Tourism in Quebec

Quebec's culture, history and European feel has made it a unique tourist destination in North America. As there are many interesting sights to be seen in Quebec, it is a great location for a pleasure trip or vacation. For more information on tourism in Quebec, read on...
Quebec, also known as La belle province (French phrase meaning 'the beautiful province'), is indeed a beautiful place in Canada, spreading over the northeastern region of North America. It borders the United States to the south and Ontario in Canada on the west. Quebec is also the largest province in Canada. Most of its population is French-speaking and lives in the vicinity of the St. Lawrence River, south of the Canadian Shield. The rest of the population resides in the southern region, which is surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains. Quebec has many colorful, picturesque cities and villages. St. Lawrence River is the largest river connecting the Great Lakes in Quebec with the Atlantic Ocean.

Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau, Gaspe, Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Trois Rivieres and Sainte Anne de Beaupre are some of the cities in Quebec that are worth a visit. Quebec is proud of its French heritage and uniqueness that is a result of a mixed culture of European and American origins. This place has plenty to offer; from historical sites to museums and from casinos to cuisines. This Canadian province offers a wide range of hangouts, national parks, gardens, theme parks and many other interesting tourist spots. Adventure tourists are particularly attracted by various activities like fishing and whale-watching that are offered at St. Lawrence River.

Quebec has four main seasons, namely, summer, fall, winter and spring. Summer is the most popular tourist season.

Quebecers celebrate around 400 festivals in a year. The people of Quebec have shown their excellence and creativity in literature, performing arts, painting, sculpture and fine crafts. Besides French, which is the main language, other languages like English, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Greek are also spoken in Quebec. As a result, most tourists do not face any language barrier while traveling in this beautiful place.

Famous Cities in Quebec

Montreal and Quebec City are the largest cities in Quebec with many museums, high quality hotels and restaurants. Quebec City and old Montreal are famous for their historical sites, like the La Citadelle, which depicts the military aspects of the past and the present.

It ranks second-largest after Paris, in terms of its population, having a French heritage. Old Montreal has many historical buildings which are architectural landmarks. St. Joseph's Oratory has a gigantic dome which is a remarkable architectural work. This city enjoys various cultural events and festivals like the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Just For Laughs Festival, etc. and sport events like the Rogers Cup, The Presidents Cup and the Montreal Bike Fest.

Quebec City
It is the oldest French city in North America and the capital of Quebec. It celebrates festivals like the Quebec City Summer Festival, Plein Art Quebec, SAQ New France Festival and many others. This city was named a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1985.

It is the third-largest city in the Outaouais region of Quebec, located just across the Ottawa River. The Canadian Museum of Civilization is the star attraction of Gatineau. The Grand Hall, which contains the world's largest collection of totem poles and the Canada Hall, which depicts the Canadian history, are some of the other tourist attractions in this city.

Mont Tremblant
This small village in Quebec is famous for its ski resorts and outdoor sports. The iconic clock tower in its lower village is a tourist attraction.

In autumn 2002, Magog was given the status of a city. Magog is divided into three districts by two shores, Lake Memphremagog and the Town of Omerville. They can be considered as the best tourist places in Magog, along with Mount Orford.

Outdoor Activities in Quebec

Quebec offers three casinos to its tourists. Casino de Montreal, Casino de Charlevoix or the Casino du Lac-Leamy offer an exhilarating experience in entertainment and gastronomy.

Nothing more attractive than taking a snow ride in Quebec during winters. The regions of Abitibi-Temiscamingue and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean attract tourists to outdoor sports like snowmobiling during rugged winters.

Cruising in St. Lawrence River
One can take up a cruise to watch giant whales in the St. Lawrence River. Many ports along the river offer boats of different sizes for whale-watching from May to October. Touring the waterways and islands like the Mingan Archipelago, is an exciting and popular tourist activity.

Tourists Attractions in Quebec

Museums in Quebec
Quebec boasts of around 400 museums and a magnificent collection of artistic monuments. The Battlefields Park has the largest collection of the 17th century Quebec art. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts which is one of the oldest in Canada, exhibits the work of modern masters from Quebec and abroad.

Gardens and Theme Parks of Quebec
Quebec's natural beauty boasts of enchanting flora and fauna. This place has many gardens like the Montreal Botanical Garden that includes the Chinese Garden, Japanese Zen and the unique Insectarium that has a wide variety of insects. The Parc Aquarium, which is an aquarium park, displays numerous fish and mammals and features like ponds, waterfalls and rock gardens. Quebec also includes many other gardens, such as the Redford Garden and the Battlefields Park. La Ronde, a world-famous amusement park, is located in the Old Port of Montreal. The park offers roller coaster rides, Ferris wheel, observation tours, fireworks and various other entertainment programs. Quebecers enjoy visits to zoos, aquariums, tropical forests and the thrilling safari rides like the Parc Safari.

Historical Sites in Quebec
Quebec has a rich heritage and this is evident from the number of preserved sites. The three oldest places in New France, namely, Quebec City, Montreal and Trois Rivieres, are of great historical importance. The Ile des Moulins (Mill Island) near Montreal is a 19th century complex; while, Grosse Isle showcases the important events in the history of the European immigration to Canada.

Natural Wonders in Quebec
In addition to the tourists spots and historical sites mentioned above, Quebec hosts a variety of natural wonders. UNESCO has reserved the Quebec's territory that has four biosphere reserves; namely, Charlevoix, Mont Saint-Hilaire, Lac Saint-Pierre and Manicouagan-Uapishka, where tourists can explore the natural beauty of Quebec, all year round.

Quebec Cuisine
Quebec offers a variety of delicious foods at the regional restaurants and hotels. Ice cider, micro-brewed beer, wine, shepherd's pie, poutine, sugar pie, baked beans and different varieties of cheese are some of the popular foods in Quebec. Quebecers follow a family culinary tradition of eating maple products at the beginning of spring, during the months of March and April.

Traveling in Quebec
The huge network of roads, airways and waterways makes it easy to travel between cities in Quebec; so you can choose from a wide range of transport like cars, bikes, buses, planes, trains and boats.

There is lots to explore in Quebec; from adventure sports to cultural events as well as its historical landmarks; one should visit this beautiful Canadian province, at least once in a lifetime.
By Harshada Kekare
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