Last week you read and saw our walking itinerary of what many consider North America's Paris: we journeyed back in time through the Petit Champlain district, Lower Town, and the start of Upper Town in the ever romantic and historic Quebec City. This week we explore the rest of Upper Town, The Citadel (the actual fortification of Quebec City), and we share our recommendations on where to stay and eat. To read last week's itinerary, click here
TAKE A WALK DOWN LA RUE DU TRESOR (AKA LA RUE DES ARTISTES):
This tiny cobblestone alley located on the border of Lower and Upper Town instantly transported me back to Montmarte in Paris. It's lined with local artists and photographer selling their works, and is a nice alternative memento to take back home instead of a cheap-y souvenir.
[caption id="attachment_2732" align="aligncenter" width="580"]
Rue du Tresor is lined with local artists and photographers selling their work. Great place to buy a nice memento.[/caption]
GAZE AT THE DETAIL IN THE ARCHITECTURE AND DECORATION OF THE NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL:
It is the oldest cathedral in the Americas north of Mexico and worth and visit. The holy door, found on the left side of the main Cathedral entrance, is open now, but closes on December 28th, and will be closed for 25 years until the next Holy Year.
[caption id="attachment_2746" align="aligncenter" width="580"]
Interior of Notre Dame Cathedral.[/caption]
GRAB LUNCH AT CHEZ BOULEY AND STAY FOR AN HOUR:
Chez Bouley is located on Rue St. Jean, a main shopping and restaurant street in Old Town. It's very cozy yet modern inside, fitting for a restaurant that is based on Nordic eats and a boreal atmosphere. The food is delicious and nicely portioned, and we were definitely reenrgized and warmed up for the latter part of the day after this filling lunch.
[caption id="attachment_2788" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Chez Bouley (http://chezboulay.com/) is the best spot to grab lunch and to warm up, especially if you're traveling to Quebec in the Fall/Winter. They serve a delicious, 3-course lunch menu and champagne for $30 p/person and everything was very tasty. The menu changes daily.
[caption id="attachment_2763" align="aligncenter" width="580"] I had the butternut squash soup, swordfish salad, champagne, and a shared creme brulee. All were delicious. The menu changes daily.
[caption id="attachment_2764" align="aligncenter" width="580"] On our walk down St. Jean Street, we came upon a Van Houtte, which had become our go-to coffee shop during our trip in Canada. We ordered two specialty, seasonal espresso drinks that were unbelievably good—4 layers that included Gran Marnier, Organic Maple Syrup, Milk Foam, and Espresso. Since clearly that wasn't sweet enough for us, we also got two maple cream cones. We lounged for about an hour, reveling in the fact that it was Wednesday at 2pm, we didn't HAVE to do anything, and just enjoyed our coffee and a treat, the 'Parisian' way, while people watching and just relaxing.
EXPLORE THE LENGTH OF THE CITADEL WALLS FOR THE BEST VIEWS OF QUEBEC CITY AND SAINT LAWRENCE RIVER:
You'll get the best landscape and panoramic snapshots here, and really get to see the whole city from all sides. Tourney Fountain is a site to see at night, when it's all lit up in different colors each week depending on the event or celebration.
[caption id="attachment_2750" align="aligncenter" width="580"] A walk atop the thick walls of The Citadel with Parliament Hill in the backdrop. Blissful. (http://www.lacitadelle.qc.ca/)
[caption id="attachment_2790" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Mid-day snapshot of Parliament from atop The Citadel.
BEFORE SUNSET, GO TO BAR 1608 AT CHATEAU FRONTENAC FOR A LOCAL WINE AND CHEESE PAIRING:
After visiting the Citadel make you're way through the St. Louis Gate toward Old Town, and walk all the way down Rue St. Louis and you'll hit Le Chateau Frontenac on the right. Chateau Frontenac is an iconic hotel built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1894 and it's grand, castle-like stance is impossible to miss. The main arch from Rue de Cameres leads to the main entrance of the hotel, and at the end of the long, gilded hallway will be Bar 1608, named after the exact year of Quebec City's founding in the exact location where you can now find the bar. Grab a seat by the windows and get cozy in the Victorian chairs, as you watch the sun go down over a tasting of local wine and cheese.
[caption id="attachment_2734" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Chateau Frontenac
[caption id="attachment_2733" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Bar 1608 in Chateau Frontenac glistens due to the beautiful gold decor and ambient lighting yet its modern at the same time. Seat yourself on the other side of the bar by the windows, which overlook the stunning Saint Laurent River. A great place to watch the sun set and enjoying local wine and cheese.
[caption id="attachment_2791" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Local goat cheese and wine pairing at Chateau Frontenac Bar 1608 (http://www.fairmont.com/frontenac-quebec/dining/1608-wine-cheese-bar/).
SEE THE REST OF THE CITY AT NIGHT:
All of the historical and government buildings, fountains, and streets are lit up by twinkling lights at night.
[caption id="attachment_2739" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Rue du Petit Champlain at night.
[caption id="attachment_2756" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Light installation to celebrate 350 years of Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica Cathedral in Montmorency Park in Lower Town. This installation will only be up until the end of this year.
