Exploring Quebec City and the St. Lawrence River

The capital and heart of the French Quebec region, Quebec City, sits on the Cap Diamant cliff overlooking the St. Lawrence river. People have been living in Quebec City since as early as 1000 AD. Quebec’s architecture, ambiance, and history are all European-inspired due to its settlement by settlers from France; it became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1985. This is because its economy was centered around fishing and its port served as an important trade center. Despite this history, its today’s primary industry is manufacturing, with other sectors such as finance becoming more prominent in recent years. It has some of the most prosperous scenery in Canada, unlike the Gaspé Peninsula, which is wild and inaccessible (though barely populated).

Quebec City Google Maps

What to see and expect:

  • UN World Heritage Site
  • The historical and political seat of French Canada
  • Gourmands’ paradise
  • Rare marine wildlife

Quebec City was founded as a city in 1608. Jacques Cartier originally discovered it but later gained dominance by the British at the Battle of Plains of Abraham in 1759. The oldest part of the city, Basse-Ville, has been renovated and transformed into a charming destination.

Quebec City has narrow, cobblestone streets and buildings, making the small, provincial city feel more like a European town. You can pack most of the most famous sights in this accessible corner of Quebec City, just 55 square kilometers / 21 square miles. The city is also home to the French-speaking provincial parliament, the “Assemblée Nationale”.

Exploring Quebec City

Nestled in the heart of French Canada, Quebec City is a charming European-style city with a rich history and unique culture. From its cobblestone streets and quaint cafes to its towering Gothic cathedral, Quebec City is worth a visit!

Walking is the most feasible way to reach destinations in Quebec City. Three areas make up the city: Basse-Ville is the oldest area, Haute-Ville has shops and restaurants, and Grande Allée is home to provincial parliament buildings.

Terrasse Dufferin

One of the best places to take in the views of Quebec City is from Terrasse Dufferin. This terrace is located just outside the Château Frontenac and offers stunning views of the St. Lawrence River. Visitors can enjoy the views from the terrace or stroll down the promenade to get a closer look at the river.

Parc des Champsde-Bataille

National Battlefields Park is a historic site that was once a battlefield. It has monuments, dedicated fountains, and living programs where people can learn about the history of the battlefield. In 1759, British troops defeated the French army, securing Canada for British rule for years. One hundred years later, in 1908, National Battlefields Park became one of the largest urban parks in North America.

The park is also home to some historical monuments, so it’s a great place to learn about the history of Quebec City.

Assemblée Nationale

The Provincial Parliament for the province of Quebec is a Second Empire Building, conceived as a showcase of Quebec history. The building is home to 22 bronze statues, each representing someone who played an influential role in Quebec’s development. Additionally, the statue outside of the main entrance of this building that honors the French explorers was created by Czeslaw Miloszna.

If you find yourself in Quebec City, check out the Assemblée Nationale. The building dates back to 1832, and it’s worth a visit if you’re interested in learning more about the history and culture of this region.

Fortifications de Québec

100 years ago, Quebec’s fortifications were transformed from a military necessity to an attraction. Along the city’s northern and eastern edges are low ramparts studded with cannons that defend the clifftop. To the west, walls reach up 10 feet. There are two elegant gates: the Saint-Jean and the Saint-Louis. Visitors can walk along the top of these for 4 km (3 miles).

Québec City’s fortifications are some of the most well-preserved in North America. The city’s walls and ramparts date back to the 17th century and are a great way to learn about Québec City’s rich history. The fortifications are also a great place to take in views of the city and the St. Lawrence River.

Vieux Port

Located in the heart of the city, Vieux Port is a great place to stroll around, enjoy the views, and sample some of the local cuisines.

Vieux Port is ideal if you want to avoid the crowded heritage in Lower Town while not sacrificing quality. It’s an open walking zone that boasts 18th-century merchants’ houses with a museum displaying Quebec architecture and furniture from that era. There are also many hands-on exhibits and workshops for families in which they are encouraged to try on costumes from different eras. Along the waterfront, many modernized attractions include boat cruises with beautiful views of the Chute Montmorency waterfalls.

Musée de la Civilisation

The Quebec Museum of History and Culture is located in Basse-Ville, Montreal. It was designed by Moshe Safdie. The museum showcases history and culture. One exhibit is themed on the first encounter of the First Nations people with the Europeans. Another exhibit showcases a french boat from 250 years ago.

The Musée de la Civilisation in Quebec City is a must-see for anyone interested in the history and culture of the province.

