7 Perfect Days With the Family in Québec City and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
The Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region is less than 200 km away from Québec City. Just drive up Route 175 and voilà! You’re in a whole other world. Route 175 is a beautiful forest highway that takes you past Jacques-Cartier National Park and through the Laurentides wildlife reserve. And with all the fun things to see and do in both Québec City and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, your family will have a blast from start to finish. Ready? Let’s go!
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5
- Day 6
- Day 7
- See the Amazing Aquarium and Fall in Love With Old Québec
Day 1 See the Amazing Aquarium and Fall in Love With Old Québec
- Jeff Frenette Photography
Aquarium du Québec13.21 km
Get ready for an encounter with over 10,000 marine animals representing 300 different species. The polar bears, walruses, and seals are always a big hit with visitors of all ages. Don’t forget your bathing suits so you can cool off at the splash pad, and be sure to purchase your tickets online before you go.
- Jeff Frenette Photography
Québec City’s historic district is all European charm, making it a must-see in every season. You can walk the walls between the Saint-Jean and Saint-Louis gates, stroll the cobblestone streets (they’re car-free on weekends), and admire the sweeping views from the Upper Town. Of course you’ll also want to see the famous Château Frontenac, the Parliament building, and the Plains of Abraham. The sector will be especially lively this summer, with a ton of COVID-friendly surprise activities and performances.
- Splash it up at Village Vacances Valcartier Waterpark and Explore Québec City’s Lower Town
Day 2 Splash it up at Village Vacances Valcartier Waterpark and Explore Québec City’s Lower Town
- Jeff Frenette Photography
Village Vacances Valcartier Waterpark35.16 km
Spend unforgettable moments as a family at a waterpark with 35 slides, multiple splashpads, 2 adventure rivers, and a huge wave pool, all heated. Don’t forget your sunscreen and buy your tickets in advance.
- Fill up on Fresh Air and Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Day 3 Fill up on Fresh Air and Enjoy the Great Outdoors
- Mathieu Dupuis
Jacques-Cartier National Park
Admire the spectacular scenery of the Jacques-Cartier River Valley on a hike or out on the river. With over 100 km of hiking trails, you’re sure to find one that hits all the right notes. After your hike, you can go kayaking, canoeing, or SUPing and cool down in the Jacques-Cartier River. Don’t forget to prepay the entrance fee before you go.
- Head to Lac-Saint-Jean
Day 4 Head to Lac-Saint-Jean
- Sépaq - Réserve faunique des Laurentides
Route 175179.60 km
Keep your eyes peeled! This scenic highway has tons of wildlife crossings for creatures great and small. They keep the animals safe and are usually pretty busy!
- Village historique Val-Jalbert
Val-Jalbert Historic Village
Val-Jalbert is an authentic village from the early 1900s known as the site of the magnificent Ouiatchouan Falls. It also boasts a fine dining restaurant and cozy B&Bs in period homes. Be sure to recharge your phone on the road so you can capture your travels back in time.
- A Different Kind of Zoo
Day 5 A Different Kind of Zoo
- Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien
Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien
This wildlife zoo is home to 95 different species that live in the boreal forest, for a total of over 1,000 animals. With memorable experiences like the Nature Trail Park, where the humans are “caged in” aboard a train with mesh openings and the animals roam freely. Note that this year, you’ll need to book your tickets in advance online.
- Lake, Beach, Water Sports and Cycling
Day 6 Lake, Beach, Water Sports and Cycling
- Parc national de la Pointe-Taillon, Charles-David Robitaille
Parc national de la Pointe-Taillon
If you like the peace and quiet of being out in nature, you’ll love Pointe-Taillon, a park with a huge sandy beach along Lac Saint-Jean that can only be reached by bike or on foot. The beauty of the beach and the lovely bike paths and hiking trails are sure to be a hit with the whole family. Note that this year, you have to prepay the entrance fee on the SEPAQ website before you go.
- Discovering the Saguenay Fjord
Day 7 Discovering the Saguenay Fjord
- Parc aventures Cap Jaseux, Charles-David-Robitaille
Parc aventures Cap Jaseux93.07 km
Be sure to spend time at this outdoor and ecotourism adventure park on the edge of the Saguenay Fjord. You can even stay the night in a treehouse, a suspended sphere, a windowed dome, or a log cabin. The park has hiking trails, a beach, guided kayak excursions, a ropes course in the trees for all ages and ability levels, a via ferrata, and a campground.
- Parc national du Fjord du Saguenay, JMDecoste
Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay
This park spans both sides of the majestic Saguenay Fjord. Explore them on the hiking trails or on a bike and try the via ferrata that runs along the rockface in the Baie-Éternité Sector. The Baie-Sainte-Marguerite Sector on the other side is the place to go to see beluga whales. You can camp at the park or stay in an Echo Cabin. Visitors to the park this year are required to prepay the entrance fee online before they arrive.
You can get back to Québec City the way you came, through the park, but for just a few more minutes of driving, you can take the loop that goes past Saint-Siméon and through Charlevoix. It has gorgeous views of the St. Lawrence River and gives you a chance to see another part of the province. Enjoy the trip!