les newlyweds, eh?
May 3, 2010 1:36 PM   Subscribe

What are some interesting, rural-ish places to honeymoon in Quebec?

My fiance and I are planning a little honeymoon trip this August. We want to go someplace in Quebec, but are shying away from Montreal and Quebec City because we're looking for a more rural setting. Any recommendations for interesting towns that have lively communities and natural beauty? We love to hike, swim, patronize the arts and are prioritizing fun over romance. (We'd prefer to experience something new together rather than prune up in a heart-shaped hot tub for a week.) Merci!
posted by RingerChopChop to Travel & Transportation around Quebec, QC (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Eastern Townships is a nice area.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:39 PM on May 3, 2010


The Gaspe is also lovely. Or the Laurentians.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:41 PM on May 3, 2010


My folks honeymooned in the Laurentians and their 35th wedding anniversary is this summer. Not sure if there's a correlation there, but I know they had a great time.
posted by futureisunwritten at 1:54 PM on May 3, 2010


Gaspesie (aka the gaspe, as TCG said.)
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:55 PM on May 3, 2010


Is Ile d'Orleans too close to Quebec City for you? It feels extremely "country", and you can still go into the city if you might like to spend a day doing that.

I ate at This place, which also is an inn. And it is lovely.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:12 PM on May 3, 2010


Mont Tremblant may suit your requirements. Sort of like old Quebec City, but without the city. Lots to do in the area besides the mountain base village, including the provincial park, several towns, there's a Scandinavian spa, golf courses, good beer, ... one caveat is that it can be expensive, but with August not really being a red-season may not be too bad.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 3:13 PM on May 3, 2010


Nthing Ile d'Orleans.

Do the brie and baguette thing on the hood of your car and just enjoy the scenery. Also, drive around til you find the Furry Cows.
posted by functionequalsform at 3:17 PM on May 3, 2010


The baie de haha had a great hotel/restaurant when we went on our honeymoon. The patoncles were excellent. It was October when we went and we still talk about it.
posted by mearls at 3:27 PM on May 3, 2010


There is a small town that is on the Ottawa river between Montreal and Ottawa called Montebello. (It is my mother's home town, my father came from the farming region on the other side of the river.)
At the outskirts of town is a hotel that was, at one time, an exclusive private club. It is now part of Fairmont Hotels; Le Chateau Montebello. It is the largest log-constructed structure on the continent of North America.
Multiple swimming pools, indoors and out, horseback riding, 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, extremely fine dining, spas, etc.
Not cheap, but a beautiful resort.
posted by Drasher at 4:02 PM on May 3, 2010


Chateau Montebello is ok, but I was bored within 6 hours. However, Drasher didn't mention Parc Omega which is up the road, which you may find appealing. Otherwise not much else besides just a tiny crossroads town with nothing much interesting, so you're sort of limited to what the chateau has on-site.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 4:31 PM on May 3, 2010


Ah, hungrysquirrels, you are quite right.
The town is pretty sleepy, little English is spoken in town, almost all French-Canadian. There are a couple boutiques in town. A couple kind of nice eateries.
Parc Omega is an interesting drive. The wapiti are tame enough to stick their heads right into the car.
The whole area there is the natural beauty that you seek (but the lively community, not so much).
posted by Drasher at 5:57 PM on May 3, 2010


You love mountains? The Laurentians have tons of small towns with an abundance of b and b, spas, hotels, lakes, and are much closer to Montreal. Tremblant would actually be the busiest place, but there's Le Scandinave, indeed. You could also check around St-Donat, Val-David (a great art community) or else Morin-Heights. There's 1001 pots in Val-David until August 15, it's a great ceramic exhibition. St-Sauveur has a dance and art festival that might also be running around these dates.

There are a variety of hiking trails all around the Laurentians. There's great mountain climbing in Val-David (page in French only) You could also do the Acro-Nature in Morin-Heights, and if you're very adventurous, there's skydiving in St-Jerome. All of these are within easy driving distances.
posted by ddaavviidd at 6:36 PM on May 3, 2010


If your interested in eating well, head to Wakefield, a half hour north of Ottawa. A beautiful little resort town it has the best restaurants I've ever eaten at. The Wakefield Inn is home to an award-winning pastry chef, Soupcon does incredible Asian, the Black Sheep bar is a favoured stage for many a bitchin act (to name a few: Blue Rodeo, Martha Wainwright, Tegan and Sarah, Arcade Fire) and the Kaffe 1870 showcases wonderful local musicians. Situated right on the river and smack in the middle of Gatineau Park it boasts beautiful hiking trails and swimming. You can even dive off the covered bridge, or head 5 minutes up the road for quarry bungee jumping. I'm not sure what the arts schedule is for the summer but I know they have a delightful art gallery/cafe and in February they held a film festival. Big vote for this town, I'd be there now if I could.
posted by Miss Mitz at 8:51 PM on May 3, 2010


If you do go with L'Île d'Orléans, stay on the south-eastern or -western half; the northern, during the summer and particularly on weekends is a parking lot of cars backed up to take the bridge across to the mainland and is not relaxing or rural in that respect in the least. It's pretty there, but I wasn't too favourably impressed with it when I biked around.

Wakefield is awesome and primarily anglophone. Great food, interesting citizens, etc. It's also far enough away from Ottawa/Gatineau that it feels rural.

I will nth those above that recommend La Gaspesie (LGTFlickr): the people are awesome, the scenery and landscape beautiful and everyone I've ever known that has gone there has loved it.

You might check out the SEPAQ (La société des établissements de plein aire et de chasse et de pêche au Québec) website for cottage/cabin rentals in provincial parks and wildlife reserves for something a bit different - maybe Port Daniel Wildlife Reserve in the Gaspé?
posted by urbanlenny at 9:35 AM on May 4, 2010


btw: Est-ce que vous parlez français? It might be difficult to find English speakers in the Eastern Townships and in the Gaspé, but in the north-of-Gatineau area and resorts (Montebello, Mont Tremblant) you should be able to find English spoken at least enough to manage. Québec City used to be much more francophone, but has recently become more bilingual because of the increasing tourism and gastronomy trades there.
posted by urbanlenny at 3:59 PM on May 4, 2010


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