The other weekend I got the chance to escape the mild Toronto weather and venture out into cold and snowy Quebec City. The last time I had been to Quebec was way back when I was a little kid so it was like discovering the city all over again.
Heading to Quebec was the perfect mini-vacation for several reasons: The Canadian dollar is pretty weak right now so heading south of the border is not very appealing, Quebec is only an 8 hr car or bus ride away from Toronto AND the predominantly french-speaking province is home to the poutine and the smoked meat sandwich- need I say more?
Although there are tons of things to do in and around Quebec City here are my Top Five recommendations:
5. Visit the The Citadelle
The Citadelle is the largest British fortress in North America. This amazing structure dates back to 1693 and is a great spot to learn more about Quebec City and the history of Canada. Make sure to join the free guided tour to learn more about the different buildings within the Citadelle and the story behind it‘s development.
4. Take a stroll around Old Quebec
I LOVE Old Quebec. Walking around all of the shops and restaurants was one of the highlights of my trip and the french-inspired architecture is inspiring to see (especially coming from Downtown Toronto where a condo faces you in every direction). If you have time head over to Paillard, a café-boulangerie located on rue Saint-Jean, with decently priced sandwiches and fluffy pastries.
3. Take in the amazing view at Montmorency Falls Park
The Montmorency Falls are located just a few minutes from downtown Quebec City and can be seen from a cable car, a suspended bridge and a vertical stairway that goes along the side of a cliff. If you are feeling adventurous (which I was not) you can climb up a 120-metre wall of ice at the side of the falls.
2. Grab a drink at the Ice Hotel
The theme for this year’s version of the hotel is Rivers and this is seen throughout several of the hotel’s special upgraded rooms. The real fun in coming to Hotel de Glace is having a drink from one of the specially made ice glasses. Drinks start at $9 and are cheaper if you keep and reuse your glass. Hotel de Glace is open until March 28 (unless the sun gets to it first).
1.Take part in Quebec Winter Carnival
Quebec hosts the largest winter carnival in the world today filled with a large number of outdoor activities that range from dog sledding and canoe races to snow tubing and a life size human foosball game. My favorite activities include riding the ferris wheel at night and eating taffy made from maple syrup cooled on a large snow bar. The Winter Carnival runs from January 28 – February 14 so get there while you still can. For more information visit the official website.
Do you agree with my list or have I missed anything? Let me know in the comment section!