If you'd like to brush up on your French, then visiting the province of Québec will provide you with ample opportunity to do so. Québec (pronounced "kay bek"), the largest French-speaking province in Canada, is so steeped in French Canadian culture, that it has its own "language police" who enforce language laws regarding street signs, signs in shop windows, menus, and interactions from employees in restaurants, stores, businesses, as well as the public school system. So, before you visit, remember: "French is spoken here!" As a tourist, you'll be more than welcome to speak English or French, whichever you prefer, as nearly a third of the inhabitants of Québec speak both languages.
Carnaval de Québec To get a real feel for the French side of Québec and create a memorable experience at the same time, visitors might want to plan a trip just before Lent when Québec's winter Carnival kicks off. The Carnival, or Carnaval de Québec, is in full swing for about two weeks during the first two weeks of February. Reminiscent of the Mardis Gras in New Orleans, Carnival reflects the life and culture of Quebec, focusing on winter sports, excellent French food, music, fashion and plenty of other programs and activities to keep tourists, participants and observers busy. Bring your dancing shoes and prepare to dance a quadrille or a jig accompanied to spoons, accordion, harmonica or the fiddle.
Québec City, Capital of Québec Many fascinating activities await visitors to Québec City, from sunrise or sunset hot air balloon flights for the adventurous at heart, to leisurely city walking tours for those who want to keep their feet on the ground as they explore this charming, French-loving capital city. While in Québec City, plan a full day spotting whales and other marine life from the comfort of a triple-decker observation boat or smaller, inflatable zodiak that allows you to get a little more up-close and personal.
Fun Fact A walled fortification -- nearly three miles of walls -- surrounds Old Québec City, the only walled city north of Mexico.
French Cuisine Traditional French cuisine abounds in the province of Québec, as well as some not-so-traditional foods that have become Canadian-French specialties. Salmon pie, brown sugar and maple syrup pie, foies grois (duck liver) and a hearty, very popular dish called poutine, that consists of fries and cheese curds smothered in brown gravy.
Our Sainte-Foy hotel near Quebec City offers free Express Start breakfast daily and premium guestroom amenities, such as wood floors and granite countertops in our spacious bathrooms. We also offer a complimentary seasonal shuttle from June 24 to October 12, from the hotel to the city center. Our outdoor hot tub is open from mid-June to September.