Some people say Québec City is at its most beautiful in the fall. As September draws to a close and October settles in, a kaleidoscope of fall leaves creates a dazzling contrast to the grey stony hues of the cobblestones and historic architecture of Old Québec. If you’re lucky, your stay will coincide with the last lingering hot and sunny days of summer that sometimes stretch in to early October or even mid-November. And there’s no shortage of cultural activities that take place in the fall. Here are some tips from Hôtel Château Laurier Québec’s Concierge team on how to make the most of your fall stay in Québec City.
Admire the Fall Foliage
The fall colours in Québec City are truly staggering. Everywhere you go, you’ll see bursts of colour as the trees and bushes turn their characteristic golds, oranges, reds, and purples from the cold and the decreased light of shorter days. It’s a magical sight to behold.
You can admire the view as you wander through town—even Old Québec is full of trees and other greenery—or head to one of the city’s beautiful urban parks. The Plains of Abraham and Parc du Bois-de-Coulonges are breathtaking this time of year. A few kilometers from Hôtel Château Laurier is Domaine de Maizerets, where you can walk the trails, explore the Arboretum, have fun getting lost in the hedge maze, or just sit and admire the view by the artificial lake. When it’s nice out, it’s not uncommon to see artists painting or drawing in the shade of the colourful trees.
The fall weather in Québec sometimes catches visitors off guard. October is an incredibly unpredictable month. Over the course of one day, it can be bitingly cold in the morning, warm enough to take off your coat in the afternoon, and then pouring with rain in the evening. A sunny day doesn’t always mean it’s warm out! The best way to prepare for whatever the weather might throw at you is to layer up—opt for a light sweater under a polar fleece combined with a windbreaker or a raincoat. If you get cold easily, you’ll want to bring a scarf and some light gloves as well.
Sturdy shoes are also a good idea for the city. If you’re thinking of taking a walk in a forested area, you’ll want to wear waterproof walking boots—even the marked trails can get pretty muddy with all the fall rain.
Birders and families looking for a fun outdoor activity will get a kick out of watching flocks of snow geese make their way south! These migratory birds and their six- to eight-week-old goslings leave the Canadian Arctic and head for the east coast of the U.S., stopping along the shores of the St. Lawrence River for about two weeks to feed and build up their strength.
Follow Côte de Beaupré up to the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area for an incredible up-close glimpse of these birds that hang around the area until mid-October. You can also take one of the bridges to the south shore and follow the road east along the St. Lawrence River to see snow geese in Berthier-sur-Mer, Montmagny, Cap-Saint-Ignace, and as far as L’Islet.
Take a Gourmet Tour and Discover Local Delicacies
With fall comes the harvest and a whole host of food-focused activities. Make the most of your getaway by indulging in some agrotourism—the Québec City area is full of orchards and cideries, cheese shops, artisanal farms, bakeries, fruit and vegetable stands, chocolate shops, and vineyards for you to enjoy. There are a number of places where you can still pick your own apples, pears, and plums.
The stops on the Gourmet Route in the Capitale-Nationale region and the Bellechasse Wine Route are good places to start when creating your own tasting itineraries.
Several pubs, breweries, restaurants, and bars on Grande-Allée and Rue Saint-Jean also have special menus for Oktoberfest. If you’re in the mood for some beer and German food, don’t hesitate to ask us for advice on where to go. Prost!
Enjoy a Variety of Cultural Activities and Entertainment
Québec City is gorgeous in the rain, but even so, you may want to plan a few indoor activities in case you’re feeling a bit water-logged.
If you haven’t visited it yet, a rainy day is the perfect time to explore the famous Musée national des Beaux-Arts de Québec. The museum complex includes the striking Pierre-Lassonde Pavilion, a veritable arts cathedral, and several heritage buildings, including a former jail. Visit the Brousseau collection of Inuit art and the exhibit on celebrated painter Jean-Paul Riopelle, attend a lecture, or even treat yourself to a drawing, watercolour, or sculpture workshop! The museum also offers activities specially designed for families.
Not far from Hôtel Château Laurier Québec is Grand Théâtre de Québec, a multi-purpose venue where you can see ballets, classical music concerts, touring singers, plays, and world music performances. Don’t wait too long to get your tickets. If you need any help, stop by the concierge desk—we’d be happy to assist you.
In need of some retail therapy? There are a number of shopping centres located a short distance from the hotel. Place Sainte-Foy, Place de la Cité, and Laurier Québec, with its 265 boutiques and 35 restaurants, should have what you’re looking for, whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one.
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Whatever your needs, the team of concierges at Hôtel Château Laurier Québec is here to help you plan your stay. Our insider knowledge of Québec City and the surrounding region is the key to making sure your stay is unforgettable—you’ll be planning to come see us again before you’ve even left!