Top 10 Reasons to Visit Quebec This Summer
By Susie Henderson
From innovative art exhibitions and gentle city bike rides to mountain thrills and riverside golf, Quebec is packed with exciting things to do over the summer.
Plus, CAA members can get 15% off their stay at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in Quebec. Additionally, members of ALL – Accor Live Limitless earn Reward points and receive exclusive advantages.
1. Head to the Picasso. Bodies exhibition in Québec City. Running from June 12 through September 12, 2021 at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, this blockbuster summer show will display more than 70 pieces by the renowned Spanish artist. Visitors will have the chance to browse iconic paintings and sculptures spanning several decades, all themed around the human body, including surrealist works like “The Acrobat.” This is the only place in Canada hosting the exhibition, which has been curated by the Musée Picasso-Paris. The Imagine Picasso Immersive Exhibition at the Quebec Convention Centre is another experience that art lovers won’t want to miss.
2. Whiz alongside the St. Lawrence River by bike. You can rent your wheels and order a gourmet picnic from Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, then follow part of the 48-kilometre Corridor du Littoral cycle route. The car-free path takes in popular Québec City attractions like the Promenade Samuel-de-Champlain, which features a sleek lookout tower and themed gardens. Or you might ride toward Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, where you can peer over a suspension bridge for spectacular waterfall views. Other summer activities at the hotel include guided tours in and around the historic building, the opportunity to meet the princess of the château, and imaginative kids’ scavenger hunts.
3. Check off an A-to-Z of adventures at Mont-Tremblant. Searching for summer fun in the Laurentians? Start with aquatic experiences like kayaking on Le Diable River and finish up with zip-lining from the summit to the village. Horseback riding trails weave through woods and up mountains for panoramic vistas, while craggy rock faces are perfect for novice climbers. Fairmont Tremblant guests can join complimentary guided nature walks through lush boreal forest each Sunday morning. Whatever you choose, the hotel’s Ricochet Café & Terrasse creates delicious packed lunches, so you can simply grab a backpack and go.
4. Soak, snuggle and stargaze. To soothe muscles, enjoy the “hot-cold-relax” cycle of an invigorating Nordic spa session back at Fairmont Tremblant. You can rotate between indoor and outdoor pools, a Finnish sauna, steam room, hot tubs and chilled plunge pool. Afterwards, the hotel’s Bonfire & Tipi experience lets you cozy up with your bubble on comfy Adirondack chairs around a roaring wood-burning fire. Sip thick hot chocolate, guzzle decadently gooey s’mores, and keep your eyes peeled for constellations as the sun dips.
5. Surround yourself with sound and light at Oasis immersion in Montreal. Spread over several large galleries on the ground floor of the Palais des congrès de Montréal, this energizing walk-through exhibit makes ingenious use of state-of-the-art technology. You’ll be immersed in a kaleidoscopic array of laser projections and LED lights combined with powerful surround-sound speakers. The inaugural show promises to transport you to architectural masterpieces around the world and engulf you in the music of pianist and composer Alexandra Stréliski. You’ll also be able to discover what it was like for Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques to spend 204 days in space.
6. Stay in the John Lennon & Yoko Ono Suite at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth. For an immersive Montreal experience of a different kind, check into the room where Lennon and Yoko’s famous “bed-in for peace” took place in 1969. The eye-catching door and hallway were designed by artist Gene Pendon for the 50th anniversary in 2019 using bed-in photos taken by Gerry Deiter for Life Magazine. Inside the suite itself, you can don a VR headset and browse multimedia installations and memorabilia, including a vinyl copy of “Give Peace a Chance,” which the duo recorded here.
7. Tackle a cliffside via ferrata route. Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu has installed its own challenging climbing course, a fixed route stretching 500 metres above the St. Lawrence River. Anyone older than eight can give this exhilarating activity a go. You’ll feel a powerful adrenaline rush as you ascend steep rock walls and cross exposed wooden bridges, all while looking out for marine mammals in the river below. The entire route takes around two and a half hours to complete.
8. Tee off on a dramatic 27-hole golf course. Originally created in 1925 by English golf architect Herbert Strong, the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu Golf Club received a nine-hole boost from modern designer Darrell Huxham. Not only do players enjoy sweeping views of the St. Lawrence River, but there’s no shortage of tricky (and enjoyable) features, from undulating greens to strategically placed bunkers and plenty of trees.
9. Explore the Manoir Papineau Historic Site. Following a $6.5 million restoration project, this elegant mid-19th-century manor house reopens to the public on June 26, 2021. Set in landscaped gardens just a short stroll from Fairmont Le Château Montebello, the historic home was the estate of renowned politician Louis-Joseph Papineau. A brand new roof displays the huge initials “LJP” to match the original design, and guided tours give you an insight into the building’s history and architecture.
10. Enjoy an alfresco barbecue by the Ottawa River. Whether you’re canoeing or paddle boarding, playing mini-golf or perfecting your tennis serve, you’re sure to build up an appetite after a day of summer activities at Fairmont Le Château Montebello. Wrap up your afternoon with a relaxing family-style barbecue on the hotel’s spacious waterside terrace. You can fill up on tasty smoked meats sourced from local farms, along with fresh seasonal vegetables and chilled wine.
No matter where you stop on your Québec road trip this summer, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts are there to help make wonderful memories. To learn more about Fairmont’s exclusive offer for CAA Members and receive 15% off your stay, visit fairmont.com/promo/aaa-caa-member-offer.
ALL Safe Program: We are committed to ensuring that you stay safe and stay well in all of our hotels. To learn more about our enhanced sanitation program and standards, click here.
Susie Henderson is passionate about travelling and has written articles and travel guides for numerous publications and websites, including the World Travel Guide, Sky News online, MSN Travel, Mail Travel, The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She’s lived in the UK, France, Spain and the US and is now based in Victoria, BC.