Place Royale

Place Royale contains some of the most histories among all Canadian squares. It was built in 1673 and named Place Royale because of its closeness to Champlain’s garden, housing a bust of Louis XIV after his death in 1686. Today, Place Royale remains similar to the 18th century with cobblestone courts and early 18th century buildings.

In the heart of Old Quebec lies Place Royale, a beautiful square that has been the center of life in the city for centuries. It is a popular spot for tourists to relax, watch people, and soak up the historic atmosphere. Surrounded by charming cafes and shops, Place Royale is the perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring Quebec City.

Rue du Petit Champlain

Rue du Petit Champlain is one of the oldest streets in Quebec City and is full of character. This charming street is lined with boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants, making it the perfect place to explore an afternoon. Check out some unique shops like Le Chocolatier du Vieux-Port, where you can sample delicious handmade chocolates, or La Maison Simons, a local department store. Rue du Petit Champlain is also a great place to people-watch and soaks up the atmosphere of this historic city.

Place d’Armes

Quebec City is home to many beautiful historical sites, one of which is Place d’Armes. This public square has been a gathering place for centuries and is now a popular spot for tourists and locals. The square is surrounded by some of the city’s most notable buildings, including the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral, the Château Frontenac hotel, and the Province of Quebec Parliament Building. In the center of the square is a statue of Louis XIV, erected in 1895 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his coronation. Place d’Armes is a great place to take a break from sightseeing and people-watching, and there are often musicians playing in the square.

Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Québec

The Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Québec is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec and the oldest church in North America. It is located in Old Quebec, within the historic district of Vieux-Québec. The church was built between 1647 and 1666, with construction continuing into the early 18th century.

The basilica is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Quebec City, as it is a beautiful example of French Gothic architecture. The interior of the church is decorated with intricate paintings and sculptures. The church also has a large pipe organ often used for concerts. Visitors to the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Québec can explore the church independently or take a guided tour. Guided tours are available in English and French and last approximately 45 minutes.

Rue du Trésor

Located just across the street from the Holy Trinity Cathedral, rue de Buade is a Quebec tradition. Not open to cars and only open in the summer, the alley is filled with people looking for caricatures of themselves.

If you’re looking for a charming street to explore in Quebec City, look no further than Rue du Trésor. This historic street is lined with beautiful buildings and is full of character. You’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants to keep you busy, and you can even visit the Museum of French America while you’re here.

Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral

Anglican worship has been present in Quebec City since the early days of the city’s history, and Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral is a beautiful example of this religious tradition. The cathedral was built in 1804 and is the oldest Anglican church in North America. It is also one of the most beautiful churches in the city, with its neo-Gothic architecture and stunning stained glass windows. If you’re interested in exploring Quebec City’s religious history, visiting Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral is a must.

Monastère des Ursulines

The Monastère des Ursulines is a beautiful piece of history in the heart of Quebec City. This convent was founded in 1639 by Marguerite Bourgeoys and was the first women’s religious community in North America. The Ursulines were known for their dedication to education, and the convent operated a school for girls from its founding until the early twentieth century. Today, the Monastère des Ursulines is a museum and cultural center that is well worth visiting when exploring Quebec City.

Hôtel de Ville

The Hôtel de Ville, or City Hall, is one of the most iconic buildings in Quebec City. Built in the early 18th century, it has served as the seat of government for the city ever since. Visitors can tour the building to see its grandiose interior, which includes a stunning staircase and several ornate rooms. The Hôtel de Ville is also home to a museum, which tells the city’s story through its exhibits.

Séminaire de Québec

The Séminaire de Québec, founded in 1663, is the oldest educational institution in North America. Located in Old Quebec, the Seminary is home to a rich history and beautiful architecture. The Seminary’s grounds are open to the public and offer a tranquil oasis in the city’s heart. The Seminary also houses a museum and library open to visitors.

La Citadelle

The French and British armies contributed to building this military fort. The French started construction in 1750, with work completed in 1831 by the British. The fort was created for defense against the U.S. and never needed to be used. Today visitors can take a self-guided tour of the star-shaped fortress, split into 4 quadrants. The Citadelle houses a famous regiment called “the Royal 22e (Van Doos).” You may also watch them perform their daily tasks and parade drills if you’re lucky enough to visit when they are on duty.

If you’re looking to explore all that Quebec City has to offer, a visit to La Citadelle is a must. This historic fortification offers stunning views of the city and is a great place to learn about the city’s rich history. You can explore the many different rooms and exhibits and get a sense of what life was like in the fort during its heyday. Check out the view from the top of the citadel – it’s breathtaking!

