20 Places To Visit On A Montreal to New York Road Trip

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Going on a road trip is a fantastic way to see more of your state or country, but can also be a great opportunity to visit more than one country too. Head out on a Montreal to New York City road trip to experience a taste of Canada before exploring New England and the metropolis of the Big Apple. This road trip will cross two countries and up to three states, depending on your route. Solid driving will see you reach New York City in six to seven hours, covering 371 miles (597 km), but this will mean missing out on many incredible cities and natural landmarks in New York State, Vermont and Quebec.

As this road trip crosses a border, ensure you have your paperwork ready and are aware of any restrictions. Explore two large cities in Canada before heading into the USA and driving through Vermont and New York State. There are many exciting cities, historical sites and national parks along the way, with plenty of places to spend the night. Take your time on this road trip and make the most of these northern states before reaching the excitement and chaos of the big city. Here are 20 places to explore on your Montreal to New York City road trip.

Montreal to New York

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20 Places To Visit On A Montreal to New York Road Trip

1- Montreal, Quebec

montreal to new york city: montreal skyline at night
The Montreal skyline.

Begin your road trip in Quebec’s largest city, Montreal, a great Canadian destination packed with history, culture and excitement.

To see the city from a height, board La Grande Robe de Montreal, the city’s giant observation wheel, where from the top, you have stunning panoramic views across the city and can see some of its most famous landmarks.

Get a bite to eat at Marche Jean-Talon, a large open-air market in the centre of Little Italy with stalls selling fresh fruits and vegetables, tasty baked bread, cakes and plenty of places to inspire your home-cooked meals.

For an unusual artistic experience, visit OASIS Immersion, a technology-based interactive and immersive exhibition at Palais de Congres.

The exhibition shows natural landscapes, word art, poetry and moving psychedelic designs that are continually adapting and changing.

This is a great place to inspire children’s and adults’ creativity.

Top tour: History Walking Tour of Old Montreal.

2- Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu is often overlooked as Montreal is so close but worth visiting.

It was founded in the mid-1600s, with parts of its history remaining today.

Visit Fort Sainte Therese on the Chambly Canal to experience some of this history.

Three forts have stood on the site, with many battles and eventually a fire damaging most of what remained.

If you have a green thumb, spend a few hours exploring Ferme Guyon, a farmer’s market and farm.

There are classes at the farm on how to grow vegetables, plenty of stalls selling local produce and a kitchen serving delicious dishes prepared using local ingredients.

Driving from Montreal to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu covers 25 miles (40 km) and takes approximately 40 minutes.

3- Point au Roche State Park, NY

Enter New York State and spend some time outdoors at Point au Roche State Park.

The park sits on the northwestern shores of Lake Champlain and is the ideal location to relax and recharge after time in the cities.

The park has an excellent sandy beach where children can play, access to the water for sailing, canoeing and fishing, and plenty of hiking and cycling trails.

During the winter, the park remains open and offers winter activities such as ice fishing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Driving from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to Point au Roche State Park covers 43.6 miles (70 km) and takes approximately 1 hour.

4- Burlington, VT

aerial view of town in the fall
The charming town of Burlington is a great place to explore when on a road trip from Montreal to New York or New York to Montreal.

Cross over the lake and into Vermont to visit Burlington, which lies on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain.

Wander along the beautiful pedestrianised Church Street to soak in the city’s atmosphere.

There are several popular restaurants along the street located within stunning historic buildings.

Visit the marketplace here to explore some of the independent shops and museums, or grab a bite to eat and watch the world go by.

Visit the Fleming Museum of Art inside the University of Vermont for cultural activity.

The museum centres its collections around art and anthropology and has more than 30,000 objects in its vast collection. Keep your eyes peeled for works from Norman Rockwell and Rembrandt as you take in the museum.

Driving from Point au Roche State Park to Burlington covers 35 miles (57 km) via car and ferry and takes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.

Top tour: Sip of Burlington Guided Brewery Tour.

