Quebec City is an incredibly picturesque European-like city, yet it is located only an hour and a half plane ride from Manhattan. Old Quebec, as it is called, is a UNESCO World Heritage treasure. It is the only walled city north of Mexico in North America. With its cobblestone streets (bring flat shoes!) and unbelievable 400 year old European architecture, you will feel like you are in an ancient city in Europe. It has European charm, fantastic cuisine, and welcoming hotels. The official language here is French, of course, but most of the staff at restaurants and hotels also speak fluent English.
The most popular tourist attraction in Quebec is by far the Chateau Frontenac (claimed to be the most photographed hotel in the world), the centuries old architecture, and the historic sites. Dinner at the Chateau Frontenac is an absolute must. The decor and food are fabulous. Because people don’t usually eat until later in French culture, the only other restaurant in the hotel does not open until 8pm.
You can also take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage while the “calache” gives you a history lesson. You can also take a guided tour and learn how the French/English war played out in 1759, with General Montcalm and Wolfe. It’s interesting to see the location of an event which forever changed the history of North America. You can also tour the star-shaped citadel with its cannons, loopholes, and changing of the guard. Artillery park, and fortresses are also part of the tour. You can also enjoy the area’s boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. You can check out the website here for more info.
The best part of all of this is of course, it’s proximity from New York. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, and don’t have the time or budget for a European vacation, Quebec is definitely a worthwhile experience.