More and more travellers these days are looking to get away from the urban bustle and escape into nature for a short break or several hours.
Lucky for them, Québec City is just as well known for being close to some truly stunning green spaces as it is for its history and architecture.
Hi! I’m Danielle Talbot. I’m a member of the outstanding Hôtel Château Laurier Québec team. Here’s a list of some of my favourite outdoor activities so you and your clients can make the most of a trip to Québec City.
1) THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM: NATURE IS JUST A FIVE-MINUTE WALK AWAY!
Battlefields Park, commonly referred to as the Plains of Abraham, is a major national historic site where the fate of North America was decided in 1759. Today, it’s an immense urban park where thousands of residents go each day to walk, run, have picnics, do yoga, attend concerts at the Edwin-Bélanger Bandstand, admire the flowers blooming in the Joan of Arc garden, or simply take a refreshing stroll in the sun or under the majestic trees. If you’re the more adventurous type, a trip up and down Gilmour Hill and the Cap-Blanc stairs will put your calves to the test!
And good news! The Plains of Abraham are located right behind Hôtel Château Laurier Québec. Just put on your runners and you’re there!
2) ST. CHARLES RIVER TRAILS: NATURE IS JUST A TEN MINUTE BIKE RIDE AWAY!
Exploring the banks of the St. Charles River is a bit like following in the footsteps of explorer Jacques Cartier, who harboured ships in the river during his second voyage to North America in 1535. Since 2008, extensive work has been done to naturalize the riverbanks, restore the extraordinary wildlife habitats, and make them more accessible to the public with 32 km of walking trails and 8 km of bike paths.
The possibilities are endless! You can go for a walk, a run, or a bike ride, watch the wildlife, or go canoeing against the ever-changing backdrop of city and forest, or the very impressive waterfalls in the Huron-Wendat community in Wendake.
From Hôtel Château Laurier Québec, the closest visitor centre the St. Charles River Linear Park is a 30-minute walk (2 km) or a 10-minute bike ride away (3 km) via the Corridor du Littoral bike path. Pick an activity, decide how far you want to go, or simply let curiosity be your guide—you can always take the bus or a taxi back if you get tired!
3) SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN PROMENADE: NATURE IS JUST A 20-MINUTE BIKE RIDE AWAY!
Where’s my favourite place to unwind and stretch my limbs? Samuel De Champlain Promenade! This 4 km urban park along the St. Lawrence River is a true oasis right in the city. It’s a popular spot for Québec City residents to go roller skating, cycling, or simply take a stroll right down by the river’s edge. Numerous works of art and panoramic viewpoints dot the riverside, each one the perfect excuse to stop and fully enjoy the moment.
There are many places to park along the promenade, but it’s also easy, safe, and fun to get there from Hôtel Château Laurier Québec via the Corridor du littoral: it’s a 20-minute bike ride (5 km) or a 60-minute walk that runs through the city’s Old Port and Cap Blanc, a typical Québec neighbourhood.
Looking for more of a challenge? The promenade is still being extended, and Sentier des grèves—a trail that has already been completed as part of phase two—is ready and waiting for more athletic travellers to explore. Make it up the stairs and catwalks and your efforts will be rewarded with some spectacular views!
4) THE MONTMORENCY FOREST: NATURES IS JUST AN HOUR DRIVE AWAY!
Do you prefer the quiet calm of a boreal forest? Then, I’d suggest a walk in Montmorency Forest in the Laurentians 70 km to the north of Québec City.
I’m particularly fond of the forest—it’s full of childhood memories for me. My dad worked there, and whenever he had a few free hours, he would take us for a visit. I always loved meeting travellers who had come to do some fishing or students who were happy to share their knowledge with us, because Montmorency Forest is the largest teaching and university research forest in the world.
The forest is run by Laval University and is open to the public. It offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as fly fishing, hiking, and nature walks led by highly trained guides. You can also stay overnight and turn your trip into a unique nature/Old Québec combo!
5) CALLING ALL BIKE ENTHUSIASTS: QUÉBEC CITY HAS 400 km OF BIKE PATHS TO EXPLORE!
I’ve already told you about the bike paths along the St. Charles River and the Samuel De Champlain Promenade, but the Québec City area has even more to offer. In fact, you can bike right across Québec City from the Québec Bridge to Montmorency Falls or from the St. Lawrence River out to Lac Beauport or the Jacques Cartier River. You can also bike along Chemin du Roy in Portneuf, explore the Côte-de-Beaupré area, or bike around Île d’Orléans. There are so many different bike routes to explore in Québec City and the surrounding area, you may not want to go home! Beginners and experts alike are sure to find the perfect biking destination.
Whether you have your own bike or want to rent one, and whether you want to go out cycling on your own or be accompanied by a guide, you can do it all and more from your location in Old Québec. At Hôtel Château Laurier Québec, we have bike racks in our indoor parking garage and locked bike cages so cyclists can safely store their bikes when they’re not using them. And the hotel’s pool, massage therapy services, outdoor spas, and wine dispensers will be waiting to help you unwind when you get back!
AN ILLUMINATING EXPERIENCE!
I’d like to share with you a great discovery I made recently: the Ô 6E Sens restaurant.
At this unusual restaurant, guests eat their meal in total darkness while blind servers guide them through the experience.
Like the coworkers who went with me, I initially had some concern. But it turned out to be a very positive, affirmative experience thanks to the professionalism of the restaurant’s employees. After a few moments, you begin to trust your other senses as they compensate for your lack of sight and you fully enjoy what’s on your plate. We also got to meet the Chef after the meal and see what had been served to us, which gave us the opportunity to talk about our experience and share our thoughts.
As if that weren’t enough, a part of the restaurant’s profits go to organizations that support people with visual disabilities. Trust me—eating at Ô 6E Sens is a Québec City experience you won’t want to miss.
A LITTLE ABOUT DANIELLE…
Danielle Talbot’s colleagues describe her as an engaging and reliable person who really knows how to get things done. Danielle says that the main reason she loves working at Hôtel Château Laurier Québec is because it feels like a big family. Each employee works to provide guests with the same attention they’d give someone in their own family, and that motivates Danielle and makes her proud of challenges she and her coworkers tackle every day!
Danielle’s office is located at Hôtel Château Laurier Québec, between Battlefields Park and Grande-Allée and only steps from the old city walls—right in the heart of the action. So feel free to drop by and see her if you would like more information on the topics discussed in this newsletter or just to share your comments! She loves to hear from you!
418-522-3848, ext. 675 or toll free at 1-866-822-9222