Let us show you Quebec City through our eyes! Here's what's going on in the area and our top recommendations of what to see during your trip to our beautiful and historic city.
When travelling, it can be hard to stick to our workout routines. Especially when visiting Quebec City, we cannot resist the temptations of the epicurean delights that the French Canadians are well known for. Between the freshly baked pastries at the local bakeries, the local French bistros, (let’s not forget our fabulous cheeses and wines), the daily calorie count can get pretty high.
I have lived in the Old City for 18 years now. For those that want to hit the gym, Nautilus Plus offers a complete facility to meet your needs. They charge a daily drop-in rate of 15$ CAD.
Yet located right in the heart of Old Quebec City lie the Plaines of Abraham. The National Battlefield Park has trails throughout, including the Plaines of Abraham Trail with 1190 meters of pathway and at times 8% grades. I walk the trails and nature paths daily for exercise, adding stairs into the mix to increase my cardio. The trails are also safe for not only pedestrians and runners, but for hiking and cycling enthusiast as well.
To get a great cardio boost, I recommend starting your daily workout on the Terrace Dufferin just in front of the historic Chateau Frontenac. From the Manoir d’Auteuil, it is but a 5 minute leisurely walk which I recommend walking at a brisk pace to warm up. Proceed to the Promenade des Gouverneurs where you will begin your 196 stairs upward. Do not worry, there are many river view platforms along the way to take a rest and to break up the climb. Whether you jog it, slowly walk it or take two steps at a time, your cardio rate will climb as you do. You will then take 20 steps down to a walking platform that is flat until you pass the outer walls of the Citadel. This is a great cool down. You will then have another 91 steps up until you find yourself at the Kiosk atop the Plaines of Abraham.
Once you have completed the Promenade, vere to the left on the paved road: Cap aux Diamants. As you pass the lookout point with the canon and continue on the road, you will eventually notice a man made pathway in the grass. Follow this to the left and down the hill until you see the kioske in this photo.
Here begins the Escalier du Cap Blanc or the Cap Blanc Stairs. You will see locals going up and down these stairs, which are incredibly challenging due to the steep grade. Those of us local exercise buffs challenge each other to see just how many times we can climb up and down the stairs. I have one neighbor that does it 5 times before finishing his workout. One journey is enough for me. You will descend 398 stairs then climb back up the 398 steps again. There are only two platforms for resting in this path. Once at the top, you can head back through the Plaines of Abraham to your hotel or continue left on the nature trails. Either way, you will have put in at least 4 miles at whatever pace you choose, all while taking in the beautiful views and nature of the Battlefield Park.
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Map of the Plains of Abraham
Here is a map of the park pointing out the various landmarks as well as the parking areas. Download the Map
Warmth, fun, activities by the dozen, July in Québec city is THE bomb!!! You can perfect your tan on the Plaines of Abraham or have a picnic while waiting on the show to start at the Edwin Belanger Kiosk, or even visit the Museum of Beaux-Art on a rainy day. Yes, we, unfortunately, have those
too in the summer! Or would you prefer to close your eyes and enjoy a beautiful opera?
The Plains of Abraham need no introduction: they are the perfect spot for your morning run and its vast green coat is an idyllic destination for horticulture enthusiasts. The Joan of Arc garden features over 150 different flowers, trees, bushes and plant species. They (The Plains) have also been host to numerous shows in the Edwin Belanger Kiosk since 1993. Edwin Bélanger was a major figure in the musical environment of Québec city. He was convinced that music should be accessible to all, young and old, rich or poor, and worked his whole life to make it happen. To honour him and his life’s work, free music shows are presented each year in the summer. From June 10th to August 5th, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays the kiosk will be hosting various shows. From Angel Forrest to Marie-Hélène Thibert, all styles will be represented. In case of bad weather, stay tuned to their Facebook page.
