Canada's walled city, Old Quebec, is the only fortified city in North America. A three-mile-long wall of ancient stone surrounds Old Quebec, a designated World Heritage Site, and separates it from Quebec City. Historic Old Quebec features an abundance of 17th- and 18th-century buildings and is located on a steep hill, overlooking the St. Lawrence River.
Old Quebec is divided into Upper Town and Lower Town. The two sections are connected by a tram railway, or funicular, that travels between them. Another way to get from Upper to Lower Town is to use the old-fashioned route and climb the sharply angled Breakneck Stairs.
Lower Town is a captivating maze of winding streets, many of which have been restored to their romantic 18th-century appearance. The pedestrian-only Rue du Petit-Champlain is lined with quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants. In Place Royale, the restored main square, costumed fencers stage mock sword fights, blacksmiths pound at forges, and street performers entertain the crowds.
Within the thick ramparts of Upper Town are old stone houses, famous churches, and majestic historic buildings. Each structure is made of gray stone, a building material used widely throughout the old city. Above Old Quebec rises the distinctive Chateau Frontenac, a spire-topped hotel that is one of the signature buildings of the skyline.
Set aside some time to visit the impressive Museum of Civilization and its exhibits on civilization, art, and society. A recent permanent addition to the museum in Quebec City features a fascinating multimedia exhibit on growing up that your children are sure to enjoy. The exhibit's Memoires section displays items from the daily life of Quebec's residents through the generations.
Old Quebec Information
Canadian Tourism Commission
Suite 1400, Four Bentall Centre
1055 Dunsmuir St./Box 49230
Vancouver, BC V5P 1L2 Canada
Get away from the hustle and bustle with quiet countrysides and rolling hills. On the next page, learn about the sights and sounds of Prince Edward Island, Canada's smallest province.
To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:
- Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
- Montreal City Guide: Discover Montreal, a city rich with outdoor festivals and activities, dining, architecture, and history.
- Scenic Drives: For those who think getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the United States.