NYC To Quebec City Drive: Everything You Need To Know | Stanton House Inn
Summertime on the road along the drive from NYC to Quebec City

NYC to Quebec City Drive: Everything You Need to Know

A photo taken on the drive from NYC to Quebec City

Thinking about hitting the road from NYC to Quebec City? Buckle up for an awesome adventure spanning about 520 miles, typically taking around 8.5 hours. It doesn’t matter if you’re up for a marathon drive or planning to spread it out over several days. This guide to the NYC to Quebec City drive has you covered with the best routes, key stops, and handy tips.

Ready to plan your NYC to Quebec City road trip? Let’s get into it:

Quick Hits

  • Scenic and Flexible Journey: Cover 520 miles in a day or spread it out to enjoy attractions like Hudson State Historic Park and Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

  • Route Options:

    • Inland I-87 Route: Packed with natural and historic landmarks.

    • Coastal I-95 Route: Perfect for exploring New England’s coastal towns and cities.

  • Accommodations: From luxury hotels to budget-friendly options. Recommended stays include Le Mount Stephen in Montreal and Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, blending urban luxury with quaint charm.

Top Stops and Tips

Two cyclists on a day trip to a small town outside of Quebec

1. Hudson State Historic Park

  • Why Stop: Stroll through scenic landscapes and historic sites.

  • Must-See: The beautiful Hudson River views and trails.

2. Minnewaska State Park Preserve

  • Why Stop: Perfect for a nature break with stunning vistas.

  • Must-See: Waterfalls and hiking trails.

3. Montreal

  • Why Stop: A vibrant city with a mix of cultures and fantastic food.

  • Must-See: Old Montreal, Mount Royal Park.

  • Stay: Le Mount Stephen for a touch of luxury.

4. Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City

  • Why Stop: It’s an iconic hotel with incredible views and history.

  • Must-See: The historic Old Quebec, beautiful architecture.

Tips for the Trip

  • Plan Your Stops: Break up the drive with interesting stops to stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery.

  • Pack Snacks and Drinks: Keep your energy up and avoid unnecessary stops.

  • Check Accommodations: Book in advance, especially if you’re staying in popular spots like Montreal or Quebec City.

  • Enjoy the Journey: Take your time and savor the sights along the way.

Planning Your NYC to Quebec City Road Trip

Looking at a map of the route from NYC to Quebec City

Thinking about hitting the road from New York City to Quebec City? This trip is like a storybook adventure. Here’s a peek at what your journey could look like:

  • Start in NYC: Begin in the heart of the world’s most vibrant city, surrounded by towering skyscrapers and the electric buzz that only New York City can offer.

  • Travel through New York State: Drive through diverse landscapes with verdant forests, tranquil lakes, and charming towns.

  • Enter Quebec: Cross into the scenic beauty of the Canadian province of Québec.

The beauty of this road trip is its flexibility. You can power through the 520 miles in a day, arriving in Quebec City in time for dinner at a cozy bistro in Old Quebec. Or, take your time and explore along the way – stroll along the Hudson River at sunset, hike in the Adirondack Mountains, or indulge in artisanal chocolates in a quaint village.

Distance and Duration

The drive from NYC to Quebec City is around 520 miles (837 kilometers). That’s like driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco or from London to Edinburgh. It’s doable in a day, but splitting the drive with a buddy makes it even better.

  • Driving Time: About 8.5 hours under normal conditions. But if you’re planning to explore and make stops, add some extra time to soak in the sights.

Best Route Options for the NYC to Quebec City Drive

A classic road shot in Mont-Mégantic National Park, close to the border

You’ve got two main routes to choose from: the inland I-87 route through upstate New York and the coastal I-95 route. Each has its own charm, so pick based on your interests and time.

I-87 Route: This route takes you through the heart of upstate New York. It’s packed with scenic parks, charming towns, and stunning lakes.

