Let me begin by apologizing for being absent for the past month. I’ve had finals at my school and, as you can probably imagine, a lot of studying was required. As a result, I didn’t get much sleep and very little time to do anything other than schoolwork. The school year is now over so I will be able to dedicate the next three months to delivering beautiful and inspiring content to you!
Another reason I haven’t been on the blog is because I was on a school trip to Québec City with my French class. It was a great opportunity to practice our French speaking skills and explore the city of Québec and all its hidden beauties. I returned home having had such a positive experience I decided create a travel guide with recommendations of what to do and see while visiting Québec City. Have a notebook ready to keep track of any ideas for your next weekend getaway!
1. Explore Old Québec
You can start by taking a walk down North America’s oldest streets and admire the view from many different vantage points such as the fortified walls that protect and surround the city. From up on the walls you’ll gain a sense of power as you stand above the old city and look out onto the horizon. You should also visit notable, historical sites such as the Place Royale, the Plaines d’Abraham, and the Parliament Building. All tell epic stories of Québec and how it became we know and love today. Make sure to take a picture of the Château Frontenac as you stroll along the boardwalk to the Saint-Laurent River.
2. Walk Through Le Petit Champlain
Le Petit Champlain is the oldest operating shopping district in North America. It’s located in the lower part of the city. Be wary of the rickety old steps as you journey down to the Petit Champlain! This historic district has much to offer such as unique shops, restaurants, romantic and quaint decor, and sensational look-out points.
3. Visit Le Trompe L’œil
Trompe-L’œil means “fools the eye” and that is exactly what it does. At first sight you’ll think this magnificent masterpiece is just another one of Québec’s beautiful (and steep) streets. At closer look, however, you’ll discover that it isn’t a street! It’s a huge mural that depicts many of the most important people in Québec’s history. In the windows you will find explorer Jacques Cartier resting upon his globe, and founder of Québec, Samuel de Champlain sipping beer and reading a manuscript. Did you know that in French “de” signifies a signifies a person of noble or aristocratic standing.
4. Spend a Quiet Moment at the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine
Step inside and admire the glorious stained glass, paintings, mosaics, and stone and wooden sculptures that adorn the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine. The church has seen over 350 years of Québec’s history and keeps the secrets of all those who have come in need of a quiet moment of meditation. It’s an ideal place to reflect upon life, give thanks to what you are grateful for, or simply enjoy the gold that lines every corner of the shrine.
5. Discover the Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier
Hidden in the outskirts of the city is Le Parc National, a vast and mountainous plateau with deep valleys and rivers. The park is a paradise for outdoor adventurers. You can go fishing, camping, canoeing, kayaking, or just take a simple hike. The natural wonders will let you experience what Québec was like when explorer Jacques Cartier first discovered it. My class and I went spelunking in one of the many caves. We trekked into the pitch blackness, wary of where we stepped to avoid falling into a hole or hitting our heads on the solid rock ceilings. It definitely rates a ten on the list of nerve racking experiences.
6. Mountain Biking or Hiking at Mont Sainte Anne
Mont Sainte Anne is another place to explore the wonders of Québec’s natural world. It’s only a short drive outside of the city and as soon as you arrive, you will feel as though you have entered a different world. I walked on one of the beautiful hiking trails, but many people chose to go mountain biking on the ski trails. Be warned, the mountain biking trails go straight up the ski course so you’ll need a lot of stamina. The hiking trail passes along a beautiful waterfall, so be prepared to get slightly sprayed.
I have provided a link here if you are interested in checking out these activities!
7. Feel the Spray at Montmorency Falls
Experience the power of nature as the cascade of water from the Montmorency Falls comes tumbling down, creating a splash which can be felt for 100 feet away. The climb down the scenic stairway of 1,000 steps offers a view of the falls which is simply breathtaking. You can also enjoy the view from the suspension bridge over the river. Thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline fix should take the zipline course along the edge of the falls. It’s an exciting experience and provides you a wonderful view from above.
You can learn about Québec’s native culture by visiting the Wendake Center, traditional home of the Wendake people. At the center you’ll be able to eat some of their native cuisine, hear stories about their history, and watch as Wendake tribes people conduct religious ceremonies and dances.
The Wendake Center is a wonderful way to see Québec’s native heritage come to life.
8. Explore Ancestral Traditions in Wendake
If you are looking for something to do that will really spark your nerves, ziplining or mountain climbing at Le Canyon Sainte-Anne is the place to go. Although I’m not normally a thrill-seeker, I decided to try ziplining at Le Canyon Sainte-Anne. The guides that worked there tried to reassure my friends and I that ziplining was perfectly safe and there was no need to worry about slipping because we were secured by a cord. Despite our fears, we all jumped off the side of the cliff into the open canyon. As I was gliding through the air, I had a sense of freedom watching the world zoom by. It was a thrilling experience and there’s no question if given the chance I would do it again.
After the ziplining, we then moved on to our next daring adventure – mountain climbing. I had seen pictures of people climbing up the face of a mountain, but never thought that I would have the courage to do something like that. Bit by bit my friends and I slowly made our way down the side of the canyon holding on to the pitons for dear life and looking down as we watched the earth lay still below us. Somehow, however, I managed to muster up the courage and do something I never dreamed possible. All in all, I would not miss out on this daring and exciting experience.
9. Be Daring at Le Canyon Sainte-Anne
Québec should be on everyone’s list of places to visit. The city is filled with wonderful shops, history, and cultural experiences. The countryside is a place of serenity and natural wonder with lots of thrilling adventures which you will hold onto for the rest of your life. It is a place I couldn’t recommend visiting more!