Why you need to consider a visit to charming Quebec City

  • Old world charm in North America

    Quebec City is recognized as the cradle of French civilization in North America, so it's no wonder it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985. The only walled city in North America north of Mexico, the city’s colorful past is everywhere you turn. 

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Romantic carriage rides

    A stroll down Quebec City's colorful streets will take you past historic monuments, centuries-old buildings, imposing churches, quaint shops, and charming restaurants and bars – all tucked within the formidable wall fortifications that surround the city. Horse-drawn carriages seem to outnumber the local taxis, adding a romantic ambiance to your visitor experience.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Raise a glass

    As in Europe, outdoor restaurants, cafes, bars and bistros line the streets of Old Quebec and serve as a convivial meeting place for locals and visitors alike.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Bon appétit

    Needless to say, the city's relative proximity to the northern Atlantic Ocean and Labrador Sea makes it a haven for seafood lovers. Scallops, crab, lobster and other seafood selections line the menus, but you can find every type of cuisine here, from steakhouses to vegetarian, and ethnic restaurants to eateries featuring regional specialties.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Relive history

    History is alive and literally everywhere in Quebec City, and there are countless historic sites to choose from. Don't miss a visit to the Citadelle of Quebec, known as the "Gibraltar of North America," the oldest military building in Canada which forms part of the fortifications surrounding the city. Its walls enclose 300 years of history from the period of New France to today. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Farmers market delights

    Open year-round, the Old Port Market in Quebec's Lower Town is the place to go for farm-to-table fruits and vegetables, as well as many locally-made products. Browse through the stands and grab your lunch. The local cheese, deli meats, baked goods, sweets and fine food items, as well as a wide variety of other options, are definitely something you can sink your teeth into.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Stroll through time

    You'll feel as if you stepped into another century when you stroll through Quebec City's many picturesque streets. The fortifications surrounding the city are 3 miles in length, and a path allows you to walk along the walls and imagine what life was like here 300 years ago. Several mobile phone apps are available to download that will give you historical information along the way.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Relax in 18th-century ambiance

    Each street in Quebec City holds its own brand of charm. The park surrounding the Visitors Center is a lovely place to rest up from your exploration, have a bite to eat and soak in the 18th-century ambiance.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Weaving a tale

    Story-telling is a centuries-old tradition throughout the province of Quebec. You'll see these colorful raconteurs weaving their tales and bringing history alive in various parts of Old Quebec. A popular tour is offered by Ghost Tours of Quebec, during which you'll learn all about the darker side of the city's history. The world-famous Fairmont Le Château Frontenac also offers an immersive tour of the history of this castle-turned-iconic hotel, led by a guide in 18th-century garb.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Buttery croissants

    If you've ever been to France, you may have fallen in love with the buttery croissants that pop out of the oven each morning. You can readily find them here in Quebec City, together with an endless variety of French cuisine that is part of the culinary heritage of this region.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Joie de vivre

    Quebec City hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, when locals and visitors join together to relish the exciting ambiance and joie de vivre that surround these special events. You'll see people walking through the streets night and day, enjoying the unique European atmosphere. The city is considered very safe, with one of the lowest overall crime rates in Canada.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Pastoral paradise just minutes away

    The pastoral Île d'Orléans, an island with 18th-century roots, is located a mere 15-minute drive from the city center.  It’s no wonder this island is known as the "Garden of Quebec," as farming is obviously of great importance in this area. You'll pass strawberry fields bursting with ripe fruit, vineyards and wineries, herds of cattle and sheep grazing on the slopes, and miles of apple and apricot orchards. The island provides much of the farm-to-table produce for the city restaurants.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Raging waters

    On your way to the  Île d'Orléans, plan to visit Montmorency Falls, one of the region's top natural attractions. Surprisingly, the falls are actually 98 feet higher than Niagara Falls, though not nearly as wide. Take the cable car to the top of the falls for a closer view of the surging waters cascading into the mighty St. Lawrence River.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • A look back in time

    Venture out along the St. Lawrence River to explore more of the countryside. For a look back in time, take a scenic drive on the Chemin du Roy (King's Road), completed in 1737. One can still admire 18th-century homes, roadside chapels and buildings of the period lining this route, which extends around 170 miles eastward from Montreal to Quebec City.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Spiritual moment

    The King's Road will lead you to the renowned Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de Beaupré, the second oldest pilgrimage site in North America. In 1658, the first chapel was built on these grounds by fishermen whose lives were miraculously saved during a devastating storm on the river. Filled with impressive paintings, mosaics, stained-glass windows and stone and wooden sculptures, the Basilica attracts nearly one million visitors a year.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Find wellness in a 17th-century monastery

    Rejuvenate your mind and soul at the Monastère des Augustines (Augustinian Monastery), built in the 17th century to house the nuns of that order who arrived from France to provide medical care for the early French settlers. The historic complex houses a museum featuring 40,000 artifacts collected by the sisters over the centuries.  It also offers accommodations in its restored former cloister, exceptional massage therapies and other holistic treatments, and an outstanding restaurant featuring organic-only, sustainable cuisine.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • A shopper's delight

    Needless to say, the shopping opportunities in this cosmopolitan city are endless. Choose among high-end items imported directly from Europe to one-of-a-kind items created by local artisans, and everything in between. It's a paradise for those who love the thrill of shopping and collecting souvenirs during their travel experience.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Old Quebec enchantment

    The old city has two historic areas. Upper Town is dominated by the massive fortifications that surround it, as well as many historic buildings contained within. Don't miss a visit to Lower Town, accessible either by stairs or the Old Quebec funicular that links the two historic areas. Lower Town, which is actually the oldest part of the city, is especially enchanting in the evening, as this view on Umbrella Alley in the Place Royale reflects.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • A votre santé

    As it is in France, wine is a popular beverage in Quebec. While you can find wines from all areas of the world in local restaurants and bars, don't hesitate to sample wines produced in Canada. You'll be delightfully surprised.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona

  • Picture perfect

    For an unforgettable view onto the historic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, renowned as the most photographed hotel in the world, make your way to Lower Town and hop on the City Ferry. The view from this vantage point is especially dramatic during the "golden hour" right before sunset. The scene on both Upper and Lower Quebec and the hotel, illuminated in the early evening glow, offers a perfect photo opportunity.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona


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