A 3 hour drive from Montreal is a city with the charm of Europe - Quebec City. This place is a treat for the eyes, with some beautiful architecture standing tall. It is well known for its quaint Old City, it’s grand winter festival, and gorgeous architecture. The highlight is the Chateau Frontenac, which overlooks the St. Lawrence river. Just outside of Quebec City, along the northern shore of the St Lawrence, it is worth stopping at Montmorency Falls - it is the highest waterfall in the province of Quebec and is a nice place to stretch the legs and walk around.
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As luck would have it, what we imagined would be a vibrant city centre, turns out to be a deserted college town. During the summer months, the city of Moncton is deserted by its student population, which results in little activity for tourists. Needless to say we were taken aback, as this is where we headed for our birthday celebration dinner… The upside however was a classy restaurant called Little Louis’ Oyster Bar that serves up refined regional and seasonal dining at a very affordable price. My personal favorite was the lobster ravioli with fried sweet bread and lobster bisque.
Notre-Dame Street West
Proceed to the Notre Dame cathedral for a spiritual awakeningThe famous Notre Dame cathedral, along the Seine, will tower above you and take your breath away. Its architecture is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it was the first to use flying buttresses to support exterior walls. The statues, carvings and sculptures (including the popular architectural gargoyles) on this 850-year-old church’s exterior tell its stories. On the inside, the architecture is equally beautiful and that combined with the smell of incense in the air and the sweet sound of the choir will give you an experience difficult to replicate.
As for every first-time visitor to the lobster capital of the world, a visit to a fishing wharf is imposed. With incoming boats, lobster crates, and countless locals bargaining the $3-a-pound lobster with a cauldron overflowing of crustaceans in one hand and money in the other, the Pointe-du-Chêne Wharf is bustling with activity and not to be missed! Although the scent of fried and grilled seafood emanating from Captain Dan’s Bar and Grill might entice you to try it, you’re best to deal with fishermen and enjoy your feast at home.
Chez Camille Take Out
If cooking is an issue and you’re looking for something laid-back, then a take-out cantine or dinner is a must. Drop by the family-run diner off the side of the Chemin Acadie, Chez Camille. Their lobster rolls pack a powerful punch of shellfish goodness on a lightly seared hotdog bun, and their fried clams, or “palourdes frites”, will melt in your mouth: trust me, your tastebuds will thank you!
Moishes This steakhouse has entertained celebrities like Robert Downey Jr, Robert De Niro, Celine Dion, and Penelope Cruz. The draw is its par excellence cuts. moishes.ca Toqué! Chef Normand Laprise opened this innovative French restaurant in 1993. Try suckling pig loin and duck magret, and you will know why it has won so many awards. restaurant-toque.com
Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal
Officially, it was elevated from a church to a basilica in 1982, when Pope John Paul II visited. However, to the laymen, it remains an abode for not only the pure spirit, but also as a wonder to the labor of love that it still remains. This is also explained by the sound and light show “And then was Light” in the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday of the week. Even without it I instantly fell in love with the church.