One can get a taste of old Europe right in North America when visiting
Québec City in Canada. Québec City is the capital
of the province of Québec. It can be easily reached by a
short flight from points in the northeastern United States and eastern
Canada. It is a three hour drive from Montreal. The high season
is the summer when visitors from all over the world visit. Recently,
the number of tourists from the United States and Europe has increased
dramatically. This may be partly due to the fact that even some
cruise ships originating from eastern US ports are now including
Québec City as a port of call.
Back in 1608, explorer Samuel de Champlain saw the potential of
the natural citadel here and founded a fur trading post. With the
fortifications of the Upper Town of Québec City became the
area where government and religious institutions set up. Meanwhile,
merchants and craftsmen settled in the Lower Town along the St.
Lawrence River. Québec City was fought over by the English
and the French many times during wars in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The English finally took the city over in 1759 resulting with New
France becoming a British colony. Québec City is still considered
as the cradle of French civilization in North America. The old quarter
of the city was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1985
and is the only fortified city in North America.
Today, the winding streets and alleys of the old quarter of Québec
City is filled with elegant restaurants, bistros, cafes, museums,
art galleries and retail shops. There are artists selling their
artwork in some of the alleys. Most of the restaurants in the old
quarter are smaller, independent business rather than large chains
and they fill up quickly during busy periods so advance reservations
are recommended. One of the landmarks of Québec City is the
huge medieval looking hotel, the Château Frontenac which along
with the adjacent Terrasse Dufferin, overlooks the St. Lawrence
River. A one of a kind funicular connects the Upper Town with the
Lower Town. There are also several smaller hotels right in the old
quarter. The old quarter can be visited by car and there are parking
areas strategically located.
Just outside the walls of the old quarter is the rest of downtown
Québec City where newer high rise hotels such as the Hilton
and Loews are located. Along the main street of Grand Allée
is another section of restaurants and cafes, many of them priced
a bit lower than the ones within the old quarter which gives visitors
more dining choices. It is a very easy walk from Grand Allée
to the old quarter.
Still another alternative for both accommodation and dining is
in the Sainte Foy area which is a 10 minute drive west of downtown
Québec City. In fact, Sainte Foy is actually closer to the
airport and is well represented by lower priced hotels such as Best
Western, Travelodge, Comfort Inn and Days Inn. During the high season,
some of the hotels in Sainte Foy offer free shuttle bus service
to the old quarter of Québec City. Sainte Foy also has two
shopping malls side by side along the main street of Laurier Boulevard.
Visitors may also want to drive 30 minutes east of Québec
City to the small village of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré which
has one of the most famous churches in North America, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
Basilica. This site was built in the mid 17th century and receives
1.5 million visitors per year. Along the way is a 272 foot high
water falls visible from the highway called the Chute Montmorency.
Although the summer is the high season, Québec City gets
a fair number of visitors to its Carnaval festival in February and
the major ski resort Mont Sainte-Anne is busy with the ski and snowboard
crowds all winter. Most skiers and snowboarders going to Mont Sainte-Anne
use Québec City as the base for accommodations and dining.
An added winter attraction during the last few years has been the
Ice Hotel near Lac Sainte-Joseph which was modeled after the one
Québec City has become one of Canada’s top tourist destinations
with attractions all year round catering to both summer and winter
visitors. With the added old European charm, it is the closest thing
to being in Europe without actually leaving North America.
About the Author:
Clint Leung is owner of Free Spirit Gallery http://www.FreeSpiritGallery.ca
, an online gallery specializing in Inuit Eskimo and Northwest Native
American art including carvings, sculpture and prints. Free Spirit
Gallery has numerous information resource articles with photos of
authentic Inuit and Native Indian art as well as free eCards.
Read more articles by: Clint Leung
Article Source: www.iSnare.com
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