Quebec City: Canada's Most Charming Historical Destination

You'll recall that Quebec City was one of my picks for a picture-perfect white Christmas. I've had the pleasure of spending some time in Quebec City as a child visiting close friends of the family. As an Air Canada summer flight attendant, I always enjoyed the short flights and pleasant layovers in Quebec City. I thought I would wrap up this series on charming Quebec communities for corporate events and incentive travel by shining a spotlight on Quebec City, a destination for all seasons.

Quebec City

Photo Credit: Manu_H

Quebec City, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, is a veritable time capsule. It was ruled by France between 1608 and 1759 (with the exception of 1627 -1632). While the Battle of the Plains of Abraham put Quebec City and the rest of New France under British control, the charm of its heritage can be seen everywhere. Archaeological digs are revealing much about Quebec's history. The Quebec heritage site highlights the 11 styles of architecture that have shaped the Quebec City we see today. Quebec City is the only remaining walled city in North America.

How to Get There

Travel from Montreal to Quebec city in ease and comfort in First Class aboard VIA Rail Canada's Renaissance trains. During the summer, there are a number of dinner and day cruises that will take you from Old Montreal along the St. Lawrence River to Quebec City.

Winter

Quebec City ChristmasIn the winter, you'll want to schedule your visit to take in special events like the Quebec Winter Carnival and the Hotel du Glace. There is also the Quebec City Winter Pentathlon with skating rinks and animations on the Plains of Abraham, the Red Bull Crashed Ice event with a 1765 ft. course that snakes through old Montreal. The jumps and hairpin turns are not for the faint or heart. There is also ice climbing at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency and snow shoeing, cross-country and back country skiing along the Sentier des Caps trail.

For visitors in search of quieter pursuits, Musee national des beaux-arts du Quebec will delight art lovers of all ages. Marche du Vieux-Port de Quebec operates all year. Team fun can include a shopping competition for fresh food and a cooking event to prepare it.

Summer

Quebec City SummerTour the old city in a horse-drawn caleche. Hike, camp and canoe at Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier. If you're lucky you'll see moose and deer. Go bird watching in Cote-de-Beaupre. Explore Canyon Ste.-Anne with its huge suspension bridges.

When you're in Quebec City, you'll want to take some time to go to Wendake to experience the First Nations hospitality and culture of the self-governing Huron- Wendat nation.

Festival d'ete de Quebec (Quebec Summer Festival @QcSummerFest), Quebec City's most popular outdoor music festival, started in 1968 when 7 young artists had a vision for showcasing the city's vibrant arts and cultural scene. Every year, during the first 2 weeks of July, the festival now attracts 1.5 million visitors who turn out to see local talent and headliners from every corner of the globe. The carnival-like atmosphere includes musicians, visual artists, dancers, and jugglers.

Event Venues

If you're looking for unique venues for business meetings, banquets, galas, or conferences, Quebec City has a variety of theaters, parks, and museums. There is also a convention center, an aquarium and an observatory. For a real treat, try:

  • Astral The rotating restaurant at Loews Hotel Le Concorde.
  • Espaces Dalhousie An upscale venue with stunning views of the St. Lawrence River at Vieux Port de Quebec (the old port).
  • Musee de l'Amerique francaise Canada's oldest museum has renovated its chapel for events.
  • Manoir Montmorency From this luxury venue with a capacity of 600, guests can enjoy a breathtaking view of Canada's tallest waterfall.

Where to Dine

Savor the delights of traditional Quebec, Asian fusion, New Orleans, and trendy Italian cuisine (coming soon to Il Matto to Hotel 71). Search the Cvent Supplier Network for Places to Dine in Quebec City.

Where to Stay

Fellow Canada-based Cvent blogger provided an excellent introduction to Quebec city and profiled 2 hotels; Fairmont Chateau Frontenac and Chateau Bonne Entente, a boutique hotel.

Boutique hotels with the charm of Old Quebec include:

  • In the Old Port Area across from the St. Lawrence River, Hotel le Priori featuring loft-style suites with fireplaces & Auberge Saint-Antoine
  • Hotel Le Clos Saint-Louis inside the historic walls
  • Hôtel Cap Diamant in a historical house

For a relaxing time at the lake, stay at Auberge Duchesnay in a lodge or cabin. Horse lovers will enjoy Village Vacances Valcartier, a vacation community with a waterpark located 6 miles from the equestrian center. Auberge La Seigneurie de la Valcartier is an excellent choice for small corporate teams that enjoy horse riding in the summer and skiing in the winter.

Photo Credit: theaterculture

Photo Credit: ekatie

For more information, view the Quebec City Destination Guide and search the Cvent Supplier Network for event venues and hotels in Quebec City.

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