Quebec City is one of the most vibrant, exciting and interesting cities in the world. With a rich and fascinating history, an invigorating present, and a future to look forward to, this city has something for everyone. However, Quebec tourism does not have to be limited to only the city.
Whilst the city has a lot to offer, and is a great hub for visitors, there is so much outside the walls of the city to explore. You do not have to go far to be transported into completely new experiences. Ranging from lush waterfalls to scenic train rides across the countryside, there are different day trips for visitors to enjoy.
To help you plan your trip or vacation to Quebec, we prepared this guide to Quebec City day trips. All the destinations on our list are no more than a few hours outside the city so they are perfect for a quick getaway.
What are some exciting day trips from Quebec City?
To help you find activities and excursions that meet your needs and interests, we compiled this list of the best day trips from Quebec City.
If you are looking for waterfalls, Ontario is not the only place to find them. Standing over one hundred feet taller than Niagra Falls, Montmorency falls is truly a sight to behold. It is hard to believe that this natural oasis is only a 15-minute drive from Quebec City. The falls, which are located in Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, are open to visitors year round, although we suggest going in the summer to experience Montmorency at its best.
Once you arrive, there are a few different ways to explore the falls and the surrounding area. You can hop on to a cable car or take a leisurely stroll along the suspension bridge. Alternatively, if you are a true adrenaline junky, there is also the option of taking a via ferrata or zip line across the falls, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
A Montmorency falls day trip is at the top of our list because it offers something for everyone. Whether you just want to take in the serene and beautiful views, or whether you are a thrill seeker looking to zipline across the impressive falls, this is the ultimate trip away from the city.
If you love the vibe of a big city, but want a change of scenery from Quebec City, Montreal is the answer. Fairly easy to get to from the center of Quebec City, as it is just under a three-hour drive, Montreal is a hipster haven. Known for its up-and-coming food, art, and music scene, it is the ideal destination for young travelers. The city’s stunning French colonial architecture endows the city with an old-world elegance that can be enjoyed by all.
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L’Anse Saint Jean
If beautiful countryside is what you are looking for in your day trips, look no further than L’Anse Saint Jean. It is the ultimate destination for nature lovers who crave the fresh country air. In fact, once you arrive, you might want to stay longer than a day, thanks to the endless things to do and see in this amazing part of Canada.
Located within the municipality of Saguenay Fjords, it is the ultimate destination for those who love to be active. There are new experiences to encounter in every corner. From horseback riding to hiking to kayaking or sailing, this area offers many exciting avenues of fun and exploration. In addition to its stunning natural beauty, it boasts some of the most glorious sunsets in Canada.
History buffs will absolutely love a trip to Grosse Isle thanks to its rich history. The island, which is based in the Saint Lawrence river, is a historical immigration landing point, as it was the main port of entry into Canada until the First World War. Grosse Island is best known as being the landing site for the influx of Irish Immigrants that arrived in Canada during the great famine of 1845-1849, which is why the island is also known as the Irish Memorial National Historic Site.
Much of the island’s story and history have been preserved so that visitors can witness the hardships that many immigrants had to go through in order to gain their passage to Canada. Visitors can tour the old buildings that were used as quarantine and disinfection stations for the new arrivals, with all the original features still intact. You can also do a walking tour around the historic villages and hospital sector which features a range of original buildings, from the original chapels to the superintendent’s garden, making it a truly educational and eye-opening trip, well worth the excursion outside of the city center.
Not to be confused with New Orleans in the USA, Île d’Orléans is a unique destination. The island consists of six different villages, all of which are worth travelling to. Whilst some cater more to nature lovers with their vast lakes, gaping canyon, and breathtaking scenery, others are more commercialized, catering to the foodie or art lover in you. Ile D’Orleans has charming village after charming village, and is therefore an endless reservoir of quaint sophistication, which everyone can enjoy.
Jacques-Cartier National Park
The forests that cover this national park are unlike any in the rest of Canada. They are vast and beautiful. The valley, which is engulfed by acres of thick forest on either side, is a sight to behold and attracts tourists from all over the map. Depending on the time of year of your visit, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. In the summer, visitors appreciate canoeing, biking and fishing, whereas in the winter, the park is known for Nordic skiing and ice skating. It is the ultimate travel destination all year round!
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Saguenay St Lawrence Marine Park
This impressive park which sits at the mouth of the Saguenay and Saint Lawrence river is widely considered the best spot in all of Quebec to whale watch. There is nothing more impressive than the show that the whales put on. The park is a national marine conservation area so the wildlife and biodiversity are protected and looked after by the government.
Once you travel to the park, an underwater oasis awaits you. There are different ways to explore all that the water offers. If you want to stay safe and watch the whales all day, that’s perfectly fine, but if you want to get onto the water, you have no shortage of options on offer. You can go kayaking, boating, or even scuba diving if you are feeling particularly adventurous. This marine park is undoubtedly the best day trip if you are looking to do something different!
Where to stay in Quebec City?
Although day trips are great if you want to explore new and exciting parts of the province, we recommend sleeping in Quebec City. As explained in this article, it is extremely easy to get to all the places that you might have on your Quebec bucket list from the city, so staying in the center gives you the best of both worlds.
The Best Western Plus in the heart of Downtown Quebec City is the ultimate accommodation for your trip to Quebec. Not only is the hotel ideally located but we offer different packages to make sure you enjoy your trip to Quebec City to the fullest. Our hotel has an indoor pool, fitness center and parking. Pets are welcome too!
We offer packages with breakfast included to ensure that you get your Quebec adventure off to a great start. We also have a package that includes sparking wine and a charcuterie board, if you are looking for something a little more special.