The sky is blue, the clouds are a mix of wispy and fluffy and the sun is shining was shining as though it is the most important object in the universe and you best be paying attention to it. This is Québec City in summer.
It seems appropriate that we share the best 100+ things to see and do in Québec City in summer. And to make it easier to read this post, we have broken everything down into categories. Yay!
Are you ready to experience Québec City in summer?
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
WENDAKE INTERNATIONAL POW WOW
CULTURAL EVENT: JUNE 30TH – JULY 2, 2017
If you’re in Québec City in summer then you MUST see the Wendake International Pow Wow. An incredible event that has you falling in love with the Wendake culture and people.
FESTIVAL D’ÉTÉ DE QUÉBEC
MUSIC FESTIVAL: JULY 6-16, 2017
Festival d’été de Québec is one of the largest and BEST music festivals in Canada, and this year marks the festival’s 50th anniversary. Visit their website to buy passes. There is some killer acts performing this year!
FÊTES DE LA NOUVELLE-FRANCE
CULTURAL FESTIVAL: AUGUST 9-13TH, 2017
LES GRANDS FEUX LOTO-QUÉBEC
PYROMUSICAL SHOW: AUGUST 2-23, 2017
Les Grands Feux Loto-Québec is a fireworks show set to music that should not be missed. Every Wednesday night plant yourself above Terrasse Pierre-Dugua-de-Mons to watch the fireworks explode over Château Frontenac and the Saint-Lawrence River. There are shows Saturday, August 12th & 19th as well.
FESTIBIÈRE DE QUÉBEC
BEER FESTIVAL: AUGUST 17-20, 2017
Festibière de Québec is your chance to experience some of the best craft beers produced in Québec, as well as ciders and other local products. Best to leave your car at home or the hotel and stumble back.
TOUR A TALL SHIP
Québec City in summer means visiting the tall ships. Take a tour of a tall ship, and participate in some of the other FREE activities on the docks. Great for families.
ASSEMBLÉE NATIONALE QUÉBEC (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY)
Although the outside of the Parliament Building is undergoing some renovations, take the time to go inside and take a FREE tour of the National Assembly. Spend 45 minutes learning about Québec’s history and the building’s Second Empire style architecture.
OLD QUÉBEC FOOD TOUR
Offered by the lovely folks at Québec City Food Tours, the Old Québec Food Tour is their latest tour, and a delicious way to discover the old city and learn a little about Québécois food as well. Our tour review here.
TAKE A HISTORICAL WALKING TOUR
Québec City is more than 400 years old, making it one of the oldest cities in Canada. One of the best ways to understand the city is to take a historical walking tour. Our favourite company for this type of tour is Cicerone Walking Tours. Book a tour!
OPEN-TOP HOP ON HOP OFF BUS
Operated by Tours Vieux Québec, this double-decker open-top bus tour allows you to hop on and hop off wherever you wish along the route. The bus starts each day at 9:30 am and ends at 4:00 pm, and makes 12 stops in total. A great way to get to know the layout of a new city. Book your tickets here.
WHALE WATCHING IN TADOUSSAC
A whale watching excursion to Tadoussac will be a full day activity. The best experience is on a zodiac tour as you can get quite close to the whales (if they show up). If you’re doing this as a family activity you may want to book on the bigger boat. Book a whale watching tour here.
TAKE A CRIME TOUR
HELICOPTER TOUR OF QUÉBEC CITY
If you’re looking for something unique to do, then a helicopter tour definitely fits the bill. Fly over the old city for spectacular views. Book a helicopter tour here.
BIKE TOUR TO MONTMORENCY FALLS
SELF-GUIDED INSTAGRAM TOUR
Take our Self-guided Instagram tour through Old Québec to discover some of our favourite Instagram-worthy locations in Old Québec City, Vieux-Port, Place-Royale and Petit-Champlain. Capture all the shots of Québec City in summer.
