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Things to Do, Where to Stay, and How to Find the Best Poutine!

The Budget-Minded Traveler

My first sundown over the Saguenay River on the 48th parallel was sufficient to make me really feel each welcomed and already at residence in Quebec. I don’t know what I used to be anticipating to expertise, however the lush, inexperienced mountains and picturesque waterways I’d seen in my first few hours of exploring the province utterly blew me away.

And I hadn’t even executed something but.

I’ve traveled throughout the world to expertise a few of the exact same issues I did in Quebec, proper in our personal yard. And the BEAUTY! Pinch me.

I’ve now been there twice in the final yr alone, including extra and extra to my notes about this lovely area that I’ve fallen in love with.

On this submit, I’ll share some journey ideas for Quebec (Quebec Metropolis and north), together with the place to keep, what to do, and what’s completely not to miss. When you have concepts to add, please put them in the feedback!

Saguenay

My first night time in Saguenay.

Enjoyable reality: In Algonquin, “Quebec” means “where the river narrows,” referring to the nice St. Lawrence River. It has a singular historical past and is the solely province in Canada with French as its sole official language.

How to Get to Quebec

Driving Over the Border into Canada

Drive! Sure, you possibly can drive from the US proper to Quebec Metropolis and past. This lovely province is simply over the border from Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and New York. It takes about four hours to drive to Quebec Metropolis from Burlington, Vermont. Final time I went I truly flew from Denver into Quebec Metropolis, rented a automotive, drove to Vermont to go to my grandma, and drove again to spend a while in Quebec. Apart from a mildly confused US Border agent, I had no issues taking the rental automotive over the border in any respect.

I had finished my homework forward of time. I particularly rented from Hertz, as a result of when calling forward, they promised me I might freely drive their automobiles over the border with out issues, so long as I had my rental paperwork. Fact. My rental automotive for four days solely value me $108 complete, no hidden charges, no issues at the border.

Hertz Tip: In case you use the United MileagePlus Explorer Visa, you will get a very good low cost on Hertz leases.

Airports in Quebec

Quebec Metropolis – You’ll be able to fly straight to Quebec Metropolis (YQB). It’s a small, easily-navigable airport with a number of rental automotive distributors proper there at the terminal. It has an honest quantity of flights every week connecting it with different Canadian and US cities. I rented my automotive straight from the Hertz automotive rental at the Quebec Metropolis airport. I’ve truly carried out this twice and had seamless experiences each occasions.

Montreal – That is the solely time I’ll point out Montreal on this article since I’m not specializing in this metropolis, nevertheless it does have a really properly related airport (YUL) and is simply a pair hours drive away from Quebec Metropolis. Simply don’t cease at solely seeing Montreal! The remainder of Quebec is… properly, hold studying…

Associated: three Causes to Go to Canada in 2017

Things to Do in Quebec

Quebec = Journey. You are able to do ALL THE THINGS right here. Snowboarding, biking, mountaineering, kayaking, canoeing, meals and drink tasting, festivals, museums, fishing, cruising, rafting, climbing, ziplining… listed here are some particular concepts:

1. Pageant d’été de Québec

quebec summer festival

Watching Muse shut out the 2017 FEQ.

Attracting greater than 1 million festival-goers annually, the Pageant d’été de Québec is THE place to be for a few of the largest headliners in music. It celebrated its 50th yr in 2017, and I received to attend for three nights. I noticed the Gorillaz, Metallica, and Muse, nevertheless it’s not only one primary stage. There are at the very least 10 levels and a whole lot of performances all through the pageant. The perfect half is which you could purchase one entry bracelet that will get you into any present, it’s transferrable, and it’s lower than $100 CAD. It occurs each July!

2. By way of Ferrata Climb

Via Ferrata Quebec

My third by way of ferrata was fairly a hit!

Quebec is a front-runner in the by way of ferrata scene in North America. I’ve personally finished two totally different by way of ferratas in Quebec, however there are 13 routes to select from! (And counting). I extremely advocate Palissades de Charlevoix by way of ferrata, which features a suspension bridge and rappel that may definitely get your blood pumping. Pay attention to my podcast about it!

Should you can’t make it to Charlevoix, attempt one among the routes at Montmorency Falls, which is simply outdoors of Quebec Metropolis.

three. Mountaineering in Charlevoix

Hiking Charlevoix

View from the prime in Charlevoix.

