Things to Do in Quebec City - page 2
The only ice hotel in North America, the Hôtel de Glace, just outside Quebec City, takes five weeks to build every year from over 500 tons of ice and 15,000 tons of snow. Construction begins in late November, and the finished building contains guest rooms, a bar, and even a wedding chapel.
On the northern shore of the St Lawrence River, Quebec’s Charlevoix region is known for its beauty, filled with fjords, bays, and mountains.One of the world’s first populated UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves, the region is named after the famous French explorer, François-Xavier de Charlevoix, who first traveled here in the 18th century. Ever since, Charlevoix has been a popular visit with America’s bourgeoisie, and a popular base while in the region is the upscale resort town and longtime artists’ enclave of Baie-Saint-Paul, 60 miles from Quebec City.
Popular year-round, in summer Charlevoix is known for hiking, biking, and kayaking opportunities in the region’s two national parks — Les Grands-Jardins and Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie. In winter it’s all about skiing, sledding, and snowboarding at one of the region’s many ski resorts.
Central Charlevoix is also known for its food producers who specialize in French favorrites like cheese, pate, and foie gras. On the Flavour Trail, which starts just outside Baie-Saint-Paul, you can visit more than 40 farms and breweries for tastings and tours.Upper Charlevoix has some of the world’s best whale watching opportunities. From mid-June to late-October, by boat or kayak look out for humpbacks, minkes, finbacks, blue whales, and belugas at the confluence of the St Lawrence and Saguenay rivers.
Given the region’s pastoral scenery, it might be surprising to find that much of Charlevoix’s landscape was sculpted by a crater formed from a meteorite over 350 million years ago. A series of glaciers and earthquakes did the rest of the work in creating this peaceful scene.
La Malbaie is a group of towns in central Quebec that served as Canada’s first vacation resort. Known for its scenic landscape and views of the St. Lawrence River, La Malbaie was the site of US President William Taft’s summer home and continues to entertain visitors with its popular casino, chalets, and outdoor activities.
Quebec City visitors can enjoy summer-style fun all year round at the family-friendly, indoor Bora Parc waterpark. Just grab your swimsuit (even if it's snowing outside), and get ready to splash around. Hop into indoor pools, wind your way down waterslides, and hone your surfing skills on an indoor surf wave.
Quebec visitors looking for adventure shouldn't miss Via Ferrata Montmorency, a guided outdoor excursion through Parc de la Chute-Montmorency full of adrenaline-fueled activities, such as zip lining and rock climbing. Not for the faint of heart, this tour will help you enjoy the best of this beautiful park.
At the confluence of the St. Charles and St. Lawrence rivers, the bustling Port of Quebec (Port de Québec) offers access to one of Canada’s most well-known tourist destinations: the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec). Passengers dock right in the heart of Quebec, at the Ross Gaudreault terminal.
With sweeping views over potential enemy attack lines on the Saint-Charles River and the plateau west of Quebec City, this site was originally established as a defensive stronghold by the French in the 17th and 18th centuries. It later served as an ammunition factory, producing cartridges for the Canadian army up until the 1960s.
Home to just a half-dozen heritage villages, Orleans Island (Île d'Orléans) measures 22 miles (35 kilometers) long and six miles (nine kilometers) wide. Located in the St. Lawrence River just downstream of Quebec City, this finger-like sliver of an island charms visitors with its expansive fertile farmland filled with vineyards, apple orchards, and sugar bush.