Quebec City in the winter is a magical place with all the charm of a European Christmas town, within easy driving distance of New England. Three days in Quebec allows visitors ample time to experience the best that the city has to offer!
On our first day, we strolled around Vieux-Quebec, which is the only walled city in North America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our first stop was the magnificent Chateau Frontenac, which towers over Old Quebec and is the most photographed hotel in the world.
From there, we took the breakneck steps down to Petite-Champlain, a quaint cobblestone street lined with quintessential shops and eateries. Wandering along the cobblestone, surrounded by twinkling lights and Christmas trees, we paused to listen as carolers gathered to sing a traditional song.
At the end of the street, we warmed ourselves by an outdoor fireplace before visiting Place Royale. At the center of this plaza stood a magnificent Christmas tree which was surrounded by historic buildings such as the stunning Notre Dame des Victories Cathedral.
A quick walk brought us to Grand Allee, a trendy street bustling with hungry people flocking to a plethora of bars and restaurants. A woman flew overhead on a zip line while a ferris wheel offered glorious city views. We dined on poutine at Les 3 Brasseurs, a delightful microbrewery. We then walked to Saint-Roch District in search of Macfly Bar and Arcade, where we were transported to the past. We enjoyed dozens of classic pinball and arcade games while sipping locally brewed pints and watching Edward Scissor Hands. It was a wonderful way to spend our first evening in Quebec!
On our second day in Quebec, we left the city behind to chase waterfalls. Montmorency Falls is 30 meters higher than Niagara Falls and just a 15 minute drive from the city. Standing at the base of the waterfall with the water roaring and spraying down was truly breathtaking.
We watched mesmerized as climbers scaled the icy cliffs surrounding the falls. After crawling through small ice caves, we headed to Hotel de Glace, which is worth freezing for!
We meandered through the frozen rooms, admiring the various themes and carvings which included a stunning chandelier and a life sized dog sled team! At the ice bar, we sipped a cocktail from a glass made of ice while lounging on ice benches draped with fur pelts.
Thoroughly inspired to return home and build an igloo, we headed back to the city. We ended the day with supper bought from the J.A. Moisan Epicerie, which is the oldest grocery store in North America!
On our third day in Quebec, we went ice skating at the Place d’Youville. Twirling about the ice with the fortifications of Vieux-Quebec rising behind us and traditional French Canadian music playing over the speakers was on par with any Hollywood romance. Next, we stopped at the Erico Chocolate Museum where we watched chocolate being made and admired a dress made of chocolate. In the evening, we returned to Chateau Frontenac where we braved the AU 1884 toboggan slide. Rushing down the wooden slide at 70 km/hr, our faces pelted with snow was a thrilling experience indeed!
After, we slipped our way along the icy Terasse Dufferin, admiring the mighty St. Lawrence and the sparkling streets below us.
On our final day, we sought our morning coffee at the famed Tim Hortons. Walking along Rue Saint Jean, blinded by heavy snowfall and gusting wind, with our Tim Hortons coffee in hand was a very Canadian end to our adventure!