4-Day Road Trip: Quebec City – Charlevoix – Tadoussacfull disclosure for further information.
The 4-day road trip with my little girl was amazing. We had so much fun embracing the wonders of one of the heritage treasure, walkable and safe cities in Canada. And most importantly, delicious foods! Also, our 4 days were full of amusement and discoveries.
Day 1: Quebec City
My daughter and I spent the first day of our trip in Quebec City. We stayed at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, one of the historic hotels in the city formerly known as Château Frontenac.
We experienced an enchanting and memorable stay at this upscale hotel, in one of the world’s most beautiful and walkable cities. With 610 guestrooms and suites, a stay at this prestigious hotel will give you a taste of historic Europe.
Located in the Old Fortified City, the hotel offers breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River and an abundance of architectural delights.
Some of the amenities you will enjoy while staying in the hotel are:
1. Gym and locker – located on the 5th floor, open 24 hours.
2. Swimming pool – open daily from 7 AM to 9 PM. With social distancing rules, there is a limited number of people allowed inside the swimming pool area and to use the swimming pool, you must make a reservation ahead.
3. Spa Moment Le Château Frontenac – enjoy a complete relaxation of the body and mind in a tranquil setting overlooking Old Quebec. This pure relaxation experience is even more enjoyable as you gaze out at the Cathedral and St. Lawrence River.
This hotel is an excellent choice if you enjoy learning about history. You will find out what history has made the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac famous over the years. Aside from that, you will adore the architectural improvements made in recent years.
On the first evening of our travel, we had dinner at the Bistro Le Sam. This place has an amazing ambiance, excellent service and delicious food. So, if you’re looking for a very good dining experience, this restaurant is perfect for you and your family!
In the morning, we had an A la carte breakfast at Place Dufferin. This restaurant also has excellent service! You can find this resto on the Dufferin Terrace.
Day 2: Orleans Island
On our second day, we drove to Orleans Island in the morning. The drive from Quebec City only took 30 minutes. There were so many exciting places to see on Orleans Island, but we stopped at only 5 of them. Here are the amazing places we visited:
1. Chocolaterie de l’île d’Orléans
This chocolate shop produces high-quality chocolates using ingredients imported from Belgium. You can choose from truffles, cherries, praline, maple butter, and many more. Plus, they also have homemade ice cream or sorbet in the summer. There is a year-round entrance to the attraction, located in an over 200 year old ancestral home.
We stopped to get ice cream and have a walk down Rue Horatio-Walker to admire Québec City on the tip of the island.
2. Parc Maritime de Saint-Laurent
It’s a nice place to visit the old boatbuilding from 1830. You can have a short walk in the nature. All you need to do is to pay a 5$ entrance fee.
In addition, you can learn how to make sailors’ knots like a real sailor and use them every day. On top of that, the park features a shaded picnic area by the river with a beautiful view. Whether you’re alone, with friends or family, this is a perfect place to unwind.
3. Saint-François-de-l’île-d’Orléans Observation Tower
As you climb the stairs, you will see the St. Lawrence River and the mountains beyond. But my little one was scared so we couldn’t stay longer. The Observation Tower located in Saint-Francois-de-l’Ile-d’Orleans gives a nice view of the St-Lawrence river and the mountains. It will not cost you anything to visit this place because parking is free. Most importantly, there are public restrooms nearby.
4. Cider House Domain Steinbach
Cider House Domaine Steinbach is a place where you can enjoy a panoramic view, cider tasting, and a lovely playground for kids. Kids love admiring goats and chickens right next to the playground. Domaine Steinbach is located 15 minutes from Old Quebec and 5 minutes from the Orleans Island’s bridge on Chemin Royal.
5. Casse Croute Chez Mag
We stopped at this cute roadside stand known for their Lobster Poutine. I had a great experience at this restaurant, thanks to the friendly owner and the delicious food! The lobster rolls and poutine were so good, but there was not enough lobster for me!
You must try their lobster rolls if you happen to pass by this area.
Day 3: Whale watching cruise with AML croisière & Tadoussac
There are up to 13 species of whales, including 6 different varieties. While you’re on tour, you will admire the impressive cliffs and surrounding river and will be able to breathe in the fresh air. Also, a certified naturalist guide will be accompanying you while giving detailed explanations in keeping an eye on the wildlife.
We bought the package with AML croisière, which includes 4 activities (whale watching, Train, Tadoussac Chapel, Astrobleme). We didn’t see many whales, but we admired the view and islands along the way.
Pointe de l’Islet, Tadoussac
While walking along the river, we got to see the Fjord and St. Lawrence. Besides the natural rock formations and mountains, you will also see fresh and saltwater, driftwood, seagrass, and more.
We also visited the Chapel. There was a trail that leads to Pointe de l’Islet.
It’s a true ocean paradise at Baie Sainte-Catherine. Surfers come here to ride the waves. When kayaking or zipping, the experience is simply stunning when whales are blowing. Beaches hide in rocky creeks, and the rivers resemble the ocean. This fantastic place is blessed by hunting and fishing lovers, hikers, VTT, and horseback riding enthusiasts.
Similarly, Saint-Siméon is a maritime and forest past. It offers 3 discovery poles, namely:
- Village of Saint-Siméon
Located along the St. Lawrence, Saint-Siméon stands comfortably on a hillside. This village-nature is set amidst a boreal forest and the St. Lawrence’s salty waters, creating an idyllic landscape. Charlevoix is a destination filled with activities for the whole family, thanks to its campgrounds, outfitters, maple grove, cultural events and municipal beaches.
Above all, these stops offer great views!
Day 4: The Observatoire de l’Astroblème de Charlevoix & Charlevoix Train
Learn about the famous meteoritic origin of the region and the remains of his ancient crater, which is located in the Charlevoix region of Quebec, Canada.
If the weather is good during the evening, discover the mysteries of the starry sky with a multimedia presentation and telescope observation in the evening.
We had an 1.5-hour trip from La Malbaie to Baie Saint-Paul. We had 4 hours of free time at Baie Saint-Paul. The stop is right next to a farm and hotel. Kids love walking on the farm where there are many animals and picnic tables. We then walked to Baie St-Paul downtown (10 min) over to rue Saint-Jean-Baptiste to soak up the local culture.
In 2017, Baie-Saint-Paul was named Cultural Capital of Canada for having the most art galleries per capita across Canada. Rue Saint-Jean-Baptiste is a charming street in Baie Saint-Paul with many fine restaurants.
Quai Casgrain Park
We took the train back at 5 pm and arrived at La Malbaie at 7 pm. We went to the Quai Casgrain Park, 5 minutes from the train station, for a few minutes as my little girl loved this place. It was raining a little bit and we still had to drive home, so we did not stay long in the park. After 5 hours on the road, we finally arrived at home close to 1 am.
I would have stayed one more night in La Malbaie to enjoy another day at Quai Casgrain Park and have a picnic. My little one didn’t want to leave this park and already is asking to go back there.