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Monday, February 15, 2010

SNAPSHOT: Canada's Quebec City

SnapShot with Stefanie Gorder

SnapShot is a monthly column offering a collection of travel & networking concepts to destinations and activities worldwide.
Expose yourself to travel!


I first went to Québec City as a guest of Anderson Vacations, an established Canadian tour company offering both independent and group tour programs. Anderson Vacations selected this destination for their annual company planning meeting and I was honored when they asked me to lead a session on successful sales techniques. To make this a winning trip from a networking aspect, the owners of Anderson encouraged participation from the community. As a major tour company, the city pulled out all the best venues and ideas to host this distinguished group. They planned night time walking tours featuring ghostly twists, dining in elegant restaurants and even a scavenger where participants ran from site to site on foot to ensure their knowledge of the city. The showcase of Québec was a definite hit and now the city benefits with increased visitors & tour promotions.

Québec City - Quaint and International
Quebec City is located within the Capitale-Nationale region and is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. After Montreal, this is the second most populous city in the province with a population nearing 500,000 and even more in the metropolitan area. Upon arriving into the city, one can sense an international flair. Quebec has easy air connections from major US cities, and after clearing customs upon arrival, I hopped into a cab. As a seasoned English-speaking traveler, I was delighted when the driver spoke very little of my native language, instead I learned broken French quickly.

Founded by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City celebrated its 400th Anniversary in 2008. The mixes of my “oooohhh and ahhhs” were filled with giggles as we passed familiar sights like Target and McDonald’s. After all, a city that speaks French should be romantic enough to not have these American brands, right? It then became a game with my driver and me … to see who could point out the American sights. By the time we arrived to my hotel our inability to speak the language was not a concern as we had enough basics to comprehend.

Montmorency Falls
Quebec City is filled with fascinating history and spectacular scenery. One of my favorite sights was the Montmorency Falls, located a short distance from downtown. Measuring 90 feet higher than Niagara Falls, the falls drop over the cliff shore into the Saint Lawrence River. The legend is that a woman let herself fall off the cliff in 1759 (the same year of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham) out of despair because her fiancé was killed in battle. Since then, it is said her spirit floats on top of the falls on rainy days. As my friend Katie Lepage at the Québec City Tourism office told me, the Legend of the White Lady is just that … a legend. Be sure to take in the stunning site from the ground and from the neighboring lodge. In the summer this is the site of an International Fireworks competition and in the winter the formation of snow and mist at the bottom of the falls is famous for photographs.

Murals of the City
Another favorite were the murals of the city. Visitors to Old Quebec must see the spectacular Fresque des Québécois which recounts the story of the city. It has larger than life personalities which weave visual illusions within the unique architecture. From the quaint courtyard adorned with cobblestone walkways, see 15 historic figures and stare in amazement at the grand mural. Of course, the shopping and dining in this area is also phenomenal. The lush grounds surrounding the city make for great growing of crops such as grapes so taste a local beverage! For a truly marvelous vantage point, admire the city and surrounding region from the rotating restaurant atop the Loews Le Concorde Hotel. Speaking of hotels, it’s hard to mention a Québec stay without showing off the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac for the ultimate experience. Known for warm hospitality and unparalleled charm, the fabled chateau welcomes all visitors to explore whether or not accommodations are secured.
The Walls
Surrounding Old Quebec are fortifications that are erected on a beautiful site atop the cliff and overlooking the Saint Lawrence River. These contribute to the designation of Québec as a world heritage center by UNESCO. Walking around the walls, learn about the defense system of North America’s only remaining fortified city. There are four gates in the city walls with many fascinating museums tucked away in the old town.

When to visit
As a tour planner, I love to ask the question “when should we go?” Katie Lepage’s favorite months are July and August due to the abundant festivals and warmer weather. During summer months visitors will find public shows such as musicians, artists, painters, and street performers a delight. Be sure to check out the Summer Festival, New France Festival and Expo Québec Fair with rides and live shows. Temperatures in July are in the high 70’s and dress warm in January as the average is around twenty degrees. Of course, winter offers a different kind of fun with the famed Carnaval, the largest winter festival of its kind in the world!

The Hotel de Glace Québec-Canada provides a taste of the great outdoors and is just 30 minutes from the city. Their famous cocktails in ice glasses and special events make this enchanting property a must for winter season travelers. Activities include sleigh rides, snowshoeing, cross country ski trails and of course, dog mushing. Québec City is a magical destination that leaves the visitor wanting to return in a new season.

For additional information, contact:

Québec City:
For both seasonal videos and to order brochures, see

Tour assistance throughout Canada:
Visit our friends at Anderson Vacations for your independent or group travel needs:

A shout out to Katie Lepage and Québec City Tourism for assistance provided to create this article and the promotion of Québec City! Thank you for the great introduction to Québec City and I’ll see you soon to explore your winter offerings!

Special thanks to Anderson Vacations for the invitation to participate in their Staff Retreat and making me feel like a member of their award winning team. - Corey and Karen, you are true gems in this business and your team rocks! Keep on touring!

Submission for: February 2010

Stefanie Gorder, ctp, ds
marketingCents, llc

Email Stefanie Gorder at
Twitter: @Stefanie Gorder

SnapShot is a monthly column offering a collection of travel & networking concepts to destinations and activities worldwide. Expose yourself to travel!

For more information, please visit Stephanie's TNNW Bio.

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