Top 3 things to do in Quebec City, Canada

 

View of Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City 

My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting Quebec City, Canada when we lived in New York City.  It is a decent drive as it took us close to 10 hours to get there.  Quebec City is located about 520 miles north of NYC.  

Quebec City is the capital city of province of Quebec, Canada.  It is home to over 500,000 residents.  Quebec City has the distinction of being the only walled city in North America.  Old Quebec (Vieux Quebec) is designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

The name ‘Quebec’ is originally an local Indian tribe (Algonquin) word for ‘where the river narrows’ as St. Lawrence River narrows around the city and Cape Diamant.  Quebec City is home to such landmarks as the Chateau Frontenac which dominates the city skyline and the Citadelle, an intact fortress and active military base.  

My wife and I picked Columbus Day weekend (October) to visit Quebec City.  The itinerary had us staying there for 2 nights and 3 days.  We left for Quebec City on an early Saturday morning around 6 am so we can arrive there before the nightfall.

The drive up the NY State thruway I- 87 was uneventful as we had driven this highway more than our share while living in NYC.  This highway is usually how we got to the Catskills Mountains for skiing in the winter.

We took this highway all the way up to the border.  We passed the Catskills Mountains exits and the traffic on I-87 really thinned out.  This stretch of the highway wasn’t well known to us, so that added to the anticipation!  Frankly, I enjoy exploring new roads and places, so I was right at home...

What seemed boring up until Albany area exits, the roads really opened up to reveal beautiful views of distant mountains and fields.  We took in all the sights driving up. We noticed the extremely low clouds which were so low we could touch them, and we noticed the wonderful vistas on every curve.  It was a great feeling to be able to go on a road trip on a wide open road!

When we crossed the Canadian border, it started to snow!  We got a bit worried but luckily, it was just flurries and not the type that accumulates.  

We arrived at our hotel around 4 pm that afternoon.  We checked in and got a room that overlooks the St. Lawrence River and the downtown Quebec City.  It was an awesome view!

The next day we decided to explore the area near Chateau Frontenac and the promenade.  The city is unlike anything we’ve seen in North America.  The chateau in the middle of the city reminded me of an European city, somewhere in England or France, but not in North America.

Sights and smells are so different than what we were used to as well.  The strong smell of coffee everywhere, the smell of butter (croissants and baguettes!), and the outdoor art fair added to the uniqueness of the city.  

Some visitors have complained that locals are not friendly if you don’t speak French, but we didn’t notice any of that.  We were welcomed everywhere and we met warm and friendly people during our stay.

Without further delay, here are our top 3 things to do in Quebec City:

  1. Chateau Frontenac / promenade / Old Quebec
Chateau Frontenac is the dominating focal point of the city.  You’ll see it as you drive into the city or when you walk around the city.  The promenade in front of the chateau, fronting the St. Lawrence River, is a wonderful place to grab a local coffee with a baguette, and enjoy the scenery around you.

We really felt like we were in Paris or somewhere in France.  You’ll hear more French being spoken than English which adds to the ambiance.  

The views of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding areas will mesmerize you.  The roof top colors are unlike anything we’ve seen in eastern United States.  There are all kinds of colors:  reds, oranges, greens, blues, and beiges (probably others as well).

The chateau was opened in 1893.  Today, it’s part of the Fairmont hotel chain.  There are restaurants and cafes featuring beautiful views of the city and the river.  We highly recommend stopping by to look at the hotel!

Be sure to stroll the streets in Old Quebec (where Chateau Frontenac is located) to take in French style architecture, store fronts, and restaurants/cafes.  It’ll be unlike anything you’ve seen in North America!

Old Quebec 

     2.   The Citadelle (La Citadelle de Quebec)

The Citadelle is a National Historic Site and an active military base right in the heart of Quebec City.  Sitting on the highest natural point in Quebec City, it boasts spectacular views of the Chateau Frontenac, the town, and St. Lawrence River.  

The Citadelle welcomes visitors with guided tours and access to the Musee Royal 22e Regiment.  This is the home of the Royal 22e Regiment, which is the only French speaking regiment in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Be sure to check out the ‘Changing of the Guard’ ceremony at 10:00 am!  

Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Citadelle 

     3.   Montmorency Falls (Parc de la Chute-Montmorency)

Located about 15 minutes from downtown Quebec City, Montmorency Falls is a sight you do not want to miss.  It’s 272 feet tall, which is about 99 feet taller than the Niagara Falls.  

This is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike in every season.  There are multiple ways to enjoy the falls:  take a cable car, cross the suspended bridge over the falls, or you can zipline along the falls.

The park offers gardens, nature walks/hiking, picnicking, and an interpretation center.  For foodies, the brunch at the Montmorency Manor is a popular local attraction!

Montmorency Falls, Quebec City 

Quebec City is one of those magical cities that you never easily forget.  We miss the art fairs, the local food, and the magnificent beauty of the city.  We long to go back as soon as we possibly can!

***Tip:  At this writing, the border to Canada is closed due to the pandemic.  Please verify this information as well as to attractions in Quebec City to get the latest information.

Thank you all for reading!


Jake

Wandering Money Pig 


Please click here if you missed our ‘Top 3 things to do in Ocean City, Maryland’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Top 3 things to do in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Review of Bushkill Falls and Grey Towers.’

Please click here if you missed our ‘Top 3 natural attractions in Las Vegas’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Review of Zion National Park’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Review of Vdara Hotel’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Review of Chateau at Coindre Hall’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Top 3 things to do in Oyster Bay’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Review of Ocean Casino Resort’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Review of Wildwood Park and Fort Hunter Mansion’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Top 3 things to do in Ottawa’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Review of Fiore Suite and classic room at the Borgata’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Top 3 places with awesome views near Harrisburg, PA’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Top 3 things to do in Quebec City, Canada’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Top 3 quintessential places to visit in New York City’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Review of Ricketts Glen State Park, PA’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Review of Beaufort, NC’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Top 3 things to do in Vernon, NJ’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Top 3 things to do in Harrisburg, PA’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Top 3 things to do in Montreal, Canada’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Review of Falls Lake Dam Recreation Area, Wake Forest, NC’.

Please click here if you missed our ‘Top 3 parks to visit in Bogue Banks, North Carolina’.


Please check out our YouTube channel ‘Wandering Money Pig’ showcasing our travels and our Pomeranian dog! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3kl9f4W9sfNG5h1l-x6nHw


Popular posts from this blog

AirBNB horror story: How we got a refund from AirBNB due to a noisy neighbor…

Review of Vdara Hotel, Las Vegas, NV (Nevada): Pros and Cons

Review of Ocean Casino Resort, Atlantic City, NJ (New Jersey)