  • Highlights:

    • Hudson State Historic Park

    • Saratoga Spa State Park

    • Lake George

    • Lake Champlain

From The Bronx, you’ll head north through the Hudson Valley, cross into Canada where I-87 becomes Autoroute 15. You’ll then take:

  • Exit 40 to Autoroute 930 east

  • Merge with Autoroute 30

  • Proceed east on the Trans Canada Highway

  • Take Autoroute 73 across the St. Lawrence River

  • Exit 132 to Quebec Route 136, leading directly to Quebec City.

I-95 Route: This coastal route takes you through the picturesque New England states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine before crossing into Canada. It’s a bit longer but offers cool cities and beautiful coastal scenery.

  • Highlights:

    • Boston

    • Portland

    • The tranquil beaches of Cape Cod

    • Acadia National Park

Personal Tips

Quiet corner of Quebec
  • Plan Your Stops: Break up the drive with interesting stops to stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery.

  • Pack Snacks and Drinks: Keep your energy up and avoid unnecessary stops.

  • Book Accommodations in Advance: Especially if you’re staying in popular spots like Montreal or Quebec City.

  • Enjoy the Journey: Take your time, explore detours, and make spontaneous stops. The journey is just as important as the destination!

Top Attractions Along the Way

Scenic view of Lake Champlain

Buckle up because the drive from NYC to Quebec City is packed with awesome stops. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, foodie, or just someone who loves a good view, there’s something for everyone along the way.

I-87 Route Highlights

If you’re cruising along the I-87, make sure to check out these gems:

  • Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park

  • Minnewaska State Park Preserve

  • Saratoga Spa State Park

  • Lake George

  • Lake Champlain

These spots offer a perfect mix of natural beauty, outdoor fun, and historical significance.

I-95 Route Highlights

Prefer the coastal vibes of I-95? You’ll love exploring:

  • Portland

  • Casco Bay

  • Frontenac National Park

From hiking and birdwatching to boating and fishing, these places are packed with activities. Plus, you’ll find plenty of cultural attractions and tasty dining options.

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park

Panoramic view from Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park

First up on the I-87 route is Hudson State Historic Park. This place has history written all over it! Once a bustling railroad bridge, it’s now a pedestrian park thanks to some serious community effort.

  • Highlights:

    • Spectacular Pedestrian Bridge: Standing 212 feet above the Hudson River and stretching 6,768 feet, this bridge offers panoramic views that are perfect for photography.

    • Glass Elevator: Get stunning vistas of the river and the bridge structure itself.

    • Recreational Trails: The park connects to the Dutchess County Rail Trail and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, making it great for hiking, biking, or just a leisurely stroll.

Head to the Highland, New York, side for the free parking lot. That said, you could also head across the Hudson River through Poughkeepsie and up to Hyde Park, NY, for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Scenic views abound at Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Nestled on the Shawangunk Ridge, Minnewaska State Park Preserve offers breathtaking views of the Catskill Mountains. Here’s what you can do:

  • Picnicking

  • Swimming

  • Hiking

  • Mountain Biking

  • Snowshoeing

  • Cross-Country Skiing

The park’s hiking trails cater to all levels, from easy family walks to challenging trails with elevation gains and rock scrambling.

  • Gertrude’s Nose and Millbrook Mountain Loop: Stunning cliff edge views and rock formations over rocky terrain.

  • Lake Minnewaska Carriage Road Loop: A scenic hike around the lake, also great for biking.

  • Awosting Falls: A comfortable trail leading to the falls, especially scenic after rain.

  • Castle Point Carriage Road to Upper Awosting Carriageway Loop: One of the park’s most scenic walks, particularly in fall.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just enjoy a casual stroll, Minnewaska State Park Preserve has trails for everyone.

Albany

Capital Building Staircase in Albany, New York

Next stop on our epic road trip is Albany, the capital city of New York! So, follow I-87 north, zip past the Big Indian Wilderness, and you’ll find yourself in this historic gem.

