16 things to do in the province of Quebec

Let me start by stressing just how BIG the province of Quebec.

1,542,056 km big, to be exact. That’s 6.7 times bigger than Britain. 5.4 times bigger than Texas. 37.3 times bigger than Switzerland. You get the idea. It does take a long time to get anywhere, and the better part of this massive piece of land is either uninhabited or has hostile weather and conditions. Yes, Quebec is that big.

That however didn’t stop the Quebecois from being quite imaginative, and come up with amazing travel opportunities that showcase the striking natural beauty of our province, a somewhat hidden gem and relatively new player on the tourism map.

But where to start, you ask? Look no further. I’ve curated a bucket list of things to do in the province of Quebec, from Montreal to the Eastern Townships to Gaspésie. I guarantee that there IS something for everyone!

1.   Marvel at the Saguenay fjord

things to do in the province of quebec

© Détour Nature

Exit Norway – Quebec has an incredible fjord, too! Go on cruise on the mighty Saguenay River to admire the steep cliffs of the fjord, and let nature unfold its sheer beauty before your eyes. Cruises conveniently start at one of the province’s most beautiful villages, Sainte-Rose-du-Nord – killing two birds with one stone!

2.   Go snowshoeing

things to do in the province of quebec

The joys of winter

I may have only discovered this winter sport very recently, but it’s now become one of my favorite things to do. And the best part? You can do it just about anywhere. In the middle of a dense pine forest or just a few minutes out of the capital, it’s perhaps one of the most accessible winter activity in the province.

And if it’s your first time, it will also be one of the funniest.

3.   Taste the Montreal restaurant scene

things to do in the province of quebec

Poutine!

If there’s one thing I like to do in my hometown, it’s eating. Very often, and as varied as possible. Montreal has an incredible restaurant scene that offers pretty much anything for anyone, both in terms of budget and palates. From the staple poutine to a cherry-sauce duck to original sushi, there is no such thing as being hungry in Montreal. Trust me!

4.   Go hiking

things to do in the province of quebec

© Michelle Pierre

Quebec has some lovely peaks to hike, and admire the view from. More than 6,000 kilometers of trails are available to both the newbies and aficionados, in every part of the province – from Gaspésie to Laurentides to Montérégie, you are guaranteed to find the perfect trail for you, and then some.

5.   Go whale watching in Tadoussac

whale sighting in Tadoussac

© PlanetWhale.com

Tadoussac is a popular destination in the summer, even for Québécois. We all dream of the day where we can finally see one of the things that make our province so notorious! There is a number of different cruises to hop on and watch Mother Nature in full swing, with many species of seabirds and sea mammals, like belugas, minke whales, blue whales and seals.

6.   Taste the Wine Route in the Eastern Townships

things to do in the province of quebec

Wine tasting, anyone?

I wrote about this before – driving the Wine Route in the Eastern Townships is one of the most interesting things to do in Quebec, I think, and also one of the most accessible from Montreal. It’s a great way to meet and chat with the locals, who are truly passionate about their products and who will willingly discuss the whole wine-making process with the aficionados.

7.   Go cycling in the Laurentides

things to do in the province of quebec

Nice view!

With over 3400 bicycle paths spanning over our beautiful province, it’s no surprise that cycling is one of the most popular things to do in the summer/fall, especially in the Laurentides region. There’s a special trail called “Le p’tit train du Nord” (translated into “The small train of the North”) that stretches over 200 km on what used to be an old railway line, and is now officially the longest linear park in Canada! It offers gorgeous views on the forests, lakes and rivers of this region. The trail is surprisingly flat, making it accessible for just about anyone, including people who, like me, aren’t big on sports.

8.   Stay in a log cabin

things to do in the province of quebec

Cozy, right?

My friends and I now have a tradition of sorts – renting a log cabin for the New Year’s Eve. We stock up on chips, local beers, and chocolate cake, and we retire to the deep woods of the Laurentides for three days, away from technology, and the rest of the world. It gives us ample time to catch up, drink plentifully, go ice-skating on one of the many nearby lakes, and simply enjoy what Quebec has best to offer at that time of the year.

Although we prefer to go in the winter, log cabins are available throughout the year – and there are thousands of them available!

9.   Live the maritime life in Iles de la Madeleine

things to do in the province of quebec

Magdalen Islands

Quebec’s most famous archipelago – both for its delicious food scene, and also the genuinely welcoming locals. Its history dates back to 1534, when Jacques Cartier set foot there for the first time. The island only has about 13,000 inhabitants today, and still rely on fishing as their sole activity. In other words – you’ll have the best fish and seafood of your entire life at the Magdalen Islands.

10.   Explore the walled city of Old Quebec

things to do in the province of quebec

© Québec Région

Did you know that Quebec is the only remaining walled/fortified city in North America – and UNESCO site? Put your history buff hat on and wander around the cobblestone street in the cradle of the French civilization in North America. Take in the majestic Plains of Abraham, the different gates, the Citadel and many more fascinating historical sites. Follow in the footsteps of the colony’s first settlers!

11.   Enjoy the wonders of nature at the Rocher Percé

things to do in the province of quebec

Rocher Percé in Gaspésie

Visit one of the world’s largest natural arches – 20 meters! – in Gaspésie! The rock, made of limestone and sandstone, is the object of many legends, which local guides will be more than happy to narrate. In addition to the Rocher Percé, the region has a lot of things to do, starting with the Bonaventure Island, scenic routes, whale watching and more.