BEER TOUR THROUGH SAINT-ROCH
SUNSET SEA-KAYAK EXCURSION
TRAIN DE CHARLEVOIX
Explore the rustic beauty of Charlevoix with a scenic train ride from Québec City into Charlevoix, and back! Travel to Baie-Saint-Paul and La Malbaie. Make it a day trip, or spend the night and return to the city the following day. Learn more here.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES & ADVENTURES
CHUTE MONTMORENCY (MONTMORENCY FALLS)
Located about 12 km’s (7.5 miles) from Québec City, Montmorency Falls is a MUST for anyone visiting the city. Take a local bus or drive, alternatively, you can opt to take a half-day tour to Montmorency Falls and Ste-Anne-Beaupré.
Sarbayä is a tree-top obstacle course that includes zip lines and high ropes obstacles. They have courses for children ages 6 to 11, as well as Adults 12 and over. Reservations are required, which can be made on their website.
CAVING AT GROTTE LE TROU DU DIABLE
Adventure lovers will want to explore the caves at Grotte le Trou du Diable. The course/tour is open to ages 6 and up and includes a guide, helmet and headlamp. Learn more here.
Venture out to Mont-Sainte-Anne to mountain bike the nearly 140 km’s worth of cross-country and downhill ski runs. Some of the best mountain biking in Québec.
Promenade Samuel-de-Champlain is a 4.3-kilometre boardwalk that runs along the Saint-Lawrence River. Cycle, jog, or walk the promenade; admire the art, eat at Panache mobile and more!
PARC NAUTIQUE DE CAP-ROUGE
Visit Parc nautique de Cap-Rouge and spend some time canoeing, kayaking or sailing the Saint-Lawrence and Cap-Rouge rivers.
PARC MARITIME DE SAINT-LAURENT
A delightful maritime park with exhibits and activities for everyone. As you’re already at the park, why not take a sunset sea kayak excursion! Book a sunset sea kayak excursion here.
LA SEIGNEURIE DE L’ÎLE D’ORLÉANS
Spend an afternoon exploring the lush lavender fields of La Seigneurie de l’Île d’Orléans. With over 75,000 plants, it is a spectacular site!
KABIR KOUBA FALLS
Learn about plants and herbs used by the Amerindians, take a guided tour or simply admire the falls and surrounding nature. Kabir Kouba Falls in Wendake is simply gorgeous.
Aventurex has outdoor rock climbing (ages 6+) as well as an indoor climbing centre. A top choice for first-time climbers. All equipment is included in the admission price.
Spend a morning (or afternoon) rafting through class 3 and 4 rapids, go whitewater swimming and cliff jumping. Wetsuit rental available. Learn more here.
TREETOP COURSE AT ARBRASKA DUCHESNAY
Explore the treetops with a view of Lac-Saint-Joseph. Courses available for children 7-11 years old, as well as 12+. If you have a fear of heights, this may not be the activity for you!
ZIPLINING AT PARC DE LA CHUTE-MONTMORENCY
After gazing at the beauty of Montmorency Falls and walking the trails, it is time for a little adventure. Zip lining across the falls is an absolute thrill.
HIKING AT CANYON SAINTE-ANNE
Canyon Sainte-Anne is lush and green and an ideal location for a day exploring outdoors. Follow the trails and cross the canyon’s three suspension bridges along the way!
Take the Québec-Lévis ferry from Québec City to Lévis and back! A one-way trip is only 15 mins, but the view of Québec City in summer from Lévis is spectacular. Great at night as well.
FOOD & DRINK
PICK STRAWBERRIES ON ÎLE D’ORLÉANS
Spend a morning or afternoon on the island picking your own strawberries at Verger Laval Gagnon, and then try to resist eating them all before you get home.
EAT TOURTIÈRE AT LÁ LÁ
Enjoy a dinner of traditional Québécois cuisine at Lá Lá near Gare du Palais train station. The menu features traditional food from the Lac-Saint-Jean region, with many recipes being 50-100 years old. A very affordable experience for those looking to try traditional foods. Reservations recommended.
