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Why You Should Go to Quebec City—and What to Do While You're There

By Collier Lumpkin

Oct 15, 2015

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The view from Quebec City's citadel
Photo by Collier Lumpkin

The view from Quebec City's citadel

The food, the wildlife, the cobblestone streets: visit one of the most picturesque spots in North America now

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Through the endless wooden staircases and winding lines to get on the lower-city funicular, Quebec City is a reminder that what goes down, must come up. Founded by opportunistic French fur traders in 1608, le Vieux Quebec remains a stalwart outpost perched on the edge of the St. Lawrence River. The city's history is riddled with stories of famine, fire, and fistfights—but today, it's more about the cobblestones and continental cuisine. 

The city itself is one of the most picturesque places in North America, but a visitor would be remiss if he or she didn't rent a car for a few days to explore the beauty of the surrounding area. A day on the Ile D’Orleans allows for a pastoral escape from the hustle of the main downtown corridor. And a slightly longer trip to breathe in the crisp air of the Saguenay Fjord or the pine-scented breeze of the Parc National de Jacques-Cartier highlights the geographic complexity of the Canadian taiga. When taken as a complete package, the natural beauty of the Quebec City area handsomely demonstrates why she has been such a draw to river-traveling visitors for the past 400 years.

Best Places to try Authentic Québécois Foods
Authentic bistros, French-inflected patisseries, innovative wild game and seafood dishes. Quebec City is a gastronomic wonderland.

Best Hikes around Quebec City
The stunning views of the region reward travelers who decide to get away from the city. Explore the wildlife, waterfalls, and forests, and breathe the freshest air.

Most Picturesque Streets in Quebec City
Meander the cobblestone alleyways and streets of this beautiful town.

Best Places in Quebec City to Gather a Picnic
Exceedingly fresh seafood, produce gathered from local farms, and delicious charcuterie. We think a picnic is the perfect idea—and don't forget a bottle of cider or some local ice wine.

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