Québec City at its Best

In 2017, Québec City Should Be at the Top of Your Bucket List

Credit: Jeff Frenette Photography

Québec City is, in my opinion, the best destination in Canada. Fortified city, European charm, cobbled streets, vibrant festivals, and delicious food made with locally grown and produced ingredients; all of these things help to set Québec City apart from the rest of Canada - but that is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of why you should visit Québec City this year. 2017 is a big year, and while Canada will be celebrating 150 years of confederation, Montréal will also be celebrating its 375th anniversary. 

Montréal 375th anniversary

Needless to say, Montréal has an impressive list of activities and events, many of which I hope to attend myself during one of my Montréal day trips this year. If you’re planning to visit Montréal, and enjoying their 375th anniversary festivities, I highly suggest making room in your schedule to enjoy the events and festivals in Québec City as well.

The journey from Montréal to Québec City is only 3 hours by train, and about 2.5 hours by vehicle. It is the perfect side trip, and while you could visit Québec City for a day, I suggest staying at least a night or two - it is the best way to experience the various activities and events that the city has to offer.

Canada’s 150th anniversary in Québec City

As final preparations are made for the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the events calendar for Québec City is quickly filling up! There are, of course, popular annual festivals like:

  • Festival d’été de Québec is one of the largest music festivals in Canada and will be celebrating its 50th year in 2017 (July 6-16, 2017). During this eleven-day festival, over 300 musical acts, big and small, will perform on various stages in the city.
  • Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France (New France festival) will take place on August 9 to 13. Wander the cobbled streets and admire locals dressed in 17th and 18th century clothing as they showcase life in the early days of New France. Plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy.

While I love each of the above festivals and look forward to attending them each year, there are some other incredible events planned in Québec City in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary

  • New Year’s Eve - Say goodbye to 2017 at one of the biggest outdoor celebrations in Canada. Ride the ferris wheel and enjoy views of Old Québec, the Plains of Abraham, and Grande Allée. Try out the 200m urban zip line. Enjoy heated outdoor patios. Soak up the party atmosphere of the outdoor concert.
  • Rendez-vous 2017 - While there are several stops on this transatlantic race, Québec City is the main rallying point in Canada, and will welcome 40 tall ships and over 30,000 crew members. From July 18 to 23, 2017 you’ll be able to tour several of the tall ships, as well as participate in family-friendly activities along the docks. This is sure to be one of the best events of 2017. 
  • Taste Gourmet Foods - from June 9 to 11, Resto-Rue 2017 takes over the City Hall garden’s; as chefs from some of Old Québec’s best restaurants serve up tastings that are sure to delight your taste buds. Yummy and affordable gourmet tastings.

Ottawa 2017

Canada’s 150th anniversary is a huge nationwide event, with many Canadians making plans to celebrate Canada Day (July 1) in Ottawa. While the festivities in Ottawa will be wonderful, don’t forget to make room in your schedule to come to Québec City as well.

The history of Canada is filled with interesting twists and turns, and visiting both Ottawa and Québec City is one of the best ways to truly understand how Canada became the country that it is today. Ottawa serves as our country’s capital. Québec City serves as the oldest city in Canada. At over four hundred years of age, Québec City is the historic heart of Canada. This is where it all began. Where the mix of French and British cultures began; where some of the first immigrants arrived - starting our country’s multicultural heritage.

If you’re headed to Ottawa in 2017, please, make the trip to Québec City as well. The trip between Ottawa and Québec City is not too long: a fun-filled five-hour road trip along the St. Lawrence River (HWY 138 is one of the more beautiful and historic route in Québec); or a relaxing train ride with VIA Rail. 

It’s the best moment to visit

No matter which time of year you plan to visit Québec City, you are guaranteed to have an amazing experience. Open your heart and mind; take in the city’s "big village" vibe; dine on traditional Québecois cuisine; experience the history and culture of the city, and learn about how it has helped to shape Canada into the wonderful country that it is today.

Québec City is waiting for you!

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