5- Middlebury, VT

Take the short drive from Burlington and explore Middlebury, a charming New England town.

Visit the Middlebury College Museum of Art to experience a range of historical artefacts and artworks spanning from Asian art to 19th-century sculptures.

The museum houses a permanent collection and has regular temporary exhibitions.

Animal lovers should add the UVM Morgan Horse Farm to their road trip list.

This horse farm is open to the public and allows visitors to learn more about the Morgan horse.

During their tourism season, which runs from May to October, many activities, festivals and events are held at the farm.

Driving from Burlington to Middlebury covers 34.4 miles (55.36 kilometres) and takes approximately 45 minutes.

6- Lake Placid, NY

Haze over Lake Placid
A hazy morning just out of Lake Placid, New York.

Lake Placid is a beautiful destination to spend a few days exploring on your road trip.

If you visit during winter, take advantage of the snowy mountain trails, ice rinks and dogsled rides.

During the warmer months, the lake opens up for swimming and canoeing, and many more hiking trails are available.

Scale one of the mountains overlooking the lake for incredible views across the town and the water.

There are lots of places to stay in Lake Placid to extend your stay, from cosy B&Bs and log cabins to campgrounds around the shore.

Driving from Middlebury to Lake Placid covers 69.3 miles (111.53 kilometres) and takes approximately 1 hour 40 minutes.

7- Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area, NY

Spend a little longer in the Adirondacks and visit the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness area for a day or longer in the fresh air.

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area covers a vast 46,283 acres (18730 ha) of forests, mountains and lakes.

This free-to-access wilderness is a paradise for nature lovers and those who enjoy outdoor activities.

Available within the park are numerous hiking trails varying in difficulty, fishing areas, access to the water for canoes and kayaks, and even horseback riding.

If you plan on extending your stay here, there are 38 sites throughout the wilderness for camping with tents and 14 sites where lean-tos are available.

Driving from Lake Placid to Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area covers 50.2 miles (80.79 kilometres) and takes approximately 1 hour.

8- Saratoga Springs, NY

montreal to new york road
The drive from Montreal to New York could take you to Saratoga Springs, New York.

Leave the wilderness behind as you enter the city of Saratoga Springs and spend the day here exploring the city’s charming beauty and venturing into its natural springs.

The natural mineral springs are inside the aptly named Spa State Park.

The springs have been in use since the 1600s and are considered to have therapeutic properties when drunk or bathed in.

Tours of the park are available and your knowledgeable guide will share facts about the springs and their unique tastes and properties.

Take to the streets with your camera to capture some of the beauty and charm of Saratoga Springs’ architecture.

The buildings are historical and quaint, ranging from Queen Anne-style homes along Clinton Place to several impressive Greek Revival buildings.

Driving from Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area to Saratoga Springs covers 65 miles (104.61 kilometres) and takes approximately 1 hour.

9- Albany, NY

new york to montreal bus
Did you know that the capital of New York State is Albany?

Take a day or two to explore New York State capital, Albany, and uncover the state’s history at the oldest state museum in the USA.

The New York State Museum has been open since 1836 and includes works of art, documentation and more from the state’s history.

Another significant museum stop in Albany is the Albany Institute of History and Art.

Opened in 1791, this museum is considered one of the oldest in the USA and has one of the most important historical collections of American artefacts.

Spend some time taking in the architecture surrounding Empire State Plaza.

The impressive New York State Capitol building takes centre stage here, with a large rectangular pond leading up to its doors.

Guided tours of this 1899 building are available, so bring your camera.

Driving from Saratoga Springs to Albany covers 34.3 miles (55.2 kilometres) and takes approximately 40 minutes.

10- Hudson Athens Lighthouse

Board a tour boat to take in the beauty and history of Hudson Athens Lighthouse, a unique stopping point on your road trip and a fun thing to do with children.

The lighthouse dates back to 1873 and is unique in its design as it reflects a traditional home but it is placed in the Hudson River’s centre.

