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Help needed for Birthday Celebration in June

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Canton, Michigan
posts: 41
reviews: 17
Help needed for Birthday Celebration in June

The good news....I get to go to Quebec City. The bad news...the birthday, it's a big one. And it's mine. :p

I've never been to Quebec City (nor Montreal, which is the second half of the trip) and the more I look at the pictures and read the reviews the more I fall in love with it. We will be in Quebec City 4 nights (but won't have much of the first day because we are traveling most of the day)

I believe we (husband and I - no kids) have settled on Hotel 71. We will be driving from Detroit and they have a summer package for a very good price, and it includes valet parking. The hotel looks charming - as do most of the hotels in Quebec. It will be nice to deviate from the Marriott-chain type places we usually stay in.

My questions...while I'm still in the planning stages....are as follows:

Walking tours - I love them. Thinking about taking one the first day we are there. Which walking tour do you recommend?

Guided tours - yup, love those too. Do any of the museums/historic sights have them. I believe I saw that the Parliament Building has one - any others?

Montmorency Falls - yes or no? There and straight back or spend a day driving through the country side? Are there any wineries in the area near the falls? I love ice wine - and it's expensive here in Michigan. Would love to pick some up.

What's your favorite wow...this is a Kodak moment? I am an avid (armature) photographer. I'm happy to come back from vacation with at least one printable/frame-able picture, although I think Quebec City is going to offer lots of opportunities for that!

Lastly - where do the locals go? What place is that tucked away hidden gem?

Interests: art, history, tours, culture, foodie

Thanks in advance everyone!! <3

Canton, Michigan
posts: 41
reviews: 17
1. Re: Help needed for Birthday Celebration in June

Not sure if I need to go to the Montreal forum to post questions about the second part of our trip or if I can do it here? I'd have basically the same questions for Montreal. The big birthday will take place here so looking for one really nice dinner. No hotel decided yet. Want to go to the Art Museum for sure...excited to see the Chihuly Glass exhibit.

Canton, Michigan
posts: 41
reviews: 17
2. Re: Help needed for Birthday Celebration in June

Not sure if I need to go to the Montreal forum to post questions about the second part of our trip or if I can do it here? I'd have basically the same questions for Montreal. The big birthday will take place here so looking for one really nice dinner. No hotel decided yet. Want to go to the Art Museum for sure...excited to see the Chihuly Glass exhibit.

Massachusetts
Destination Expert
for Quebec City, Block Island
posts: 3,883
reviews: 38
3. Re: Help needed for Birthday Celebration in June

Well let me help you with a couple of things.

First, yes post in the Montreal forum also. I post there quite often but they have some wonderful DE's and locals who can help also.

Tours. Check out Tours Vieux Quebec, toursvieuxquebec.com. Great local and surrounding area tours. Not certain if they have a walking tour though. However, as great as a walking tour might be, Old Quebec City is so easy to explore by foot that you might reconsider that.

Wineries, yes on Ile d'Orleans, right across from Montmorency Falls. There are 3 wineries and you will find your ice wine there. And yes, it is very good!!

As for the falls, they are nice but no need to spend a lot of time. You'll get a great view of them driving back from Ile d'Orleans.

Enjoy!!

JDP

Montreal, Canada
Destination Expert
for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
posts: 10,382
reviews: 54
4. Re: Help needed for Birthday Celebration in June

I had never heard of Hotel 71 so I was hoping that it was not a new kid on the block in the Sainte-Foy hotel cluster that we don't usually favor. But no it seems to be a very nice designer/boutique hotel located in the historical part of Lower Town.

Tours Voir Québec offers many different walking tours around the old town http://www.toursvoirquebec.com/quebec-city . Bus tours are available by Tours du Vieux Québec https://www.toursvieuxquebec.com/en/home .

Since you will have a car then take it out of the parking for a day and drive to Montmorency Falls, do visit the falls and use the aerocar etc. Will take you an hour or so. Then cross to Orléans Island and tour around. You can also do only the southern half of the Island and get back near the bridge by Chemin du Milieu if you want to visit other places in the same day.

Other places to visit: the same day: Sainte-Anne de Beaupré Basilica, Canyon de la Rivière Saint-Anne, 7 Chûtes or even drive all the way to Baie Saint-Paul and/or La Malbaie to see the beautiful Charlevoix area.

By the way I was not sure that you will find local ice wine around Qc but it seems so. But I am sure that you will find some ice cider, something just produced in the Province of Québec, and as interesting as ice wine and almost as expensive. Personally I enjoy ice wines solo in place of a dessert but ice cider can go very well with desserts (particularly apple based of course) but also with foie gras.

Indeed do post on the Montréal forum too. I am like JDP and write on both but some very interesting people are focusing almost exclusively on Montréal.

Walking tours of attractions. Beside Parliament (Assemblée Nationale) there are tours of the Citadel, Morrin Center and, more sporadically, some of the museums around: Musée de la Civilisation (Lower Town very close to your hotel) Musée de l'Amérique Française (Upper Town next to the Catholic cathedral) and Musée National des Beaux-Arts (National Battlefield Park, aka Plains of Abraham).

By the way if you want to visit the Assemblée Nationale, on a week day you can have lunch in the splendid Beaux-Arts style dining room. Just bring proper IDs for security check and it is always better to make a reservation in advance just to make sure that you will be welcome, not because the restaurant will be packed but because it is completely sleepy in summer and staffed accordingly. Another lunch can be at the Musée des Beaux Arts while visiting the Plains. Both the café and the restaurant are nice.

