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It only takes a hop and a skip across the northern border of New York State to get to Quebec, which makes it a great foreign country getaway while still staying within easy range of home. In summer, the weather runs warm and sunny, while the winters tend to be cold enough for a picture-perfect season. Whichever time of year you visit, there’s more than enough to keep you entertained.
Montreal is only a short drive up Highway 15 from the New York border, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for in this exciting metropolis, it probably doesn’t exist. Montreal is home to world-class dining and shopping, along with all kinds of nightlife, museums and art galleries, all with a decidedly European flair. It’s the closest you’ll get to visiting Paris without hopping on the Concorde. There are all kinds of events throughout the year, but a special favorite among music lovers is the Montreal Jazz Festival in July. This is the largest jazz festival in the world, and draws jazz lovers from all over the world for this seven-day event. Also in July, Montreal plays host to the Just for Laughs Festival, a month-long celebration featuring some of the funniest stand-up comics in the world. Get your tickets early, and be prepared to laugh until you cry.
Traveling northwest, a 55-mile cruise up Highway 15 brings you into the charming, romantic city of Mont-Tremblant, which is easily the largest ski area east of the Rocky Mountains. For those of you who enjoy a good downhill or cross-country run, you can’t find a better place. For the non-skier, why not rent a snowmobile and scoot across the powder, then enjoy a warm toddy at the end of a day in this winter wonderland? Warm-weather activities abound for the hiker and biker, with plenty of forest land to explore. The Resort Village is a perfect place for the avid shopper and/or food connoisseur to get their groove on and enjoy an odyssey of first-class shops and fine dining.
When it’s time to leave the lap of luxury and relaxation behind, retrace your route back toward Montreal and take the westbound Autoroute 20 for a little more than 150 miles to Quebec City. Quebec City is known as the most European city this side of the Continent, with an obvious French influence in its architecture and culture. For a taste of a French museum, visit the Musee National des beaux-Arts du Quebec, located on the Plains of Abraham. This awesome facility showcases native Quebec artists past and present, and is the site of several international art exhibitions. The nearby Cote-de-Beaupre region is just a short drive from Quebec City, and is home to the Basilica, one of the most elegant mountain resorts in Canada. It’s also the location of the Cap Tourmente Wildlife Area, which is a favorite attraction for the birdwatcher or aficionado of animals. The Beaupre area certainly has no shortage of campsites for you to hook up the RV, and enjoy being surrounded by all the natural beauty this region has to offer – and there’s plenty of it for everybody!