Quebec is arguably one of Canada’s most beautiful and unique provinces and one that truly comes alive in the winter. Despite the cold, Quebec knows how to show you a good time. If you’re looking for a wintery escape, here are 5 road trips to take in Quebec this winter for an experience distinctly French-Canadian.
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1) Carnival in Quebec City
The Carnival de Quebec, or Quebec City’s Winter Carnival, is known worldwide for its celebration of all things winter. Picture a seven-foot-tall snowman, massive ice sculptures that are incredibly intricate, ice canoeing, parades, and all the hot cocoa you can imagine.
The Winter Carnival has a hundred-year legend in the historic town of Quebec City. Locals and out-of-towners alike all participate in the joyous celebrations that run during January and February. The highlight is undoubtedly Bonhomme, a jolly ambassador who makes his way around the festival. Equivalent or even more revered than Santa himself, an encounter with the Bonhomme is a thrill for all.
2) Mont Tremblant
One of the best ski towns in eastern Canada, Mont Tremblant is a cosy winter getaway. While it is a ski village, the mass amount of resorts, hotels, restaurants and shops mean that you can come here for some peace and quiet, great food, and a night by the fire without ever hitting the slopes (if skiing isn’t your thing). If skiing is your thing, you’ll find great hills to spend the day on, followed by fun bars and pubs to hang out in. Offering something for everyone, Mont Tremblant is a great Quebecois escape. Just make sure you have a car that can handle the weather such as the Ford Transit Connect.
3) Ice Hotel
If you didn’t know, Quebec is home to one of the largest ice hotel in the world – the Hôtel de Glace. Located near Quebec City, this marvellous and magnificent ice hotel boasts 44 rooms, a chapel, an ice bar, and slides (yes, slides!) A stay in this hotel is truly an unprecedented experience, one that may give you a newfound appreciation for winter. All guests are given a tour of the hotel, with an explanation of its creation. The ice is carved into sculptures and wall murals by local artists from Quebec, and students of design and architecture are invited in to conceptualize the décor of the suites (each one a unique design), making the whole experience even more personal and special. Surrounded by ice but comforted with real pillows, mattress, blankets, and fireplaces, this hotel is definitely road-trip worthy.
4) Sugar Shacks
Famously Quebecois, sugar shacks are a must-do experience when in Quebec. Known for their maple production, sugar shacks in Quebec celebrate everything maple and delicious. A sweet tooth’s candy land, authentic sugar shacks are fun and cultural experience that is open year-round. Experience making your own taffy the local way – maple syrup poured on snow, which is then rolled up using a popsicle stick. Indulge in authentic and local foods, and even have the chance to go snowshoeing.
A beloved winter road trip is one to Gaspésie. Located along the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, and stretching to Maine, snowmobilers delight in this long stretch of Appalachian Trail. With over 1000 miles of maintained trails, this is a cross-country skier, snowmobiler, and snowshoer’s heaven. Throw yourself into the thick of winter with hikes and quiet moments in the great white, and watch for winter wildlife as well.
Getting excited about winter is easy when you have lots to look forward to. Plan an escape to one of Quebec’s famous winter retreats!
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