Quebec City, Canada marked our first (and only to date) full family trip outside of the US. Quebec city was built beginning in the early 17th century by the French, so it is the closest an American can get to feeling like a trip to Europe without a long flight.
The Hotel Port Royal was our home base for staying in Old Town Quebec. This historic section is in the lower part of the city, located along the St. Lawrence River. We easily filled our first day in the shops and art galleries. Above the lower section is Parliament Hill and the Plains of Abraham, with views of the lower town and the Saint Lawrence River.
Dinner & A Show
We found our new favorite restaurant when we dined at L’Orygin. The ambiance of the lowly-lit patio and the sustainably sourced, fresh and local food made for the perfect combination.
The streets of Quebec City continued to grow more crowded at sunset. We then realized that the Harbor was hosting the final night of Le Grand Feux Loto-Québec, advertised as the largest fireworks festival in the world.
Museum of Civilization
The Museum of Civilization is part Canadian history museum, part experiential art museum. Two permanent exhibits provide great detail about the history of Quebec. This is Our Story is a comprehensive exhibit about the indigenous cultures of Canadian lands. The People of Quebec showcases objects that tell the story in a timeline history of Quebec. Temporary Exhibitions rotate, and themes range from technology & science to art & culture.
Just north of the City is Montmorency Falls. We started the loop of the grounds by crossing the suspended bridge over the Falls, then took a cablecar to the grounds below. In hindsight the loop in the opposite direction would have saved us some energy; a climb UP a 487 foot staircase completed our walk back to the parking lot.
Outside of Old Quebec we found a number of equally explorable neighborhoods.
On our second night we stayed in Downtown Quebec city at the Hotel Palace Royal. Many of the newer hotels have large aquatic centers inside, making the city even better for families with young children. The hotel was just a block away from the Saint-Jean-Baptiste section of town.
We capped off our trip with a Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Citadel. The ceremony itself lasted half an hour. We didn’t take the guided tour that gave visitors access to the Citadel Grounds. The highlight of the trip for Alice was meeting the regimental mascot Batisse the Goat.