Daytripping with Shawn Michaels: Montreal Canada [VIDEO]
Ok I'll start by saying this was not "technically" a "Day Trip" it was more like a "Two Day Trip" but for anyone who has wanted to do a really cool getaway thats close to home and affordable, then this is a must consider!
We took a trip north of the border to Canada, something I've always wanted to do. We picked Quebec and Montreal because it's such a "different" section of Canada and when your their your about as close to France as you can be without getting on a plane! With that said the first language in Montreal is French and pretty much everything is in French with some English sprinkled in. One good thing is that everyone we encountered on our trip was bi-lingual and spoke at least broken English, so we were able to survive and you can too.
First is the trip...we did it by car from here at the Jersey Shore and it takes about 6 1/2 hours driving, give or take traffic and stops to stretch your legs or coffee etc etc. Very simple directions. You take the Garden State Parkway to the New York Border then jump onto Interstate 87 and take that straight up to the Canadian border. When you get to the border check point you will need your passports, it's required now to enter Canada, but the border crossing is quick and simple.
We printed directions on paper from the Canadian border into Montreal ... to our hotel because once you cross the border, unless you wanna pay, you need to turn your data off and put phone on airplane mode...unless you wanna pay "international" rates because you are officially out of the United States. One good thing is you can use WI-fi to connect to your internet on both your laptops/phones and pretty much everywhere we went in Montreal they had free WI-fi available.
My suggestion while in Montreal is to go to "Old Montreal" it's a fantastic look at Montreal historic sights and it's a tourist lovers dream with shops, restaurants and great glimpses at Canada from centuries ago. While in "Old Montreal" you can also visit the Port of Montreal "Old Port" which is fantastic including view of the architecture "Habitat 67", "Montreal Biosphere" and the "Clock Tower".
One of our favorite tours was that of the Basilica De Notre Dame which is a breathtaking church and you can take self or guided tours, there is a small fee for tickets and check with times for the public to attend because there is Mass and then it's closed to the public to tour. As a Catholic this was a fantastic part of our trip for me, but you don't need to be to enjoy this stunning architecture. There are also museums and gift shops everywhere.
Food is fantastic in Montreal and there's ALL kinds of restaurants sprinkled through out the city.
Prices are affordable too and the American Dollar is very strong in Canada so for every $100 Canadian Dollars we spent it only cost $75 U.S. .... AND KEEP IN MIND THEY DON'T USE American money, everything is in Canadian Dollars, but we had no trouble using credit/debit and/or getting Canadian currency. So you get a good "bang for your U.S. buck"
If your going during the Winter bring boots, they get snow and ice and it makes it easier to get around, but they are open year round so we had no trouble and they clear roads and sidewalks of snow pretty quick.
We had a great time, the drive to Montreal is very scenic through the Catskills and Adirondack Mountains in New York State and Route 87 in New York uses EZ Pass so no worries with tolls. ENJOY! and Bon Jour!