It’s June, and at Brightspark that means we have new tour groups heading to historic Quebec City every day. Time to reveal the things we just can’t miss when we visit the only fortified city in North America.
Don’t Miss this View
Whether you are participating in our Brightspark Photo Contest or hoping for an awesome Facebook cover photo here are some of our favorite vistas.
The Old Quebec Funicular
This glass elevator connects Quebec City’s Lower Town with its Upper Town. The first funicular opened in 1879 with its lower station in the Historic house of Louis Jolliet, a famous French Canadian explorer who mapped much of the Mississippi River. The funicular saves weary walkers from walking up the breakneck stairs to upper town for a small fee of $2.25. The view near the top of the ride is well worth the admission and your legs will thank you.
The Old Ramparts of The Citadelle
From the Cannon Ramparts of the home of the famous Royal 22nd Regiment (Van Doos), you have a view of the Sainte-Laurent river for miles in each direction. Once prized for its defensive advantage, this view is now a photographers dream and makes a great place for group photos. Make sure a tour of The Citadelle is on your next itinerary to take advantage of this amazing vista.
It’s almost a crime to visit Quebec without treating yourself to some of the provincial fare. Here are a few of our favorite spots to do just that:
Poutine is a classic Quebec-born dish made with French fries, cheese curds and gravy. It can be a great “greasy spoon” bite or refined as a fancy side dish. For some amazing poutine venture into Chez Ashton, which has convenient locations all around the city. The one we frequent most is on the corner of St. Jean Street and Cote du Palais. This spot is a favorite for students and Tour Leaders alike. They make all the components in house, yum!
If you want to know how the original habitants survived the cold, harsh Quebec winters, try some traditional French Canadian cuisine at a sugar shack (we love them all.) Hearty delicious homemade food and live entertainment await you, plus you’ll learn how Quebec’s famous maple syrup is made and get to sample the liquid gold. Make sure a sugar shack visit is on your next Quebec itinerary.
Old Quebec is full of creperies, but Casse-Crepe Breton is our favorite and offers a a perfect spot for lunch and shopping. Located on St. Jean Street, their service is not the fastest but it’s always pleasant and the homemade crepes and soups are the perfect break to a busy tour day.
Shop Till You Drop
This department store was started in 1840 by the Simons family in Quebec City. It features well known brands, but the real gems are the in-store brands that are designed by Quebec designers. Simon’s has styles for everyone and with only 1 store in Ontario you can be pretty confident that you won’t run into someone on the street with the same outfit. Our favourite location is 20 Cote de la Fabrique in Old Town.
Les Galleries de la Capital
With hundreds of stores all in one place, this Mall is a shopper's dream. But that’s not why it’s on our favorites list. There is an amusement park and skating rink inside the mall! After you grab some great deals (or if shopping isn't your thing), spend some time on the indoor roller coaster or with your friends on the bumper cars. Make sure to remind your tour leader to pick up your group welcome package at the information center—it has coupons for stores and eateries and for one free ride on the roller coaster.
Albert Gilles Copper Art Museum
Though the incredible artist Albert Gilles is no longer with us, his family keeps their 87-year-old coppersmithing tradition alive. Let the Gilles women teach you about their craft as you marvel at their artwork and even create your own copper masterpiece at their workshop. This is also one of our favourite stops to pick up unique gifts for our families and mementos from our trips.
Travel back in time and live the life of a 19th century British soldier stationed in Quebec. Learn how to load a replica musket, stand at attention, and discover why you had to have at least two teeth in your mouth to join the military. We love watching students interact with the professional reenactment soldiers and it’s amazing to stand inside one of the original defense structures for 1800s Quebec.
Our newest Brightspark program has gotten rave reviews. Hosted by our charming and charismatic Brightspark team, this gameshow-style educational and entertaining competition is a great new addition to our Quebec Itineraries. This evening activity pits schools against each other in friendly and curriculum enriching competition.
There so many amazing things to see and do in Quebec, this was just a sampling of our favorites. Contact your Brightspark sales rep to help put together a Sparktacular itinerary for your next Quebec adventure.