A woman approached me as I stood on a downtown Quebec City sidewalk, staring at a street map. “English or French?“ she said kindly, pointing me in the right direction in English.
Such friendliness toward visitors is not unusual in Quebec City, a vibrant, safe, family-friendly city that’s only a day’s drive from New York City. Yet it feels like a whole other world.
Picture 18th century stone walls, horse drawn carriages leisurely clopping through arched stone entrances, cafes with outdoor seating, and lots of twinkly lights.
The food only enhances the international feel of this great family destination. Guinea fowl was the feature entrée of a delicious catered dinner at Fortifications of Quebec National Historic Site Artillery Park where we toured the barracks, captains quarters and ate in the elaborate dining hall. There are several immersive activities here ranging from costume making to guided tours and tea time – something for every age.
Another spot in Quebec that offers a feel for what life was like back then — including the city’s architecture and military history — were at the Saint-Louis Forts and Chateau National Historic Site.
For crepes, eat the chocolate crepes at Au Petite Coin Creton. They are, hands down, the best crepes we had in Quebec.
Sometimes it was just nice to stroll the streets near our perfectly located hotel, Hotel Chateau Laurier Quebec. It is a great spot for families with a full buffet breakfast, indoor pool, gym, and wine vending machine for parents. We were only two blocks from the Citadel (where you can witness the changing of the guard), and a straight shot to the heart of Quebec City. Literally next door to the hotel is Grand Allee, a street lined with stores, restaurants, cafes and art galleries (tip: you walk a lot in Quebec City, so pack comfy shoes). I can recommend the tuna salad and any dessert at Savini, a restaurant just a few steps from the hotel that turns into a popular night club after dark.
Speaking of after dark, I felt completely safe walking alone in Quebec City, for summer festivals or winter carnival, which is one of the reasons I recommend it for a girl’s getaway. I love to walk in a new place, which usually means I find myself on a street that seems a little, well, creepy. Even the less populated areas were clean and safe.
For a full itinerary of this press trip, read Peachhead in Quebec by founder, Linda Perry.
And for a guy’s view read musician and photographer, Bill King’s, New France Festival (A Camera’s View).