When taking a road trip, it’s always a fun idea to break up the trip with random stops along the way. We usually go on roadtrippers.com to see if there are any fun activities along our root. We happened to stumble upon one free idea, which was to see the largest garden gnome in America (we know, it was random). Turns out, us and the entire klall yisroel were all on the same page. It also happened to be the best stop on our trip! Little did we know the gnome (aka Gnome Chomsky) is situated on a place called Kelder’s Farm, which has tons of cheap, fun activities, as well as lots of kosher snacks to buy, including a freezer full of cholov yisroel ice cream! They accept credit cards as well, which was a huge plus. Also don’t be alarmed, we have a brother. He doesn’t hate being in pictures, but he certainly doesn’t love it either. He’s a really good sport though about being an Instagram brother though, setting up our best shots!
It was about a two hour drive from the farm to Lake George. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort there, which was kindav like living with a giant family. Lots of amenities available on site, with a gorgeous view of the Lake from the hotels lawn, as well as walk-able to the lake area. We brought a disposable grill and hot dogs, which we were able to make across the street at a free campsite called Lake George Battleground. (We also forgot to bring matches, but there was a fabulous gas station next to the hotel which had everything you might have forgotten to pack). Dessert included giant marshmallows on skewers which we cooked over the hotels bonfire, and shared with the rest of the guests there. Fast forward an hour of doing this, we were all politely told that this wasn’t allowed over a propane bonfire. We have zero regrets regardless.
The next morning, we went on a steam boat ride on Lake George, called the Mine-Ha-Ha. Beware the parking there is cash only. Across the street is a place called Fort William Henry (cheaper tickets available on groupon), but we were too wiped by then to explore. There’s also land a minute down the block called Million Dollar Beach where you can barbecue, as well as go to the beach.
A five minute drive from this area is a store called Price Chopper, which carries kosher products. On our way to our next stop, we stopped by the Lake George outlet mall, which is broken up throughout the street. They have picnic tables there as well, so we stopped for lunch. Some of us are sick of shopping, and sat outside by a tree, watching a gypsy from Georgia carve bear figurines out of blocks of tree.
Next stop… Montreal! About a three hour drive from Lake George, but boarder patrol did take longer than expected. Montreal’s cool because everything’s in French, so you really feel like you’ve properly traveled to a different country. We at dinner at Lazzatto’s, which is within the Ramada hotel. The food was great, and good pricing (if you stay in the Ramada itself, the food can be sent straight up to your room)! We happened to stay down the block at a hotel called Ruby Foo’s (they have manual keys available if needed for Shabbos).
Our first stop in the morning was to Cheskie’s bakery. We brought pastries home to freeze because it was that delicious. You have to pay for street parking in that area, and you can’t stay for too long. In general, there didn’t seem to be any highway tolls in the Montreal area. We then headed to the Montreal Botanical Garden, which was breathtaking! We basically stayed in one area of the garden the whole time because we were so blown away by the beauty there alone, and didn’t end up exploring the entire garden. There are also some unique areas, such as a rock garden which was cool to see.
We took a lunch break at Pizza Pita, which is a must see in Montreal! They sell Quebec’s staple dish of poutine, which is fries with gravy and cheese. Unclear if we would buy it again, but most people don’t feel that way. We then headed to the old port of Montreal, which has many cool paid activities available. For free, we climbed the clock tower there, which is not for the faint hearted. The old town of Montreal is across the street and very pretty to walk around.
The next morning, we ate breakfast at Elna Bistro. Heads up, it’s located on the second floor of the shopping mall. The trick is that everything in that wing of the mall is called Elna, such as the Elna medical center, or Elna chiropractor, all with the same logo, which was confusing for a bit! Really great food with lots of healthier options.
We drove back for the 6 hours in one straight sitting, minus the one stopover where where we had to get out of the car and switch shotgun due to losing at Roadtrip Bingo we found at the dollar store. We didn’t get to see much as when you travel with family, it’s hard to pick activities that everyone is able to do. We decided that each person must research one thing that is their must see for the trip, but it also had to be something everyone was able to do. There are for sure tons more exciting things to do in the Montreal area, or on I-95 in general – let us know what you recommend below!