MARCHÉ DU VIEUX-PORT
While the market is open all year, summer is when it is at capacity with local producers selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to flowers to freshly caught fish to charcuterie and more. This is a stop on the open-top bus tour.
ÉRICO CHOCOLATERIE & MUSÉE
Érico chocolaterie is one of our favourite stops in winter and summer. Érico has created a lovely little chocolate museum and sells some of the best chocolates in Québec. Buy chocolates already made, or pick up chocolate to take home and use in your baking.
ÉPICERIE J.A. MOISAN
Épicerie J.A. Moisan is one of the oldest grocery stores in North America (north of Mexico) and a favourite among locals and travellers. A great place to buy charcuterie, sandwiches, salad, cheese and fruit for a picnic.
A stone homestead built in 1652 in Côte de Beaupré, Chez Marie 4th-generation boulangerie which has been using the same oven for 150 years. Buy bread and yummy preserves.
CHOCOLATE-DIPPED CONE ON ÎLE D’ORLÉANS
The best chocolate-dipped cones in Québec can be found at Chocolaterie de Île de Orléans. If foodie adventures are your thing, consider taking a food tour of Île d’Orléans!
CASSIS MONNA & FILLES
In the summer months, Cassis Monna & Filles is a favourite. Enjoy blackcurrant wines and preserves, indulge in a gourmet lunch and do a little shopping.
CIDER TASTING AT CIDERIE VERGER BILODEAU
At Ciderie Verger Bilodeau you can taste some of the best cider, iced cider and sparkling ciders in Québec. In fall, you can also pick your own apples!
DINNER CRUISE ON SAINT-LAWRENCE RIVER
Enjoy a lovely dining experience on the Saint-Lawrence river, with views of the city. It is pretty damn beautiful when lit up. Book a dinner cruise here.
LES DÉLICES DE L’ÉRABLE
Located on rue Saint-Jean in Vieux Québec, Les Délices de l’Érable is a boutique selling all things maple and has an interesting maple museum on the top floor.
TAKE A COOKING CLASS
This particular activity requires some French skills (or the ability to pay close attention and pretend you know everything they are saying). La Folle Fourchette in Limoilou offers several cooking workshops. Learn more here.
EAT POUTINE AT CHEZ ASHTON
Chez Ashton is a Québec institution, and everyone who visits the city needs to have poutine here. The fries are crispy, the gravy is velvety, the cheese is squeaky and it’s all served in a deep round foil dish. Yum!
HISTORIC & RELIGIOUS
Running along the top of Cap Diamant, in front of Château Frontenac, Dufferin Terrace is a go-to boardwalk for relaxing and taking in the views of the city, Saint-Lawrence River and Lévis. This is a stop on the open-top bus tour.
CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY TRINITY
The first English church established in Québec, Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is a beautiful church. Consider taking a 30-minute guided tour with an incredibly knowledgeable guide and historian. Book a guided tour here.
GEORALLY AT L’ILOT DES PALAIS
Located down in Vieux-Port, close the Gare du Palais train station, L’ilot des Palais was once the first brewery in Québec City, operated by Jean Talon. Take Georally on the beer trail (includes tastings) or a Georally in Old Québec. Learn more here.
At Henry-Stuart House you will capture a glimpse into the bourgeois lifestyle of early 20th century Québec. Built in 1849 for Mary Curry Henry, the house was later owned by the Stuart sisters who worked to retain the cottages heritage charm. Take a tour, then enjoy some tea and lemon cake.
Once the home of famous 19th-century artists, Cornelius Krieghoff (who moved to Québec City in 1854, Maison Krieghoff is a Heritage Site and has been completely restored.
