If you’re seeking old-world charm without forgoing modern conveniences on your family vacation, Quebec City is a worthy destination. Canada’s oldest city offers an ideal summer vacation, with something to delight every member of the family, regardless of their age or interest. Here’s what to add to your family getaway itinerary.
Valcartier Vacation Village
Cool off from the summer heat at one of Eastern Canada’s largest theme parks, located only 20 minutes from Quebec City. At Valcartier Vacation Village, you can choose from 35 water slides, including the appropriately named Everest – the highest accelerating slide in North America. With more than 100 water games, two themed rivers, and a gigantic wave pool, boredom will never be an issue here. Make sure you visit both the outdoor and indoor water parks – the latter is brand-new and open year-round (tip: you can also skip the lines by buying your tickets online).
Aquarium du Québec
Take a deep dive into the ocean at Aquarium du Québec, where you’ll get up close and personal with more than 300 species of marine mammals, fish, invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles. Watch seals, polar bears, and walruses frolic in the outdoor park, or check out the Pavillon des profondeurs, where you’ll hang out with jellyfish, rays, and seahorses. Outdoor jets and interactive water canons never fail to delight the little ones – and while they play fight, you can enjoy a picnic over gorgeous views of the St. Lawrence River and the Québec Bridge.
It will only take a 15-minute trip from downtown to turn the clock back to the 18th century. On Île d’Orléans, one of the earliest settlements of New France, you can visit carefully preserved villages, farms, churches, and heritage homes that date back to more than a century ago. Also look for orchards where you can pick your own apples, taste the island’s infamous strawberries at farmhouse jam maker Confiturerie Tigidou, or treat the kids to a chocolate-dipped ice cream cone at Chocolaterie de Île d’Orléans.
Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec
If it happens to be a rainy day, check out the world’s largest collection of Québec art, spanning the 17th century to the present day, at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec. Head to the Family Gallery, where kids are actually encouraged to touch, create and participate in an immersive exhibition called D’entrée de jeu.
If you book a stay at Hilton Quebec or DoubleTree by Hilton Quebec Resort, you’ll be only steps away from the heritage and culture of the city’s Old Town, but there’s also plenty to do in the hotel itself. Spend some quality time with family at the rooftop swimming pool, or take advantage of the hotel’s babysitting service for a night out. And remember, Hilton Honors members always get free WiFi.