Albany, one of the oldest cities in America (founded in 1614), offers a delightful mix of history, culture, and art. It’s like stepping back in time, but with all the modern perks. Here’s an abridge list of things to do in Albany, NY:

  • Empire State Plaza: This place is like a treasure chest with its underground shopping concourse filled with art. Plus, there’s The Egg, a super cool performing arts center that looks, well, like an egg!

  • New York State Capitol: Take a stroll around this 1800s beauty and soak in some serious history.

  • New York State Museum: Dive into the state’s natural and cultural history. It’s educational, but in a fun way!

  • Albany Institute of History and Art: If you love paintings, especially the Hudson River School kind, this is your spot.

  • USS Slater: For the naval enthusiasts, this restored WWII destroyer escort is a must-see.

  • Washington Park: Perfect for a relaxing walk or a picnic, this park is a green oasis in the city.

Enjoy your visit, and don’t forget to take lots of pictures!

Saratoga Spa State Park

The horse race track in Saratoga Springs

As you head north on I-87, you’ll stumble upon Saratoga Spa State Park, a gem recognized as a National Historic Landmark. This park isn’t just about nature – it’s got some cool cultural spots too. Check these out:

  • Saratoga Performing Arts Center: Great for catching a show.

  • Spa Little Theater: A cozy spot for performances.

  • National Museum of Dance: Perfect for dance lovers.

  • Saratoga Automobile Museum: Car enthusiasts, this spot exhibits vintage and race cars for you.

  • Gideon Putnam Resort and Roosevelt Baths and Spa: Treat yourself to some relaxation.

Outdoor fun is all over the place here. Dive into the Peerless Pool Complex or the Historic Victoria Pool, both offering food and drinks. If golf’s your game, you’ve got two courses to choose from – an 18-hole championship course and a 9-hole one, complete with a pro shop and restaurant.

But the real star of the show is the park’s natural beauty:

  • Bird Watching: Spot 75 species of migratory songbirds and 97 breeding species.

  • Picnic Areas: Perfect for a laid-back lunch.

  • Trails: Great for walking, nature exploration, and even certified running courses.

So, whether you’re a bird-watcher, a hiker, or just love being outdoors, this park is a must-visit on your road trip.

Lake George

One of the most beautiful lakes in the Adirondacks

Keep cruising north and you’ll hit Lake George, known as the ‘Queen of American Lakes.’ This spot is a tourist favorite, and it’s easy to see why:

  • Swimming: Dive into beaches, bays, and coves.

  • Boating and Relaxing: Perfect for a chill day by the water.

In summer, Lake George comes alive with food festivals showcasing artisanal goodies and fresh local produce. And don’t miss the fireworks – they light up the sky with a colorful spectacle over the stunning lake.

Looking for something unique? Try treetop exploration and get close to nature. Plus, Lake George is budget-friendly with plenty of free activities.

Lake Champlain

Sunrise over Lake Champlain

As you near the Canadian border, your final major stop on the I-87 route is Lake Champlain. Here’s the scoop:

  • Size: Lake Champlain spans a whopping 514 square miles, making it the sixth-largest lake in the US.

  • Location: Most of the lake is shared between New York and Vermont.

  • Activities: You can enjoy boating, fishing, ferry tours, explore lighthouses, and cross scenic bridges.

Whether you’re into water sports, photography, or just soaking in the serenity, Lake Champlain is a fantastic stop to stretch your legs and take in some breathtaking views.

Overnight Stays: Recommended Hotels and Accommodations

A stylish hotel lobby in Montreal that's worth visiting

After a long day of driving and sightseeing, finding a cozy spot to rest is key. Luckily, the route from NYC to Quebec City offers plenty of options, whether you’re looking for luxury or something more budget-friendly.

  • Luxury Hotels: Pamper yourself with spa facilities and gourmet restaurants.

  • Bed and Breakfasts: Enjoy personalized service in a cozy setting.

  • Budget Motels and Inns: Great for saving a few bucks while getting a good night’s sleep.

  • Campgrounds: Perfect for those who love sleeping under the stars.

