The 5 Best Day Trips from Québec City

Pamela Macnaughtan, amoureuse de Québec
Pamela MacNaughtan
Published on January 17, 2020
Whale coming out of the water in Tadoussac
Catherine Dubé

As much as I love exploring every crack and crevice in Québec City, there are some spectacular destinations outside the city that make excellent day trips. While some require a vehicle, others can be reached by bus or train. Here are the 5 places you should experience:

  • 1

    Whale Watching in Tadoussac

    Located 3 hours east of Québec City, Tadoussac is the number one destination for whale watching in the province. You can see different species of whales in the St. Lawrence River: Minke whale, Fin whale-finback whale, Humpback whale, Blue whale, White (or beluga) whale as well as greay seals. Take an organized tour from Québec City -which includes transportation- or drive out yourself!

  • 2

    Glamour Outing at Casino de Charlevoix

    Did you know there is a casino near Québec City? Venture out to La Malbaie for exploring this charming city along the St. Lawrence River. Make your way to Casino Charlevoix for dinner, a show or a little gambling. Located next to Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, Casino Charlevoix is a not-to-be-missed day trip from Québec City!

  • 3

    Country Charm Getaway to Baie-Saint-Paul

    Possibly one of the most charming villages in the Charlevoix area, Baie-Saint-Paul is tucked away in a cove along the St. Lawrence River, about an hour from Québec City. Spend the day shopping and eating in the village. Don’t miss having a pint and eating at le Saint-Pub, one of the province’s most renowned microbrewery.

  • 4

    Heritage Discovery on Grosse Île

    Grosse Île (island) is a National Historic Site a short drive from Québec City, open from early May to mid-October. From 1832 to 1937, Grosse Île acted as a quarantine site and the entry point for immigrants coming to Canada - many of whom were of Irish descent. Hike Mirador Trail, visit the monuments and take a tour of the village. In 2017, admission to the site is free due to the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

  • 5

    A Tour in Cosmopolitan Montréal

    Making a day trip to Montréal while you are in Québec City is doable - and something I have been known to do myself. Montréal is a great day trip from Québec City. Simply catch the 5:27am (have a nap) train to Montréal and the 6:15 pm train back to Québec City. If you have a vehicle, the drive will take about the same amount of time, but allow you to sleep and stay later. 

    Once you’re in Montréal, pick a neighbourhood or two, explore, eat and shop. I suggest starting with either Old Montréal or Mile End.


Pamela Macnaughtan, amoureuse de Québec
Pamela MacNaughtan

Travel writer and photographer, Pamela has a deep love of all things Québec City. She is an anglophone from Ontario who prefers living in Québec. An avid city explorer and chocolat chaud connoisseur, Pamela accentuates the finest experiences in the city.

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