Lease a automotive and drive north from Quebec Metropolis into Charlevoix, and go discover. I climbed L’Acropole des Draveurs in the Regional Park of Hautes-Gorges of the Malbaie River, not essentially a simple climb with three,000 ft of elevation achieve, however completely value it.

There’s mountaineering, tenting, fishing, canoeing, cruising, kayaking, and extra out there at this park and in the park subsequent door Parc Nationwide des Grands Jardins.

Associated: Information to Banff Lake Louise, Canada

four. Kayaking in the Saguenay Fjord

kayaking saguenay

You possibly can kayak, hike, or attempt an exciting by way of ferrata in the Parc Nationwide du Fjord-du-Saguenay. For those who’re in the space, this isn’t to be missed. The water right here is black, one thing that solely occurs when recent meets brackish. For those who’re fortunate, you could even see some marine life! We noticed one curious sea lion on our tour.

5. Whale Watching on the St. Lawrence River

whale watching quebec

An iPhone isn’t the *greatest* digital camera for whale watching, however look intently.

Seize the ferry from Baie-Sainte-Catherine in the direction of Tadoussac, which is a free ferry and runs all yr lengthy. When you’re there, go to the Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre and take a wander by way of, be certain to take a look at the narwhal tusk! Then get on a zodiac whale watching tour Croisières AML.

6. Unique Animal Rescue Zoo

zoo quebec

That is me cuddling an Arctic Wolf pet. Sufficient stated.

When you’re in the Chicoutimi space and like zoos, the Zoo de Falardeau is just not to be missed! From grizzlies to ostriches to tigers and every thing in between, even rescued raccoons, there are many animals to see. For those who’re fortunate, you could even get to cuddle with child animals just lately born in captivity. This zoo rescues animals from throughout the world, go and study what they do and help their efforts. Nice enjoyable for the household.

7. Biking the Infinite Trails

cycling quebec

Nicely-maintained bike trails abound in Quebec.

Quebec has lots of of kilometers of superbly maintained bike trails. I can advocate two particular locations for you to discover. The Blueberry Path in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean winds via miles and miles of countryside, with prospects to cease at native cheese outlets and breweries. Microbrasserie du Lac Saint-Jean is a superb place to cease for lunch and attempt some native brews.

In the event you’re in Quebec Metropolis, attempt the path main from Quebec Metropolis to Montmorency Falls (11okay). It’s a simple, picturesque journey that the entire household can do. Lease bikes with Cyclo Providers, close to the water in downtown Quebec Metropolis. Bonus reality: this workplace is true throughout the road from an amazing farmers market!

eight. EAT ALL THE FOOD

quebec poutine

POUTINE.

Quebec is understood for its terroir. Almost in all places you look, you’ll discover native outlets with some type of locally-harvested consumable, whether or not it’s wine, beer, cheese, honey, or in any other case. This is the reason renting a automotive is the greatest means to go, as a result of you’ll be able to pull over and cease for recent cheese curds everytime you see them!

In Charlevoix, attempt the Laiterie Charlevoix the place you possibly can cease for cheese and ice cream tastings and the Miellerie du Cratere de Charlevoix for honey tastings. And… I’ve to say it, EAT ALL THE POUTINE.

Poutine is actually a pile of french fries and cheese curds slathered in gravy. Many cooks take this a couple of steps additional, including their very own elements, which principally means you may eat a special type of poutine daily without having to really feel responsible! ?

Whereas scrumptious poutine abounds in Quebec, my private favourite got here from a spot referred to as Le Stylish Shack (like Shake Shack, solely Quebecois). It’s proper in the principal sq. of Quebec Metropolis, subsequent to Le Chateau Frontenac.

9. Attempt the BEER

beer quebec

Hiked this child three,000 ft up a cliff. Properly value the weight.

Quebec is sort of progressive in its craft beer scene. You’ll have heard of Unibroue, a well-known brewery with beers similar to La Fin du Monde, Blanche de Chambly, and others, however these barely scratch the floor of scrumptious beers present in Quebec. Anyplace you see “Microbrasserie,” ensure to cease for a beer! The hostel in La Malbaie (see under) is a superb place to style check some rigorously chosen native beers whereas listening to music, open mic night time, or no matter they’ve happening at the hostel that day.

By native suggestion, I purchased a bottle of La Vache Folle ESB and hiked it up to the summit of L’Acropole des Draveurs the place I loved it with my lunch, overlooking what might’ve been the fjords of Norway. Quebec amazes me.

