I Heart My City: Pamela’s Quebec City

Quebec City resident Pamela MacNaughtan left her career behind to pursue her dream of long-term travel in 2010, and hasn’t looked back. This self-proclaimed “bacon addict” isn’t only led by her taste buds; she’s also attracted to the unusual and adventurous side of travel. She’s toured working brothels and road tripped from Prague to Turkmenistan, but Canada has her heart. Here are a few of Pamela’s favorite things about the place she calls home.

Follow Pamela’s story on her blog, Savoir Faire Abroad, and on Twitter and Instagram @savvyabroad.

Quebec City is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is Le Chic Shack for the best gourmet poutine in Quebec.

Autumn is the best time to visit my city because the city is absolutely magical when the trees change color, the crowds are smaller, and the weather is just right (not too hot, not too cold).

You can see my city best from the city of Lévis, which is just across the St. Lawrence River, and the best place for snapping photos of Quebec’s skyline. Take the ferry to get there.

Locals know to skip the tourist crowds along Rue Saint-Jean and check out Saint-Roch–a trendy neighborhood with great shopping, bistros, micro breweries, and cafés–instead.

Galerie d’Art Petit Champlain is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

In the past, notable people like actor Marc Menard, astronaut Marc Garneau, and hockey player Patrick Roy have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is the National Museum of Fine Art Quebec because it features work from Quebec artists (and the museum café is located in an old prison).

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that everything is within walking distance. Take it from me, sometimes longer walks are the most rewarding.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is at the Plains of Abraham. It’s the perfect place for relaxing, reading, having a picnic, or even a lazy Sunday nap.

My city really knows how to celebrate winter because we’re known for hosting the largest winter carnival in Canada, Carnaval de Quebec.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they are wearing ice cleats on their boots in winter!

For a fancy night out, I treat myself to a gourmet meal at Panache.

Just outside my city, you can visit Île d’Orleans or Charlevoix.

My city is known for being too French, but it’s really charming. The locals are friendly and many can speak a little bit of English, especially in Vieux-Quebec (the Old City).

The best outdoor market in my city is Marché du Vieux-Port de Quebec, the largest farmers market in Quebec City, even though it’s technically indoors.

Chez Temporel in Vieux-Quebec is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and Snack-Bar on Rue Saint-Jean in Saint-Jean-Baptiste neighborhood is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read Voir.ca.

My city’s biggest sports event is Rouge et Or (college football). Watch it at Laval University when the team is playing a home game.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I turn on my iPod, put my earbuds in, and walk. Quebec is a gorgeous city, and every time I go for a walk I choose a different route, explore new streets, and usually discover something new and fabulous.

To escape the crowds, I leave the old city and hang out in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste or Saint-Roch neighborhoods.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be George Clooney because both George and Quebec ooze with charming sex appeal.

The dish that represents my city best is poutine, and Caribou is my city’s signature drink. Sample them at Chez Ashton or the Carnaval de Quebec.

The Morrin Centre is my favorite building in town because it’s one of the oldest buildings in Quebec, a former prison, and the home of the Historical and Literary Society of Québec‘s library.

Must-see for kids: The Aquarium du Québec. (Photograph by olitaillon, Flickr
Must-see for kids: The Aquarium du Québec. (Photograph by olitaillon, Flickr

The most random thing about my city is how many Roman Catholic parishes there are.

Le Cercle in Saint-Roch is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out Maurice Nightclub.

The Carnaval de Quebec could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should take a walk through the old city, then enjoy some patio time at a bistro or café on Avenue Cartier.

In the summer you should go to Île d’Orleans and indulge in wine and local cheese.

In the fall you should drive up to Saguenay or through Charlevoix to see the fall colors. Stunning.

In the winter you should experience Carnaval de Quebec.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the Aquarium du Quebec.

The best book about my city is Bury Your Deadby Louise Penny, a murder mystery that offers the perfect mixture of historical facts and significant sites in Quebec.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is “Home,” by Daughtry.

In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because Quebec is laid-back, sophisticated, and oozing with French charm. And who doesn’t love French charm?!

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  1. Louisa Ora
    April 25, 2015, 7:43 pm

    Walking it all might be tough, especially if you haven’t planned everything out. I found http://quebeccity101.com/ really helpful in planning out what I wanted to see and what the best way to see it all was.

  2. Josh LaRoche
    United States
    November 18, 2014, 9:00 am

    Wow, this seems like a amazing place to visit one day.

  3. Magaly Colon Sabater
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    September 25, 2014, 3:42 pm

    I loved Canada. My former husband was from Toronto. I would like to visit Montreal and Vancouver. Clean and beautiful country.

  4. Magaly Colon Sabater
    San Juan, Puerto Rico
    September 25, 2014, 3:40 pm

    I visited Toronto in 1980’s and I Would like to visit Montreal. I like Canada but I do not like the cold weather My former husband is from Toronto. It is clean and beautiful. I will love to visit Vancouver also.

  5. Valerie
    June 17, 2014, 9:50 am

    Francois 4.4 miles is nothing and can be done. My husband and I walk 6 miles a day for exercise.

  6. Francois
    June 5, 2014, 9:22 am

    As Audrey said, there is absolutely no way that someone could walk it all, unless he wants to take a very long walk.
    To give you an idea, between the “Vieux-Quebec” and the Laval University there is 7.1 km (4.4 miles) and between the “Vieux-Quebec” and the aquarium there is 12.5 km (7.7 miles).
    Quite a walk for a “within walking distance”..

  7. Audrey
    June 1, 2014, 12:48 am

    “If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that everything is within walking distance. Take it from me, sometimes longer walks are the most rewarding.”
    There is absolutely no way someone can walk from the “Vieux-Québec” (where most tourist attractions are) to the Aquarium or Laval University.