In Canada’s northeast awaits its province of Quebec, an easy drive for visitors from the American northeast. Occupied and explored by the French more than 300 years ago, Montreal celebrated its 375th anniversary in 2017. French is still the predominant language, and with its historic cities and natural surroundings, families can experience a new culture, uncover North American history and explore the great outdoors, with waterfalls and mountain hiking galore.
For residents in the northeast, driving to Montreal or Quebec City takes just a matter of hours. For everyone else, direct flights to both cities are easy to find from U.S. hubs.
The French who settled Quebec have a history closely tied to America – both fought the British in an attempt at freedom.
Quebec’s major cities include its capital of Quebec City and Montreal, both offering modern-day charms and historic quarters.
Want to visit a European city and introduce the kids to a different culture, language, cuisine and sights? Quebec City is as close as you’ll come, with a European vibe within easy range of home. The magical city is an ideal summer and winter destination, and it’s intimate enough to enjoy for a long weekend. Your family can walk along cobbled streets, eat cheese fondue and practice speaking French with a visit to this charming city.
The modern city of Montreal is friendly and welcoming, with history at every turn. You’ll find its beginnings 350 years ago showcased in Old Montreal. Treat the kids to one of its numerous festivals — more than 120 take place annually. Visit the city’s namesake Mount Royal park for picnics and hiking. And don’t miss the the impressive Saint-Joseph’s Oratoire.
Explore four different ecosystems beneath the glass-domed Montreal Biodome, located at Olympic Park.
Built for the 1967 World Fair, La Ronde is an amusement park today operated by Six Flags. Its coasters can be seen from the river.
Home to the 1976 Summer Olympics, Parc Olympique offers tours that highlight the Olympics and Montreal’s sports. Ride to the top of Montreal Tower, the world’s tallest inclined tower standing at 574 feet — the views are worth the gondola ride.
Built in the 1600s as a fortress for the city on the St. Laurence River, the Citadelle is a National Historic Site and remains an active military installation. The Canadian monarch and the Governor General of Canada once used this as their residences.
Just outside of Quebec City is Montmorency Falls, which are taller than Niagara Falls.
Skiing is top of mind for families visiting Mont Tremblant, but it is a four-season resort with golf, shopping and plenty of activities for kids.
If you’re sticking to cities, don’t drive. The cities in Quebec are walkable and feature great public transportation. If you’re looking to explore outside the cities, rent a car. If you’re driving from the U.S. to Quebec, you will have to cross through border control and need a passport.