Explore More: 6 Day Trip Destinations Just a Short Drive from Quebec City
While Quebec City is a destination that you'll never forget, why not make the most of your time here and take a day trip to explore the surrounding areas? After all, you may not have another chance to visit these amazing spots (unless you plan on coming back, and let's be honest, I hope you will!).
1- Charlevoix / Baie Saint-Paul
Escape the city and embark on a day trip to Charlevoix and Baie-Saint-Paul from Quebec City. In just 1.30h of scenic driving, you'll discover a captivating region filled with natural beauty and cultural charm. Explore Baie-Saint-Paul's artistic atmosphere, with its art galleries, boutique shops, and cozy cafes. Experience outdoor adventures in Le Massif de Charlevoix.You can try also a new attraction named "Le vol de l'oiseau mécanique" The moonlit chairlifts create a mesmerizing journey, allowing you to soar for nearly 6 km over the mountain, surrounded by a radiant and sensory ambiance..Get yourself in some restaurant to indulge in farm-to-table cuisine.Also have a look at la maison du Bootleger an out of the ordinary location with hidden doors to hide booze during the time of the prohibition (La tempérance).This day trip promises an unforgettable blend of relaxation, exploration, and inspiration.
You dont have car?
There other way to get around Baie Saint-Paul and one brand new! You can get to Baie Saint-Paul by going on a sceneric train from the Montmorency waterfall.But personally what I find the most interesting of this travel plan is to get there on the first Hydrolic train in north america. The future will be filled with green alternative to travel.The transition to more green alternatives in travel is an essential step towards achieving a more sustainable and eco-friendly future. I never try the train yet but this one I plan to try it this summer as well!
You can book your ticket and get info here
If you happen to have a car, take the opportunity to embark on breathtaking hikes in two remarkable locations: "Le Parc des Grands Jardins" and "Parc des Hautes Gorges." These parks offer unforgettable view of nature's finest landscapes.
Photo credit :Facebook de croisière AML
2- Whales Watching in Tadousac
Further away ...Extend your adventure to Tadoussac, a historic village nestled along the picturesque shores of the St. Lawrence River, where not only will you be captivated by stunning landscapes, but also have the opportunity to embark on an exhilarating whale-watching excursion. Witness majestic marine creatures, such as belugas and whales, swimming in their natural habitat, and get yourself in the rich history of New France at the Tadoussac Heritage Site, where remnants of the first French trading post in North America await, offering a deeper understanding of the region's remarkable historical significance.
You dont have car?
If you're looking to explore the Tadoussac area but you dont have car you're in luck! Several companies, such as Croisière Aml offer a bus ride and boat tour combos. Sit back, relax, and let them take care of the transportation logistics - more info here
Photo credit :Facebook du Parc national de la Jacque Cartier
3- Parc national de la Jacque Cartier
One of my favorite location! Nestled just outside of Quebec City, Jacques-Cartier National Park awaits with its breathtaking beauty and captivating outdoor experiences. Nature enthusiasts can explore the park's extensive network of hiking trails, offering stunning panoramic views and opportunities to spot wildlife, . Rent a canoe along the picturesque river is an absolute must. The park also boasts cozy campgrounds and rustic cabins, providing the perfect setting for an immersive overnight stay surrounded by nature's tranquility. Whether you're hiking, paddling, or simply taking in the serene ambiance, Jacques-Cartier National Park offers an unforgettable escape into Quebec's untamed wilderness, just a short distance from the city. You dont have car? There Quatre Nature has got you covered with their convenient shuttle service, whisking you away from the city center to the stunning Jacques-Cartier Park for an incredible adventure. For just around 40$, you can sit back and enjoy a ride to this amazing destination. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Jacques-Cartier Park, schedule and book here Dont forget your mosquito repellent and your sunscreen.
Photo credit de droite :Facebook du Motel Ile d'Orléans
4-Montmorency Waterfall/Île D'orléans
A day trip to Île d'Orléans and Chute Montmorency is an absolute must for those with limited time in Quebec City, offering a perfect respite from the city's hustle and bustle. Île d'Orléans, a picturesque island, beautiful landscapes, charming villages, and delightful opportunities to savor local produce and visit wineries. . While many wineries rely on hybrid grape varieties suited to our local weather conditions, there are also exceptional local products worth exploring among the diverse wineries. The heritage site of Île-d'Orléans stands as one of the earliest settlements in the St. Lawrence Valley, serving as a pivotal point for the migration of its population. Since 1680, the island has been the birthplace of numerous Francophone families, contributing significantly to the French-speaking communities across the Americas. You cannot miss the mesmerizing sight of the Saint Lawrence River transitioning from wide to narrow as you explore the island's edge.