12.   Go dog sledding

things to do in the province of quebec

© Tourisme Chaudière-Appalaches

Did you know that dog sledding is a tradition that goes back to the 10th century, where dogs were used for hunting and travel purposes? While today dog sledding is more a leisure thing, it doesn’t make it any less popular! There are hundreds of places where you can go dashing through the snow, both in the wild forests of the Chaudière-Appalaches region or closer to the main cities – the choice is yours!

13.   Experience the hot-air balloon festival in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu

things to do in the province of quebec

© Stephanie Lachance

What all started as a small tourism initiative in 1984 ended up being one of the world’s major hot-air balloon festival, with more than 400,000 visitors each year. Admire the beautiful hot-air balloons, that come in all colors and shapes, and go concerts of the most popular artists of the season. It’s also very close to the Granby Zoo!

14.   Attend one of the Montreal festivals

things to do in the province of Quebec

Montreal’s Jazz Festival

I’ve written extensively about this before, and for good reason – the Montreal festivals are famous around the world, both for their quality and variety. Whether you’re into jazz, visual arts, indie music, sci-fi movies or beer, you are guaranteed to have a good time, at any time of the year.

15.   Admire the scenery in Charlevoix

things to do in the province of quebec

© Tourisme Charlevoix

Charlevoix is renown throughout Quebec as the artist capital – indeed, many painters, poets, and authors go to Charlevoix to get inspiration. With reason! The area is home of some of the province’s most gorgeous landscapes, prestigious hotels and casinos, as well as ski centers and more. There is no such thing as being bored in Charlevoix!

16.   Mingle with the locals in Omega Park

things to do in the province of quebec

© Denis-Carl Robidoux

Located just a few minutes outside of Montreal, the Omega Park really is one-of-a-kind – an 1,800 acre park that gives the opportunity to visitors to discover local species in their natural habitat and in which they are free to roam freely. Including right next to you! This your chance to get an up-close encounter with Canada’s rich fauna, and an unparalleled picture-taking opportunity!

And a delicious bonus to finish this bucket list…

17. Drink/eat maple… everything!

things to do in the province of quebec

© snowdeal

Quebec produces more than 75% of the world supply of maple syrup (you’re welcome), and therefore, we have quite the selection of maple-flavored delicacies. For the enjoyment of my taste buds! We have everything from maple cookies to maple-smoked bacon to maple liquor & cream to maple butter. There is a number of sugar shacks that you can visit in the spring. My tip? Wear your stretchy pants.

 ***

Are you just as inspired by Quebec as I am? In reality, I don’t think a lifetime is quite enough to see and do everything the province has to offer – there’s just too much, on too big of a territory. But I love my province, and I will make everything I can to see every inch of it. I still have a good 60 years left… You in?

Have you been to the province of Quebec? What’s your favorite thing to do? The quirkiest, the most spectacular?

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17 Comments on 16 things to do in the province of Quebec

  1. kami
    December 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm (6 years ago)

    I’m heading to Canada in April so this list will be a great inspiration for me when planning an itinerary! :) these are some really great ideas!

    Reply
  2. Alouise
    December 6, 2012 at 11:01 pm (6 years ago)

    Love this. Along with Newfoundland Quebec is one province I haven’t been to yet. I’m really hoping to go to Quebec next year, and it keeps popping up on my radar, so I’m going to take it as a sign that I should go there (not that I need convincing or anything). I’ll bookmark this post for sure, just cause I don’t have much of a clue about what’s in Quebec outside Montreal and Quebec City.

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      December 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm (6 years ago)

      Turns out, most people don’t know what to do in the province outside of the two main cities. Hence this post :-)

      Reply
  3. Andrea
    December 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm (6 years ago)

    I’m dying to go to Quebec and Montreal – seems like there is so much to do there!

    Reply
  4. Jade - OurOyster.com
    December 11, 2012 at 1:55 am (6 years ago)

    Great list! We were hoping to get to Quebec on our upcoming road trip but I just don’t think we will have the time to do it justice…. next time for sure

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      December 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm (6 years ago)

      Well you might as well go for a little while than not at all – you’ll have plenty of opportunities to came back I’m sure!

      Reply
  5. Leigh
    December 12, 2012 at 1:54 am (6 years ago)

    I’ve done a good number of the things you suggest and more are planned for this coming summer. I loved the Magdalen Islands. We stayed there for 5 days a few summers ago. A few nights were spent at the Domaine du Vieux Couvent – a converted convent that oozed history. It was a real treat.

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      December 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm (6 years ago)

      Wow, finally somebody who’s been to the province! Gotta love the Magdalen Islands :)

      Reply
  6. Ayngelina
    December 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm (6 years ago)

    I have only been to Montreal and Hull – how sad! I am kind of hoping Quebec City is in my near future.

    Reply
  7. Buntell
    December 15, 2012 at 1:25 am (6 years ago)

    Very nice sharing.
    I’m dying to go to Quebec. :)

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      January 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm (6 years ago)

      You should :) Canada’s most underrated province!

      Reply
  8. Suz
    November 26, 2014 at 10:09 pm (4 years ago)

    We are heading to Quebec in June 2015 from Australia. We have a 11 yr old boy and 13 yr old girl travelling with us. What do you think would be good for us to see/visit in the province? We will be travelling from Montreal to Gaspe (that direction) as we have friends that live in Newcastle, New Brunswick.

    Reply
  9. Monika
    November 15, 2016 at 6:35 am (2 years ago)

    Hi, there, amazing and informative blog! Thanks for sharing with us and waiting for more from you.

    Reply

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