Canada I’m back! Continuing my tradition of trying to get to Canada at least once a year- I hit up Quebec City Labor Day weekend with Joe for a short but packed weekend. I think we did a pretty good job of seeing all of the Old city of Quebec, as well as check out some nearby attractions, got in a good hike, chased some waterfalls, ate some damn good food, and of course- walked a ton. Just a quick 1.5hr flight from Philly, however Quebec makes you feel truly like you are in a different country. The weather this weekend was perfect- high 60's-low 70's, no rain until Monday- great time of year to visit for sure!
We flew in Saturday morning and ubered straight to the hotel. The first thing I noticed, Quebec City’s airport was like a ghost town- almost all deserted. It felt weird, I’m so used to a big, packed airport at this point, it was an eerie feeling to breeze through customs. 20mins later we checked into the Hilton – right on the edge of the Old Town, outside of the city walls. This was a great location, it made us walk a little, however in about 5mins you could be right in the action. Our first food fix was lunch at L’Omelette in the old city- you can take a guess what we had. From there we basically walked the city area, past the Fairmount hotel towering over the edge of the town looking out onto the water, up the walls and through the huge park right in the city limits. We only scratched the surface of the city park, it went all along the water for miles. It was an exploring day for sure, and after all that walking we had dinner at Chez Rioux and Pettigrew which was in a beautiful part of town. The décor there was adorable and cozy, the food was sophisticated but really good (smaller portions but that was ok)- great cocktails- really nice way to end our first very full day in Quebec.
Sunday: Took advantage of that Hilton breakfast, then walked to Hertz in old town to pick up our rental car and we were out of the city for an adventure day. We started out at Montmorency falls- about 15min drive outside of the city. Walked the paths up and around and down past the waterfall- spent about an hour there. Only fee was the parking. Next up we drove another half hour to Mount St Anne, a popular ski area, to get some hiking in. Well there was a huge mountain biking event going on that took over the mountain, so we attempted to hike around it. Would this hike have been way better without tons of drunk bike fans lining the path? Yes. But we did it, this extremely challenging hike that was about an hour straight up the mountain. Because of all the folks we actually took the ski lift down. From there we drove 10mins to St Anne’s Canyon- which I would recommend skipping if you go to Montmorency falls. Its just another waterfall- you have to pay an entrance fee, but do not skip if you want to do ziplining or repelling, a lot of people were doing that. However for hiking, or waterfall chasing, not worth it. From there we went to Baie St Paul, about another 30mins down the road. Adorable little quaint town with shops and restaurants, only a couple of blocks big. We grabbed a quick bite at L Orange and then drove back to QC (1hr 15min). From there we had dinner at L Echaude (bar seats- it was packed), and ice cream treats at Glacier Aberdeen (ice cream cones with different flavor coatings- seemed to be a thing here)
Monday: Hilton Breakfast, Hotel Gym (this Hilton had a really nice gym, lots of machines/weights and a heated indoor/outdoor pool- bring your suit!) and lunch in the old city at La Buche, great brunch spot.
Quebec was so cute! Easy to navigate, very picturesque, good mix of things to do, and nice accessibility to hiking and other outdoor activities. A hot take from friends- apparently the Fairmount Hotel (the big one towering over the edge of town in all of the photos) is very pretty from the outside, but way overpriced and apparently not worth the money to stay at. So get that photo for sure, but stay somewhere else for your time in Quebec!