Quebec City Activities
From June to October every year, one of the city’s largest public art events takes place in Old Quebec. It’s a series of self-guided pathways that are flanked by various weird and wonderful installations like the eye-catching Happy Castaways by Demers-Mesnard—a replica of an island inhabited by a band of dancing, turquoise sculptures of deer, bears, kangaroo, and other wild critters (we told you it was weird). Installations change every year, so there’s reason to return, even if you’ve seen it before.
Musée de la Civilisation
85 Rue Dalhousie, Old Quebec
The permanent and rotating exhibits at this anthropology-focused museum offer insight deep into the history of Quebec, and also of other cultures. This Is Our Story examines the aboriginal communities of the province, both past and present, while other shows have included Egyptian Magic, which explored the role of mystical beliefs in ancient Egypt, and Haiti in Extremis, featuring the work of contemporary Haitian artists.
Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec
179 Grande Allée O, Montcalm
An art museum dedicated almost exclusively to work created in Quebec, the Musée National des Beaux-Arts is one of the largest in Canada. Spread across four separate buildings (including a glassy, sleek contemporary art pavilion built in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas’s OMA of New York and Provencher Roy of Montreal), the permanent collection varies wildly. There are Inuit artifacts, eighteenth-century paintings, and avant-garde sculptures, as well as rotating exhibits from around the world.
5300 Blvd. Sainte-Anne, Beauport
Right outside the city, Montmorency Falls is the Quebec version of Niagara (though, as locals are happy to remind you, it’s actually 99 feet higher, at 272 feet). Take a cable car along the side of a cliff to reach the top. From here, a walking path winds its way to a suspension bridge that overlooks the entire area, but for a really close view, take the stairs at the end of the bridge. It’ll bring you down to the foot of the falls and an awesome display of the power of nature.
Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier
103 Chemin du Parc-National, Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury
The Jacques Cartier National Park lies thirty miles north of Quebec City, with some of the most dramatic natural landscapes you’ll find in Canada. Clocking in at over 170,000 acres of wilderness, it’s a glacial valley with close to one hundred miles of hiking trails, plus crystal-clear rivers for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. And if you’re lucky, you’ll glimpse moose, beavers, white-tailed deer, foxes, porcupines, and other inhabitants of the great outdoors.
Siberia Station Spa
339 Rue de Genève, Charlesbourg
One of the beauties of Quebec City is the easy access to nature, and Siberia Station Spa (twenty minutes north of the city center) is right in the middle of it, near the recreational area of Lake Beauport. The concept is inspired by Scandinavian thermotherapy spas, where guests alternate between hot and cold baths, reducing stress, relaxing muscles, improving blood circulation, and helping improve the quality of sleep. Plan to spend about three hours here to unwind as you were meant to.