Entries in ‘Canada’ Journal

Charlevoix, Canada: Things to Do

Friday November 21, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 0 Comments

Are you visiting Charlevoix for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in the Charlevoix region of Quebec, Canada. Situated within a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the Charlevoix region is a unique nature area including parts of the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River and the Laurentian Mountains region of the Canadian Shield.
 

"Baie Saint Paul", Quebec, Canada

Charming town of Baie-Saint-Paul. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

When I have a visitor from out of the region, the first place they want to see is the town of Baie-Saint-Paul, but I also take them to Isle-aux-Coudres – for a more local, authentic experience. With only 7,500 people, Baie-Saint-Paul is the cultural capital of Charlevoix.
 

When I want to escape the crowds and tourists, my favorite place to visit is the little village of Port-au-Persil.

If this is a romantic trip, I recommend the Bay of Baie-Saint-Paul for kissing with a view.
 

"Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu", Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

Take a walk along Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu’s trail. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 

The best place to walk the dog is the solar system 3Km trail by the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu.

Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want to visit the Alpaga farm or the maritime museum where kids can climb on boats.
 

 
Charlevoix regional cuisine

If you are looking for typical Quebec cuisine in the region of Charlevoix, I recommend Le Mouton Noir. For an authentic farm to table experience, be sure to tour the Baie-Saint-Paul Flavor Trail. With over 40 local growers, producers and restaurateurs opening their doors to visitors, you will have your fill of breads, ciders, beers, cheeses, foie gras and chocolate!

The best place to go for coffee & a breakfast treat is Le Pain d’exclamation in La Malbaie.

Looking for affordable food in Baie-Saint-Paul? Go to the restaurant within the microbrewery, le Saint-Pub.

Les Labours in the hotel La Ferme (Baie-Saint-Paul) is the spot for late night dining.
 

veal "Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu"

Prosciutto wrapped veal, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 
For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu. If you truly want a one-of-a-kind experience, try the Chef’s Table for a day with the Chef on the Flavor Trail and a private dinner in the Castle on the Cliff!

Seeing a lot of beluga whales? Baie-Sainte-Catherine is best known for whale watching.

When you come to Charlevoix, get your picture taken on a boat with AML or Dufour during a whale watching excursion.

The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of Acropole des Draveurs in the National Park Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie.

Le Massif de Charlevoix offers great views and the “Chalet” at the summit of the ski hills is the best place to watch or experience music shows and competitions in the winter time.

In the Charlevoix region, outdoor lovers will want to hike the Acropole des Draveurs, bike on Isle-aux-Coudres (23 km island) or in the big hills of the region. Travelers may also horseback ride on the beach of Saint-Irénée or walk in Les Grands-Jardins.

Looking for a little exercise? Walk along the trails of the Les Palissades de Charlevoix.

After a day of adventure, Hôtel La Ferme is the best place to go for a spa treatment.
 

"Hotel La Ferme" spa

I could have spent my entire day in Baie-Saint-Paul here. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 
If you are a museum lover, the best museums are Musée de Charlevoix or the Contemporary Art Museum in Baie-Saint-Paul.

Looking for exciting night life? Go dancing at l’hôtel La Ferme during the weekends for live music.

The Hebdo Charlevoisien will keep you posted on what’s happening in Charlevoix, but unless you read French you are out of luck!
 

"Le Train Massif de Charlevoix"

Le Train Massif de Charlevoix. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.

 
Charlevoix seasonal activities

In the spring you should attend Les Grands prix cyclistes de Charlevoix  – bike competitions for the non-French speakers.

In the summer or fall, take a two hour trip with Le Massif train  – meals are served on board and it’s a great way to explore the scenery.

Did you know that Baie-Saint-Paul is known for the arts? Plan a visit to watch the painting Festival called Rêves d’automne (Dreams of Fall) in the fall.

Come to Le Massif in the winter for skiing or sledding.

 

"Jacques Boisvert ", "Baie Saint Paul"

Jacques Boisvert paints Baie Saint Paul. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 
Insider Tip: Check out the often over-looked beach of Saint-Irénée.

Just outside of La Malbaie you can visit La Maison du Bootlegger and have lunch there, too.

Have you traveled to Quebec, Canada? What are your favorite things to do in the region of Charlevoix?

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown, follow @tourismQuebec on Twitter and if you speak French @gocharlevoix.

If You Go:

Charlevoix Tourism

495, de Comporté Boulevard
La Malbaie (Québec) Canada G5A 3G3
 

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Quebec Tourism. All opinions from my visit to Charlevoix are my own.

Québec City: Things to Do

Friday November 14, 2014 at 6:06 AM | 1 Comment

Are you visiting Québec City for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in Québec, Canada.
 

"Tourney Fountain", "Quebec", Canada

When you come to Quebec City, get your picture takes at Tourney Fountain. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

When I have a visitor from out of town, the first place they want to see is Place Royale, but I also take them to Ile d’Orléans – for a more local, authentic experience.
 

 
When I want to escape the crowds and tourists, my favorite place to visit is Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier.

If this is a romantic trip, I recommend Dufferin Terrace for kissing with a view.

The best place to walk the dog is Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area.

Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want to visit Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site.
 

"Panache" "Auberge Saint-Antoine", rabbit

Regional food of Quebec. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 
"Café-boulangerie Paillard", baguettes

Café-boulangerie Paillard baguettes. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 
"Marché du Vieux Port", Quebec, Canada

Marché du Vieux Port. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 
Regional foods of Québec City

If you are looking for typical Québec cuisine, I recommend Toast! restaurant.

The best place to go for coffee & a breakfast treat is Café-boulangerie Paillard. They bake wonderful baguettes and have huge, flaky croissants.

