When it comes to Christmas in Canada, there is arguably no place more magical than Québec City. The historic town is among CNN's top destinations for spending the holidays, due to its winter charm and festive spirit. It's something that Canadians truly need to experience at least once in their lives.
This holiday season, embark on the ultimate Christmas road trip from Toronto to Québec City. The following map will take you to incredible stops along the way, from illuminated Christmas villages to bustling holiday markets:
Though full trip will take 8 hours and 30 minutes to complete when no stops are made, travellers should expect to spend the night at one or more of the towns on the trip so you have time to fully experience each destination. Approximately 12 hours to a full day is more than enough time to spend at each place, so it's best to set aside a week or for this trip.
Without further ado, here are the coolest places you can visit on your way from Toronto to Québec City:
1. Toronto Christmas Market
The Toronto Christmas Market is ranked one of the top 10 holiday markets in the world. Every year, the city's historic Distillery District is decorated with dazzling light displays, festive vendor huts and an epic Christmas tree. From photoshoots with Santa, carousel rides, carolling sessions and lots of shopping, you'll surely get into a festive mood.
Cobourg holds an incredible holiday light festival called 'Christmas Magic', where over 100,000 lights illuminate the town's harbourfront and rotary park. The lighting ceremony takes place at the end of November and the illuminations continue until the new year. Take a stroll down the most beautiful waterfront in Ontario this winter!
Napanee hosts a unique holiday event in which its main downtown street is closed off for a massive holiday block party. Hundreds of people attend for the live music, shopping and Big Bright Light Show, during which the street's buildings are illuminated with light panels consisting of 170,000 lights.
4. Upper Canada Village
Upper Canada Village is home to Ontario's biggest outdoor light festival. Close to 1 million lights are strung up on the buildings and trees of the village, creating a one-of-a-kind winter wonderland. Guests can explore the area at night while enjoying holiday themed activities like horse-drawn carriage rides, Santa visits, old-fashioned carolling and more.
Montreal turns up the Christmas charm with a variety of holiday-themed events. From a series of massive Christmas markets throughout the city to an epic Luminotherapie light show and Santa Claus parade, there's always something fun to do in Montreal during the holidays.
Drummondville has a historic Québécois village that becomes a winter fairyland every Christmas. Its Victorian buildings are adorned with over 25,000 lights, and the town hosts numerous fun activities like an elves' workshop, horse-drawn carriage rides, Christmas story telling in the church, doughnut tasting, boot hockey and much more.
Trois-Rivières creates an incredible illuminated pathway every year. Guests will feel the magic of Christmas as they walk through an dazzling outdoor garden, a giant Christmas village and a variety of bright exhibitions. Shopping, live music and exciting winter activities are all offered during the festival.
8. Québec City
Québec City is arguably the most magical place to spend Christmas in Canada. It is home to renowned outdoor light festivals and the world's largest Winter Carnival, which are both must-sees for visitors. Ride a lit-up ferris wheel, cozy up with beers at the outdoor bars, or take a stroll down the cobblestoned Rue du Petit Champlain - no matter where you turn, there's always something to do to get you into the holiday spirit!