Whether you live in Québec and you want to travel close to home, or you are visiting from somewhere else, the province of Québec has tons of vacation destinations, both large and small, which offer diverse activities that the whole family can enjoy.
The very vast province of Québec is home to many cities, towns and villages of various sizes that all make great vacation getaways for families. From one town to another, the culture and way of life changes drastically, as can the accents of the residents who live there. Pack up your family and get ready for a vacation adventure!
This article outlines 25 family vacation spots in Québec (in no particular order).
For more ideas see: 10 Best Weekend Getaways in Quebec
1. The Magdalen IslandsThis Island chain in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence is famous for its white sand, warm salt water and fresh seafood. Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, in French, is the ideal vacation getaway for families who enjoy nature and water sports. Here, you will want to take in the quiet beaches, as you build sandcastles, play in the waves, go windsurfing, kitesurfing or kayaking, or just relax as your children play in an endless, natural playground.
Your kids can attend a kite-building workshop, and take advantage of the constant sea breeze, or you can all take a hike on Boudreau Island, or through the wildlife reserves of East Point and Brion Island. Numerous rare species of plants and animals may be observed in these areas.
The Magdalen Islands hosts several summer festivals, highlighting local culture, art, music and cuisine. Your entire family can listen to a local band and savor some fresh seafood.
Located on the North Shore, approximately 670 km Northeast of Montréal, Baie-Comeau is a historical paper mill town, which was established in 1937. It is now home to approximately 20 000 residents. The main industries in Baie-Comeau are paper products, aluminum, and hydroelectric power.
There are several Hydro Quebec dams in the Baie-Comeau area that are within driving distance. Some offer guided tours and activities that are sure to please the entire family.
Baie-Comeau is home to Le Jardin des Glaciers (Glacier Garden). This amazing experience offers a multimedia presentation on how the last glaciers affected the local land and climate, as well as a visit to the Seashell Valley. Here lies a natural, online treasure chest of incredible shells and fossils that you can explore with your family.
3. Québec City
There is a diverse list of activities that families can do in Québec City. First of all, there is the nearby Valcartier Vacation Village and Waterpark, which you can visit either in the summer or in the winter. In summer, there are water slides and outdoor games for the entire family, and in the colder months, it transforms into a winter wonderland for sliding and tubing.
Next, take your family to visit the incredible Museum of Civilization, Québec’s most popular museum. The visit is interactive, informative and culturally diverse.
Finally, be sure to visit the Québec Aquarium, home to almost 10 000 different living species. It is just minutes from the downtown city center.
While you are downtown, be sure to taste the Beavertails, locally made pastries the entire family is sure to enjoy!
Lennoxville is a small town of less than 6000 people, near Sherbrooke. Its population is mainly English-speaking, and it is home to Champlain College and Bishop’s University.
Lennoxville was established in 1819 as a farmland, and has grown since that time into a quaint little picturesque town. It offers many little shops and restaurants, which sell local products, such as Green’s Bakery and Black Cat Books.
If your family enjoys the outdoors, you may want to take in a round of golf at the Old Lennoxville Golf Club. Founded by Bishop’s University in 1897, it is the oldest nine-hole golf course in Canada.
Rimouski has a population of almost 47 000 people and there is lots to do here. Firstly, you will want to visit the Bic National Park, where you can see various species of seabirds. If you are lucky, seals and deer may also make an appearance! The park also offers hiking, boating and camping.
Saint-Barnabé Island is located just off Rimouski’s coast and is a historic shipwreck site. This island has many interesting secrets and is accessible by boat excursion.
Next, bring your entire family to Hell’s Gate Canyon where you cross the highest suspension footbridge in Quebéc! There are also several hiking and mountain biking trails available, offering amazing views of the river.
Sea? No, it's the Saint-Laurent river. 🌊 Après 1h30 de randonnée et 345m d'altitude une petite leçon d'histoire. C'est en 1603, lors de son premier voyage que Samuel de Champlain donna à cette montagne le nom de "Pic" qui est devenu "Bic". Quelques années plus tard elle fut rebaptisée "Pic Champlain" en son honneur. #RTHadventure
The town of Matane is located on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River and is home to more than 14 000 people. There is a ferry service linking this town to the North Shore. Matane is very picturesque and windy, as it is located right on the river.
While visiting Matane, you will want to visit Doris’ Gardens, home to amazing walking trails and an observation tour where you can view the beauty of the botanical gardens.
Next, Parc des Îles provides green space, a rest spot, playground, and picnic area right in the heart of the town. It also offers a beach where you can swim, go pedal boating, have a snack or play mini golf. There is often live music in the park as well, making this stop a winner.
Sherbrooke is the largest town in the Eastern Townships, with a population of around 155 000. It is extremely close to the U.S. border, which makes travel easy. Sherbrooke offers a vast array of activities sure to please family members of all ages!
If you are music lovers, you won’t want to miss the Fête du Lac des Nations, held every year in July. This celebration features more than 30 music concerts held over the course of 6 days. It showcases musicians from all over the world. The kids are also welcome, as there are 2 full days especially for them, and admission is free! Go enjoy the music, rides and fireworks.
Another event you will want to take in is the Festival des traditions du monde de Sherbrooke, or the World Traditions Festival. This multi-cultural 5-day celebration features a diversity of music, dance, crafts, international cuisine, games, kiosks and exhibitors.
Granby offers some wonderful outdoor activities. While visiting this small town, don’t miss out on the Granby Zoo, which showcases over 1500 animals, including 225 exotic species, such as elephants, gorillas, giraffes and tigers. The zoo also contains a waterpark and amusement park for children.
The Verger Champêtre is also a highly recommended family-oriented activity. This country orchard and farm contains several acres fruit trees, a guided walking trail, a petting farm with 120 animals, a garden with thousands of vegetables, a farm interpretation center, a playground, picnic and rest areas, and a boutique. You can even pick your own fresh fruits and vegetables!
9. Val d’Or
Val d’Or, or the Golden Valley, is most known for its gold mine. Your family can even go underground for an informative, guided gold mine tour at La Cite de l’Or. Reservations are recommended.
Be sure to savour the local products offered at La Tanière Chez William J. Walter, Saucissier. At this professional sausage-maker’s boutique, you will find quality spiced meats, cheeses and more. They even offer vegetarian products. Your taste buds will thank you for the visit!
If your family likes to fish, be sure to take advantage of the Pourvoirie du Rapide-Sept for a relaxing, memorable fishing excursion. At this beautiful fishing outfitter, you will stay in a comfortable, luxurious log cabin, and fish during the day. Guides are onsite. Reserve very early!
The top, must see family outing in Saint-Felicien that you will not want to miss is the Zoo Sauvage de Saint-Felicien, or the Wild Zoo. You can take your time and walk around the open-concept zoo and observe a wide range of free-roaming North American wildlife, or take the train around the entire park.
This unique zoo is an amazing, educational, one-day activity.
Next, you will definitely take your kids to Tree to Tree (d’Arbre en Arbre). This outdoor adventure will get them moving in a natural, forest setting. The whole family can participate in tree rope climbing, bridge crossing and zip-lining safely, with experienced instructors. There are courses for different levels of
difficulty and expertise.
11. Baie St. Paul
Whether you decide to travel in summer or winter, Baie St. Paul has tons to offer vacationers. In the winter, your family will want to spend the day or longer at Le Massif, the region’s highest ski mountain. They offer trails for all levels of skier, as well as sledding and helicopter tours.The summer months in Baie St. Paul offer many outdoor recreational options. First of all, you will want to make the 58 km drive along the St. Lawrence Route. This scenic trail offers panoramic views of the river as you get close to nature. Smell the fresh air and take in the beauty of the region as you spot
some whales playing nearby.
Next, take a relaxing stroll through the Jardins de Francois. These beautiful gardens are free to visit. Go enjoy the peace and beauty the gardens offer.You can visit in 30 minutes, or spend the entire day!
Montréal is a bustling, festive city with tons to offer a family. First of all, there is La Ronde. Get a thrill at Canada’s second largest amusement park, with more than 40 rides!
If your family enjoys nature, you will want to skip over to the Montréal Biodôme where your family can stroll through the 4 ecosystems. You will discover over 4,800 animals and 750 plant types, including playful penguins!
Next, head over to the Botanical Garden and the Insectarium, where you can see thousands of species of plants, flowers and bugs! The kids will have fun while learning about nature!
Another must-see activity is the Ghost Walk. This 1.5-hour walking tour through Old Montréal will have you meeting ghosts as they tell your family their spooky tales.
Bonaventure is a great place for those who love spending time outdoors. The Bioparc wildlife park is a popular attraction where you can observe the diversity of Gaspésian flora and fauna through the 5 ecosystems.
Next, you can visit the Musée Acadien, or Acadian Museum, where you will learn about the Acadian heritage and culture through several different family activity options.
Paddle down the Bonaventure River, known for being one of the top clearest rivers in the world. Kayak or canoe with a guided family tour for beginners with no rapids. Then, take the plunge; the entire family can go for a refreshing swim!
Another beautiful spot in the Gaspé area is Percé. This small town has several comfortable motels and Bed & Breakfasts, but be sure to book early! It is home to the famous Percé Rock, a unique holed island which is a beautiful area to relax. Hike up the hills or embark on a fun boat tour for the best views to take some beautiful panoramic photos. You can also choose to picnic on the beach while the kids play in the playground.
The Percé GeoParc is a must-see destination. There is a very entertaining museum with laser shows, holograms and videos. The Tektonik is a multimedia interactive exhibit which is fun and informative for all ages. Be sure to hike up the mountain to the suspension platform for some breathtaking views!
Overlooking rocher Percé from Mont-Joli Cape. This Quebec landmark is a must-see for anyone visting the beautiful Gaspesie region. 📷 @jessonead #ExploreCanada Vue sur le rocher Percé depuis le cap Mont-Joli. Ce véritable joyau du Québec est un incontournable pour quiconque pose les pieds en Gaspésie. 📷 @jessonead #QuebecOriginal #roadtripQM
Cycling families will want to participate in the Grand tour du Lac-Mégantic, a family-oriented bicycle tour that has been a tradition for 25 years. It offers a secure, panoramic cycling route with many services, prizes, snacks. It has wonderful organization and offers 2 different lengths of circuits.
The Complexe Baie-des-Sables is also a must-do activity for families. This area offers a great, clean camp site with services, a lake with boat rentals available, a restaurant with a deck overlooking the beach and several hiking Trails. If you are not campers, you may choose to rent a comfortable chalet.[instagram url=https://www.instagram.com/p/BVoF-01hZjn/ hidecaption=true width=800]
16. StansteadLocated on the Québec-Vermont border, Stanstead is a small town with much to offer visitors. Plant and flower lovers will not want to miss Bleu Lavande, or Lavender Blue. Take a fragrant guided or free walk through aromatic plants and take as many photos as you please. Relax and enjoy the vast fields, and
grab a snack or some lunch from the shop.
Next, be sure to visit the historic Granite Exhibit & Museum of Stanstead, especially if you are train lovers. The Granite Exhibit takes you back through the history of Stanstead and all the granite quarries found there. In the museum is a wonderful collection of thousands of Lionel model trains, with a functioning railway.
Trois-Rivières is a wonderful place for water activities. First, you will want to book a cruise with Croisières AML. This 90-minute commented tour allows you to discover this beautiful town from the St. Lawrence River. Choose from a brunch or dinner cruise, or even a whale-watching tour.
The Parc de l’ile Saint-Quentin is another must for your vacation. This island is a historic trading post dating back to the 1500s. Now, it offers a beach, playground, pool area, campsite, marina and bicycle path. There are many activities organized daily, such as an outdoor cinema.
If you are history buffs, you will also enjoy the tour of the Old Jail of Trois- Rivières, guided by former prisoners telling their individual stories.
If you and your family love the excitement of room escape games, make sure to visit Captif Victoriaville! This memorable experience offers different escape scenarios in a high-tense environment. You have 60 minutes to escape, by solving riddles and enigmas using your logic and sense of observation. This is
a truly exciting and unique experience!
For some relaxing outdoor recreation, visit the Parc linéaire des Bois-Francs. This park has 77 km of great cycling and walking trails with numerous services and stops along the way, including benches, belvederes and washrooms. The park is free and is constantly patrolled for everyone’s safety.
