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quebec city skyline

The Wonders of Quebec

          Since the St. Lawrence River narrows around Quebec City, the Algonquins named it "Kebec" which
means a narrowing of the river.  Described as the crown jewel of French Canada, Quebec City is more
old world Europe in the middle of North America, and you might not find any other place like it on the         continent. Many first-time visitors seem to wander this city, awestruck, perched on top of a cliff that eventually sweeps down to the St. Lawrence River. It is the only walled city north of Mexico, with fortifications protecting and old city that is more of a living museum than a city in Canada and also the capital of Quebec province.

The 17th and 18th century homes that line the narrow cobblestone streets boast historical plaques
describing the bitter battle between the English and French empires that struggled for control of this
antique city. Statues abound throughout the area and most everything is written in French and English.

This special city has withstood the test of time, and any day of the year is a great time to come for a
visit.  The residents, partisans, natives and visitors give a unique and fascinating sight and sound to
the area; day or night.  Visitors are thrilled with the extraordinary treatment they receive from
musicians, actors and colorful acrobats in costume as they stroll along the streets.  Festivals,
exhibitions, museums, antiques, shops, restaurants, vendors and street artisans excite the senses.  The
seasons are most colorful each spring and fall, and in the winter months, Caribou, enjoyed by the
earliest settlers to warm up contain alcohol. These people have found how to keep even the winter
exciting with the winter carnival; which may be the most festive and colorful festival in the area.
Although many visitors stay mostly inside the old city, where the street names are explained as to how
and why they were named, there is definitely lots to do in the newer part of the city. Last year the
city celebrated its 400th anniversary with numerous events that reflected both the new and old with
gusto.  Besides having such magnificent buildings and sceneries, the people that live and work in the city
help to maintain a high level of excitement and mystique that livens Quebec City like no other.

At one time the city was considered to be a side trip from Montreal, it has grown to welcoming over 9
million visitors each year and voted one of the top ten travel destinations by many groups, including
National Geographic's Traveler Magazine. It is second only to Montreal in population, but with the
growing high-tech industry in areas such as software, photonics, biotechnology, nutraceuticals and
geomatics, it is becoming an important port and area. Almost 95% of the city's residents are of French
heritage, most involved with tourism speak English fluently.


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quebec city nights

Tours in Quebec City

There are many sights, sounds, festivals, museums, zoos, and science centers; as well as the city itself to keep your imagination peaked and your thirsts expanding. With Native Indians, French and English having occupied the city, there is no end to the amount of life changing experiences you can find in Quebec City. Being such a diverse city, it holds many different varieties of sports teams and fields; hockey and figure skating being high on the list. With all the tours available in Quebec, you could spend the day just trying to decide which ones to take and where to take them. Golf courses that will challenge your abilities, boat tours in the St. Lawrence River, rail tours to various part of the countryside and historical sites, walking tours that will test your will to continue and bike tours when you are spent from the walking. The city does have some specialty attractions, including many with parks and gardens; and enough of a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bistros to quench any visitors appetite. The cuisine is especially phenomenal, with the specialties of the French and international fares being offered.  Around every corner is another chance to taste, smell and enjoy the mouth-watering cuisine of this wonderful city. 

If you enjoy hiking and camping, there are tours available that are more eco-sensitive, and enable you to see and feel the excitement that has helped make this area so popular. If you prefer to stay in the city, hotels, and hostelries are as plentiful as the walking tours themselves. There is also rock climbing for the thrill-seeker and trails that can test your endurance as well as expertise. If you prefer to enjoy a tour of the city in comfort, try one of the horse carriages that travail along the streets. One of the most exciting and breath-taking tours available, for the staunch hearted, is the balloon tour over the city and countryside. Since the river is so close and obvious, there are boat tours, boat rentals for your own private touring, or canoe and kayak rentals to thoroughly enjoy this fabulous river environment. The possibilities are limitless and unbelievable. As in most fantastic places, only your pocketbook and time, will help you decide what is possible.  In the list of specialty tours, you can always try your own self-guided tour, as well as visit a brewery and distillery tour, rail tours, industry and factory tours and learning programs that will enhance your knowledge as well as increase your expertise.


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quebec city cathedral

 

Things to do in Quebec City Quebec

Internationally known because of the Hotel Frontenac, an old chateau, that can be seen across the city's skyline, as well as the Summer Festival and Winter Carnival, Quebec City is a marvelous place to visit. The history of the city attributes to beautiful architecture; grand, elaborate and quite charming, both the French and English influences can be seen.   Beside the hotel is the Terrasse Dufferin which offers a gorgeous view of the river along the cliff's walkway. Also near the hotel is another beautiful church known as the Notre-Dame de Quebec Cathedral, mother church of the Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec.

The history of the city attributes to beautiful architecture; grand, elaborate and quite charming, both the French and English influences can be seen. Before the war of 1812, the English built a large artillery battery above the walls, known as the Citadel, which still stands today and is used by the military. Three of the towers are used to house museums with artifacts from the period. A significant amount of the best of the architecture is located in (Old Quebec) with its stone building and narrow streets lined with every kind of restaurant and shop imaginable. While there are many magnificent churches, one of the most famous is the historically old Notre Dame des Victories Church. This area of the city is called the "Lower Town" with fantastic architecture, statues and murals, and various street designs. Many boutiques can be find in this area that offer hand-crafted materials, and artists that will paint anything you want in the city or prints offered in ink or charcoal. 

During the winter months, there are more things to do revolving around the winter weather. These include tobogganing, cross country skiing tours and trails, ice climbing and snowmobiling with tours or without. Since the winter is longer than in other areas more southerly, most visitors find so many choices that many can do almost all of them.  For the more fun at heart, laser tag and paintball areas are available.