Do you live in the U.S., want to go on a European vacation, but don’t have the time or money? Why not take a trip to the Canadian province of Québec? In “La Belle Province” you can get the feel, culture, and language of Old Europe closer to home. Canada is cheaper because the American dollar is stronger in Canada than in Europe. You can get to Québec without buying a plane ticket, potentially saving thousands of dollars on travel expenses.
Québec is located to the north of the U.S. states of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Montreal is less then 500 miles from Philadelphia, 375 miles from New York City, and about 300 miles from Boston. You can drive out of Baltimore in the morning and be sitting at an outdoor cafe, on a cobblestone street full of 17th century buildings, hearing the French language spoken around you, that same evening.
Exchange Rate – You’ll get more buying power from the U.S. Dollar in Canada than in the Eurozone, helping to make it a cheaper destination. At the time of publishing this post, you’ll get $1.01 CND for one U.S. dollar and 0.74 Euros per American dollar.
Culture – The primary language of Québec is French. Montreal is home to the biggest bilingual population in the world. You won’t have any problem there if your French is rusty or even non-existent. As you venture further north and away from urban areas, less people speak English.
The Old Town areas of Montreal and the city of Québec contain some of oldest urban areas in North America. There are cobblestone streets lined with 17th century buildings, some converted to stores and cafes. In both cities’ Old Town districts you can shop, take a carriage ride, watch street performers and artists, or just enjoy your beverage of choice and people watch.
More – Besides the culture and language of Old Europe, Québec is home to clean, modern cities. There are sprawling national and provincial parks where you can hike, view wildlife, or whale watch.
Passport – You’ll need a passport or passport card to enter Canada from the U.S..
This depends on what you’d like to do. Winter provides a plethora of things to do in Québec. You can ski, snowboard, snowmobile, or enjoy a host of other cold weather activities. For a unique experience, you can stay in the hotel made of ice near Québec City. In the Summer the cities across the province come alive with festivals. The Montreal Jazz Festival is probably the biggest and most well-known. During the warmer months you can browse the outdoor markets, enjoy a sidewalk cafe, or take a hike in one of the twenty-seven national parks the province has to offer.
Weather – the climate in the cities of Montreal and Québec is similiar to that of the cities in the north-east U.S.. There are cold, snowy winters and hot,humid summers. In the north of the province it gets very cold and snowy in the winter. The summers are warm. If you travel to the eastern part of Québec, you’ll find more moderate weather due to the effect of the Atlantic Ocean.