Québec City

Travel

Québec City

Canadian culture served up on the historic hill and down by the river.
BY DAVID KEITH
Courtesy Musee National des Beaux-Arts/Bruce Damonte

Musée National des Beaux-Arts

Arrange a private tour to experience the museum’s collections of more than 40,000 works of Québec art, dating from the 1700s to today. The 3-year-old Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, designed by Canadian firm Provencher_Roy, is a wonder in and of itself. The Charles Baillairgé Pavilion, housed in the old Québec City Jail, contains the modern art collection. mnbaq.org

Courtesy dbimages/Alamy

Le Saint-Amour

Tucked away on a side street, Le Saint-Amour’s

à la carte menu changes seasonally, relying on local ingredients. One constant is the foie gras with its own section on the menu and the option to add it to almost any entrée. Game is a specialty, featuring lamb, caribou, and squab. Service and food presentation are top-notch, as is the expansive wine list. saint-amour.com

Courtesy James Hackland/Alamy

Rue Saint-Jean

Five consecutive blocks of this street in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste neighborhood feature an array of stores that span nearly the course of the city’s history—from the old-time deli and gourmet grocery Épicerie J.A. Moisan to the Érico chocolate museum and factory to the not one but four locally owned bookshops.

Courtesy Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

Musique Chez Sonny

If it’s vinyl you crave, there is no better shop in North America for hard-to-find specialty albums in excellent condition that start at $10. Run by an old rocker who doesn’t believe in websites, you can find it at 664 Rue Saint-Jean. Down the street, stop in at Snack Bar Saint-Jean for classic poutine—french fries with fresh cheese curds covered in homemade gravy. snackbarsaintjean.com

Courtesy GoHelico/Ludovic Gauthier

GoHelico

Get a bird’s-eye view of the city and surrounding areas with a helicopter tour. The company’s state-of-the-art facility features a hangar with the latest heli models and a chic restaurant and bar for drinks and bites after the flight. Tours from 15 to 60 minutes, from $150; gohelico.com

Courtesy marieclaudelemay/istock

STAY: Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

An iconic landmark and focal point for the city since its opening in 1893, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac offers luxury suites, a first-rate spa, a health club, and an indoor swimming pool with outside lounge area, plus four restaurants. 1608 Wine & Cheese Bar is the place to be at sunset for expansive views of the river. From $173; fairmont.com

Courtesy Aquarium du Québec

Aquarium du Québec

More than 10,000 marine animals live here, including polar bears, seals, and walruses. Purchase the Keeper for a Day package and work with staff to feed and care for its full-time residents. Stop by the invertebrates for a serene view of the jellyfish collection. sepaq.com

Courtesy Laurie Raphael

Laurie Raphaël

Chef Daniel Vézina offers a modern take on cuisine with themed dinners of seven and 11 courses. Dishes might include shrimp ceviche and striped bass escabeche with sea urchin and fresh vegetables; wild salmon with oyster and caviar; or venison. From $110; laurieraphael.com

Courtesy Alberto Biscaro/Masterfile

Corridor du Littoral

Take this 30-mile scenic bike route along the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River to Montmorency Falls, a spectacular waterfall that’s higher than Niagara. Start at the Marché du Vieux-Port, or Old Port Market, and if you work up an appetite, don’t miss Café Du Monde, a traditional Québécois bistro next to the cruise ship terminal offering river views and classics, such as French onion soup with three cheeses or Gaspesian chowder made with local fish. lecafedumonde.com

Courtesy Auberge St. Antoine

Île d’Orléans

A single bridge, suitable for cycling, driving, or walking, connects this quaint island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River to the mainland. Roughly twice the size of Manhattan, it’s home to a number of artisanal farms. Visit Confiturerie Tigidou (tigidou.ca), a true farm-to-jar shop for delectable jams and syrups. Blackcurrant farm Cassis Monna & Filles (cassismonna.com) is the perfect lunch spot. Try their cassis liquor and poutine with a cassis-infused gravy

Courtesy Strom Spa

Strøm Nordic Spa

This super-sleek spa on the banks of the St. Lawrence offers massage treatments, thermotherapy, whirlpools, steams rooms, and saunas, with lockers, bathrobes, and towels supplied. The restaurant features Scandinavian cuisine and a family brunch some Sundays. stromspa.com

Courtesy Ile d’Orleans

STAY: Auberge Saint-Antoine

Built on the site of an old warehouse, this Relais & Chateaux hotel offers old-world charm with modern accoutrements. Its popular restaurant, Chez Muffy, features innovative bistro cuisine using produce from its farm on Île d’Orléans. Book the Captain Suite for a beautifully restored set of rooms reminiscent of a shipboard cabin. From $180; saint-antoine.com

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