On a 60-minute tour, you will cruise around the lighthouse and disembark to explore the insides of the building.

Inside, the rooms are set up to reflect the lighthouse’s early days with age-appropriate decor and objects of interest.

Climb to the top of the lighthouse to uncover how it works today and for good views over the Hudson River.

Driving from Albany to Hudson Athens Lighthouse covers 38.3 miles (61.64 kilometres) and takes approximately 45 minutes.

11- Olana State Historic Site, NY

After visiting Hudson Athens Lighthouse, drive to the nearby Olana State Historic Site.

Frederic Church, a famous 19th-century American landscape artist, had Olana built for him as a family home and studio.

The artist designed Olana to reflect his love for the natural world and to serve as a base whilst he travelled the world painting some of the most famous landscapes.

Church raised his four children at Olana with his wife Isabel, and they were frequently visited by impressive guests from the arts and literary worlds such as Mark Twain and Susan Hale.

Visit the carefully designed gardens of Olana and explore its 250-acre site before taking a tour of the building itself.

Inside the home are many paintings by Church and rooms preserved to reflect when his family used it. 

Driving from Hudson Athens Lighthouse to Olana State Historic Site covers 4.4 miles (7.08 kilometres) and takes approximately 10 minutes.

12- Lake Taghkanic, NY

Spend the day immersed in nature and relax at Lake Taghkanic and its lush forested surroundings.

The lake has plenty of activities on offer for everyone to enjoy.

There is a large playground for younger children, a swimming beach, a rental area for kayaks and paddle boards, and plenty of benches to sit and enjoy a picnic.

There are several hiking trails from the lake through the forests and around the shore of the lake.

If you plan on extending your stay, camping grounds, cottages and RV-accessible sites are available.

Driving from Olana State Historic Site to Lake Taghkanic covers 14.6 miles (23.5 kilometres) and takes approximately 25 minutes.

13- Little Wappingers Falls, NY

Further up from Wappingers Falls is the tiny, quiet and beautiful Little Wappingers Falls.

This peaceful attraction is rarely visited, so expect quiet solitude when you arrive.

Walk through the woods along the river’s edge to access the falls.

The water cascades over a rocky plinth down into the pool below. Pack a picnic by the water’s edge before continuing your journey.

Whilst visiting Little Wappingers Falls, look out for Bloom’s Mill, a former sawmill used to house soldiers during the Revolutionary War.

Driving from Lake Taghkanic to Little Wappingers Falls covers 24 miles (38.62 kilometres) and takes approximately 30 minutes.

14- Poughkeepsie, NY

Poughkeepsie church spire and bridge
Poughkeepsie is another spot to check out when journeying from Montreal to New York.

Head back into the hustle and bustle of city life by exploring Poughkeepsie on the banks of the Hudson River and a great destination to visit on your road trip.

Get the best view over the Hudson River by climbing and walking along the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park.

This bridge is the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world and is a former railway bridge.

Enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants along Collegeview Avenue.

This trendy avenue is a student favourite and packed with delicious eateries. Dine at Samoan’s Trattoria for the best Italian food in the city.

Driving from Little Wappingers Falls to Poughkeepsie covers 12.9 miles (20.76 kilometres) and takes approximately 20 minutes.

15- Chuang Yen Monastery, NY

Take time to reflect at Chuang Yen Monastery, part of the Buddhist Association of the United States.

The monastery is open to the public to explore the grounds and some of its buildings and temples.

The monastery includes Woo-Ju Library, Thousand Lotus Memorial Terrace and the awe-inspiring Great Buddha Hall.

Inside the Great Buddha Hall is the largest statue of Buddha indoors in the western hemisphere.

If you visit around lunchtime on the weekend, head to the Dining Hall to enjoy a delicious vegetarian lunch provided by the monastery’s volunteers.

Donations of $6 are suggested for this, which is incredible value for the delicious food you receive.

