Once you’ve thoroughly wandered through the gorgeous historical centre of Quebec City, why not take a day trip and explore the region’s parks, hiking trails and waterfalls?
Although there’s a lot to enjoy in Quebec City, there’s also plenty to see and do right outside the city. If you want to explore more of this beautiful area of French Canada, be adventurous and take a trip out of town. There are plenty of places where you can rent a car for a quick and easy day trip.
Here are a few ideas for day trip adventures just outside Quebec City.
This lush nature park, open to visitors from June through October, is located to the east of Quebec City in the town of Baie-St-Paul. It was designed as a place of rest where outdoor lovers can enjoy hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Beautiful walking trails lead you through the rugged forest to the manor house. Once you are there, you can hike to two different waterfalls and then continue to the banks of the St. Lawrence. You can also visit the nearby Lake Laure-Conan, located in a beautiful thick forest. It’s the perfect setting for a picnic.
The Island of Orleans is an island in the St. Lawrence River located only 5 km away from Quebec City. The island is short bike ride and the perfect place for a relaxing day trip.
Ile d’Orleans was one of the first areas to be colonized by the French and is considered the birthplace of North American francophone culture. Its pastoral character has been well-preserved and offers the quintessential example of traditional Quebec. It is also home to a number of charming bistros. So after you’ve worked up an appetite from biking you can relax and enjoy a great meal.
This stunning waterfall is 83 metres high, 30 metres taller than the world-famous Niagara Falls. It is an awe-inspiring natural spectacle to behold and it is only 12 km from the centre of Quebec City.
The falls are the highest in the province and they are formed by the Montmorency River dropping over the cliff shore into the St. Lawrence River. There are several viewing platforms and staircases that will allow you to see the falls from different perspectives. The suspension bridge that goes over the falls provides a stunning view. During the summer, an international fireworks competition is hosted here, with Montmorency Falls providing a spectacular backdrop to the fireworks displays.
Basilique de Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre
Located up the road in the beautiful and peaceful village of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre, the enormous Basilique de Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre is open for tours. This is one of the most prominent Catholic churches in Canada and it has been credited as the site of many miracles since it was built in 1876. There has been a church on this site since French explorers erected the first chapel back in 1658. People of all faiths are welcome to visit this impressive building and approximately half a million people from all over the world make pilgrimages here every year.
This visually striking building has two towering spires and a stunning white interior with 200 detailed and colourful stained-glass windows. The Chapel of the Scala Sancta was constructed in 1891 and has a replica of the 28 steps that Jesus had to climb before he received his sentence from Pontius Pilate. Admission to the Basilica is free and masses are held daily.
These are just a few suggestions of where to go on a day trip near Quebec City. Once you have explored the historical centre of this beautiful Canadian city, why not journey farther and see what you can find?
Image from Flickr’s Creative Commons
About the Author: Jacques Ethier is a travel blogger who lives in Quebec City. He offers tips on the best Quebec hotels and great activities to enjoy within the region.