10. French Language Research

Parlez vous francais? Neither do I, but. However you possibly can study French right here in Quebec! Proper in our personal yard, you possibly can immerse your self on this lovely language, taking courses on-line or with personal academics and even in public settings. Do a fast Google seek for the plethora of choices.

Associated: How and Why You Ought to Study a Overseas Language

11. Parc de la Chute Montmorency

Montmorency Falls

Simply outdoors of Quebec Metropolis is Montmorency Falls, which you’ll be able to lease a motorcycle and cycle to, drive, or take a bus there to spend a number of hours. There’s a zip-line spanning the width of the falls, which I’ve carried out and it’s SUPER thrilling. If that’s not your cup of tea, you possibly can watch the zip-liners from the pedestrian bridge, which crosses immediately over the prime of the falls. For the extra adventurous, hop on certainly one of the three by way of ferrata routes on the far aspect of the falls.

Whenever you’re accomplished exploring, hit up the lovely restaurant overlooking the falls for a scrumptious déjeuner.

12. Quebec Metropolis

Quebec City

Quebec Metropolis is the solely walled metropolis in North America and it carries an old-world European vibe. Let me put it into perspective for you: on July 1, 2017, Canada celebrated its 150th birthday. In the meantime, again in 2008, Quebec Metropolis celebrated its 400th. Yeah. Strolling via its streets, consuming its meals, and talking its language, you’d assume you have been in Europe, however that’s the great thing about Quebec!

13. Cratere de Charlevoix

Consideration astronomy nerds! Do you know that Charlevoix truly exists in an enormous crater? In La Malbaie, there’s a museum there the place you’ll be able to go and study the crater, in addition to different craters which are prefer it round the world. In case you handle to go on a transparent night time, you possibly can benefit from their telescope out again to discover the night time sky. I like to recommend this as a surprisingly enjoyable cease when you occur to be staying in La Malbaie.

14. Street Journey!

If I haven’t emphasised it sufficient but, hear this: Quebec is a wonderful street journey vacation spot. The roads are nicely maintained, and you might be north of Quebec Metropolis and into the lovely countryside inside hours of leaving the US. Simply brush up in your French, since you gained’t discover English audio system in most of your stops outdoors the metropolis! Keep in mind, should you select to fly into Quebec, lease a automotive at the airport and begin your journey from there.

Associated: Best Street Journey Apps for Your Subsequent Journey

Quebec Lodge Information: Where to Keep in Saguenay, Charlevoix, Quebec Metropolis

Non-Conventional, Various-Lodging Choices:

  • Yurts at Imago Village: North of Chicoutimi at the base of a ski space, verify these out for a woodlands journey. Learn my evaluation about them!
  • Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux Tree Home, Domes, and Spheres: This park is understood for its various lodging, and when you’re there, attempt the excessive ropes course and by way of ferrata!
  • Historic Village of Val Jalbert: Take a journey again in time to this village which used to be supported by a paper mill. It’s now cabins, a museum, a gondola, and a scrumptious restaurant.
  • Repere Boreal – Glamping in transformed delivery containers!
Val Jalbert Mill

The previous mill at Val Jalbert.

Associated: Sleeping Beneath the Canadian Stars: Yurt Glamping in Quebec

Price range Choices:

  • Auberge de Jeunesse La Malbaie: Hostel in La Malbaie overlooking the river the place you’ll be able to eat native meals and style a number of rigorously chosen native beers. Get to know the proprietor David for some superb journey tales. Ask him why he began the hostel and you’ll have your self a brand new pal.
  • Auberge des Balcons: Hostel in Baie St. Paule in a transformed monastery. There’s a nice new espresso store in the constructing and it’s proper downtown.

Mid-Vary Choices:

  • Lodge-Motel Castel de la Mer La Malbaie: Motel in La Malbaie which incorporates breakfast. Good rooms with kitchenettes, cozy beds, and straightforward parking.
  • Lodge Chicoutimi: Stylish lodge in the middle of Chicoutimi, only a block from the water. Features a nice breakfast menu, restaurant and bar on website, and trendy rooms.

Baller Choice:

  • Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac Quebec Metropolis: It appears and looks like a fort. Want I say extra? Okay, I’ll. Even being in the middle of Quebec Metropolis with individuals in all places and tons of of rooms, the rooms are very quiet and personal. All of the lodge attendants appear to love their jobs. That is the place to be.

Useful resource: View different hostels and various lodging choices in Charlevoix area.

This publish is a part of a collaboration with Tourisme Charlevoix, Tourisme Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec Metropolis Tourism. As all the time, all opinions are my very own.

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