This month’s Aquidneck Island Escape destination requires a passport: Quebec City.
We won’t call it a quick drive – it’s about 7.5 hours from Newport to Quebec City by car – but it’s well worth the trip if you have a long weekend on your hands. We had the chance to explore this historic city over Columbus Day weekend, and thanks to the peak foliage throughout northern New England, getting there was just as memorable as being there.
Take MA-24 N to I-93 through though Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.
In Vermont, get on I-91 N to the border of Canada. Take Auto route 55 N until Exit 34E to get on Auto route 10. At exit 128, merge onto the Trans-Canada Highway also known as Auto route Jean Lesage. After approximately 140km of driving, take Exit 312N to merge onto Auto route 73 N toward Québec, and cross over the Saint Lawrence River. Take Exit 134-E into 175 which will bring you right into downtown Quebec City and Old Quebec.
Pro Tip: Make sure you’re clear on your phone’s data plan and international rates, especially if you’re using your phone for navigation. Don’t get caught with surprise charges after you cross the border.
THINGS TO DO IN QUEBEC CITY
Explore Old Quebec – Walking centuries-old cobblestone streets of Vieux-Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage site, feels like taking a walk back in time. Just make sure to wear some comfortable walking shoes – you’ll need them for L’Escalier Casse-Cou (a.k.a Breakneck Steps) and many other staircases and steep inclines throughout this hilly city.
Photos: Rue St Jean, Rue Petit Champlain and Rue Sous-le-Fort
On Quartier Petit Champlain you’ll find historic pubs, creperies, coffee spots, art galleries and plenty of retail in the shadow of the massive Chateau Frontenac, the iconic hotel that looks more like a fortress with turrets, towers and steeply pitched roofs.For an especially Instagram-able moment, stop by Rue du Cul-De-Sac.
Discover Museum of Civilization / Musée de la civilisation à Québec – For a break from walking and eating, stop in this interesting museum and get lost learning about biology and evolution.
Walk the Plains of Abraham – The Plaines d’Abraham, part of The Battlefields Park, are situated on a plateau above the Saint Lawrence River extending westward from the Citadelle of Quebec and the city walls. In 1759 during the French and Indian War, it was here that the British defeated the French to take control of Quebec City and later the rest of Canada.
Take in the views of Montmorency Falls / Parc de la Chute Montmorency — About a half hour trip outside of Quebec City, check out the stunning views while hiking at Montmorency Falls Park. The waterfalls are a full 99 ft higher than Niagara Falls
FOOD IN QUEBEC CITY
It’s no secret that Quebec City is an excellent destination for foodies. As you walk the city streets, you will quickly find there is no shortage of places to try French pastries and coffees, or gastropubs with large selections of Canadian brews to try as you walk the city streets.
Here are a few of our dinner picks for authentically French-Canadian cuisine: