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Québec City at its Best

Do Summer in Québec City Car-Free

Credit: André-Olivier Lyra

Checking out the highlights of the Old City is more or less a walk in the park—slip into a decent pair of shoes or catch the fabulous red double-decker and hop on or off as the mood strikes you. But what about all the great stuff farther afield? Here’s how to enjoy the wonders of the greater Québec City Area car-free.

Parc de la Chute-Montmorency

Montmorency Falls is a feathery marvel 83 metres (272') high (that’s 30 metres [100'] higher than Niagara, by the way) just on the edge of town!

Montmorency Waterfalls Credit: Jeff Frenette Photography Zoom

How to get there:

  • Shuttle: The Old Québec Tours Blue Loop shuttle runs between the tourist information centre across from the Château Frontenac and the base of the falls. Shuttle tickets are available at the centre.
  • City bus (RTC): Take the 800 Metrobus towards Beauport and get off at the last stop, called “des Rapides” (#3473). From there it’s just a few minutes to the suspension bridge at the top of the falls.
  • Bike: For an adventure you won’t forget, take Corridor du Littoral, a fantastic bike path that takes you right to the falls. Ask for directions at your bike rental place. It’s about 12 km (7.5 miles) one-way from the Old Port.

Jacques-Cartier National Park

Up for a day in the wilderness? The spectacular glacier-carved valley at the heart of Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier is the place for you!

Parc national Jacques Cartier Credit: Jeff Frenette Photography Zoom

How to get there:

  • Bus: Intercar has once-a-day service to the visitor centre in the park that departs from the Sainte-Foy bus terminal at 6 a.m. and the Québec City bus terminal at 6:40 a.m., with the bus back departing from the visitor centre at 2:50 p.m. The bus runs daily this year from June 16 to September 9 and Saturdays and Sundays from September 10 to October 8.
    *Other departure times are available, but the bus stops 10 km (just over 6 miles) from the visitor centre.
    Reserve online with Intercar or at the bus terminal.

Aquarium du Québec

Meet polar bears, walruses, and several species of seal at this impressive aquarium complex with views of the St. Lawrence River.

Polar bear at Aquarium du Quebec Credit: Jeff Frenette Photography Zoom

How to get there: 

  • Shuttle: The Old Québec Tours Orange Loop shuttle runs between the tourist information centre across from the Château Frontenac and Aquarium du Québec
  • City bus (RTC): Routes 13 and 25 take you close to the aquarium. Get off at the “des Hôtels” stop, #1926. From there, it’s a 650 metre walk to the aquarium (just under half a mile).

Valcartier Vacation Village

This colossus among waterparks features 35 slides, 2 exotic river adventures, and a giant indoor waterpark where it’s summer all year round.

Valcartier Vacation Village Credit: Jeff Frenette Photography Zoom

How to get there:

Wendake

Experience Huron‑Wendat culture at Wendake, an urban First Nations reserve.

Wendake Credit: Francis Gagnon Zoom

How to get there:

Île d’Orléans

Spend some time in the unspoiled Québec countryside of centuries past. This enchanted island in the St. Lawrence River has all kinds of local specialties to sample, too.

Ile Orleans Winery Credit: Jeff Frenette Photography Zoom

How to get there:

Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine

Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is the continent’s oldest Roman Catholic pilgrimage site north of Mexico, drawing close to a million pilgrims each year.

Sainte-Anne Shrine Credit: Jeff Frenette Photography Zoom

How to get there:

  • Guided tours: Old Québec Tours has tours of the Côte-de-Beaupré area with a stop at the shrine, departing from major city-centre hotels (look for «countryside" tours).

Whale Watching

A mere 200 km downstream from Québec City you’ll find the absolute El Dorado of whale watching—it’s the Tadoussac area. A day trip to the area is perfectly feasible.

Whalewatching Quebec Credit: Catherine Dubé Zoom

How to get there: 

Neighbourhood Adventures

Avenue Cartier Credit: Ville de Québec Zoom

Step off the beaten path and see a more local side of the city. There are lots of great neighbourhoods within easy reach on foot or by bus. See our neighbourhood feature pages for all the details.

Laurier Québec/Place de la Cité/Place Sainte-Foy Shopping Centre Complex

There’s nothing like the mall when you want to get out of the rain or the heat. And this one has Eastern Canada’s biggest shopping selection.

Zoom

How to get there:

More tips on getting around in Québec City.

Note: The information in this article is subject to change without notice. We recommend checking with the providers listed or going to their websites for up-to-date information.

Next post A Short Guide to a Great Time at the Québec City Summer Festival

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