Fancy an adventure to another country where you can visit world class cities, and some of the most beautiful state parks and forests along the way? Then the road trip from New York to Montreal is a great choice!
The 680km road trip from New York City to Montreal takes 7 hours to drive. Key stops include Albany, New Haven, Burlington, Catskill, Hartford, Woodstock and Springfield, as well as Lake Champlain, High Peaks Wilderness and Camels Hump State Park.
There are so many incredible places to visit en route, so please keep reading until the end to find out more about them - as well as where to stop overnight, and the best time of year to make this beautiful trip.
How far is Montreal from New York and how long will the road trip take?
|The Vermont Route||720km (440 miles)||7 hours 30 minutes|
|The Catskills Route||673km (418 miles)||7 hours 56 minutes|
The road trip from New York City to Montreal takes a minimum travel time of 6 hours and covers at least 600km (373 miles). It is a fairly easy journey to complete in a day. That said, there are two obvious detour routes that you can take, making the trip itself more interesting.
The first option takes you through New Haven in Connecticut to Vermont, before arriving in beautiful Montreal. This route takes 720km (440 miles) and at least 7 hours and 30 minutes of non-stop driving.
The second detour takes you to Montreal via the Catskills and offers great views of High Peaks Wilderness and Lake Champlain. A slightly shorter journey, this trip covers a distance of 673km (418 miles) but takes slightly longer at 7 hours and 56 minutes.
With so many fantastic towns, cities, landmarks and tourist attractions to visit en route, regardless of which option you choose, an ideal time frame to complete the journey would be between two to three days.
As both routes begin in New York City, you will need to cross the Canadian border before reaching Montreal. It's important that you have the correct documentation and proof of identification in order to cross the border smoothly.
Best road trip route from New York To Montreal
No matter which route you decide to take, the road trip from New York to Montreal offers up fantastic views of mountains, forests and lakes, as well as great cities to explore. At similar lengths, the route choice will be entirely up to your preference of attractions you want to see.
The Vermont Route takes you from the state of New York, across Connecticut, through Massachusetts and Vermont before arriving at the Canadian province of Quebec and finally to Montreal.
Meanwhile, our Catskills Route leaves New York alongside Pharaoh Lake Wilderness before taking you on the other side of Lake Champlain and all the way across the Canadian border to Montreal.
How to drive from New York to Montreal
The map above shows our suggestions for the best road trip routes between New York and Montreal. Keep reading for detailed descriptions of both routes, where to stay overnight, and the best things to do on the way.
The Vermont Route
Leave New York City borough of The Bronx heading north on Interstate 95 and alongside the coast through Stamford, Bridgeport until you reach New Haven in Connecticut. If time allows, stop for an explore of this pretty coastal city, otherwise merge on I-91.
Continue north through Hartford, a great overnight stop option, before passing a few towns to Springfield. Still on I-91, you'll pass Greenfield where you can stop to visit Wendell State Forest or Warwick State Forest.
Just after Hartland, you'll take the exit and continue north on I-89 passing some stunning mountains and forests, including CC Putnam State Forest, Camel's Hump State Park and Mt Mansfield State Forest as you drive through Vermont.
Continue following this road through Burlington, St Albans City before crossing the Canadian border at Saint-Armand. The road will then become Quebec Route 133 which you will follow through Chambly and Brossard before arriving at Montreal.
The Catskills Route
Leave New York on NJ-17 north before taking the exit to join Interstate 87 and drive through the beautiful landscape of Harriman State Park. Continue north through Woodbury, New Paltz before changing at Kingston to take NY-28 to Woodstock, a delightful town.
This next section of your trip is simply stunning. Follow the road alongside Slide Mountain Wilderness, past Phoenicia and between Hunter-west Kill Wilderness and Indian Head Wilderness.
You can then take a detour to Hunter, or continue onwards to Catskill before taking I-87 north. This next stretch will take you to Albany, New York's capital and a great city to spend the night.
Follow I-87 north through more beautiful scenery, including Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area and Hoffman Notch, before reaching Dix Mountain Wilderness. The next stretch of I-87 will take you alongside Lake Champlain and Champlain itself, before you arrive at the Canadian border.
The road now becomes A15 which you will follow north through to Napierville and Brossard before arriving at Montreal, the largest city in Canada's Québec province.
