Quebec Province in Canada is one of the best destinations in North America for a big taste of Europe, especially in historic Quebec City. Though a large number of visitors head straight to beautiful Montreal or Quebec City, there are a total of 22 unique regions to explore, each offering a special historical, cultural, and geographic perspective. From ancient fiefs to cosmopolitan cities, from woodland estates to sprawling seaports, Quebec is an all-encompassing tourist destination that will pique just about every curiosity possible.
Jacques Cartier is synonymous with Quebec. It was he who was sent by the King is France in 1534 to Gaspé to take control of Inuit and Amerindian lands who had possession for thousands of years. Arriving at the northern shores of the mighty St Lawrence River in 1608, Samuel de Champlain stepped onto an Aboriginal-named point they called “Kébec.” Little more than three decades later in 1642, a Catholic mission was founded by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve. This mission, called Ville-Marie, later evolved into Montreal near the turn of the 18th century. Quebec City, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a stunning reminder of the province’s history. The waterways and roads signal endless reminders of the life led by Quebec’s initial settlers: chapels and historic churches, ancestral homes, lighthouses and mills, and plenty of bridges.
Quebec City & Montreal
Both Quebec City and Montreal are cultural provincial hotspots and two of the most renowned destination in Quebec Province. The endless array of activities available for all ages is the magnet that keeps both world travelers and nationals returning again and again. Historic landmarks, museums, street-side cafes, vibrant shopping areas; these comprise many of the standard tourist spots in Quebec City. In Montreal the setting is decidedly more multi-national with a large majority of city residents speaking both French and English. Montreal is well-known for eclectic and exciting nightlife, wonderful restaurants, and excellent shopping opportunities. Here too, visitors will find things to do for all ages and interests from downtown to the outskirts of the city.
Quebec province is known nationally and internationally for its incredibly diverse backdrop, from stunning historic cities to scenic backcountry woodlands and sparkling lakes. Within the more natural settings, there is a wide scope of outdoor recreation available. Fishing is a major draw, with opportunity for both guided and independent excursions, from drive-in lake sites to fly-in fishing spots deep in Quebec backcountry. Hiking is another of the top attractions when exploring outdoors. From the International Appalachian Trail to Gaspesie National Park, Quebec offers wildlife reserves, national and regional parks to hike along with several picturesque trails on the grounds of some very famous ski resorts.
From boat tours to full-on all-day and week-long cruises, hitting the rivers and scenic waterways in Quebec is a must during vacations. The St Lawrence River is one of the best ways to enjoy a Quebec Province tour. It stretches for almost 700 miles across the province from east to west. This is front-row scenery at its best with hundreds of bird species, plant life, and marine animals to see along with Quebec’s best urban and natural landscapes. Anyone itching to get a look at some of most gentle giants living in the surrounding waters can enjoy a wide range of options for whale watching. The St Lawrence is home to thirteen whale species along with humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Ports along the St Lawrence gulf and estuary offer tours between May and October daily on everything from small, private boats to large cruise ships. One of the top places to spot whales is within Saguenay/St Lawrence Marine Park.
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