Old world charm awaits, with flights from Chicago to Québec City.
Québec City’s French past is written in stone along the cobbled streets of Vieux-Québec. With landmarks like the site of Samuel de Champlain’s original 17th century settlement, the old city invites visitors to lose themselves along its winding streets.
Both upper and lower halves of Vieux-Québec, the Haute-Ville and Basse-Ville, hold a wealth of history waiting to be explored. Whether you’re looking over the St. Lawrence from the Terrasse Dufferin in the Haute-Ville, or looking into the past in the murals of the Basse-Ville, both parts of this district can take you back in time.
You can learn more about the history of French settlement in Québec at the Musée de l'Amérique francophone. Part of the Musée de la civilisation complex, this museum’s counterparts can be found in Place Royal and Port de Québec. For some art with your history, visit the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.
Like Chicago, the buildings in Québec City are works of art themselves. From the stately Hôtel du Parlement, to the sturdy Québec Ramparts, Québec’s architecture stretches over centuries of styles. Before you fly back to Chicago, the city’s 400 years of architecture and culture are sure to enchant you.
Brave the Breakneck Stairs, or ride the funicular to Québec City’s Haute Ville.
Perched atop the 98 metre cliffs of Cap Diamant, sits the star-shaped Citadelle de Québec. Overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the scenic view from the Citadelle served a strategic purpose. Make sure to catch the changing of the guard ceremony, to see the area’s military past come to life.
Take a stroll past the city’s fortifications to Ramparts de Québec, along the Promenade des Gouverneurs. This wooden walkway runs all the way from the Plaines d’Abraham to Terrasse Dufferin. Once you reach Terrasse Dufferin, take the wide boardwalk to the Château Frontenac. Wrapping around the hotel, the Terrasse provides the perfect opportunity to take pictures of the world’s most photographed hotel.
If you aren’t confident in your own photography skills, head over to the rue des Trésors. Prints and paintings line this narrow street with images of Québec City’s landmarks. Before you fly back to Chicago, pick up a piece of Québec City focused art from this collection of artworks.
The Québec wilderness is waiting just 45 minutes away from the city, in Jacques Cartier National Park.
Explore Jacques Cartier National Park’s 670 square km area on foot along 100 km of hiking trails. From the top of the plateau, you’ll have a view of the three rivers that run through the park, Jacques-Cartier, Sautauriski, and Chute.
Venture off the beaten path into the park’s backcountry. From the thick woods of the plateau, look down the 700 to 900 metre drop to see the Sautauriski River below. While in the wild, keep your eyes open for porcupine, white-tailed deer, and the king of Québec’s forests, the moose.
Like Jacques Cartier’s initial expedition, you can cut through the park by canoe. See the sweeping scenery of the Jacques-Cartier River Valley from the water as you paddle your kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or tree bark rabaska canoe. If paddling is too much effort, take it easy in an inner tube and float your way down the river.
When the water freezes over, the park is still a hotbed of outdoor activity. Trade your hiking boots in for snowshoes and follow the almost 80 km of track, spread over 11 trails, or just set out to explore the parkland.
If you’re up for adventure, the park features a 3-day circuit that will take you into the heart of the Québec wilderness. You’ll have stories (and maybe a little soreness) to bring back to Chicago from this idyllic and difficult route.
Fly from Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) to Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB), with a quick connection in Toronto. Chicago to Québec City flight time is 3 hours and 5 minutes on average. Connection times vary. The distance from Chicago to Québec City is around 1,430 km / 890 mi.
Enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks along the way.