QUOTE(fuzzidee @ Jun 18 2011, 09:14 PM)
My wife and I are considering renting an RV near our home in southern NY State and driving to Southern Canada in August; we'll be traveling with our 9 year old son. We're hoping to spend a day or two in each of Montreal and Quebec City. This will be our first trip in an RV. I am wondering if anyone can give me advice about a couple of things:
1. Where to stay in, or very near, Montreal and Quebec City.
2. Since the only vehicle we'll have is the 25-foot RV, how should we get from the RV Park to the center of each city? Is this practical? Expensive?
Of course, since we are completely new to this experience, any other advice would be extremely welcome!
Hi there! We, and by we I mean my husband and our 3 children ranging from 18 months to 10 years old have just stayed in Montreal and I am currently writting this from Quebec City. Let me start by saying that we are travelling in a 31' class C, so if you we can get around these cities you shouldn't have too many problems in a 25'. That said, these are old cities with streets that were built over 300 years ago when the French first arrived in North America, so I don't recommend doing too much driving around in the older areas of either of these cities. Corners can be tight, streets are very narrow, and one ways abound.
When we stayed in Montreal, we stayed for free right near the downtown in the parking lot of the Casino de Montreal. It was the closest location of any we researched to the city. We actually called ahead and spoke with the casino to confirm that there wouldn't be any problems staying there, and others that we spoke with who were also camping there said that they spoke to the staff on site and they were also told that there was no problem. You would be directed to one of the back parking lots where you should have no trouble finding a good spot to park.
When we arrived early in the day, there were lots of construction staff parking in the back lots, but by early afternoon they had almost all gone and we had our pick of spots. We ended up backed up against a grassy section under a nice shady tree to help keep our dogs cool while we explored the city. It was perfect! We felt very safe as casino security came by at regular intervals and there wasn't any through traffic to worry about. You are literally steps away from the Jean-Drapeau park where many of the cities festivals take place and the Biodome and La Ronde is located, and you are steps from the F1 track where you can walk/cycle/skate around the islands.
Getting to the old town is also extemely convenient from this location, and you have several options to choose from. You can either walk 3 minutes to the casino parking area and catch a city bus over to the Metro station on the island, or you can simply walk across two short bridges on foot for about 800 meters (it took only about 10 minutes to walk it) to the same Metro station. Once at the Metro, you can purchase a single ride ticket, or you can purchase a day pass or purchase a 3 day pass for $16 like we did. These passes are good for all city service including the buses and the all the Metro lines.
You can also choose to ride your bikes (or the Telus rental bikes) along any of the many bike roads that criss cross the whole city. While not being as quick, they offer a view of the city that you would likely miss from the subway. We didn't try this option, so I can't offer much more advice other than to check with the local information office to get a map of the biking routes in the city. Just be warned that once into the old city the streets are *very* narrow and many are quite steep.
The final option to get into town is to take a cab. Other casino campers that we spoke with took a cab home one night after the subways had quit running, and they said it only cost them about $12-$15 dollars. Obviously that would depend on where you are coming from as the city is quite wide spread, and while the casino is quite close to the old city, many of the city sites are further out and with traffic, a taxi would quickly become very costly.
Quebec city is not quite as well appointed. We spent a couple of nights at the Walmarts in the suburbs as we happened to be hitting those areas while travelling to and from several sights in the greater area. However, there is a large and generally un-advertised parking lot right down town in the marina that does provide parking for RVs. The RV parking area is located towards the back of the main parking area at the marina right down in the old harbor in the Lower City. It is right on a bike and walking path that takes you around the harbor through the Lower City and lets you get to the Old City in just minutes. It has fabulous views of the old city and Chateau Frontenac. It is also really quite close to the free Cirque de Soleil show that is performed Tues to Sat. The draw back to this location is the price. The rate is $50/ 24 hours for RVs, and you get no services for that, it's just a parking lot. However, the location really couldn't be better and you will be paying for parking in Quebec City during the day regardless. As long as you have a full water tank you would be fine for a couple of days here. This information was *not* something that we found before we came here or even from the local tourist information center who mentioned the parking for RV's but not the overnighting option. We discovered the site while touristing in the area and saw the masses of RV's. It was actually while I was googling the site to see how I missed this camping option that I came across this forum and your question here.
I will try and link to the google map location that shows the entrance to the parking in Quebec city as the Montreal Casino should be easy to find on your own. http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Rue+Abra...mp;t=h&z=18
You can pm me if this doesn't show up and I will email you the link.
Let me know if you have any other questions as most of the information that we have should still be fresh when you are travelling here! Bon voyage!!