The Véloroute des Bleuets is my favourite of all cycling Quebec adventures - even in the off season!
With sunny blue skies and a bracing wind, I bravely mounted my bike to go searching for blueberries in the Quebec countryside. But if you're looking at my jacket and scarf in the photo above and thinking it looks far too cold for blueberry season, you'd be partially right. You see, I wasn't in search of blueberries to eat! I was searching for Quebec's famous blueberry bike route, known as the "véloroute des bleuets".
Made up of over 20 different short to medium length rides through the blueberry-producing countryside, the véloroute des bleuets circles around Lac St Jean, not far from the northern Quebec city of Saguenay. The route includes towns such as Alma (my personal favourite), Saint-Felicien, Roberval, and Sainte-Monique, as well as Pointe-Taillon National Park, and includes terrain suitable for all riders.
Where can you find poutine AND fine wine? On a Quebec City food tour, of course! We're reviewing two of the most popular options - as well as giving you the inside scoop on our favourite Quebec City bed and breakfast.
When you think of Quebecois food, does your mind wander to old fashioned fare with a heavy emphasis on maple syrup and local delicacies? Or maybe you're craving less wholesome treats like a heaping plate of poutine? Perhaps your tastes are a bit more refined, with a eye towards wine and French joie de vivre? If you're like me and want a little bit of everything, your best bet is a Quebec City food tour so that no category is left out. Happily, when I was in Quebec City for the Women in Travel Summit, I participated in not one but two fantastic foodie experiences. Read on to hear about each tour, including what I loved, what I felt could have been improved, and my favourite stop on each. Plus there's a bonus review of my favourite Quebec City bed and breakfast which I know you'll like as much as I do!
Saguenay is the best place to go kayaking in Quebec - even if there are a few misadventures along the way.
Brimming with confidence and cutting a dashing, athletic figure, I nimbly slid into the stern of my sea kayak, ready to embrace the elements and be one with nature.
Wait a minute.... that's not me! I've never been nimble at anything I do, let alone anything to do with boats! But when I had the opportunity to kayak the Saguenay, Quebec, Fjord - and specifically be in the Saguenay St Lawrence Marine Park, adjacent to Fjord National Park- I WAS truly ready to be one with nature. The chance to navigate a fjord here in Canada was a rare travel experience I couldn't miss.
As for the confidence.... well... let's just say that I was about as confident as I was nimble. But it didn't take me long to hit my stride, with only a few minor mishaps. And it was all worth it to be better acquainted with an absolutely incredible corner of the world. Here's why I think sea kayaking is among the best things to do in Saguenay (even if there were a few awkward wetsuit moments along the way).
Beluga whale watching in Quebec is an exhilarating travel experience - but what would a queasy girl like myself think about it?
Vomiting. Vomiting on people. Toppling over furniture. Quietly crying. Some of my most woe-begotten travel moments have involved motion sickness and many of those have involved boats. Who can forget when I had motion sickness while on the Houseboat Museum of Amsterdam? I'm not an adventurous girl and, on the rare times that I am, that adventurous spirit does NOT involve boats. But all that changed when I had the chance to go beluga whale watching in Quebec; Tadoussac to be exact. "Whale watching: Quebec" has been on my travel bucket list for a long time, and for good reason. Whale watching in Tadoussac is reputed to be among the best in the world and there was no way that I was going to miss it - no matter what my stomach wanted to do!
What makes a girls' getaway all the sweeter? Adding in a delicious dose of maple.
Can there ever be too much of a good thing? Not when it comes to maple! This classic Canadian flavor is so much more than a pancake topping. And when I had the opportunity to partner with Ford Canada for a girlfriends' wellness weekend in Montebello, Quebec, I knew that my favorite autumn flavor would only sweeten the experience.
I was excited to indulge in as much of Quebec's signature condiment as possible, and I soon learned that there was more to maple than meets the eye. Traditional pancakes, step aside! Here are my favourite Montebello maple moments.
Where should you have lunch in Montreal? Finally, I have some answers!
For a travel writer, I sometimes do a poor job of coming up with personal recommendations. I remember once describing my favourite cafe in a particular city - only to realize I was talking about a Starbucks. Oops!
And other times, I felt I knew a city well only to draw a blank when asked for restaurant recommendations. I found myself confronted with this very situation when a friend asked for advice on where to eat lunch in Montreal. I know Montreal! Or, at least I thought I did. Haven't I written more about Montreal than any other city on the blog? Then why was I struggling with my answer?
I eventually cobbled together a response for my friend but I wasn't entirely satisfied. I've been determined ever since to come up with a killer list of my favourite lunch spots in Montreal and they're all around $12 - or much less. So go ahead, ask me for a recommendation. I've got this!
Relax for a few hours in this funky Montréal neighbourhood and visit the Atwater Farmers Market.
Many people who have been to downtown Montréal will be familiar with the Atwater Market, an Art Deco masterpiece in a neighbourhood locally known as Little Burgundy (Petite Bourgogne) which has been open for locals and visitors alike since 1933.
The market is an incredible foodie destination. You can find all of the regular farmers' market staples like fresh produce, preserves, honey, and maple syrup, as well as specialty food shops. Gourmet cheese and fois gras and sausages and bagels are abundant here, as are hot food stands and snack stalls. It's also a fantastic place for people watching and, if you're lucky, the public piano will be set up and you might be treated to an impromptu performance! (Looking for the Atwater Market hours of operation?Here's the info you crave!)
But the market is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the delicious treats Little Burgundy has to offer. Here are some of our favourite spots.
Traveling to Montebello, Quebec? Here's where to get the best food and drink.
Jennifer Doré Dallas is a blogger, foodie and paparazzi who has traveled to 35+ countries. While traveling, she has a Ziploc bag addiction and hates umbrellas. Stuff she can’t leave behind? Her notebook and camera (ok, ok, her iPhone as well…). Her budget tip? Markets and grocery stores and staying away from guidebook restaurants. Follow her adventures at Moi, mes souliers, on Twitter at @moimessouliers or on her Facebook page at Moi, mes souliers.
Those who know me know I’m an absolute foodie and I love discovering new spots in my province in between my international wanderings. That’s how I got around to Montebello, a place that had often been recommended to me time after time that I had not yet set foot in.
Well-renowned because of its imposing Château Montebello, the city, or town I should say, is bustling and its popularity isn't slowing down! More and more local producers are opening shop to complement those who have been around for ages, for the great pleasure of my taste buds.
Legends, luxury, and John Lennon - all for the cost of a regular hotel suite!
Have you ever wanted to party like a rock star when you travel? Or live the life of a legend, sitting in the lap of luxury? Or follow in some of the most famous footsteps in the world? With a little luck, you can enjoy all three when you stay at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth and have a slumber party with John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
In late May, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono arrived in Montreal following their first Bed-In for Peace in Amsterdam and a one day event in the Bahamas. The Fairmont wasn't their first choice of location but many other hotels had turned them down.
As it turns out, I think the Fairmont was the perfect choice and a little bit of that musical magic is still felt in the halls today. The four adjoining rooms of the Bed-In (now configured as one large suite) were used to record Give Peace A Chance and played host to likes of Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and dozens of other visitors.
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