Best places to stop between New York To Montreal
During your road trip from New York to Montreal there are a wide range of cities, pretty towns and stunning forests and parks to visit.
If you've decided to stretch your trip out to several days, you will want at least one overnight stop. Of all the great hotels en route, these are the ones we think you should keep an eye out for:
The capital city of New York State, Albany is situated almost halfway to Montreal and is a fantastic location on our Catskill Route. Known as the center for banking, railroads and international trade, this New York state is a great place to learn about American history, art and government.
Discover downtown's huge Empire State Plaza and The Egg, a striking performing arts center or spend some time visiting the New York State Museum, The Albany Institute of History and Art or take a walk around Thacher Park.
Albany's diverse population has created a fascinating mix of resources with an array of ethnic options, as well as some great cafes. For a stay at this interesting city, the Crowne Plaza Albany - The Desmond Hotel is an ideal fit.
Located close to Albany city centre, this hotel offers exceptional onsite facilities as well as free local area transfers within a 3 miles radius. That said, you might find that the lure of the large indoor swimming pool and spacious rooms are too much to resist and instead spend a leisurely stop.
With free parking, a restaurant onsite and beautiful grounds surrounding the Crowne Plaza Albany - The Desmond Hotel, a stay in Albany might just turn into a couple of days!
If you opted for the Vermont Route, then at just over 5 hours to Montreal, Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, is ideally suited for an overnight stop. Not only is it a great position to take a rest of the road trip, but its a worthy city for a longer visit in its own right.
Hartford has an incredible history, as one of the oldest remaining cities in all of the United States, it's not surprising that there are a number of historic locations and attractions almost everywhere you turn.
Some of its more prominent historical features include the oldest public museum and park, as well as the Mark Twain House and Museum - a popular tourist destination that celebrates the legendary writer. There's even an ultra mixer Science Center with hands-on exhibits, plus so much more to discover.
For a really luxurious stay, we recommend booking a night at the Hartford Marriott Downtown, a stunning 4-star hotel with a stunning indoor pool overlooking the city.
The modern hotel, situated opposite the Connecticut Convention Centre, also houses a superb restaurant serving a full menu of Italian specialties as well as onsite parking. This hotel perfectly balances great location with outstanding comfort and luxury - what more could you want?
Where to stop once you reach Montreal
Once you reach Montreal, it would be a great option to stop at least for one night to make the most of exploring this great place. As the largest city in Canada's Québec province, Montreal is a diverse and fascinating place to visit.
Set on an island in the Saint Lawrence River and named after Mt. Royal, Montreal has many boroughs, many of which were once independent cities. This mix of cultures creates a city full of diverse restaurants, incredible attractions and brilliant festivals - you'll never get bored here!
Visit the iconic Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, or its museum of Fine Arts, take a walk up Mount Royal or discover its beautiful Botanical gardens. There's something for everyone in this city.
With a huge choice of fantastic hotels, you really are spoilt for choice. For luxurious charm, the The Ritz-Carlton Montreal is very hard to beat. This incredible 5-star hotel in the center of Montreal features contemporary French cuisine and a saltwater pool.
The spacious rooms at The Ritz-Carlton feature marble bathrooms with heated floors and the option of in-room massages - true luxury after a long road trip. And after all that relaxing, you can enjoy a drink or two at the Ritz Bar or take a walk in its stunning garden.
Although a pricy option, there's no better way to finish off your road trip in Montreal than a stay at one of its finest hotels.
Things to see and do on a road trip from New York To Montreal
There are so many things to see and do on the road trip route from New York to Montreal, that you could easily spend a month or so visiting them all.
However, if you are pressed for time, we have come up with this list of some of the most impressive things to see on the way:
The Vermont Route
- New Haven, Connecticut - This coastal city on Long Island has lots of great museums and art galleries, as well as the Yale Center for British Art.
- Stamford, Connecticut - As the third largest city in Connecticut, Stamford is known for its financial district but it also has plenty of cultural places of interest including theatres, museums, galleries and libraries.
- Bridgeport, Connecticut - The largest city in the state of Connecticut, Bridgeport is a historic city but is also a great place to visit for its beaches and pretty parks.
- Hartford, Connecticut - Founded in 1635, Hartford is one of the oldest cities in America and has some fascinating attractions that are well worth a visit, including the Mark Twain House and Museum.