[caption id="attachment_2757" align="aligncenter" width="580"]
Backdrop of Old Town with the light installation in the forefront at night. Just stunning.[/caption]
I'm already trying to plan my return to Quebec City. I absolutely loved it and can see why it's now been rated #18 on Conde Nast Traveler's Top 25 Cities
in the World by readers. I've heard from talking to locals that the holiday time is one of the best times to visit, so if you're looking for a holiday getaway this December or January, and don't mind the cold, I'd highly recommend taking the 2-hour flight or 9 hour road trip up North to this now not-so-secret gem for a romantic getaway. The Winter Carnival
is supposed to be one of the largest in the world with snow/ice sculptures, night parades, snow baths, shows, and the famous Ice Canoe Race. And in the winter, just outside Old Town, is the Hotel de Glace
, the only ice (igloo) hotel in North America where you can take a day or evening tour, or take the risk and stay the chilly night! Both Part 1 and Part 2 of our Quebec City itinerary were done in 24 hours. We were easily able to see everything without feeling rushed, though next time we'd want to stay for a whole week! Have you been to Quebec City? If so, what are you favorite things about it? What do you love to do and see?
(for an all-around great meal with nice ambiance); http://chezboulay.com/?lang=en
(for the best poutine in Quebec City and a quick bite); http://www.chez-ashton.com/
Le Lapin Saute (
for traditional French dishes and a charming atmosphere); http://www.lapinsaute.com/francais/accueil/
Bistro Sous Le Fort
(romantic French bistro with satiating dishes that are constantly being rotated); http://www.bistrosouslefort.com/en/
(for a special occasion multi-course meal that won't dissapoint); http://www.restaurantinitiale.com/en/le-restaurant-2
Where to Stay:
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac
(you'll feel like you're living in a real castle and the luxury rooms and amenities make this 5-star experience unforgettable); http://www.fairmont.com/frontenac-quebec/
Hotel Le Priori
(an excellent option for a more boutique feel, this romantic hotel is set in the heart of Petit Champlain district, and offer a comprehensive delectable breakfast in their adjoining Toast restaurant); http://www.hotellepriori.com/
[caption id="attachment_2720" align="aligncenter" width="580"]
Photo Credit: m anima, flickr[/caption]
Fall is arguably one of the best times of the year – especially in Boston. With so many great activities, beautiful fall foliage, crisp, cool temperatures and delicious craft beers, Boston, MA should be your go-to getaway destination for its quintessential autumn charm. Read on to find out our Top 6 Things to do in Boston this Fall!
[caption id="attachment_2716" align="alignright" width="300"]
Photo Credit: Ben Schmitz, flickr[/caption]
1. Apple / Pumpkin Picking
Fall just wouldn't be fall without participating in the obligatory apple and/or pumpkin picking. Of course, the rewards are without say: apple cider, apple pie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread…need we say more? There a variety of great local farms to choose from, such as Honey Pot Hill
in Stow, MA, a farm boasting a wide selection of picking apples such as Macintosh, Gala, Cortland, Honey Crisp, and more; or venture to Lookout Farm
in South Natick which offers pears, pumpkins, and 11 varieties of apples, as well as Brooksby Farms
in Peabody where visitors can delight in the farm store, barnyard animals and apples. Whichever farm you choose, just make sure they serve the customary apple cider donuts!
[caption id="attachment_2718" align="alignleft" width="300"]
Photo Credit: mararie, flickr[/caption]
2. Visit Salem, MA
A fall trip to New England isn’t complete without visiting one of the spookiest towns in the country – Salem, MA. Salem celebrates Halloween for the entire month of October with a festival appropriately named Haunted Happenings
! Exciting events include a “Boo’s Cruise”, an Edgar Allen Poe Inspired Art Show, a 3D film which tells the true story of the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692, and more!
3. Boston Ghost Tours
If traveling to Salem isn't an option, and you are like us and relish in the creepy, terrifying, and supernatural, then one only needs to step outside their front door. Boston offers a plethora of ghost tours such as the Haunted Boston Ghost Tours
, a walking tour that includes history and tales of famous ghosts that are said to haunt the city. Uncover Boston’s dark and seedy past with Boston by Foot: Dark Side of Boston Tour
; or explore some of Boston’s most haunted sites with Ghosts and Gravestones Frightseeing Tour
[caption id="attachment_2719" align="alignright" width="300"]
Photo Credit: Richard Howe, flickr[/caption]
4. Head of the Charles Regatta
The Head of the Charles Regatta
, held October 18th
, is often synonymous with the fall season and is a long-standing tradition in Boston. Now in its 5oth
year, this two-day regatta is one of the largest in the world, bringing in more than 9,000 rowers and 300,000 spectators from all over the world to the Charles River. With a 3.2-mile course along the river, this is a great event to people-watch and to soak in Boston’s autumn scenery.
5. Explore the Harold Arboretum
Part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace, the Arnold Arboretum
is the perfect place for nature lovers to visit and see spectacular displays of fall foliage. This 250-acre National Historic Landmark - and part of Harvard of University - is the oldest public arboretum in North America. Sightseers are able to freely explore the grounds or take a special guided tour on topics ranging from flowers and fragrance to fruits and textures.
[caption id="attachment_2720" align="alignleft" width="300"]
Photo Credit: m anima, flickr[/caption]
6. Tour the Sam Adams Brewery
You know it is fall when the pumpkin-flavored ale start to roll out (we love the Sam Adams Octoberfest). Which is why taking a trip to the Samuel Adams Brewery
is the perfect way to quench your thirst after all of that exploring. With a $2 donation, where proceeds go to benefit local charities, you can take a one hour tour and catch the brewers in action as you learn the process of how their beers are made. Best of all, you get to sample some of Sam Adam’s world class craft beers!
: Check out one of Boston’s most sought-after bed and breakfasts, the Clarendon Square
. Built in the 1860s, this six-story historical townhouse offers spacious, modern guest rooms and luxury suites that are exquisitely comfortable and sophisticated. The Clarendon Square bed and breakfast is just minutes away from Copley Square, Boston Public Garden & Common, Freedom Trail, Restaurant Row, the Red Sox & Fenway Park, and more!