Canada is full of places to visit and sights to see, but because of the vast stretches of land, it can be more challenging to see everything that this land has to offer when travelling time is limited. Unlike backpacking trips that are common in Europe or South Asia, travelling in Canada requires a vehicle if you are looking to visit multiple sights over a widely separated land.
If you and a group of friends are looking to do more and break out of your standard weekend routine, pack your TruBlue backpack and plan a Quebec inspired Road Trip this summer!
Why Quebec? Well for starters there is a lot to see and do in Quebec. Whether you are looking for historic sights to visit, outdoor activities, trying new foods or living up the nightlife, Quebec has got it. So, before you hit the road, sort out who is going to drive and who is going to be bringing what. Be sure to pack your backpack with lots of snacks, a camera, a Bluetooth stereo either for the long stretches in the car or for outdoor activities, a hat, sunglasses, possibly an umbrella and some items for extracurricular activities in the sun!
If you are exploring Quebec travelling from the West, Montreal is a great first destination for your road trip. Well known for its nightlife and great cuisine this city is a great destination to stay overnight. But before you arrive in Montreal you will need to plan something in between unless you are content with sitting in the car for seven or more hours if you are coming from Toronto. A great half-way point is to stop in the Thousand Islands National Park, and no, we are not talking about the salad dressing. This national park is located just east of Kingston where the Saint Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario.
What is so special about this national park is the fact that there are a series of over 1800 islands in this region which makes it an excellent location for camping and water activities. If you have a night or two to spare in your road trip you should definitely consider camping in this national park as there are thousands of campsites to choose from. If you have a canoe, bring it! As there is plenty to discover along the water. Also, be sure to pack a tent, sleeping mattresses and some marshmallows to toast over the fire under a star-filled sky.
When you plan to continue on with your road trip and set your sights on the city of Montreal, try to aim for an arrival time around dinner and choose from a long list of iconic Montreal dishes featuring thick smoked meat sandwiches, steaming hot poutines and many more. After settling in at your hotel it is time to stretch those legs and go out on the town for a fun filled night on Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Montreal is said to have some of the liveliest nightlife in Canada with a diverse mix of jazz bars, dance clubs, pubs and live bands.
Take the morning to rest up and enjoy a nature walk and picnic in one of Montreal’s beautiful parks including Parc Du Mont Royal which overlooks the city from its high hilltops which are scattered with trails and places to set up and relax for the afternoon. Remember to take your backpack and pack a lunch, some towels and some recreational sporting gear like a Frisbee, baseball glove or other supplies needed to enjoy yourself outdoors. Another great park to visit on a hot summer day is the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park which features an outdoor swimming pool and many other outdoor amenities.
If you are into craft beer, Montreal is a great place for a brewery tour. Montreal has a diverse selection of breweries for all types of beer lovers. Montreal has many traditional breweries that follow classic recipes such as L'Amère a Boire which is located on Saint-Denis Street. There are many microbreweries, craft beer bars and restaurants that serve their own special batches of beer throughout the city. These small restaurants would also be a great spot for lunch so choose your beer wisely to go well with what you order off the menu. If you want to learn more about some of these breweries sign up for a brewery tour and experience true Canadian craftsmanship whether you are looking for a traditional recipe of a unique experience. Just remember to always drink responsibly.
When planning a Quebec Road Trip, you will need to be sure to pencil in Quebec City at the top of the list. Rich with historical significance and beauty, this old quaint Canadian City has plenty to offer for those who are looking to sightsee and learn more about Canada’s historic routes.
In Quebec City, there are numerous historical 1600’s architectural sights to visit including the Ramparts which are a series of tall cobblestone gates that protected the old cities entrances. You can still today walk through paths that take you over and behind these magnificent walls that overlook the streets of old Quebec City.
Another very popular site includes the Citadelle de Quebec which is a fortress that overlooks a breathtaking view of the Saint Lawrence River. This site is home to the Musée Royal 22nd Regiment which is a modern museum that tells the historical significance of the fortress. You can also witness the changing of the guards which is a daily ceremony that takes place at 10:00 am. Be sure to pack your camera, take lots of pictures and pick up some memorabilia while passing through the city.
The city is also home to the Chateau Frontenac, a renowned hotel known worldwide. This 17th-century building is said to be the most photographed hotel in the world, so be sure to get a good shot of this stunning landmark.
There are many other sites to visit along the way to be creative and brainstorm other possible ideas with your friends while on the road. Remember though, sometimes the best experiences in life are the ones that are unplanned so be spontaneous and don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone. Make sure to leave extra time in your schedule in order to improvise and make changes to your plans. This is the best way to travel and hopefully, in the near future, you and your friends will enjoy many other Canadian inspired road trips!
Explore Quebec and discover something new with nothing but a sense of adventure and a backpack!
Pictures from Pixabay - CC0