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United States : road trip Eastern USA | New York and Vermont

To the point Discover our road trip of a few days in the American East. On the program: New York and Vermont.

We’ve updated our March 12, 2022 text with more money-saving tips.

I’ve had the opportunity to take a number of road trips to the American states of New York and Vermont. That’s how I came up with the idea of putting together an itinerary with points of interest you won’t want to miss!

East American Road Trip

Crossing the Canadian border

For ten years, I lived less than a kilometer from a rural customs post between Quebec and New York State. Surrounded by apple trees and a maple grove, I named the customs office in Covey Hill, Havelock, Quebec. We used to cross it regularly, especially to go and fill up with gas.

Anecdote: our house was itself the old border post before the construction of the new building at the top of the hill. It even happened that people came to our house to declare their purchases!

Douanes

Getting to New York State

Covey Hill’s American counterpart is Mooers Forks, New York. The road trip through the American East begins here.

Well, not quite if you’re coming from the Montreal area, because first you’ll have crossed half of Quebec’s garden, the black soil of the southwest. St-Urbain, Ste-Clotilde and Sherrington for example.

Take route 209 from Ste-Martine, then south on 203 from St-Chrysostome to the customs.

Jardins du Quebec

I recommend the Covey Hill station if you want to avoid the crowds at St-Bernard-de-Lacolle in either direction, during the construction vacations or Labor Day weekend.

New York State

The itinerary for this road trip of a few days in upstate New York goes all the way to Lake George, with its well-known landmarks, but also its little secrets.

Some will choose to return to Canada afterwards, but I suggest you continue with a trip to Vermont.

Plattsburgh Region

Just 30 minutes from the border via small roads (10 and 11), Chazy Lake and its beach are nestled at the foot of New York’s Lyon, Johnson and Ellenburg mountains.

Mostly locals can be found there. The water is clear and clean, and lifeguards are on hand at certain times. You can bring your own kayak or canoe. Perfect for avoiding the crowds at Plattsburgh beaches.

The latter, on the other hand, seems to have had its moment of glory centered on shopping in the 80s when the American dollar had the same value as ours. Today, we go there more for its airport, which allows us to take discount flights to Uncle Sam’s country. I’m not including his visit in this road trip.

A ten-minute drive from Chazy Lake, the small town of Dannemora has everything you need to fill your picnic basket, unless you’ve stopped at B’s Quick stop on the way.

Chazy Lake

Outdoor activities in the Adirondacks

The Adirondack Mountains in New York State are a huge playground. They are teeming with outdoor activities that can be enjoyed in all seasons.

For example, Mont Titus in Malone is a family ski resort with some 50 trails less than a two-hour drive from Montreal.

There are 46 mountain peaks, six of which offer breathtaking views. You’ve probably heard of the highest point at 1,629 m, Mont Marcy. Did you know that the name 46ers is given to hikers who have climbed each of these peaks?

The Adirondack forest is also dotted with lakes, rivers and streams. So many opportunities for water sports and excursions.

Lever de soleil du Mont Marcy

Ausable Chasm

From Chazy Lake, head to Route 9 along Lake Champlain. The trip will be enhanced by the view on the water, its islands and its rest stops. Allow less than an hour for the trip to Ausable Chasm if you don’t stop.

Ausable Chasm has been around for ages (1870) and is still interesting to discover. It is known as the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks. Its magnificent gorges are a must for this road trip.

You can visit it by rafting, on foot (with a beautiful footbridge), by via ferrata for the most intrepid, or on tubes. Finally, you can spend the night in a tent or a cabin.

Ausable Chasm

Then take highway 87. It’s scenic, well-maintained and will get you to Lake George in 90 minutes, unless you feel like branching off to Lake Placid. After all, a road trip is all about getting out and about.

Look at the tops of the trees along this highway. I’ve occasionally spotted birds of prey, including the American iconic bald eagle.

Lake Placid

The Lake Placid region is ideal for sports enthusiasts, offering a wide range of winter and summer sports: cross-country skiing, skating, bobsleighing and hiking at Mount Van Hoevenberg and Mount Whiteface.

Trails for everyone: for sports enthusiasts, families and novices alike. In the center of town, there’s also a well-marked 4 km trail around Mirror Lake.

Finally, if you like bird’s-eye views, try a gondola ride, or discover the one skiers have from the top of their ramp. There’s a glass elevator that takes you to the top of the starting platform.

Lake Placid

High Falls George

Would you prefer a short, spectacular 30-minute stroll in your stroller? It’s over here in High Falls George.

Still in New York State, I particularly like it for its :

  • Four waterfalls in the heart of a tall pine forest;
  • Footbridges over the falls ;
  • Pots of giants.

Lake George

A popular destination for many Quebecers, just three hours from Montreal, the village of Lake George is located at the southern tip of the lake of the same name. It is the final destination of many road trips for vacationers.