MONUMENT TO MONTCALM
Not to be confused with the Wolfe-Montcalm Monument near Château Frontenac (which is also worth a visit), Monument to Montcalm is located on Grande Allée beside the Concorde Hotel. Unveiled Oct 16th, 1911, it is a replica of the monument which stands near Nimes, France where General Montcalm was born.
PROMENADE DES PREMIERS-MINISTRES
Promenade des Premiers-Ministres is located on René-Lévesque between Honoré-Mercier Avenue and De La Chevrotière Street. The promenade features 14 interpretive panels and feature Premiers from 1867 to 2014.
Located along Promenade des Premiers-Ministres, Monument René-Lévesque is one of many monuments and statues dedicated to Québec’s past political leaders.
MONUMENT TO WOMEN IN POLITICS
Located at the Parliament building, facing Grande Allée, the Monument to Women in Politics honours three women who were advocates for the women’s right to vote movement in Québec: Marie Lacoste-Gérin-Lajoie, Idola Saint-Jean and Thérèse Casgrain.
CROSS OF SACRIFICE
Located near the main entrance to the Plains of Abraham, the Cross of Sacrifice was erected on July 1, 1924, to pay tribute to the 60,000 Canadians (219 Québecers) who were killed during the Great War. Each year on November 11th, Remembrance Day, a ceremony is held to honour the fallen who have served our country.
Maison Girardin is a charming house dating back to the early 1800s. The house is an example of classic French architecture and resides in the Beauport Heritage Site. Learn more here.
SHRINE OF SAINT-ANNE-DE-BEAUPRÉ
For over 350 years pilgrims have been visiting the shrine on the Beapré Coast. Admire to architecture, beautiful paintings and Alternatively, you can opt to take a half-day tour to Montmorency Falls and Ste-Anne-Beaupré.
LA GRANDE FERME
A 17th-century farm which was once charged with meeting the food needs of the Séminaire de Québec, La Grande Ferme is now a historic site with expositions and archaeological activities. Also, it’s FREE!
MAISON DES JÉSUITES DE SILLERY
Built in the early 18th-century, Maison des Jésuites de Sillery was home to the first Jésuite mission in Québec. Today, it is a historic landmark, museum and interpretation centre.
Sitting at the entrance to Île d’Orléans, EspaceFélix-Leclerc is a tribute to famous Québec author and composer, Félix Leclerc. Buy CDS and DVDs, walk the trail down by the river, and enjoy the exhibits.
HURON TRADITIONAL SITE
A visit to the Huron Traditional Site is a good starting point when exploring Wendake. Learn about the Aboriginal people who lived on the land before the arrival of Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain.
Home to the 22e Regiment, La Citadelle is a favourite in summer. Visit the museum, watch the changing of the guard and walk along the path at the top of the walls for a postcard view of Vieux Québec. This is a stop on the open-top bus tour.
CARTIER-BRÉBEUF NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
Located on the north shore of the Saint-Charles River, Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site is a beautiful urban park. Spend an afternoon biking, having a picnic or just relaxing in the sun.
CHARLESBOURG HERITAGE SITE
Dating back to 1665, the Charlesbourg Heritage Site is laid out in a star formation – an idea by the Jésuits to help defend the settlement from attack. Today, the village is a charming reminder of Québec’s past and filled with lots to see and do.
Maison Ephraïm-Bédard is a fine example of an 18th-century farmhouse popular in Charlesbourg. The house has been completely restored and is utterly charming.
MOULIN DES JÉSUITES
Moulin des Jésuites is a historic site, as well as an interpretation and tourism centre. Take a walking tour of the Charlesbourg Heritage Site to learn more about the village’s history.
GROSSE ÎLE & IRISH MEMORIAL NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
A small island that can be accessed from the other side of the Saint-Lawrence River. Learn about the history of the island which was a quarantine station from 1832 to 1937. A ferry to the island leaves from Berthier-sur-mer.
