Île d’Orléans is a small island just outside of Québec City known for its amazing produce and rich francophone history. All over the island you’ll find little villages and big farms growing some of the best strawberries and blackcurrants in the summer and apples in the autumn. Although not very big there are many great places to discover and it’s an easy day trip only 30 minutes Québec City.
After visiting Québec City a few times in the last several years we decided to go a bit further on our little summer road trip and drive up through the Bas-Saint-Laurent region of Québec. We took the day and drove from Québec City to Grand-Métis where we visited the Jardins du Métis the next day. We made many stops along to way to eat, explore and hike. We really only scratched the surface on what there is to do in this region since we only had the day but here is our road trip through the Bas-Saint-Laurent.
During our Québec City/ Bas-Saint-Laurent road trip this past summer we wanted to spend as much time as possible outside since we wanted to enjoy the nice weather but also because of covid. So we planned to do a hike in Parc national du Bic, one of Québec’s national parks. The park is right on the Saint-Laurent River and really easy to access if you’re travelling through the Bas-Saint-Laurent region. We chose to do Le Grand Tour hike which is 8.7km (about 3 hours) and listed as the most difficult and longest hike in the park. The hike also has unique time restraints since you need to complete it during low tide as it is mostly right along the coastline over the rocks.
With pandemic restrictions starting to loosen up across Canada we decided to take our summer vacation close-ish to home still. Since it’s still not a normal summer we decided just to do a small trip and to try to remain outside as much as possible. What better place to do that than a beautiful garden. I’ve wanted to visit the Jardins de Métis / Reford Gardens in Québec’s Bas-Saint-Laurent region for a long time so we decided to basically plan a little trip around visiting it.
On our way home from a little weekend trip to northern Québec we decide to take a little detour to pass through Québec City to see the exhibition Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. I had hoped to write a little review of this exhibition but instead I’m going to share my experience of visiting a blockbuster exhibition in the time of Covid-19.
On our way home from a weekend in northern Québec we detoured to historic Québec City for a couple hours to wander the old city. Suffice to say, 3 hours is not enough time and we’ll be back soon to see more of this beautiful place. Until then, there are some snapshots for around beautiful Vieux-Québec.
On my last trip to Montreal we dined at Le Vin Papillon, the sister restaurants of Joe Beef and Liverpool House. All these restaurants are known for being very hard to get into with reservations being booked up months in advance. But Le Vin Papillon is a wine bar and doesn’t take reservations, so we got there at 3pm when they opened and made ourselves comfortable.
When most people go shopping in Montreal they head right to busy Sainte-Catherine Street downtown that is just full of chain stores that you’ll usually find in shopping malls. The best shopping in Montreal is in the Mile End neighbourhood that has lots of local boutiques and vintage stores. On my most recent trip to Montreal I explored this area a bit more and found all the best shops.
One of my favourite fall activities is hiking in Gatineau Park. It’s really the best place for hiking around Ottawa and only a 15 minute drive from downtown. The best trail is the Wolf Trail (trail 62) since it’s one of the longest at 8.3 km and there is a decent amount of elevation with great views. In total it takes about 3 hours.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is presenting the first major Canadian retrospective of the work of Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976), the American 20th century artist known for putting art in motion with his mobiles. Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor is on now at the MMFA until February 24th, 2019.