If you are looking for a winter wonderland get away then Québec City, Canada is exactly where you need to be.
Shrouded in history it is one of the North America’s oldest settlements (1608). And to this day it still holds a European charm throughout its architecture and cuisine. A true French Canadian town, it is inevitably alluring in every way possible.
Where to Stay ~ Le Chateau Frontenac
This enchanting hotel was built in 1893 by the Canadian Pacific Railway. It’s soaring turrets and large castle like features dominate Québec City’s skyline, making it a striking sight to see. Arguably the most photographed hotel in the world, the Chateau offers just as much beauty on the inside as it exudes on the out. Having undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, it pays tribute to its charismatic past, all the while providing modern comforts to suit any guest. The views of the St. Lawrence River are incredible, along with the busy sights of Old Québec.
This is a rotating restaurant where you can have a 360 degree view of Québec City in all its glory. Definitely make sure you schedule your time here as sun is setting, basking a glow over beautiful Old Québc
1608 – Wine and Cheese Bar ~
Located right inside Le Chateau Frontenac we stopped by for cocktails and appetizers 3 out of the 4 nights we stayed. A white marble bar with pink leather seats set the tone for this fun cocktail extravaganza. Besides they have great cheese boards, and who doesn’t want that????
Le Continental ~
Conveniently located right next to Le Chateau Frontenac, this cozy restaurant doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once you step foot inside you are in for a treat. Known for their filets, these chefs do steak right. Cooked in front of you, with flames reaching towards the ceiling, they create the most satisfying filet mignon I have ever had. A perfectly cooked (to your liking) 8 oz filet, that they top with any sauce or seasoning you would like. We had to refrain from going two nights in a row.
Bistro Le Sam ~
Also right inside of Le Chateau Frontenac, this quaint bistro is open for lunch and dinner. It has a seasonal menu and we tried the bison tartar – delicious! And my salmon dish was so tasty and fresh, Matt opted for the lamb, which I swear he inhaled. Obviously Bistro Le Sam was a winner. They have a pretty lively crowd along with a musician playing live music.
Saint Amour ~
Paul McCartney’s favorite restaurant in Québec City. Need I say more? Chef Jean-Luc Boulay is culinary mastermind. We tried the recommend duck foie gras, which was so tender, and dressed with a sweet fruit puree. I opted for the lobster ravioli, which was nothing like ravioli, yet heaven on a plate. Yes, I said heaven, because it is the only word I can describe for this experience.
I can’t remember the last time I ate a meal so incredibly slow because I dreaded the ending. “Hmmmm” was all I could say after each and every morsel. I enjoyed this meal with one of the finest white burgundies I have had the pleasure of trying. It was a delightful and intricate dance consisting of a bite of the savory meal, followed by a sip of the beautifully texturized burgundy which was layered with intoxicating flavors. So when I describe this meal as “heaven”, that is precisely what I mean. I aim to go back to this restaurant again, some things are to good not to enjoy twice.
Things to do ~
Winter Carnival ~ The world’s largest winter carnival is located right in the middle of Quebec City every year! Every park is full of different sites and things to do. There are little warming huts to grab food, along with a tasty beverage, whether it be a cocktail, or a soothing hot chocolate. All around you are kids screaming with delight and adults full of laughter. There are ice sculptures, song and dances, a petting zoo, a playground for the kids, ice formations to travel through, games on games, and hills to slide down. Right outside of Le Chateau Frontenac is a fabulously fast tobaggon run.
My favorite treat was the maple syrup snow candy! All through out the carnival were stations to get get one and it was so fun to watch. They pour maple syrup onto a ledge of snow, then put a popsicle stick at one end. Once the maple syrup has “froze” enough in the snow, you roll it up with the the stick and have a cold sweet snack!
Dog Sledding ~ This has been a bucket list item for me for many years. Not only because I love dogs, but because I know these dogs love to run through the snow. Its like a job for them. I didn’t realize how much they enjoyed it until we got the full experience. These dogs were whining to get going from the moment we showed up, and whenever we stopped for a moment they just wanted to keep running. I don’t know which part was better – the sledding, or cuddling with all the puppies at the end of our tour.
Village Vacances Valcartier ~
Located 20 minutes outside of the city is a full on winter playground. There are tubing slides, more than we could keep count of, and an ice hotel located within the park. The hills to tube down were not small by any means, most were actually extremely steep. Matt had the time of his life, while I spent a majority of time paralyzed with fear. I still managed to go down the runs he wanted to, even if I screamed every time.
The Ice Hotel ~
The ice hotel was just recently moved to the inside of the Valcartier park. It takes 50 days to build and it goes up depending on weather. I received a lot of questions, and comments, while we were there and I was snapchatting and using insta-stories. To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with it. I actually asked Matt if we could stay a night there while I was planning the trip, but he said no. After seeing it I was so happy he did. There are no doors, only curtains to the rooms. Obviously it would be hard to put doors into ice. Although the bar area looked like a good time, the fact that it was inside an amusement park was still a little odd for me. But, it’s definitely worth a look around to see how its done!
Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré ~
A stunning example of architecture, this church sits about 19 miles east of Québec City. Known as the “Church of Miracles” because it has been credited by the Catholic Church with many miracles of curing the sick and disabled. Almost 500,000 pilgrims make it to the church each year around July 26th, the feast of Saint Anne. You are allowed in the sanctuary, however no photos are allowed. Ornate details throughout every square inch, stained glass windows illuminated with natural light, and soaring arches fill the magnificent space. It is true architectural brilliance.
Québec City is definitely one of my favorite Canadian Cities thus far. The people are happy, the food was amazing, and the city is beyond gorgeous.
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Have you been to Canada? If so what’s your favorite Canadian town?