by: Micaela Williamson
"Does your restaurant have a children's menu? No? Excellent then...table for two please." These words were spoken by my husband on our romantic getaway last summer to Québec City to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We have heard it dubbed "The Paris of North America," and our quick little trip was the perfect setting to reconnect and actually get through a conversation without multiple interruptions.
Where to stay:
Although the iconic and world's most photographed hotel, Château Frontenac, is a favorite for tourists, we opted for a more intimate and boutique option, Hotel Le Germain-Dominion in Québec City's Old Port. We highly recommend staying in this area. It is still walking distance to all the attractions and amazing restaurants, but it is removed enough from the noisy tourist area of cruise ships and junk stores.
The Hotel Le Germain-Dominion
Hospitality was at its finest at this elegant boutique hotel. From the spa-like bathrooms to the relaxing terrace, the hotel is an intimate place where chic meets old world style. A delicious breakfast of decadent croissants, homemade granola, yogurt parfaits, fresh fruits, cereals, meats, cheeses and more are included in the stay. Other favorite touches include the complimentary 24-hour cappuccino bar and the handmade chocolates placed on the pillows each night. Above all, the concierge was spectacular and quick with outing suggestions, dinner reservations at Québec's hottest restaurants, and greeted us with a friendliest "Bonsoir" each evening. We initially picked Hotel Le Germain-Dominion because of its location, outstanding reviews on Trip Advisor, and affordable price, but it exceeded all of our expectations.
Slideshow of pictures from Hotel Le Germain-Dominion, Quebec:
What to See:
Quebec is rich in history, incredibly walkable (great workout on all the hills and stairs means dessert every night...sometimes at lunch too,) and the atmosphere leads itself to romance and exploration. Be sure to visit our top 5 favorite attractions:
1) Old Québec: The cobblestone streets are filled with European charm, quaint shops, cafes, and artisans. The ambiance of Old Québec is romantic, but it is also sometimes filled with lots of tourists.
2) Le Château Frontenac: Tours are no longer offered at this landmark hotel, but go inside to relish the surroundings and have a drink in the awe-inspiring 1608 Wine & Cheese bar. Outside hotel, stroll along the Dufferin Terrace and get unsurpassed views of the St. Lawrence Rive.
3) La Citadelle de Québec: Visit the Citadelle and museum for an interactive look at the largest British fortress in North America. The Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place from June 24 to the first Monday in September and is included with tour admission. After the changing of the guards, groups break off for a tour (included) of the grounds. It's the only way to see the property and learn about the traditions and history of the Royal 22e Régiment. Stop into the museum for an in-depth look at many documents, artifacts, and stories from past and modern Canadian military feats.
4) Musée de la Civilisation: This large and popular museum hosts an astonishing collection of permanent and changing exhibits. Significant exhibits include "People of Québec: Then and Now" and "This is Our Story First Nations and Inuit in the 21st Century."
5) Fortifications of Québec: Québec is the only remaining fortified city north of Mexico, and visitors can walk the 4.6 kilometers of fortifications that used to protect the city. Along the way, visit the Governors' Promenade, Montmorency Park, rue des Remparts, the New Barracks, and more. Tour maps are available at two visitor centers. The Fortifications of Québec website also lists special tours and events.
Other adventures include:
Although tempting, the funicular basically goes down one hill and the ride is over in mere seconds. We suggest saving your money. We knew this fact from all the guide books, but we ended up taking the ride anyway.
Our slideshow of attractions around Québec:
Where to Eat:
Foodies delight! Québec is a culinary playground and a great place for gourmet meals. We ate well is an understatement. Don't miss a meal at Aux Anciens Canadiens, the oldest restaurant in Québec The lunchtime deal is spectacular and offers a three-course meal at a deep discount. Try the warm duck confit salad and traditional Québec meat pie, and save room for the maple syrup pie, one of the best desserts I have ever tasted! Other notable restaurants in Québec include Restaurant Toast and L'Échaudé.
With French as the main language, U.S. visitors will feel worlds away without having to cross any oceans. (Please note, English is widely spoken at all attractions, hotels, and most restaurants.) We recommend spending about 3-5 days in the city. With direct and connecting flights from many U.S. locations, Québec City is easy to get to, and the airport is an easy fifteen minute taxi ride from the historic district. Start planning your adventure by visiting the official Québec City Tourism website. C'est magnifique!
Unless otherwise noted, all photos are property of Jay Williamson and may not be used without permission online or in any other publication. © Kid Trips LLC, All Rights Reserved
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