Make sure to swing by Confiturie Tigidou for a treats that will leave you craving for more, and don't be shy to sample the mind-blowing cheese, Paillasson (One of my favorite)—it's so good!It is one of the oldest cheese recipe in North America! And oh, don't forget to pay a visit to Cassis Monna & Filles for a taste of their black currant liquor. What about renting a bike or scooter is not only a great way to explore the entire island but also a method to transform your sightseeing into an adventurous joyride. If you're up for some literary and musical charm, dive into the intriguing stories of the island's first European settler or the legendary poet and singer, Félix Leclerc, who holds a special place in the hearts of the locals. And hey, why not consider staying on the island itself? It's a quirky and delightful alternative to the bustling streets of Old Québec, giving you a chance to immerse yourself fully in the island's enchanting atmosphere.
Chute Montmorency is a majestic waterfall that surpasses Niagara Falls in height, offering amazing views, why not walk the suspension bridge, and exciting activities such as ziplining. This summer, the location has been enhanced with new additions, making it an even more enticing destination. For those seeking an active experience, I highly recommend descending the staircase and challenging yourself to climb the 487 stairs back up – a great workout with a rewarding sense of accomplishment. In the summer, try the thrilling via ferrata, and in the winter, get your inner Jon Snow by engaging in ice climbing around the falls, feel like the wall in Game of Thrones (a bit).
Benefits: Immerse in nature's beauty, experience the rich history of Île d'Orléans, and feel the power of Montmorency Falls, all while enjoying a refreshing day outside the Old Town of Quebec City.
You dont have car? To reach Chute Montmorency, hop on the 800 bus, which provides public transportation from the Old Town to the falls at regular intervals. Simply remain on the bus until you reach the final stop. You can purchase tickets at the Jac n Gil convenience store located on Saint-Jean Street or Saint Joseph Street. Alternatively, you can pay the exact fare directly on the bus. This hassle-free transportation option ensures easy access to the breathtaking wonders of Chute Montmorency.If you just want to see the falls,then you dont need any tour bus because public transportation will be your friend. It is the cheapest and best way to see the falls without schedule in my opinion!
If you want.you can enhance your experience by taking a guided bus ride, where an informative guide will provide you with in-depth information about the sights you see along the way. You can even consider joining a food and wine tasting tour with Quebec Bus Tour, where you can savor the flavors of the region while exploring Île d'Orléans. However, if you don't have a car, reaching Île d'Orléans can be a bit challenging.
Every year, I return and visit Wendake, the captivating Wendat First Nations reserve near Quebec City, driven by a deep desire to learn more about the Wendat nation. Whether I'm leading a school group or exploring on my own, the experience never fails to enrich the understanding and appreciation. Explore traditional longhouses and visiting the fascinating Huron-Wendat Museum. It is interesting to learn about them and the world of ancient traditions ,Wendake is not just a day trip; it's a transformative journey that invites us to embrace diversity, celebrate resilience, and foster cultural understanding.I suggest strongly to take their tour.
Have a walk and a glimpse of the small but beautiful Kabir Kouba Falls, consider renting a bike and taking the scenic Corridor des Cheminots. Although the shuttle from Old Quebec may no longer be available, the bike trail offers a picturesque journey through the Quebec suburb and countryside, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of nature on your way to Wendake.
Photo credit :Facebook de Grosse-Île
Grosse Île, is managed by Parks Canada, holds a significant place in history as an immigration quarantine station for Irish immigrants . This island served as a crucial entry point for thousands of Irish fleeing the Great Famine, seeking a better life in Canada. Today, visitors can explore the haunting remnants of the quarantine facilities, gain insights into the hardships faced by the Irish immigrants, and pay homage at the memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives. A visit can be quite interesting at la Grosse Île educational experience, shedding light on an important chapter in Canada's history.
I will soon update the list with few more idea in less than 2h00 driving!