Montreal: Le Mount Stephen

If you decide to stop in Montreal, treat yourself to a night at Le Mount Stephen. This 5-star hotel in the heart of the city’s Golden Square Mile offers:

  • Luxurious Accommodation: Glamorous heritage with modern design.

  • Convenience: Close to Montreal’s main attractions.

  • Amenities: Plush rooms, a gourmet restaurant, and a spa.

After exploring Montreal’s rich history and vibrant culture, unwind in style at Le Mount Stephen. It’s the perfect blend of luxury and convenience.

Lake Placid: Whiteface Lodge

Nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks, Lake Placid is a great stopover on the I-87 route. Famous for hosting the Winter Olympics and its stunning scenery, it offers various accommodations, with Whiteface Lodge a top pick. Here’s why:

  • Rustic Luxury: The lodge features architecture that embodies the spirit of the Adirondacks.

  • Winter Sports: Close to Whiteface Mountain for skiing, snowboarding, and many more snow sports.

  • Amenities: Enjoy a spa, heated pools, and fine dining.

This 5-star hotel is located near both Lake Placid and Mirror Lake and has hot tubs, outdoor and indoor pools, an on-site spa, a movie theater plus a seasonal skating rink.

After a day of outdoor adventures, cozy up by the fireplace, indulge in a hearty meal, or relax in the spa.

Québec City: Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

Welcome to Québec City! Now that you’ve made it to your final destination, consider treating yourself to a stay at the iconic Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Built in 1893, this historic hotel has hosted big names like Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. It even holds the title of being the most photographed hotel in the world!

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac blends old-world charm with modern comforts. Located right in Old Quebec, you’re within walking distance of all the city’s main attractions. After a day of exploring, relax in your luxurious room, enjoy gourmet dining at the hotel’s restaurant, or sip a cocktail at the bar with stunning views of the city.

Exploring Québec City

Charming streets of Old Quebec at Christmastime, lined with cute shops

Your adventure doesn’t end upon arrival in the Québécois capital city. Quebec City, with its European flair and rich history, offers a treasure trove of experiences. From the charming cobblestone streets of Old Quebec to the stunning Montmorency Falls, there’s plenty to discover.

Stay in Old Quebec: Consider accommodations like B&B La Marquise de Bassano, which offers central lodging and easy access to attractions, so you won’t even need a car.

Top Attractions:

  • Old Quebec’s Fortified Walls: A unique North American relic.

  • Place Royale: Step back in time.

  • Citadelle de Québec: Explore this historic fortress.

  • Basilica Cathedral Notre-Dame de Québec: Dive into the city’s French-British history at the Notre Dame Basilica.

For dining, try Le Lapin Sauté for delicious rabbit dishes or Restaurant Pub D’Orsay for French cuisine and great views.

Old Quebec

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Old Quebec City is the historic city center and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s the only fortified city north of Mexico with its original walls still intact. Walking through its narrow, winding streets, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The area is brimming with historic buildings, charming boutiques, and quaint cafes. A must-see is the Quebec City mural, showcasing the city’s rich history and culture.

Another highlight is Dufferin Terrace. This boardwalk offers stunning views of the Saint Lawrence River and Château Frontenac, live entertainment in the summer, and a historic toboggan run in the winter.

Whether you’re a history buff, foodie, or simply love beautiful scenery, Old Quebec is a must-visit on your trip.

Montmorency Falls

A fantastic view of Montmorency Falls

On the outskirts of Quebec City, you’ll stumble upon Montmorency Falls—a natural wonder that should be at the top of your list. Walk across a suspension bridge right over the falls, which are taller than Niagara Falls, or take a cable car for a breathtaking panoramic view. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even zipline close to the roaring water.

In winter, Montmorency Falls turns into an ice climber’s dream, with the freezing mist creating a stunning ‘pain de sucre’ (sugar loaf) ice formation. No matter the season, make sure to dine at the Manoir Montmorency. They serve up delicious meals made with fresh, colorful ingredients, all while you take in the stunning scenery.

