A few weeks ago, my man and I decided to do an impromptu trip to Quebec City. This was one of our first real "couple" trips, and man was it beautiful. Quebec City from Boston is around 6 hours with no traffic. We packed our bags and got on the road around 3pm Friday and made it into town by about 11pm. Since we aren't heavy partiers we didn't mind taking it easy Friday night in order to give ourselves a good night sleep for a productive Saturday. It was most certainly worth it.
I am a big supporter of doing some research before visiting a new place. I spent a few days on sites like TripAdvisor and Expedia, trying to pin point the must see locations since we had to cram it all in to 24 hours. TripAdvisor had some amazing offerings like a dinner cruise as well as some awesome bus tours. We decided to forgo those options and picked a few landmarks to see, but really focused on just getting the chance to walk around all of Old Quebec to really get a feel for it.
It is such a beautiful and romantic little city. Our hotel was on The Grand Allee, it was quaint and the room was simple. If we had chosen to splurge I think we would have gone for a brand name hotel which there were lots of, but we decided to keep it simple and cheap. The Grand Allee was purely a mix of hotels and restaurants, that later in the night turned into clubs. Luckily, out room faced the back side of the hotel so we had no problem with noise.
When we woke up saturday morning we stopped at one of the many restaurants right outside the door and took a seat for brunch on the outside patio. I would have to say, my favorite part of the entire trip was the quality of the food and service. It was all quite enjoyable. After some warm croissants and homemade jam, we got on our way.
In total, after seeing what I believe was all of the old city, we walked 8 miles that Saturday. Old City will probably remain one of my favorite vacation spots for quite some time. Our trip consisted of visiting the Observitoire de la Capitale, walking past parliament, making our way down to the Chateau Frontenac for some very stunning photos by the river, and walking down the stairs of the city to the Rue du Petit Champlain. By the time we made it to the Rue du Petit Champlain, our stomachs were howling for a late lunch and luckily we came across a petite restaurant which only had about four tables, and one had just opened up. I have to say, the best luck we had during this trip was stopping at La Picada. It was by far the best meal I have ever had. With such simplicity and care they served empanadas, mixed nuts, an assortment of cheeses, and a homemade chimichurri sauce that was to die for.
We spoke with the owner who was from France and who owned this perfect restaurant with his wife. They decided to open it after backpacking through South America. I have to say that if ever you go to Quebec, stop at this little gem on the Rue du Petit Champlain.
The next morning, with a few hours to spare, we made our way over to the island of Orleans, where in my research I learned there are several vineyards. We took a quick private tour and tasting with the sommelier of Vignoble Ste Peronille, and picked up a few bottles of wine as souvenirs before getting back on the road to Boston.
While the trip was short and jam packed, I would definitely say that visiting Quebec City for the weekend is definitely doable if you live in New England. Although, we plan to head back and see a few more sites such as the Montmorency Falls and of course to visit my favorite new restaurant La Picada.