Looking for the best inexpensive restaurants? Try Ashton or Buffet de l’Antiquaire. Also try Marché du Vieux Port on the Saint-André Quai, an indoor, year-round farmers’ market in Quebec City, Canada.

Ristorante Il Teatro is the spot for late night dining.

For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to Le Saint-Amour, Chez Boulay or Panache at Auberge Saint-Antoine.
 

"St. John's Gate", Quebec, Canada

St. John’s Gate, Quebec City. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 
Seeing a lot of bricks in Québec City? This Canadian city is best known for being a fortified  or walled city.

When you come to Québec City, get your picture taken by Fontaine Tourney and the Parliament building. Within walking distance is the Plains of Abraham.

In Québec City, outdoor lovers will want to walk, hike, bike, ski or snowshoe…it depends on the season. One of the best vantage points is taken by walking to the top of Montmorency Waterfalls. Insider Tip – these falls are higher than Niagara Falls, but not as wide.

Looking for a little exercise? Walk along Dufferin Terrace, the walls of the city and if you’re fit, go up and down the many stairways that link Upper to Lower town.

After a day of adventure, Le Nordique Spa Stoneham is the best place to go for a spa treatment.

If you are a museum lover, Québec City’s  best museum is Musée de la civilisation.

Looking for exciting night life? Go dancing at Chez Maurice or L’Emprise in the Clarendon Hotel for live music.

Québec Scope Magazine will keep you posted on what’s happening in Québec City.

Québec City by season

You can tell a lot about Québec City from watching the seasonal events. In the spring you should go to a Maple Sugar Shack.

In the summer you might like Québec City Summer Festival.

Did you know that Québec City is known for Fall foliage: plan a visit to the back country in the fall. My favorite regions are Lanaudiere and Mauricie – the Nordic baths are a must do and I loved my time horseback riding through fall colors in St. Paulin.
 

"Bonhomme", "Quebec", Canada

Meet Bonhomme at Carnaval de Québec. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 
Come to Québec City for Carnaval de Québec!

Insider Tip: Check out the often over-looked Ferry across the St. Lawrence river.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that just outside of Québec City you can visit Island of Orléans and have lunch at one of the many vineyards or cider-making orchards.

Have you traveled to Québec? What are your favorite things to do in Québec City, Canada?

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @tourismQuebec on Twitter.

If You Go:

Québec City

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Quebec Tourism. All opinions are my own.

Hotel Review: Fairmont Frontenac

Wednesday November 12, 2014 at 8:08 AM | 0 Comments

I had not yet set foot in historic Old Quebec, when I was warmly greeted by a Fairmont Hotel representative on Twitter, a social media platform. That’s the kind of customer service I have come to expect from Fairmont Hotels, and my stay at Château Frontenac was no exception. Bellmen welcomed me on a drizzly, gray night in early October. Texton, the tail-wagging Fairmont Ambassador had retired to his dog house and I was ready to dive into my bed, as well.
 

"Château Frontenac", Quebec, Canada

Hotel review: Château Frontenac. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 
Château Frontenac

This 611 room iconic castle has recently undergone a multi-million dollar restoration and I was fortunate to stay in one of their renovated city view rooms. With nine miles of corridors running throughout the urban luxury hotel, replacing carpets and updating suites is no small task.
 
I like the way Château Frontenac blended the blue colors of the St. Lawrence River while hints of gold offered a historic European feel to the property.
 

"Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac", Quebec, Canada

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac Lobby. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

"1608 Wine & Cheese Bar", Quebec, Canada

1608 Wine & Cheese Bar. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

Centrally located within the walls of Old Quebec, guests will feel comfortable strolling this pedestrian-friendly city day or night. I was also quick to notice that Canadians felt very welcome at the hotel when accompanied with their dogs. This was also true of my stay in the Charlevoix region at Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu.
 

"Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac", pool

Indoor swimming pool on 6th floor. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 
I didn’t have a chance to try the spa, with its seven treatment rooms, nor did I manage any laps in the indoor swimming pool, but parents traveling with children should expect to spend some quality time on the 6th floor of the resort.
 
My king city view room (#4129) rented for $319 Canadian dollars. You’ll want to check the hotel website for current pricing and specials. I loved the feather and down pillows on my bed, but I was not thrilled with the location of the coffee maker on the bottom of a pull out shelf by the television. The Fairmont offers one of my favorite teas in room, Organic Kea Lani Orange Pineapple from Hawaii – maybe your coffee maker will be in a better spot?

 

"Le Chateau Fairmont Frontenac", hotel, hotel room

King City View. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 
While there are plenty of things to see and do in Quebec City, one doesn’t have to go far for a good meal or cocktail. 1608 Wine & Cheese Bar is the place to congregate for wines from around the world, and, of course, local cheeses. Champlain Restaurant offers a lovely breakfast buffet ($24.62 Canadian dollars during my visit) with views of the St. Lawrence River, but the dinner service will keep meat lovers happy. I ordered the Quebec beef, a signature dish of the hotel – no regrets.
 
" Le Champlain", restaurant, Quebec beef

Quebec beef Le Champlain. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 
Insider Tip
Whether you are a guest of Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac or simply enjoy history, you might enjoy the Historic Virtual Tour app available for download online. Like complimentary internet access and free local telephone calls? Don’t forget to enroll in the Fairmont President’s Club – it’s FREE!
 

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @Fairmontfronten on Twitter.

Check-In Time: 4:00pm

Check-Out Time: 12:00pm
 

If You Go:

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac +1 418-692-3861 or (800) 257-7544
1 Rue des Carrières
Québec, QC G1R 4P5, Canada
 

Article written by and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Tourism Quebec. All opinions are my own.