- Springfield, Massachusetts -Situated beside the Connecticut River, discover The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss as well as Springfield Museum.
- Mount Holyoke Range State Park - A popular destination for hikers, located in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts, Holyoke range is known for its scenic views and its historic locations, such as the Horse Caves and Mount Holyoke Summit House.
- Mount Ascutney State Park - A beautiful location in central Vermont, this State Park features miles of hiking trails, travelling through parts of the park listed on the National Register For Historic Places, to the Cascade Natural Falls and even to the peak of Mount Ascutney itself.
- Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forest - A bit of a detour but worth the drive, this natural forest features waterfalls and great trails.
- CC Putnam State Forest - With three separate peaks to climb (Mount Hunger, Mount Putnam and Mount Worcester), this scenic area covering more than 34 miles, also contains the Moss Glen Falls Natural Area, one of the highest waterfalls in the state.
- Camels Hump State Park - Home of Camels Hump, the third highest mountain in Vermont, this park features incredible views and a wide variety of plant life. It's also a popular destination among hikers, with around 26,000 visitors trekking to its peak each year.
- Mount Mansfield State Forest - The largest state forest in Vermont and featuring four separate state parks within it, this forest is home to Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in the state and a popular destination for outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, skiing, swimming, cycling, hiking and camping.
- Montpelier, Vermont - The capital city of Vermont, Montpelier has museums as well as nearby Hubbard Park which has meadows, a birch grove and a stone observation tower.
- Burlington, Vermont - The most populous city in the state of Vermont and known mostly as a college town for its two universities, it was also the first city in America to run solely on renewable energy.
The Catskills Route
- Harriman State Park - A hiker haven, this state park is the second largest in New York State and has over 200 miles of trails to explore, as well as a waterfall to discover.
- Beacon, New York - This city in New York is a popular oasis for city-weary New Yorkers with its promise of art and nature-filled activities. From Beacon, you can travel to the nearby Fahnestock State Park.
- Woodstock - Lying within the borders of the Catskill Park, this pretty town is a great location for visiting some of the stunning nearby forests and parks.
- Big Indian Wilderness - Also found within the Catskill Park, Big Indian Wilderness is great for hiking, snow-shoeing and camping. With 33,500 acres and 30 miles of foot trails, it's a hiker's paradise.
- Catskill - This town is surrounded by mountains and is a great base for exploring the nearby Catskill Mountains or Kaaterskill Wild Forest.
- Albany - The New York capital city is a historic and cultural place of interest. Visit the Empire State Plaza or the New York State Museum or just enjoy its many bars, restaurants and shops.
- Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area - This tucked-away lake has some stunning mountain and forest views. It's also great for boating, fishing or just relaxing along its pretty shore.
- Dix Mountain Wilderness - This nature preserve in North Hudson offers great hiking trails and fantastic scenery.
- High Peaks Wilderness - High Peaks is the largest forest preserve in New York State and features dense woodland, beautiful lakes and great trails.
- Lake Champlain - The natural freshwater lake borders the US and Canada and is known as being home to some of the oldest fossil reef in the world. It's 587 miles of shoreline and 54 public beaches on the lake, make it a popular destination in the summer months.
Best time to go on a road trip from New York To Montreal
While the road trip from New York to Montreal can be completed all year round, the best time to travel will depend from person to person, depending on what you'd like to get out of it.
Summer in Montreal is a great time to visit. There are plenty of festivals and temperatures average around 78 degrees Fahrenheit - making it ideal for strolling through parks, forests or relaxing by lakes. Though be warned, it can get pretty humid.
While winter in Canada and New York can get bitterly cold city, with chances of snow and ice in both cities, you will find that Mid Hudson Valley and the Catskills have more moderate winter temperatures that are not quite so cold.
Winter will still draw a large crowd, particularly those looking to experience Christmas displays or indulge in a spot of shopping. Like the summer months, you'll find both New York city and Montreal busy at this time of year.
Alternatively, if you want to experience Montreal during milder and quieter months, then a visit between March to May and from September to November will be an ideal time.
If big crowds don't put you off, you could time your visit with one of 90 festivals held in Montreal each year. As Canada's cultural juggernaut, Montreal has a fantastic array of concerts and parades, including its famous International Jazz Festival held in late June and July.
Remember to book those hotels in advance if you do travel during Canada and America's busiest months, as bigger crowds will equal busier cities!