For our week long vacation within Quebec City we made sure to do some things outside the city so we wouldn’t just sit and eat the entire time. Not that there is anything wrong with that! Our venturing out days were separated into two days, one action packed one, and the second just a nice country day. This could be done in any order but how we handled it I thought was great!
A day in the country at Île d’Orléans!
Île d’Orléans is under an hour from Old Quebec, from our AirBnb it took 30 minutes. The island itself is small, and one of the first parts to be colonized by the French. Because of this a lot of small farms and wineries have become exceedingly popular to visit. If you want to lengthen your stay, there are plenty of beautiful bed and breakfasts on the island. Our plan was to rent a scooter and drive around tasting all of the local fresh produce, wines and taking in the views. Unfortunately we did not secure one before getting there so all were gone. We did end up driving around the island, which honestly was fine. We hit all of the wineries first and then went on for food. My suggestion would be to go to the visitor center, where you can get a map of the area.** The gas station across the street has all of the local wines and beers in case you forget to pick up along the way! Places of note to visit Cassis Monna & Filles a winery specializing in blackcurrant wines, highly suggest doing a wine tasting there. Fromagerie De L’Ile, which boasts the first cheese made in America and for $2 you can get grilled cheese curds, so delicious! Also check out La Boulange which is this adorable bakery, we got some coffee there and sweets and sat outside. The Chocolateries de Île d’Orléans is famous for the handmade Belgian chocolates. This island can easily be a day trip or half day, depending on how much you want to eat, drink, and spend!
Our Nature Day!
We started off at Canyon Sainte-Anne which opens at 9am, this was about 40 mins away from our Airbnb in Old Quebec. This is like a park so you do have to pay admission to get in. We opted to do the Combo Admin+Air Canyon, which was $26.00 per person. The Air Canyon was honestly one of the highlights of my entire trip, I tried taking a video, but got too nervous lol. It was about a minute long and it shoots you out over the canyon! If you have a fear of heights, maybe don’t go for this…
The canyon itself it about a 1-2 hours hike depending if you walk it all and how you deal with stairs. Unfortunately it was raining quite a lot when we went so it took us a little bit longer than we wanted too. The views within the canyon are great and they have a bunch of suspension bridges you can walk over to get some great views! We did see, in the rain, rock climbers, which blew my mind with the rain. Z was totally bummed he didn’t bring his gear with him because it’s a hobby for him.
We circled back and hit Montmorency Falls, now I don’t know if its because within New York we have some of the greatest waterfalls in the world but this could be a skip. Or if you need to choose between this and Sainte Anne, I’d do Sainte Anne. This is again something you have to pay admission to, which was $33.00 per person for parking and cable car. The Ziplining was $20 on top of it, so we decided against it. The prices just seemed a bit much, I later did read that there is more parking on the top of the waterfall, but we couldn’t find it, also don’t know if its free. The cable car brought you up to the top of the waterfall where there was a restaurant and walk ways to get around the waterfall and suspension bridge. Additionally there is a cool staircase you can walk down and up to get from the top to bottom, but having the rain and paiding such an amount we took the cable car both ways.
Parc Jacques-Cartier is one of Quebec’s national parks again admission fee to get in $8.75 per person. The park is about an hour north of Quebec, and boasts beautiful hiking, biking, and kayaking. Since it was raining and we were squeezing everything in, we opted to stick to a quick hiking trail. At “KM10” is where the visitor center is located, from there a ton of trails are accessible by foot. We opted for Les Cascades which was a 4km loop [about 1Km to get to the trail head]. Thankfully it had stopped raining at this point but the trail was a bit muddy, I did power through this hike in Ked’s sneakers and skinny jeans so honestly it was not difficult at all. It did however give us some great views of the lake and mountain surrounding us! If you find yourself to have more time there I’d highly suggest looking into the kayaking as the river runs straight through the park!
If you decide to do anything I suggest within this blog, for the love of everything good in this world, go to Siberia Station Spa! This place is magical! Now none of the below pictures are mine, because I felt awkward taking pictures but this is one of the most relaxing experiences I have had in a long time!! This is a Scandinavian-inspired hot tubs with a forest surrounding, plus saunas & massage services. Walking around the compound you can find little bed swings by the river or multiple yurts where you can relax by the fire. Tons of little pools both cold and hot, and different saunas depending on the experience. We got there after 5pm so the rate to go in and enjoy the spa is $32.00, we however opted for a 20 minute massage on top of that, which came out to $57.00 per person, I think…Within the spa + massage package you receive a towel, a bottle of water, locker and a key as well as a robe! 100% worth it, we didn’t leave until 8:30pm and the facility closes at 9pm.