Île d’Orléans

Get lost on Île d'Orléans, just keep Google Maps handy

Ready for a charming slice of rural Quebec? Then you’ve got to take a day trip over to Île d’Orléans. Picture this: quaint villages, talented local artisans, and the kind of scenery that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a postcard.

Here’s what to do on Île d’Orléans:

  • Stroll Among the Villages: Wander through the quaint storefronts and historic houses. It’s like a mini adventure with every turn.

  • Bistro du Hangar: Treat yourself to a meal here. The food is fantastic, and the ambiance is just right for a relaxing break.

  • Quai de Saint-Jean: Enjoy serene views that will make you want to sit back and just breathe it all in.

Don’t Miss These Stops:

  • Cassis Monna & Filles: This blackcurrant farm offers stunning views of the orchard. You can learn about their farming practices and pick up a bottle of Crème de Cassis for some fancy Kir Royales. If you’re lucky enough to get a spot, their lunch is amazing. If not, the blackcurrant soft serve ice cream is a tasty consolation prize.

  • La Nougaterie Québec: Fresh candy and nougat that are so yummy, you’ll wish you had room for more.

  • Chocolaterie de l’Île d’Orléans: This popular chocolate and ice cream shop is a must-visit.

  • Cideries: Ste-Pétronille and Verger Bilodeau are both worth visiting.

Whether you’re into food, history, or just love beautiful scenery, Île d’Orléans is a gem you won’t want to miss. It’s the perfect spot to soak up some local culture and enjoy the simpler things in life.

Best Time to Embark on Your NYC to Quebec City Road Trip

A Canada road trip through wilderness areas

Timing is everything when planning your epic road trip from NYC to Quebec City. The sweet spot for the best Canada road trip is mid-June to the end of August, offering:

  • Warm and comfy driving weather.

  • Lush summer greenery.

  • Long daylight hours for extended exploring.

That said, Quebec City can get quite cold and snowy for a good part of the year, which might make driving tricky and outdoor activities limited. If you decide to travel outside of summer, head north in the fall. It’s a beautiful time with cooler temperatures around 50 degrees and stunning fall foliage, though it may be a bit chilly for some.

Tl;dr

A road trip from New York City to Quebec City is a blend of urban excitement, natural beauty, and rich history. Whether you’re wandering the lively streets of Montreal, hiking in the Adirondack Mountains, or diving into the French-Canadian culture of Quebec City, this trip promises unforgettable experiences.

So, ready your maps, pack your bags, and hit the road! From NYC’s skyscrapers to Quebec City’s cobblestone streets, an adventure awaits. And remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. Happy travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to drive from New York City to Quebec City?

It takes about 8.5 hours to drive from New York City to Quebec City under normal traffic conditions. Think of it as a full day’s adventure with plenty of pit stops!

What are some of the top attractions along the way?

Here are some must-see spots for a memorable journey:

  • Hudson State Historic Park: Great for a scenic stroll and some history.

  • Saratoga Spa State Park: Perfect for relaxing or catching a performance.

  • Lake George: Ideal for swimming or boating.

  • Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Awesome hiking trails with stunning views.

  • Lake Champlain: Great for fishing, boating, or just soaking in the scenery.

Where are some recommended places to stay overnight?

For a comfy overnight experience, check out:

  • Le Mount Stephen in Montreal: Luxurious and centrally located.

  • Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid: Rustic charm with modern amenities.

  • Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City: Iconic and historical with stunning views.

What are some must-visit spots in Quebec City?

When in Quebec City, make sure to visit:

  • Old Quebec: Walk through history with cobblestone streets and charming shops.

  • Montmorency Falls: A breathtaking natural wonder.

  • Île d’Orléans: A quaint island perfect for exploring local artisan shops and beautiful scenery.

When is the best time to embark on a road trip from NYC to Quebec City?

The best time for this road trip is mid-June to the end of August. You’ll enjoy warm, comfortable temperatures perfect for driving and outdoor activities. Plus, the scenery is lush and green!

 

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