For your birthday dinner, if you want veryclassic and posh then Le Champlain, the main restaurant of the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, would be appropriate. You can ask for an alcove table while making reservations and mention that it is for your birthday. For dessert you can have some of the classic flambeed dishes like Crêpes Suzette and Cherries Jubilee. Oh and the 71 showcase their concierge service proudly so you could go through them to get your reservations and suggestions for other meals. This is a very basic task for them so you can call them in advance and don't have to tip later on. and with their contacts you will be sure to get an alcove table or the best tables at other restaurants.

You mention foodie so I have three very unusual suggestions for you, all needing the car. La Tanière offers molecular cuisine, at Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations Restaurant La Traite you will get some modern food but inspired by the First Nations cooking; finally the Train de Charlevoix that offers you many different plans to travel through the beautiful Charlevoix area from unique points of views. http://www.lemassif.com/en/train www.hotelpremieresnations.ca/ restaurantlataniere.com/swf/taniere-en.html . Also Le Laurie Raphael is smack in the touristic area but patronized almost exclusively by the local «haute bourgeoisie». It offers the best of the local crops and just a few molecular flairs, like their pure maple sugar cotton candy! www.laurieraphael.com/

The area near the Musée des Beaux-Arts is usually the farthest that tourists go so if you want to see a bit of the traditional triplexes houses and many restaurants with no tourists in sight then Maguire and Cartier Streets and the whole area will fit the bill. But even in Old Québec most tourists don't venture far from the usual spots. So just one minute away you can find some quiet hidden gem. My preferate one is Rue du Parloir, then Donnacona and Desjardins and it is totally quaint along the Ursulines Convent and Chapel, a small square and the smallest house in Québec City.

That could be some nice photo ops but the classic would be to take the ferry to Lévis to be able to catch the city from a distance.

Edited: 11:26 am, April 27, 2013
Canton, Michigan
posts: 41
reviews: 17
5. Re: Help needed for Birthday Celebration in June

Wow...RickB you have given me so much info. Thank you so much. I'm going to be in Montreal for the big birthday but thanks for the nice suggestions for dinner. I'm sure we will have at least one splurge while in Quebec too! Can't wait to look over all of this information!

Quebec City, Canada
Destination Expert
for Quebec City, Quebec, Montreal, The Netherlands
posts: 6,693
reviews: 2
6. Re: Help needed for Birthday Celebration in June

You may sample some of the locally produced, excellent, ice ciders at the Farmer Market ("Marché du Vieux-Port") not far from Hotel 71 in Lower Town. If you go to Île d'Orléans, I suggest you do not miss Domaine Steinbach. Their icewine is award winnig and they make yummy preserves too - jams, maple and onion preserve, duck pâté, mustards - you may sample several products for a small fee. Last time I went to Marché du Vieux-Port they had a small stall there too.

…iledorleans.com/en/…

Quebec City, Canada
Destination Expert
for Quebec City, Quebec, Montreal, The Netherlands
posts: 6,693
reviews: 2
7. Re: Help needed for Birthday Celebration in June

Oh and about the Kodak' moment :) my 2 faves are:

► from the walking path/bike trail right next to the ferry building in Lévis: seeing Château Frontenac and Place Royale and Cap Diamant at water level, with the St-Laurent river at the foreground is priceless

► from the Lévis Terrace, which is directly facing Québec's Dufferin Terrace: on a sunny day, if you can make it there in the morning, while the sun reflecys on the north shore, the view is down right stunning: you can see all the way from the bridges to the west, to the tip of Orléans Island to the east, including the Laurentian mountains in the background. From that spot you can capture the sheer size of Château Frontenac better than anywhere else in QCity. From the ferry to the terrasse, it's a short but very uphill distance - you can take a taxi up and walk down if you wish so, there are taxis by the exit of the ferry.

* and if you have anything of a sweet tooth .... and go for the Lévis Terrasse ... you will be within short walking distance to heaven on earth :)) Chocolats Favoris, on Bégin St, makes out-of-this-world italian gelatis and *soft ice cream made with real cream*. You may have your soft ice cream cones dipped into a choice of 12 dippings: milk, dark or white chocolate (they are a chocolate factory, so it's not a vaguely chocolaty dipping stuff but the real thing), dark choc+ orange, dulce de leche and so on. If you are not stuffed after that, or if the lines are too long, you can have café-type food right across the street at Petits Oignons Deli. Just don't trust their coffee too much tough.

Quebec City, Canada
Destination Expert
for Quebec City, Quebec, Montreal, The Netherlands
posts: 6,693
reviews: 2
8. Re: Help needed for Birthday Celebration in June

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http://tinyurl.com/c8hay5q

http://tinyurl.com/ca5lj66

Terrasse de Lévis: …flickr.com/85/281034449_2958eebe1f.jpg

chaudiereappalaches.com/fr/…

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Massachusetts
Destination Expert
for Quebec City, Block Island
posts: 3,883
reviews: 38
9. Re: Help needed for Birthday Celebration in June

My favorite picture is still that winter one you posted a few years ago Eirelover which I used for my background picture on my computer. Clear blue day, frozen St. Lawrence, looking back at the Frontenac and the city.

If you don't want to get off the ferry just stay on and return back to QC. The whole trip will be no more than an hour. Go at dusk if you can. Some of the pictures at sunset can be priceless.

JDP

Canton, Michigan
posts: 41
reviews: 17
10. Re: Help needed for Birthday Celebration in June

You are awesome! I do have some questions though....

Rickb - is the Canyon de la Rivière Saint-Anne the same falls as Montmorency Falls? If no, then would you do both, just one?

Lunch on Ile de Oleans? Where?

Eirelover - thank you thank you! The two locations for photo ops sound amazing! And thank you for the links and for telling me about Domaine Steinbach! Oh and the ice cream place - yum. That would be if we took the short boat ride to Levis, correct?