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Travel to Quebec from the US

Travel to Quebec from the US

Driving to Quebec from the US

Planning to Visit Quebec? Quebec City is in the Canadian Province of Quebec. And your GPS knows the way if you enter the destination correctly. Travel to Quebec from the US is easy especially by car. Here is what your GPS won’t tell you. 

Driving to Quebec from the US: New England

From, Boston and Hartford, you will be driving all the way to Quebec City via limited access, interstate highway (or via “autoroute” as the interstate highways are called in Canada).  Eventually, you will arrive at the Quebec border on Interstate 91. This is where Derby Line, Vermont becomes Stanstead, Québec, and I-91 becomes Autoroute 55. This is where you cross the border into Canada.  Autoroute 55 ends at Drummondville, Quebec at Autoroute 20, which will take you to Quebec City about 90 miles and 90 minutes away.

If Montreal is your destination, then you will be taking 89 and arrive at the St-Philipsburg crossing. Then route 133 , a route provincial, (SR, states routes) that will take you to autoroute 35, then 10 and unto the new Champlain bridge and over the St-Lawrence to the island of Montreal. Yes, Montreal is on a very large island.

Canadian Border Crossing

All the information you need to know regarding crossing the border by land is in this link here:

Arrive Can app

These are the current measures due to covid-19. Restrictions are in place to mitigate the delta variant spread.

The most important thing to remember as of May 15 2022.  All travelers must fill out the arrive can app. Must be symptom free of covid 19 and may still have to take a random covid test. Mask mandates have been removed but may still be required for public transportation. And so make sure to get the latest info before your travels.

Watch this video for latest updates: Masking in Quebec

Read here for the latest update.

Chateau Frontenac's iconic copper roof

Speed Limits in KM/H

The speed limit on the Autoroutes is 100.  That is kilometers per hour, of course, or 62 statute miles per hour on your speedometer.  The Quebec Provincial Police (QPP) have been known to set up speed traps, especially on Autoroute 20. They do so especially on sunny days.  Radar detectors are illegal in Quebec.

If you have some time to explore when crossing the border, the small town of Stanstead might be worth a stop. If only to drive by the Haskell Free Library and Opera House which straddles the border, and where the stage and half of the seats are in Canada. In the other half the seats and the rest of the opera house are in the United States (see the red arrow below).  Another local attraction that will fascinate your kids, if you’re driving to Quebec as a family, is Canusa Street.   As the name suggests, the US/Canadian border runs right down the middle of the street. If your two kids are in the back seat, and you drive down the centerline (the street is never busy) one of your kids will be in Canada and the other in the USA!

It may help you to know that it costs significantly more to buy gas in Canada than in the United States. And so experienced visitors have learned to fill their tanks at the last exit before the customs and immigration checkpoint.  If driving up I-91 from Boston or Hartford, the exit of choice is Exit 28 at Derby.   From the Derby and Stanstead, it is roughly a three-hour, 180-mile drive to Quebec City. 

If your car can go 400 miles on a tank of gas, and you’re not planning to drive it once you arrive in Quebec, you can make it all the way back to fill up in Derby on the way home.  If not, fill your tank in Quebec on arrival, and then plan to stop in Derby, the first southbound exit on the way home, and fill up there again.

The Ferry

See Quebec City by taking the ferry from Levis:  If you’re driving to Quebec along the South Shore of the St. Lawrence River. One of the best ways to arrive at the Chateau (or elsewhere in the Old City) is to take Autoroute 20 to the south shore community of Levis, then follow the signs to the Levis ferry terminal. Then take the every-30-minute-ferry to Quebec City. 

Ferry Schedule Link

The magnificent hotel (the Quebec City skyline) will grow larger and larger as you cross the river. Eventually towering over you as you land at the bottom of the Cap Diamant, at the foot of the hotel (Chateau Frontenac). And if you’re bringing your children on a family trip, they’ll insist on starting the trip home on the ferry. The rides across the river will be a family memory for years to come.  (Be sure to keep your best camera handy for some keepsake family photos.)

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