Driving from Poughkeepsie to Chuang Yen Monastery covers 25.4 miles (40.87 kilometres) and takes approximately 30 minutes.

16- Bear Mountain, NY

Autumn foliage on Bear Mountain
When travelling from Montreal to New York, stop at Bear Mountain to enjoy the Fall foliage.

Bear Mountain State Park is on the Hudson River’s western bank, a leafy natural area spanning 5205 acres (2106 ha).

Take a longer and more challenging hike up to the summit of Bear Mountain for panoramic views over the river and the surrounding wilderness of the Hudson Highlands.

While at Bear Mountain, make the most of the great outdoors by hiking, swimming in the lake or cycling, or simply enjoying a picnic at the foot of the mountain before continuing your road trip.

Driving from Chuang Yen Monastery to Bear Mountain covers 19.9 miles (32.03 kilometres) and takes approximately 30 minutes.

17- Blue Mountain Reservation, NY

Continue making the most of nature before heading into the city by spending the day at Blue Mountain Reservation, a country park in Westchester.

The park spans 1538 acres (622 ha) of forests, parkland, and Blue Mountain.

Many beautiful trails lead deep into the woodland.

Venture along the reservation loop to see some of the mountain, its forests and lake shore, or climb Blue Mountain on the summit trail.

Driving from Bear Mountain to Blue Mountain Reservation covers 7.4 miles (11.91 kilometres) and takes approximately 15 minutes.

18- White Plains, NY

street scenes and skyline.
Explore White plains, NY, on a Montreal to New York road trip.

After relaxing and enjoying nature, venture back into the city and explore White Plains.

Wander through Battle of White Plains Park for the best views across the city and to learn more about the American Revolutionary War and the role this site played.

Get creative at Muse Paintbar, a bar and artist studio that encourages you to get creative whilst enjoying a glass of wine.

Canvases of different sizes and a range of paints are available, and for those struggling to come up with inspiration, there are instructional videos to get you started.

Driving from Blue Mountain Reservation to White Plains covers 23.7 miles (38.14 kilometres) and takes approximately 25 minutes.

19- Orchard Beach, NY

Enjoy the ocean breeze and relax at Orchard Beach, your last stop before New York City.

Orchard Beach was once known as the Riviera of New York City, and it is easy to see why.

This long stretch of golden sand runs along the Long Island Sound and is the ideal destination if you are road-tripping in spring or summer.

There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and a long promenade to stroll along.

During summer, the beach has lifeguards and swimming is possible thanks to its shallow waters.

Driving from White Plains to Orchard Beach covers 17.4 miles (28 kilometres) and takes approximately 25 minutes.

20- New York City, NY

montreal to new york: new york city skyline at night.
The New York City skyline.

Conclude your road trip from Montreal in New York City, spending a few days soaking up its culture, history and overall vibrance.

Be sure to take in the city from above at one of its many viewing decks.

Head to Top of the Rock, the viewing deck at the top of the Rockefeller Centre, for stunning sunset views over the city and towards Central Park.

For something more unique, put your roller skates on and glide around Sky State at Edge for a rink with a view.

Feel like a true New Yorker and explore the Lower East Side’s shops, bars, boutiques and cafes.

Here you will find some of the best delis in the city and plenty of history and stunning architecture to admire.

Driving from Orchard Beach to New York City covers 20.1 miles (32.35 kilometres) and takes approximately 35 minutes. 

Top tour: New York CityPASS.

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sarah holmes travel writer
Sarah Holmes is a travel and fashion writer living in the heart of England. From family adventures in numerous parts of the UK and Europe to exploring cities as an adult, Sarah has a wide knowledge of the best areas, sights and local tips that the UK and the neighbouring continent can offer. Sarah grew up in the North East of England, with incredible sights and landmarks only a short drive away. Her favourite places to visit include Seaham Beach, the Lake District and Alnwick Castle. Sarah has written for a range of fashion and travel blogs and print publications.