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Quebec City & Surrounding Areas-Itinerary Suggestions Appreciated

Quebec City & Surrounding Areas-Itinerary Suggestions Appreciated

Old Jul 19th, 2011, 07:46 PM
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Quebec City & Surrounding Areas-Itinerary Suggestions Appreciated

We have a post on the US forum regarding this same trip. For this 11-day venture, we're flying into Bangor, Maine, spending several days in the Bar Harbor/Acadia area, and then want to make our way to Quebec City. We have helpful guidebooks for Quebec City itself, but would appreciate any suggestions of scenic/interesting routes from Bar Harbor to that area. We have maps, but appreciate insights from those who have actually traveled some of these routes. We were hoping to enjoy some of the St. Lawrence Seaway towns, and wondered if these would be planned as day trips from Quebec City. After spending about four days in the area, we were considering the possibility of enjoying the White Mountains of New Hampshire for a couple of days and then making our way back to Bangor for our return flight home. Our style of traveling is more leisurely, stopping often to enjoy scenery, and we don't want to plan such an extended itinerary that we're pressuring ourselves to do long stretches of driving just to make it from point to point.

Thanks for any tips at all regarding the above concerns.
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Old Jul 20th, 2011, 09:38 AM
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Out of Quebec City a pleasant day-trip is the scenic drive up the St. Lawrence River at least as far as Baie-Saint-Paul, a quaint picturesque town with some shops and bistros. Montmorency Falls is a popular stop en route just outside of Quebec City.

If you have time to drive farther up the river, the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park is famous for whale watching (they get Belugas and other species). They're often visible from shore although there are boat excursions.

I have not travelled the region of Quebec specifically between the U.S. border and Quebec City. If you were going to be a little farther west, I might have suggested the town of Magog on Lake Memphremagog.
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Old Jul 20th, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Thanks, mat54. Every little tidbit of experience shared by others is helpful. If we plan on doing the trip up the St. Lawrence River, as you describe, on our last day in the Quebec City area, would you think that an overnight in Baie-Saint-Paul might be a good "last night" before we head back to the US? Also, we're wondering if our very basic French is adequate to get along in this area? Thanks, again.
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Old Jul 20th, 2011, 01:51 PM
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Baie Saint Paul is charming but small and I've only spent a few hours there a couple of times e.g. lunch and a browse through the shops. The drive there (and beyond) along the river is part of the attraction. Maybe someone more local can advise whether there is enough right in town for a day plus an overnight stay.

I wouldn't worry about your French, my spouse travels in Quebec frequently for business getting by fine with extremely basic French. Mine is so rusty (hardly spoken since early childhood) that it's practically as basic. In the major tourist areas there are always people around who speak English. In the small towns, there is usually someone who speaks enough "basic" English that everyone gets by without too much problem. Just making an attempt like a Bonjour and a Merci seems to make people happy. You can bring a French/English dictionary for emergencies, but I never end up needing it.

Here's another thought which might be appealing as you were hoping to enjoy some St. Lawrence seaway towns. Head to Baie-Saint-Paul for lunch, afterwhich continue a leisurely drive up river (known as the Charlevoix Region if you want to research it) to Saint Simeon then take the ferry across the St. Lawrence to Riviere-du-Loup. You will see some interesting scenery and get a real taste of rural Quebec. Spend the night in Riviere-du-Loup before heading back to Bangor. If you google map this route, it doesn't look too unreasonable to do over 2 days, but that depends on how you feel about a bit longer drive. Note: I have not taken this ferry so can't comment on it's efficiency, etc.
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Old Jul 20th, 2011, 04:17 PM
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Thanks, again, mat54. Your ideas are very helpful. And your comments about the basic French are reassuring!
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