Exploring the St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River is a beautiful and vast waterway that runs through many different regions of Canada. The St. Lawrence River is a beautiful spot for a summer vacation. With its crystal-clear waters and stunning scenery, it’s no wonder that so many people flock to its shores each year. We’ll explore some of the best things to do in the St. Lawrence River area, from swimming and sunbathing to fishing and hiking.

Baie Comeau

When the Chicago Tribune moved to the Manicougan River, Baie-Comeau was founded. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination for power tourists due to its proximity to the Manic-Outardes Hydroelectric Power Complex, which is situated 22 km (14 miles) to 200 km (130 miles) north of town back a vast reservoir. Whether you’re looking to explore the great outdoors or take in some gorgeous views, Baie Comeau is worth a visit!


The Saguenay River runs through the heart of Chicoutimi, and the city has been built around this natural feature. The river is a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes along its banks where you can enjoy the views.

The town, which spans the crook of mountains on the western shore of the Saguenay, is modest but expansive. It’s located in Quebec and is a center for trade and culture of Northern Quebec. Tourists now take walks by the river and can see mountain ranges before intersecting with three rivers – the Chicoutimi, Du-Moulin, and Saguenay Rivers. The town holds a natural history museum called the Pulperie de Chicoutimi, with tours that show visitors how to ship cotton, paper, and newsprint from one point to another. If you’re interested in exploring the St. Lawrence River, Chicoutimi is a great place to start!


Until the 1950s, Sept-Iles was a sleepy fishing village. After World War II, large companies started investing in the town becoming Canada’s second largest port and the St. Lawrence Seaway. The old dock offers visitors a close-up observation of modern marine technology as well as a reminder of its long history with the Vieux Poste trading post. Although an industrial area, Sept-Iles is also an important site for natural beauty.

The town of Sept-Iles is a great place to start your exploration of the St. Lawrence River. Located at the mouth of the river, Sept-Iles has a rich history and culture strongly tied to the river. There are several museums and historical sites in town that are worth visiting, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants. The town is also an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area, including some of the islands in the river. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just enjoying the great outdoors, the St. Lawrence River has something to offer everyone.


Set in an old town, this site has a start of exploring the quaint areas near the St. Lawrence River. Traces of French traders can be found here, with over 200 years as a site for fur trading between natives and non-natives. With 20th-century tourism on the rise, rugged scenery and significant sites frequented by locals and tourists alike are worth visiting. Some buildings here include the re-creation of the original 17th-century trading post and the oldest wooden church in Canada.

Tadoussac is located in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park in Quebec, Canada. It is situated at the confluence of the Saguenay and St. Lawrence rivers and is known for its whale-watching opportunities. Visitors to Tadoussac can take boat tours to see beluga, blue, and fin whales. Several hiking trails offer stunning views of the river and surrounding countryside.

Charlevoix Coast

The Charlevoix Coast is a 130-mile/200 km stretch from Sainte-Anne-Beaupré in the west to the mouth of the Saguenay. The area is an example of a boreal forest, which makes it a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Many small villages and towns can be seen throughout the coast, with beautiful flowers and old buildings against tall cliffs showing off how pretty nature can be. Baie-Saint-Paul is just 35 km/21 miles north of this scenic coast, and Parc des Grands Jardins is only 55 km / 34,17 miles away. This park provides walking trails and black spruce taiga forest with caribou, making it great for exploring nature. If you plan a trip to the St. Lawrence River, add Charlevoix Coast to your itinerary. You won’t be disappointed!

Gaspé Peninsula

The Gaspé Peninsula is a must-see for anyone visiting the St. Lawrence River. This beautiful area is home to impressive cliffs, pristine beaches, and stunning views. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, biking, and camping in the Gaspé.


The Iles-de-la-Madeleine are a group of islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. They are known for their sandy beaches, picturesque villages, and unique French culture. Families who live on remote islands in the St. Lawrence gulf paint their houses in mauves and yellows, but there are more attractions to see than color. Among the treasures are charming ancient villages and beaches, known for their fine sand and offshore positions. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.


Lac-Saint-Jean is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Quebec. Thousands of people enjoy the lake’s many activities every year. From swimming and sunbathing on the beach to fishing and canoeing, there is something for everyone at Lac-Saint-Jean. But what many people don’t know is that Lac-Saint-Jean is also a great place to see some of Quebec’s amazing wildlife. The lake is home to various animals, including beavers, otters, and moose! You might even spot a bald eagle or two if you’re lucky.

