Quebec City, QC, Canada
Charlevoix: A Postcard Region Created By A 350 Million Year Old MeteorQuebec earned the nickname La Belle Province honestly. Perhaps nowhere is this in evidence, than inside one of the only populated meteor craters on Earth, Charlevoix. Inside that 40 mile wide depression, visitors will find family dairies, bicycle trails, hotels and lodges, and foods and cheeses which attract thousands. Some 80 km East of Quebec City, and accessible by car or a scenic rail excursion, this is a jewel of the Saint-Lawrence. Traveling between Québec City and La Malbaie over more than 125 km, the Charlevoix Railway train stops in seven towns and coastal villages. In the beginning of its route, ready your camera- the railway crosses a small bridge in front of the waterfall at Montmorency. Keep it handy, because in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, the train stops by The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, a popular pilgrimage for healing, and a lovely edifice.
While one may cycle its Flavour Trail, you may need your car to take some of the delicacies with you from each stop. Vélo-Coudres is a great place to rent bicycles for the myriad trails, all blessed with mountain views at various heights. Charlevoix Éco-Mobilité can also outfit you with (electric) bikes for your sightseeing pleasure.
In quaint Baie-Saint-Paul, leisurely browse rue Saint-Jean-Baptiste, known for its many boutiques, shops, eateries and art galleries. The churches and chapels in Charlevoix are impressive, echoing Western Europe. The majestic Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu is one of the best known local properties, and will soon host a G-7 Global Economic Summit. In the peaceful setting of farm terrain, the Hôtel & Spa Le Germain Charlevoix features clean Scandinavian lines, sunny, glassed interiors, a petting zoo the little ones will enjoy, its first rate Spa Nordique, and dining amenities. Each weekend it hosts artisans and crafts sales.
In picturesque Saint-Jospeh-de-la-Rive, Auberge Beausejour is a fine, family operated hotel convenient to everything. From this town, a ferry ships travelers to Isle-aux-Coudres in only 15 minutes.
There one may make the large Hôtel Cap-aux-Pierres one's base. Here there is mini-putt golf, a game room, sumptuous breakfast buffet, walking access to a beach, and the friendly feel of a family lodge. Throughout the region, hotel staff will familiarize guests with foodie stops where wines, apple products, dairy, chocolates or maple goods may be tasted and purchased. Cidrerie et Verger Pedneault is a must for cider fans. In Charlevoix, there is something for every tourist, and long lasting memories to be made.