Québec City, an inspiring destination
One of the best ways to get to know the heart and soul of a city and its surroundings is to talk to the locals. We chatted with Québec City residents and asked them what makes the capital region so special and why they would recommend it to visitors like you. Their answers were sometimes surprising but always inspiring – so inspiring that a group of Québec artists created a mural based on what was said!
Marie-Helène, a real fan of culture, loves how Québec offers so many things to see and to do. Attractions like the Imagine Monet immersive exhibition on display in the Old Port all summer long and the superb display of modern and contemporary American art at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. You might also want to check out the Festival d'été (Summer Festival), a mammoth 12-day music festival featuring major acts like Maroon 5 and Rage Against the Machine. If you’re more into the traditional, take in the New France Festival – a unique and festive historical event that showcases 17th and 18th century America. The city also has the delightful Mosaïcultures and the exceptional Le Diamant, an entertainment venue designed by internationally renowned Québec director Robert Lepage. And if you need even more inspiration, take a walk through the Old City. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Europe!
Speaking of Europe, Québec’s French heritage means that it’s a place that takes food very seriously. It’s one of the many reasons that ‘foodie’ Milca makes Québec City her home. As she says, "What’s really unique about Québec is the flavours." So true! Québec’s distinctive flavours run the gamut from wholesome local fare served with a smile on an outdoor terrace, to more refined Cordon Bleu cuisine by top chefs in restaurants like Le Clan, Bistro Hortus, Alphonse and Justine. Of course, to make a great meal, you need top-quality fresh ingredients; Québec City is surrounded by fertile land and first-class farms. Take a quick trip out to Île d’Orléans and sample some local specialities, including the island’s famous strawberries and irresistible wines.
As for Jeff, he loves Québec for its vibrant energy: there's never a dull moment. He’s an American immigrant who can't get enough of the city’s atmosphere and friendly locals. He loves the city’s architecture and beauty, but insists it’s the people who make Québec City so special. And as an English speaker, he’s never found it difficult to get by in what is a predominantly French-speaking town. As he says, the language barrier is insignificant.
Of course, a city isn’t defined by its centre alone, but also by its surroundings. Fans of the great outdoors will love the natural playgrounds all around Québec City. Take Gabriel, a mountain-biker and nature lover, who says that what he most loves about Québec is its proximity to nature. Proximity is the key word here. The genuinely breathtaking scenery at the Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier is mere minutes away, with its many hiking trails and gorgeous river. So is the spectacular waterfall at the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency. And if you want to take in a park without leaving town, try the Plains of Abraham: the site of the decisive battle between the British and French back in 1759 is now a magnificent park studded with picturesque historic fortifications and offering grandiose views over the St. Lawrence River.
Another special destination just outside of Québec is Wendake, a picturesque First Nations territory situated on the Akiawenrahk River that gives visitors a taste of Huron-Wendat culture. As Wendake resident Danika says, "The culture, the place, the people; I just find it so vibrant and colourful." At Wendake you can stay at the Hotel-Musée Premières Nations, where you can experience legendary First Nations hospitality, admire architecture reminiscent of a traditional longhouse and visit La Traite restaurant to enjoy a meal made with ingredients from the boreal forest.
So, there you have it! A snapshot of what you can see and do in and around Québec City. Of course, there’s a lot more to inspire you in this exciting and historical capital. The best way to discover it all is to come visit and experience it for yourself! We look forward to welcoming you.