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As a travel blogger, it is joy to encounter a destination that I can recommend wholeheartedly. I call a place like this an “Easy Win Destination” because it’s not only easy to get to, but guarantees awesome sights, food, and happiness. This year I traveled near and far, but of all those places I saw, the award for #1 spot I’d suggest you go to is…
…Quebec City, Canada!
There are googobs of reasons why our family loved Quebec City so much, and I must emphasize that I was secretly pregnant during the visit — nauseous, exhausted, and crabby — but the city was so fabulous that it singlehandedly snapped me out of my funk. Let’s see why.
1. Fairy Tale Old Quebec
The first reason you’ll love Quebec City is that it looks like a fairy tale. Literally all you have to do to have a good time for days on end is to stroll through the cobblestone streets of Old Quebec. I’ve been all over the world, but Quebec City is one of the most visually appealing places I’ve ever seen. I could even imagine a burly football-playing guy getting a little weepy taking in the sights. I really could!
2. Summer Decorations
Second, flowers are everywhere! I’m not sure how this happened (we can just conjecture there was a Pretty Flower Pact between every building owner in town), but each facade competes with the next for most delightful window box. (Touring the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh brought to mind the flowery joy of Quebec!)
3. Quebec City Public Art
Third, public art abounds. Check out the photo below, which presents a translucent “roof” to an otherwise mundane alley. It makes magenta and teal rainbows when you look at it from different angles!
Here’s another gem of street art, featuring a massive mural that makes it look as though the wall has been ripped off and you’re looking through time to hundreds of years ago.
4. Parks, Fountains, and Green Space
Complementing all that art and the flowers, Quebec City also gifts visitors with abundant, green public parks and soothing fountains. Our littlest traveler greatly enjoyed splashing in these very fountains.
5. Open-Air Patios and Cafes Like Europe
The next reason Quebec City wins our award for the year is that European-style open-air dining is plentiful. Of course, we visited in summer, so this is not the case year-round, but for months of the year, you can enjoy amazing food and the fresh air all at once in Quebec City. And we did!
6. Great Quebec City Restaurants
Speaking of meals, the food in Quebec City is SO GOOD. Highlights included rabbit pie, kangaroo burger, poutine (of course), anything with brie, and super-fresh salad with duck confit. Want more food photos and tips? Make sure to click over to my article about the city’s best market for fresh, local foods and flowers!
7. The Quebec City Castle: Chateau Frontenac
Of course, no compendium of the highlights of Quebec City would be complete without mention of Le Chateau Frontenac: the grand hotel built in the 1890s that is considered the most photographed hotel in the world.
It rises above Old Quebec like a princess’s castle, sending fairy dust over the whole city and making any visitor sigh with the magic of it all. It can actually be surprisingly affordable to stay in that palace, so make sure to click here to check if there are any deals afoot.
8. Old Quebec is Walkable and Easy
Moving right along, Quebec City is supremely walkable. The major tourist sights are not too far apart, but are also not so close that you get bored after a day or even three.
Given that my favorite city in the world is known as the walking capital, this wander-ability is something I deeply value. Seriously: all you have to do to have a good time in Quebec City is to meander!
9. Photography Opportunities Everywhere
Just look at these views, people! How could you be glum in a rainbow gingerbread world such as Old Quebec City? Simply mosey where your heart takes you, and smile! A perfect vacation.
10. A Saint Lawrence River Walkway
As a final note, do know that just a few steps beyond Old Quebec, a luscious footpath beckons along the Saint Lawrence River. Colin, Devi, and I took it as the sun set to walk back to our hotel. “Oh Quebec City,” I thought as the sun turned the scene gold, “you’ve stolen my heart!”
See all my Quebec City to Montreal articles here.
Inspired by the architecture and artistry of Quebec City? See my round-up of 40 art prompts from around the world.
Ready for Your Quebec City Vacation?
All that, dear readers, is why Quebec City wins my award for most recommended destination of the year. So what is YOUR take? Have you been? If so, what were your impressions? If you haven’t visited yet, does the city appeal? Do share!
If you enjoyed this article and are still planning your trip, click here for an easy affiliate link to Quebec City hotel deals!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is National Board Certified Teacher, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a full-time public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have visited this site over the decade. Lillie also runs Teaching Traveling Global Education Community and Drawings Of… Educational Cartoon Site. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow on social media with the links below!