Did you know that Quebec City was established before the pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock? French explorer Samuel de Champlain had previously explored the area in 1603, including Niagara Falls and the Saint Lawrence River. He returned from France in 1608 to establish a fur trading post in what is now Quebec City. He continued to explore the region and write about his discoveries until 1620 when Louis XIII ordered him back to Quebec to oversee the administration and growth of New France, which he did until his death in 1635. Many places, streets and monuments in Canada and the US memorialize him, one of the most notable being Lake Champlain.
Quebec City today has a distinctly European, old world charm, with its stone buildings,
The historical center is divided into two areas, Upper Town and Lower Town.
The top of the hill, known as Upper Town, is dominated by Chateau Frontenac, the famous hotel inaugurated in 1893. Along with this magnificent hotel one will find a number of museums, historical homes, churches, parks and incredible views of the river below.
The fortification, or walls, surrounding the city are almost 3 miles long. Paths allow you to stroll along the wall to explore the city's defense systems. Take time to visit Les Delices de l'Erable , the only maple museum of its kind in North America. The Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica, built in 1647, is also in the area and is a historical site for its architectural value.
Quebec City sits right on the Saint Lawrence River, accessible from the north via the Atlantic Ocean and from the south via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, a system of locks, canals and channels that connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic. Sailing between Boston and Quebec is a popular route for a number of the larger cruise lines, with stops in Bar Harbor, Maine, Halifax, Nova Scotia and Charlottetown, PEI. Smaller ships built to navigate the rivers and canals sail between the Great Lakes or the Hudson River through the Erie Canal up to Quebec. Passing through the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and sailing into the Saguenay Fjord are added attractions for cruises as well.