architecture and historic sites are everywhere. The most popular historic district is called Le Petit Champlain and is located in the lower city. The final part of the movie Catch me if you can was filmed at La Place Royale. As you walk through the narrow street in lower city, take a look at the multiple murals along the way. Le Musée de la civilisation et la Gare du Palais are worth a visit.

    For lunch, stop by the Cochon Dingue. The Auberge St-Antoine is a cozy alternative to big hotels and is nestled in a quiet part of lower town. For a unique experience, look for Sous-le-Cap st. It follows the bottom of the cliff of the Cap Diamant for a short distance. I consider that street kind of magical, you feel like you are somewhere in Europe. Even the locals will probably have trouble give you directions to it.:-)

    In the upper part of the city, the "main street" is called St-Jean St. The area west of Honoré-Mercier blvd is knows as the "gay village" even though there are not that much gay-affiliated establishments. East of Honoré-Mercier is the Place D'Youville with its free skating rink and the biggest concert hall in Quebec City the Capitole. Its little neighbor, Pointe des Amériques serves tasty pizzas.

    On St-Jean St., you can find virtually every kind of boutiques, restaurants and bistros. I particularly enjoy Au Petit Coin Breton (near La porte St-Jean) with its delicious crepes for dinner and savoury sweets for dessert. For lunch, try our famous poutine (French fries with gravy and cheese) at one of the many Ashton fast food restaurants. Ask for a "Spécial with saucisses" (Special with sausages). If you are a reader, stop by Librairie Pantoute. Going up St. Jean St., near the City Hall, you will come into a square. Depending on what is your thing, you can visit the Basilique Notre-Dame, attend a free jazz show at the Clarendon, shop for cigars at la Tabagie Giguère on Buade St.. During the warm season, la rue du Trésor is very lively, I doubt there will be any activity there in March, but you never know!

    The Majestic Château Frontenac located at the apogee of Cap Diamant is the most photographed hotel in the world. You can request a guided tour. Don't forget about the magnificient Terrasse Dufferin overlooking the St. Lawrence. On the other shore, you can see the lights of Lévis and distinguish some buildings.

    Another main artery is Grande-Allée St. : lots of popular night clubs and restaurants there as well. My favourites are : Cosmos Café (breakfast and dessert), Rivoli (Italian), Parmesan (Italian), Maurice Nightclub (featuring a cigar lounge). Also, Cartier St. is usually a very popular street among tourists. If you head west on Grande-Allée you'll eventually catch a glimpse of the Plaines d'Abraham on your left, towards the St. Lawrence. It is a very popular spot for winter sports like cross-country skiing and sliding. If you are into arts, the Musée de Québec presents different exhibitions. The Hôtel du Parlement (Parliament) is located on top of a hill and looks very imposing and intimidating, but it is definitly a must see on your trip and so are the Citadelle and the fortifications (walls). I believe they even sell a map of all the walls so you can virtually make up your own itinerary

    In other parts of town or not far from it, you also have some attractions worth considering :

    Promenade Samuel de Champlain (Cap-Rouge) for a scenic walk;
    Salons d'Edgar in St-Roch is a very artsy restaurant featuring Tango nights (Sundays);
    A visit at the Ice Hotel (Ste-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier) costs 10-14$;
    Île d'Orléans, cradle of French America;
    Chutes Montmorency

    Too bad the Winter Carnival will be over when you get there! I know there will be a film Festival called Festival Images du Nouveau Monde though. Be sure to bring warm clothes on that trip, even though you might think spring is warmer, it is not quite true and the wind coming for the river is usually awfully cold. Since Quebec City absolutely has to be toured by foot, you better be safe than sorry! While looking for a place to park, watch out for restricted resident permits areas. The streets are pretty narrow so when you do parallel parking, be sure you are close enough to the sidewalk or you might get a ticket or get hit by another car.

    Hope this helps!
    Gen
    Last edited by Quebec Gen; 02-11-2006 at 11:32 AM. Reason: $%/! format

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Insurance Coverages

    Quote Originally Posted by roadtrpnew
    i guess there are a lot of insurance i can get, what is the most important one, or least important for that matter.
    Here is a quick overview about insurance coverages

    Mark

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