Québec City is the oldest fortified city in North America north of Mexico. Walk along the Old Québec city walls, climb the stairs for views from the top of the gates, and count the cannons – there are a lot!
SAINT-LOUIS FORTS AND CHÂTEAUX NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
Discover the ruins under Dufferin Terrace! Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site take you back to the days of Saint-Louis Fort, which once overlooked the Saint-Lawrence River.
Once an army barracks, then a jail, a college and now a Victorian library and historical site. In summer, take the tour to explore the old jail and college labs, as well as the library. Or, come and visit the library on your own – which happens the be the only English library in the city!
MAISON DE LA LITTÉRATURE
A francophone library located across the street from the Morrin Centre, Maison de la littérature resides in an old church, the Wesley Temple. It is simply stunning inside. A must see!
Home to the Holy Door, Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Québec. A gorgeous church.
You may recognise Notre-Dame-des-Victories as being the church at the end of the movie Catch Me If You Can. One of the oldest churches in North America, the church stands on what was once the home and trading post of Samuel de Champlain.
A little park in Place-Royale, Batterie Royale was one the colony’s defence posts. Today, the cannons are still on display and the square acts as a peaceful refuge from city exploration.
ART & MUSEUMS
MUSÉE DE LA CIVILISATION
Located down in Vieux-Port on rue Saint-Pierre (doors off rue Dalhousie as well), the museum of civilisation has exhibits on Aboriginal people, history of New France and modern Québec. If you’re planning to visit a couple museums, buying a Québec City Museum package is a great way to save money. This is a stop on the open-top bus tour.
MUSÉE NATIONAL DES BEAUX-ARTS DU QUÉBEC
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is the number one things to do for those who enjoy art. Wander through exhibits in the old jail, then venture into the new pavilion for a more modern experience. This is a stop on the open-top bus tour.
FONTAINE DE TOURNY (TOURNY FOUNTAIN)
A gift to the city for the city’s 400th anniversary by the owner of Simons department store, Tourny Fountain stands in front of Parliament. The fountain was created by French sculptor Mathurin Moreau and resided in Paris for 100 years before coming to Québec City.
MUSÉE DE L’AMÉRIQUE FRANCOPHONE
Dedicated to the promotion of French culture in Canada, Musée de l’Amérique Francophone is a must! If you’re planning to visit a couple museums, buying a Québec City Museum package is a great way to save money.
MUSÉE DES URSULINES
The Ursuline sisters arrived in 1639 with a mission to educate the colony of New France, as well as the first nations people. Musée des Ursulines is a lovely little museum featuring artefacts from their 370+ years in the city.
MUSÉE DU FORT
Discover a little about Québec’s military history at Musée du Fort. There is an impressive model of the colony of New France and its defences. A good activity for children and adults.
LA FRESQUE DES QUÉBÉCOIS (MURAL OF QUÉBECERS)
Created by Québec artists, this impressive (full size) mural depicts Québec City’s most important figures such as Samuel de Champlain and Félix Leclerc, as well as cultural references.
OBSERVATOIRE DE LA CAPITALE
Located on the 31st floor of the Marie -Guyart Building, Observatoire de la Capitale is one of the best places in the city to get a panoramic view of Québec City. Visit their website and check their webcams before you go. This is a stop on the open-top bus tour.
Terrasse Pierre-Dugua-de-Mons offers a postcard-perfect viewpoint of Fairmont Château Frontenac, Dufferin Terrace and the Saint-Lawrence River. It can be busy from late afternoon to early evening. A fantastic experience in Québec City in summer when one can linger and have a picnic as well.
FUNICULAIRE DU VIEUX QUÉBEC
Enjoy a ride on the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec from Dufferin Terrace, down to Petit-Champlain and enjoy views of the river and neighbourhoods below. Rides are $3 each way.
PLAINS OF ABRAHAM
The Plains of Abraham are the site of the famous fifteen-minute battle that took place between the French and English in 1759. Today, it is one of the biggest green spaces in Québec City. This is a stop on the open-top bus tour.
