Places to Hang Out in the Summer
Summer always seems to end too quickly. Luckily, Québec City is full of places to make the most of our favourite fleeting season. Discover the best spots to hang out and go for a stroll in and around Old Québec.
- Old Québec
- Pierre-Nic Lessard
It all began in Place Royale, the birthplace of French civilization in North America.
In 1608, Samuel de Champlain chose this site for his fortified “abitation,” New France's first permanent settlement. Rich traders set up shop there, and with the erection of a bust of Louis XIV, the market square became place Royale.
There is something magical about place Royale whatever the time of year. Be sure to visit the church of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, an official historic site. Construction on the church began in 1687 on the site of Champlain's first residence, making this the second oldest church in the Americas north of Mexico. A castle-shaped altar shows how people saw the city at the time.
- Place de Paris, Ville de Québec
Place de Paris
This square is just steps away from Place Royale, the oldest square in the city. With its European vibe, it’s a great place for a break after a round of shopping and a coffee from Maison Smith.
- Stéphane Groleau
Place des Canotiers
Every year, thousands of cruise ship passengers who call at Place des Canotiers are thrilled by the stunning view that embraces Château Frontenac, the city's fortifications, the Petit Champlain district, and the Old Port.
Equally popular with the locals who never tire of looking out over the busy river, this is a great place for a stroll.
- Ville de Québec
City Hall Gardens
A stroll along Rue Saint-Jean, which becomes a fully pedestrian street inside the city walls, will take you to Québec’s centrally located “hôtel de ville,” or city hall. The gardens feature a splash pad perfect for cooling down on a hot day. There are also spots around the building to sit down and admire Codex Populi—an outdoor public art installation that’s 23 metres (75 ft.) high—and the view of Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral.
- Jeff Frenette Photography
This square is a classic meet-up spot in Old Québec. It’s home to 4 of the city’s most iconic structures: the fortifications, Palais Montcalm, the Capitole, and the magnificent Le Diamant theatre.
- The Governor's Promenade, Ville de Québec
Promenade des Gouverneurs
Named in honour of Governor General Lord Dufferin, it forms an extension of Dufferin Terrace in front of the Château Frontenac.
Avid walkers of all stripes as well as amateur photographers seeking striking pictures of the river won't be off by the many stairs along this multi-level walkway; the unforgettable panoramas they experience along the way are ample reward for all the effort.
- Place Richard Garneau, SDC Montcalm
Whether for a quick stretch in the sun or with an ice cream cone from Glacier Aberdeen or Chocolats Favoris, a quick stop at Place Richard-Garneau, at the corner of Cartier Avenue and René-Lévesque, is always a welcome pausa.
- Marina Saint-Roch, Ville de Québec
This charming marina is right beside a heated semi-Olympic public pool that looks out over the Saint Charles River. It’s an ideal spot to relax and cool down and has a fun, vacation-y vibe.
- Étienne Dionne
Lying on the border between Saint-Sauveur and Saint-Roch along the Saint-Charles River, this big park has it all. For athletic types, there are soccer fields, tennis and basketball courts, a bike path, a footpath, children’s play areas, a splash pad, and more! Otherwise, it’s just a great place for a picnic—especially since gas BBQs are allowed, as is alcohol to go with your meal.
- Placette Saint-Sauveur, Ville de Québec
As the name suggests, Placette Saint-Sauveur is a tiny little square on the corner of Rue Saint-Vallier Ouest. Go for the market on Saturdays, or just to have a sit at the “placette.”
- Ville de Québec
For great food and quality family time, head to this fun spot beside Grand Marché. Québec’s biggest farmer’s market has a wonderful variety of local products, with a green space next door where BBQs and alcohol are allowed. Relax in the Adirondack chairs under hundred-year-old trees as the kids play on the splash pad and the huge playground. Get ready to take home the “Funnest Parent of the Year” award!
- Place Limouloise, Ville de Québec
In Limoilou, part of 3e Avenue becomes a pedestrian zone every evening and on Sunday afternoons for the farmer’s market. So fun!
- Promenade Samuel-De-Champlain, Audet Photo
- Promenade Samuel-De Champlain, Ville de Québec
Promenade Samuel-de Champlain
This park along the St. Lawrence River is a total gem. It’s perfect for biking, rollerblading, or just walking along the river to enjoy the cool breeze and the view of the bridges. There’s also an infinity pool, a beach, a splash pad, wide open spaces for flying kites, and outdoor furniture for picnics and chilling in the sun.
- Parc de la plage Jacques-Cartier, Québec City Tourism
Parc de la plage Jacques-Cartier
Looking for a nice spot for a stroll, or in the mood to just gaze out over the water? Parc de la plage Jacques-Cartier is the place for you. Reserved for pedestrians only, this linear park features exceptional scenery and one of the best views of the two bridges spanning the river. Bring a picnic; tables are available.