While your summer 2020 plans may not have originally been to stay at home in Quebec, our province offers plenty of fantastic travel options. We are blessed with huge and varied national parks, quaint small towns that serve up gourmet delights, world-class resorts and spas, and a bounty of natural experiences. From close to home vacations to mini-breaks and daytrips, we have trip ideas to help make this summer an awesome one, right here in our own backyards.
Camp in a National Park
Québec’s national parks offer a range of unique experiences, and camping is a fun way to truly get close to our province’s natural beauty.
- Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve’s primeval-looking beaches and rocky outcrops are filled with seabirds. Observe whales frolicking offshore, sea-kayaking or paddle board the clear waters, or head out on a boat charter.
- At La Mauricie National Park, 150 lakes stud the coniferous and hardwood forests. Easy hikes lead to tumbling waterfalls, and the park is paradise for wildlife.
- Forillon National Park offers both the ocean and forest, with plentiful biking and hiking trails, and several historic sites to visit (with special measures in place to maintain social distancing).
Tee Off in Charlevoix
The fairytale castle-like Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu serves up perfect, peaceful, and luxurious getaways (and, right now has some amazing deals for Québec residents). The 27-hole golf course at Le Manoir Richelieu is built to show off the natural beauty of this region, and overlooks the Saint-Lawrence River. There is also superb golf at Le Loup de Baie-Saint-Paul, where interestingly the course takes you through two covered bridges and a variety of terrains. The historic Murray Bay Golf Club (operating since 1876, and until recently a private members-only club) offers old-school charm as well as two excellent courses.
Fish from Your Own Houseboat in Mauricie
There are a number of operators around the Gouin Reservoir that offer houseboat rentals, with these motorized floating chalets accommodating up to eight people and enabling you to get to secluded fishing spots in this naturally beautiful location. The reservoir is teeming with walleye, trout, and pike, and attracts fishing enthusiasts from across North America. After you’ve pulled in your catch, you can barbeque it right there on the deck of the houseboat.
Sleep with the Wolves in Montebello
The panoramic windows of the Wolf Chalet at Parc Omega allow you to observe the park’s pack of wolves from the safety of a luxurious cabin (that sleeps six). By day, guests are free to come and go from the park, where you can see the huge range of animals that call Québec home, from arctic fox to plains bison. There are other accommodations with the park, including smaller chalets, tipis, and rustic prospector cabins.
Enjoy a gourmet break in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region
Many hotels and restaurants in this region are welcoming guests, and there are plenty of tasty experiences to be found. Stop at local specialist retailers such as award-winning Fromagerie Le Détour or Boulangerie Tentations Gourmandes with its perfect flakey pasties, in Témiscouata-sur-le-lac. Graze your way through Kamouraska, stopping for chocolates at La Fée Gourmande, and browsing the huge range of local products stocked at the charming, old-fashioned Magasin Général.
Stay in a Bubble or Treehouse at an Eco-Village in l'Anse-de-Roche
The accommodations at Canopée Lit are all perched on stilts high in the trees at this fun (if a little rustic) resort. There are completely transparent bubbles you can sleep in, allowing you to watch the stars above and nature all around you, day and night, and cabins (some with clear domes on the roof). Close by is the Saguenay-St.Lawrence Marine Park, the Marine Mammal Research Centre, and a range of tours available both on and off the water that showcase the natural beauty of this area.
Have a family adventure in Rimouski
Rent a fully equipped cabin at Domaine Valga, and enjoy their onsite facilities that include an aerial adventure park where you make your way from tree to tree through an old-growth forest. Rent kayaks, canoes, and paddle-boards to enjoy the lake, go out fishing, or have a swim, and spend your evenings roasting marshmallows over a campfire.
Take an Epic RV Road Trip
Pick up a CanaDream RV in Montreal, and the province is your oyster! No need to worry about what accommodations are open where. Plan a route that takes you through the Laurentians, drive around the Gaspé Peninsula, or plot a circuit that takes you through the farmlands and villages to Québec City, stopping at wildlife reserves and parks along the way. The possibilities are endless.
Have a French Polynesian Stay in Montérégie
At Domaine Pourki on the Richelieu River, glamping options include a Bora Bora hut, or tepee, positioned its own dock over the water. You can also pitch a tent at this gorgeous spot, or stay in a bubble with a transparent roof for star watching. Enjoy various water activities at the resort, explore small gourmet markets nearby, or venture out to see exotic beasts at the nearby Parc Safari or Zoo de Granby.
Indulge in a Luxury Break in the Eastern Townships
This collection of small cities and towns is filled with decadent places to stay, from resplendent country inns and luxury hotels, and charming B&Bs, all nestled in the most beautiful natural environments. Spend your days touring local producers and eateries, hiking the mountains, enjoying the lakes, perhaps taking in a little local art here and there. Always a fabulous destination, the Eastern Townships is opening up to visitors again (though you should check in advance if there are favourite places you want to visit, just to make sure they are open).
Enjoy Outdoor Adventures at Vallée Bras-du-Nord
There are 80km of hiking and biking trails through the breathtakingly pretty forest, lakes, and rivers of Vallée Bras-du-Nord. You can take an easy trek with the family, or a longer multi-day hiking trip pitching a tent (or booking in less-rustic accommodations that range from cabins and yurts to B&Bs) as you go. Also on offer there are river kayaking, rappelling, zip-lining, and geocaching - so there are plenty of ways to experience nature at this destination whether for an afternoon or longer excursion.
Know Before You Go:
- To avoid disappointment, book accommodations early, as some places are limiting numbers or reducing occupancy in order to maintain stricter cleaning and distancing protocols.
- Call in advance to check that the places you want to visit are open, and for any special requirements that may be in place.
- Check destination websites before you book, and before you leave for your trip, to get a better understanding of what stage they are at in reopening, and rely on information from your own region’s reopening phase regarding how far from home you should stray.
- The same COVID-19 safety rules apply, even when we’re on vacation. Protect yourself and others by wearing a mask when entering shops and businesses. Remember to wash your hands and use sanitizer often, and respect social distancing.