PARC DE LA FRANCOPHONIE
A small park near Parliament in Grand Allée, Parc de la Francophonie is a favourite spot among locals on warm sunny days who want to have a picnic or enjoy the sun. The park also transforms for various festivals and events. The most popular being Festival d’été de Québec when the park becomes a concert venue.
PARC DU BOIS-DE-COULONGE
Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge is a lovely park with lovely horticulture and fauna. Walk the footpaths, play on the playground and enjoy a picnic.
NIGHTLIFE & ENTERTAINMENT
Avenue Cartier is a great street for shopping at a boutique, but it is more common with those looking for great restaurants and nightlife.
OPERA AT GRAND THÉÂTRE DE QUÉBEC
A truly grand theatre in Montcalm, take the time to enjoy the opera at Grand Théâtre de Québec during your stay in Québec. Sure, it is in French, but it’s still beautiful. They also have symphony performances and other artistic shows.
CONCERT AT PALAIS MONTCALM
Take time from exploring the city to enjoy a concert at Palais Montcalm in Place D’Youville. There are several performances this summer, many worth seeing! Learn more here.
LE NOUVEAU THÉÂTRE DE L’ÎLE D’ORLÉANS
Le Nouveau théâtre de l’Île d’Orléans is a delightful little theatre featuring a pub, outdoor patio, and local plays. Sure, it is in French, but it is still a lot of fun. Learn more here.
CASINO DE CHARLEVOIX
Casino de Charlevoix is located next to Fairmont Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie (150 km’s east of Québec City). The location is gorgeous and worth the trip even if you don’t gamble.
AQUARIUM DU QUÉBEC
Aquarium du Québec is a fun activity for families and everyone else. Admire the animals and wander through the park to participate in other activities. A half-day is needed (at minimum).
LABYRINTH AT DOMAINE DE MAIZERETS
On a sunny day, Domaine de Maizerets is a must. Wander a labyrinth made of 750 Cedars – they have blocks of granite strewn around which you can climb to see the way out. Find out more here.
WATERSLIDES AT VILLAGE VACANCES VALCARTIER
In the summer, Village Vacances Valcartier changes from a tubing winter wonderland to a dreamy waterpark with slides and tubing rivers. They also have a massive indoor waterpark!
LARGEST INDOOR AMUSEMENT PARK IN CANADA
Galeries de la Capitale is, believe it or not, bigger and better than West Edmonton Mall. Spend a day playing, trying rides, and stuffing your face with delicious junky eats.
Escape the outdoors (sometimes it can be rainy or chill or way too hot) and venture to iSaute an indoor trampoline centre. We’re talking wall to wall trampolines. So much fun!
Forget Xbox and PlayStation, Macfly arcade has vintage video games that everyone will love. Plus, it is next door to a grilled cheese restaurant. Who could possibly need more than that?!
No, Délirium Tagball is not dodgeball or paintball, it is a crazy awesome tagball course in Québec City. Think paintball style guns that shoot balls sans paint. It’s an IRL first-person shooter video game.
A giant outdoor maze, Labyrinth Inukshuk is fun for the whole family. The object is not to get to the exit, but to the centre of the labyrinth. Time to put your skills to the test!
Wendake is an aboriginal community located about 15-20 minutes outside Québec City, and a must-see. Learn about local culture, enjoy historic sites, delicious food and friendly locals.
It is time to enjoy Québec City in summer, and have the best vacation of your life!
TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES
Visit our Trip Planner page for information on getting to Québec City and other essential details.
Québec: World Heritage City by David Mendel is an excellent book featuring many of the historic sites in this post.
The Québec City Tourism website is one of the best tourism board websites in the world. A wealth of information can be found in its pages.
The Great Canadian Bucket List – Québec by Robin Esrock is a digital guide filled with adventurous and creative things to experience in the province of Québec. One of our favs!