Isn’t art an added value to life? I can still remember the first time I laid eyes on a Rembrandt or a Monet painting. The Impressionists paved the way to several artistic movements. We often times, talk about the big names, and most that come out are men. There was however a very important
pioneer woman in the genre: Berthe Morisot . From June 21st to September 23rd the Museum of Beaux-Arts of Québec will present 60 pieces of her collection and most memorable artwork. The show will later be featured in Philadelphia, Dallas and will end its tour back home, in Paris. Do not miss this beautiful exhibition.
Talking about art, classical music also has its place in our sunny days. From July 24th to August 6th, enjoy the Québec Opera Festival's 8th edition. Appart from the now famous “Lyric Brigade” showcased in several venues across the city, you will enjoy many famous operas. The Grand Theather and Moncalm Theater will present Mozart’s Enchanted Flute or Offenbach’s “ Belle Hélène” . It is the perfect occasion to discover this majestic art form marrying music and theater.
Tickets are already on sale!
Hot summer nights are the perfect fit for a short African Days festival. Learn about this vast and beautiful continent and its many cultures. July 26th through 29th. Better put on these dancing shoes! Just don’t let the heat bring you down. Shall we meet in a park or on the plaines?
In less than a month now, summer will be all the rage in the province of Québec and will bring its great deal of sun, festivities and chances to celebrate. But, what can you do in Québec city in the early summer? Here are a few ways to spend your time for the first few weeks of summer.
Although summer doesn’t start until June 20th or 21st with the summer solstice, we typically call it summer as soon as the warmer weather starts. It will get more comfortable as early as mid or end of May.
The Village Vacances Valcartier is the biggest waterpark in the province and provides families with dozens of refreshing water slides, thematic rivers and pools. It is located only 40 minutes from downtown Québec city. On rainy days, you will still be able to enjoy the area with Bora Bora, their indoor water park. In search of an adrenaline rush? Try the Everest. Want to lie down and relax as current carries you? The Amazone River will be the perfect opportunity to work on that tan and prank your friends and family (you’ll know what I mean once you are there! Suspense!) With various themes throughout the park, young and old will find the perfect fit for their own level of temerity. It opens on June 14th and don’t forget to bring your towel, flip-flops. Beware of the sunburns.
End of June also rhymes with end of the school year (well, it does not rhyme really, but you know what I mean!). You can now enjoy the decks, find a babysitter and have a nice romantic getaway or a less romantic and more festive stay on June 23rd, Saint-Jean-Baptiste provincial national day. Music will resonate beyond the Plaines of Abraham where Québec singers will proclaim their love for our homeland with the biggest timeless hits of Québec. Stay posted with their official website. You can even play a little game to challenge your knowledge about Québec. I only scored a meagre 80%. Can you beat me?
Do you know Wendake? It is a Native American preserve (reserve) just north of Québec city. The Huron-Wendats are the hosts of a yearly Pow Wow. From June 29th to July 1st, you can discover the traditional dances and cuisine of the first nations from around North America. As I often mention in my blogs, our population was forged with immigration waves and Natives populations. It is the perfect occasion to get to know our roots and enjoy the very impressive dancers’ competitions. Following the rhythms of the drums and traditional singing, you will discover dancers in great show pageantries. The regalia (dance costumes) are sown by families during the year and are showed of during the competitions, demonstrating all the know how and hard work of our first nations. The events are outdoors and last all day so don’t forget your hat, sunscreen and water. Here’s a little taste of what the “ Men Fancy Dancers” will look like. With a shuttle from Old Québec, you cannot miss it!
Last year, our beautiful country was celebrating its 150th anniversary and many efforts were put into make the National day the biggest party of the year. Although this year is not as impressive, July 1st remains one big party crowned with magnificent fireworks. Music, games and a generalized good mood will conquer every visitor!
Summer, yes, we are getting there! After the bitter cold winter months and our patience will be rewarded with bonfires, picnics and other amazing outdoor activities. Whenever you are ready to enjoy Québec city, le Manoir d’Auteuil will be right there to give you the best insights! Have great summer!