Fly from Thunder Bay to Québec City for French flair in the midst of the Québécois wilderness.
Centuries of French Canadian heritage are steeped into the cobblestone streets and steep staircases that wind through this city. Stroll past cozy cafés and chic boutiques to reach striking vistas that are sure to leave you enchanted.
Vieux-Québec is the charming heart of Québec City, and home to some of the city’s oldest architecture. From the 17th century settlement of Samuel de Champlain to the Basilique-cathédrale Notre-Dame de Québec, Québec City’s past is written in the stones of these historic structures.
Head to the Haute-Ville section of Vieux Québec for a peek into the city’s military heritage. On the scenic peak of Cap Diamant, the star-shaped Citadelle de Québec hosts ceremonial cannon firings and changing of the guard ceremonies. For more military heritage, continue to the Plaines d’Abraham, where Martello towers and war monuments stand to commemorate the city’s past.
Take the fun Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec or walk the scary-sounding Escalier Casse-Cou, meaning Breakneck Stairs, to descend to the Basse-Ville. In the lower town’s central square, Place-Royale, live performances by talented buskers add to Québec City’s lively arts scene. On the walls of the Basse-Ville, the Fresque des Québécois records the city’s history in a trompe l'oeil mural.
The walls of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec display works made in Québec and by Québec artists. Get a new perspective on the city before you fly back to Thunder Bay with a look through the 25,000 pieces of art housed in this gallery.
Once your plane from Thunder Bay lands, climb to the peak of Cap Diamant for some of Quebec City’s top attractions, in Parc des Champs-de-Bataille.
This area overlooking the St. Lawrence River was designated as a national historic park more than a century ago. Once the site of a pivotal battle in the Seven Years Wars between French and British forces, this green space now offers a serene retreat for visitors from Thunder Bay.
France meets Britain once more in the jardin Jeanne-d’Arc, which features gardens in the styles of both countries. Over 75 years old, this garden grows more than 150 species of plants. The garden blossoms with activity during the winter, with displays depicting the park’s past and light shows brightening snowy days.
Beyond the garden, winters in Parc des Champs-de-Bataille are filled with cold-weather activities. Whether you’re on a guided snowshoeing tour, or gliding across the Plaines d’Abraham skating rink, there are plenty of ways to make the most of snowy days.
Winter walkers will love the park’s 6 km of paths, open in every season. On the Sentier Plaines d’Abraham trail, interpretive signs detailing the area’s history line the route, which runs between the Haute-Ville and Promenade Samuel-de-Champlain.
When the snow melts, la Grande fête de la nature is a festival that celebrates the onset of spring with educational environmental programs. During the summer, the sound of music can be heard throughout Parc des Champs-de-Bataille. The Kiosque Edwin-Bélanger hosts concerts ranging from pop to blues, to folk music in an airy outdoor setting. For eleven days in July, the Festival d'été de Québec transforms the park into party central.
Whenever your visit from Thunder Bay falls, you’ll find amazing things things to do in Parc des Champs-de-Bataille in every season.
Québec’s natural wonders are just a 45-minute drive from the Québec City, in the wilds of Jacques Cartier National Park.
Hiking trails trace across more than 100 km of this national park’s expansive 670 square km area. Trek to the top of Jacques Cartier’s plateaus for a striking view of the park’s three rivers, Chute, Sautauriski, and the park’s namesake, Jacques-Cartier.
Backcountry hiking can take you off the beaten path and into the thick forests that cover much of the park. As you explore the untamed portions of the plateau, gaze down drops ranging from 700 to 900 metres for dizzying views of the distant Sautauriski River far, far below. While you wander through the wilderness, look closely through the woods to see the park’s animal inhabitants, including deer, porcupine, and the majestic moose.
Follow the initial expedition of explorer Jacques Cartier by canoeing through this national park. Get swept up in the scenery as you paddle through the waterways of the Jacques-Cartier River Valley. Paddle an authentic birch-bark canoe, or take a more modern approach on a stand-up paddle board, you’ll find amazing landscapes around every riverbend. Of course, you can always put down your paddle and opt for an easy ride down the river on an inflatable inner tube.
When the river freezes over, Jacques Cartier’s winter activities heat up. With 80 km of snowshoeing trails over the course of 11 trails, this national park is a winter wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts.
To add a little adventure to your trip from Thunder Bay, take the 3-day cross-country skiing circuit into the heart of Québec’s wilderness. Come back to Thunder Bay with stories (and some well-earned soreness) from a journey along this difficult and idyllic route.
Fly from Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT) to Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB), with a quick connection in Toronto. Thunder Bay to Québec City flight time is 2 hours and 25 minutes on average. Connection times vary. The distance from Thunder Bay to Québec City is around 1,650 km / 1,025 mi.
Enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks along the way.