In the heart of the village, Shepard Park is a regular venue for concerts and exhibits, as well as a family beach. The lakeshore walk offers breaks in the iconic Adirondack chairs, a creation of this region of New York State.

Here you can take a cruise, climb Mount Prosper for a superb view of the lake, or visit the Fort Williams Henry Museum.

This was the scene of an epic battle between the French and the Natives against the British. The famous novel and film “The Last of the Mohicans” depict the historical drama.

Further south in the town of Queensbury is “The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom”, the great Six Flags amusement park in the Lake George area.

Finally, don’t forget to visit Martha’s Ice cream, whose products and flavor menu are unbeatable. The business ranks among the top 10 creameries in the United States.

Vermont

Itinerary to follow

The most direct route from Lake George to Burlington, Vermont, takes less than two and a half hours. However, we suggest you take 9N, which runs along the western shore of the lake, still in New York State.

You’ll come across Fort Ticonderoga, with its varied program including a corn maze, king’s gardens, cruises and battle re-enactments.

Route 185 then takes you over the Lake Champlain Bridge into Vermont. You’re now on 17.

Vermont

American covered bridges

Do a Google map search for “Covered bridges in Vermont”. You’ll see about twenty of them appear in the Burlington area. It’s one of the signatures of this state.

And why not put together a little itinerary of your own? They’re in rural Vermont, with beautiful barns, animals grazing peacefully and some taking the opportunity to make a saucette under the bridge during the summer months.

Finally, to extend your road escapade, I suggest you visit the architecturally exceptional Richmond Round Church, just 20 minutes from Burlington.

Pont couvert

Burlington

This Vermont college town has so much to offer. Notably:

  • The Waterfront, whose boardwalk runs along Lake Champlain for just over a kilometer. You can picnic on the beautiful swings that hang here and there. Finally, the ECHO Center raises children’s awareness of the science and ecology of lakes. It is located at one end of the bordwalk;
  • Shop or simply stroll the lively pedestrian street of Church Street . Restaurants, terraces and microbreweries;
  • Enjoy a guided tour with some tastings at Lake Champlain Chocolate. Or go enjoy an ice cream at Ben’s & Jerry’s unless you’d rather wait to visit the production facility located in Waterbury. A 30-minute drive;
  • Visit the Burlington Farmers’ Market on Pine Street.
creme glacee

We also go there for:

  • Shelburne Farms: a favorite of many families. You can sleep there, go shopping, stay the day to enjoy the different activities with the animals. I refer you to the excellent Côté Hublot blog that describes his experience;
  • Microbreweries, including the popular Magic Hat Brewing Company and Switchback Brewing Company;
  • Finally, for those in great shape, there is the challenging 10 km climb up Mount Mansfield. The highest peak in Vermont’s Green Mountains, at 1,340 metres. It is also possible to take a gondola from the village of Stowe to get there.

Save with points

On gasoline

To reduce your gas bill, take advantage of certain credit cards offering rewards in the Gas Station category.

Top cards include the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card with 4% cash back per dollar, and the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card with 5 points per dollar (or around 3.35%).

Our guide How to save on gas in Canada will be very useful.

On foreign currency transactions

If you’re planning a trip to the U.S., choose a credit card with no conversion fees. That’s 2.5% savings per transaction!

Discover our tips in our guide to saving on foreign currency transactions.

Accommodation

There are several Marriott Bonvoy hotels in the area, including the :

In particular, the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program allows guests to stay five nights for the price of four when booking a room with reward points.

There are several ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points. The easiest way is via credit card. American Express offers two credit cards linked to this loyalty program:

Each of these cards allows you to earn Marriott Bonvoy points directly through your daily spending, as well as through welcome offers.

If you are not going to a Marriott Bonvoy establishment, we also offer other strategies:

All credit card issuers have loyalty programs in Canada with travel points, including CIBC Aventura.

CIBC also offers an interesting points redemption promotion as part of its program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to stop and what to visit in Vermont?

Don’t miss Vermont’s historic covered bridges. Among the best-known are the Gold Brook Covered Bridge in Stowe, and the Northfield Fall Covered Bridge and Lower Cox Brook Covered Bridge in Woodstock.

Route 100, which stretches for over 348 km, passes through sublime landscapes. You can visit some charming villages. We recommend taking this route in early October, to enjoy the autumn colors.

How many kilometers between Montreal and Burlington?

You’ll have to drive 153 kilometers between Montreal and Burlington.

What to do in Burlington

Church Street is very popular with its restaurants, terraces and boutiques. Next, take a stroll through Waterfront Park, located on the shores of Lake Champlain. Great produce awaits you at the Burlington Farmers’ Market, open every Saturday from late spring to fall.

What budget for a road trip?

Your budget will depend on your destination, type of accommodation and activities. In particular, you could save on gas andlodging with credit card rewards points.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
4.8 Milesopedia Rating
Brigitte
Retired from the health care system and a slow traveller at heart, she invests many hours of her free time in travel. She loves to write about everything related to travel, miles and points.

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