The lake’s east is dairy farms, such as Chambord, and warm sandy beaches, where people live. On the edge of the vast lake is a crater-sized basin left behind by glaciers that melted at the end of the last Ice Age. So whether you’re looking for a place to relax or an adventure, be sure to add Lac-Saint-Jean to your list of must-see places in Quebec!

Mingan Archipelago and Ile d’Anticosti

A harsh landscape with rich wildlife and untouched ecosystems on the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Mingan Archipelago boasts pet seals, harp seals, and even fin whales. The area features bizarre monoliths sculpted from limestone by centuries of waves, looking like flower pots. Village consists of just 300 residents.

The Mingan Archipelago is made up of over 1,000 small islands, most of which are uninhabited. The islands are known for their unique rock formations, created by glaciers during the last Ice Age. The archipelago is also home to various wildlife, including seals, seabirds, and whales.

Ile d’Anticosti is an island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is famous for its shipwrecks, many of which date back to the 19th century. The island is also home to a large population of deer and several rare species of plants and animals.

Parc de la Chute Montmorency and Ile d’Orléans

The Montmorency Falls is Quebec’s most celebrated waterfall. It is higher than Niagara and is created by the Montmorency River emptying out into the St. Lawrence River.

Parc de la Chute Montmorency is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Quebec. A rich way to experience the Falls includes taking a suspension bridge, an aerial tram, and climbable trails that lead to the surrounding cliffs for fit and fearless people. A modern bridge nearby crosses the river to Ile d’Orléans, which gives a great look at rural life in Quebec.

Ile d’Orléans is a charming island located in the St. Lawrence River, just east of Quebec City. The island is known for its fresh produce and quaint villages. Visitors can explore the island by car, bike, or foot.

Saguenay River

The Saguenay River is a river in Quebec, Canada. It drains Lac Saint-Jean in the Laurentian Highlands, flowing south through the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region to empty into the St. Lawrence River at Tadoussac. It is 418 kilometers / 260 miles) long and drains an area of 21,500 square kilometers / 8,300 sq miles, giving it a mean discharge of 1,380 cubic meters per second / 49,000 cu ft/s.

The Saguenay River is in the southernmost natural fjord, formed from a retreating glacier. On the cliff of 450 meters in height, there are 300 meters of water. The river starts at Lac St. Jean and ends at the St Laurent estuary, and it has lush borderlands and wildlife that thrive in its lower reaches. The Bas Saguenay, the southern part of the river, is a federal marine park with 1 thousand whales living here. There are views of the length of the fjord on Cap Trinité, which is 320 meters high over the channel, and a 10-meter statue of the Virgin Mary overlooking the scenery on the lowest ledge.


A 17th-century chapel, which is home to the patron saint of those in shipwrecks, welcomes more than 1.5 million residents every year, including a pilgrimage on Saint Anne’s Day on July 26. The chapel was built during medieval times and is the fifth church. Evidence citing the faith of generations can be found in two columns of crutches at the entrance. The dome vaults are decorated with gold mosaics that highlight the day-to-day life of Saint Anne and her interactions with Mother Mary.

South Shore

The South Shore of the St. Lawrence River is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. From the 1000 Islands to the Adirondack Mountains, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy the views, or you’re looking for an adventure, the South Shore has something for everyone.

It’s possible to find heritage communities in Quebec since it has such an old culture. Communities that have survived among these villages love the region. Many people enjoy fishing and living in small communities, which provide a sense of freedom and comfort. Rivière-du-Loup is one town that encourages those looking for a simpler life to feel free to live there.

The old town has 18th-century French cottages and a church on an ancient stone site. A view from the peak of the old town is beautiful, and you can find more interesting places like Trois-Pistoles with a history that goes back to 1580.

Furthermore, the region of Ile-aux-Basques used to be a whaling station in the 16th century, and today visitors can still find that nature preserve. Visitors can also see Rimouski, a commercial center located nearby. There is also Parc Bic, which is located within this region and allows visitors to explore two forest zones.


If you’re looking for a taste of Europe in North America, Quebec City is the place to go. With its French-inspired architecture and ambiance, it’s like stepping into another world. And because it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, you know it’s worth a visit. Even though its primary industry today is manufacturing, plenty of other sectors are thriving, such as finance. Plus, with its beautiful scenery, Quebec City is one of the most prosperous cities in Canada.