19. SaguenayThere is plenty to do here worth a weekend! But if you want a guided tour, Saguenay Guided Tours offers a variety of options aboard a luxurious minibus, in groups or privately. This tour lasts ~ 4 hours and covers the historic area of La Baie, an exposition of nativity scenes, a visit to the covered bridge, the Saguenay National Park, and the marina.
Saguenay Paintball Karting is a great place for active families who want a high adrenaline experience, excitement and fun! A trained team is onsite to watch over the paintball and go-karting games to ensure safety and security. They also offer an Enchanted Forest and Minigolf.
If you are looking for a great indoor activity for the kids, be sure to visit Le Monde de TiKito. They are equipped with ball guns, slides, video games and lots more to allow your kids to run, play and have loads of fun! They also offer free wifi and snacks are available onsite.
Climb aboard the Grand Cru ship for a gourmet cruise on magnificent Lake Memphremagog. This elegant 3-hour tour offers a delicious brunch, lunch and dinner menu for the whole family. You may also choose to depart in the afternoon for a cruise without a meal.
If you enjoy horseback riding, you won’t want to miss the affordable Equitation Orford, equipped with amazing staff and horses. They are ready to welcome riders of all levels of expertise. The beautiful trail meanders through the woods and through a small river, up and down some hills and along some
21. La Malbaie
For a unique look at the night sky, bring your family to the Observatoire Astronomique de Charlevoix. A fantastic learning experience awaits you as you take in some extraordinary sights. Experienced guides lead you through an amazing discovery of stars, exoplanets, and other celestial bodies.
For amazing nature and wildlife experiences, the next stop on your list should be Les Jardins du Quatre-Vents (The Four-Winds Gardens). Be sure to book in advance for the stunningly beautiful gardens. Among the plants and flowers, you will discover a dove tower and a unique Japanese tea house.
Next, head over to the Domaine Pic Bois (Woodpecker Estate). Take a guided tour and spend some about 3 hours in close quarters with bears, beavers and other wild animals!
The quaint little town of Tadoussac is small and picturesque and is located at the mouth of the Saguenay River. It is well known for its music festival and whale-watching excursions.
Every year in June, Tadoussac hosts the Festival de la Chanson. This popular 4-day event features bands and musicians from various locations. Reserve early if you require accommodations in Tadoussac.
Whale-watching is a must while visiting Tadoussac. Perfectly placed where the Saguenay River meets the St. Lawrence, whales are constantly travelling and playing in Tadoussac’s waters. Croisières AML offers 4 different options, including zodiac adventures and bigger boat excursions.
23. Île d’Orléans
The island of Île d’Orléans, located across a bridge, about 5 km from downtown Québec City, attracts more than 600 000 visitors per year. It is an enchanting, historically-rich group of 6 communities where natural beauty reigns. It is known for its bountiful harvest of agriculture, especially fresh strawberries, and it’s one-of-a-kind heritage.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to visit l’Érablière Boily in the community of Sainte-Famille. This family of maple syrup artisans will welcome you and give you a tour of their installations, while explaining the process of making maple syrup and maple butter. You get to taste the local products while you enjoy the informative experience.
The town of Havre-Saint-Pierre is located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, over 850 km northeast of Québec City. Its residents are Acadian descendants and have a very unique accent.
Pack a picnic lunch and discover the Petite Île au Marteau Lighthouse. This Parks Canada Island is a great place to take a nature walk while observing different species of local flora and fauna.
Discover 3 different island ecosystems by embarking on a boat tour with Services Maritimes Boréales. This affordable, interesting and informative all-day guided tour will leave you enchanted by the local culture and natural beauty.
The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival is a wonderful family event held every year on Labor Day weekend. You can watch the magnificent lift-offs and more than 300 spectacular shows and skits over five days. This event also includes a huge amusement park!
Another great family activity in Gatineau is the Wonders of Sand Festival. Admire the work of expert sand sculptors as they showcase incredible structures. This entertaining summer gathering encourages you to participate in the different activities offered over the weekend: family and amateur sand-sculpting challenge, workshops and games, inflatable structures, swimming and, the “Grand Splash”. The kids will love The Aquazone (inflatable structures race on water), and the gigantic water gun battle!
Do not forget to visit Jacques-Cartier Park, follow the Gatineau’s Culture Trail and Canadian Museum of History!
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