This Canadian Vacay Spot Was Formed By A Meteorite Impact & It’s A Total Hidden Gem
They say it's why the food's so good.
Summer is here and there's no better way to spend it than with a getaway that offers plenty to see and do. If you're trying to decide where to venture off to this season, Quebec's Charlevoix region is a fantastic choice that offers up a taste of everything.
Located about an hour from Quebec City, this charming destination is tucked in between the stunning St. Lawrence River and surrounding mountains.
The region owes its unique geography to a massive meteorite that struck there about 400 million years ago, gifting Charlevoix with top-notch views and fertile soil that guaranteed its future as a must-see today.
Charlevoix is practically bursting with local food and drink, outdoor adventures, arts, culture and more for you to enjoy this summer. Here are some of the best picks to get you started.
Be swept up & away on Le Vol de l’Oiseau mécanique
During winter, the chairlifts work non-stop to ferry intrepid skiers up the slope. But in June 2023, it will be reimagined as a luminous, sensory and emotional experience unlike any other.
Le Vol de l'Oiseau mécanique, the world's first mountainside night-time carousel will have you soaring high between sky, land and sea to take in almost 6 kilometres of magical light installations and sound art.
You can even make a whole evening of it with a delicious dinner beforehand at the new Camp Boule buvette de montagne restaurant. Nestled atop one of le Massif's summits, the restaurant offers a spectacular view of the St. Lawrence River.
Tuck into your accommodation on the mountainside before enjoying an action-packed day of mountain biking, hiking or taking in the magnificent view on a gondola ride.
Take in the great outdoors at Petite-Rivière-Saint-François
Not far from Le Vol de l'Oiseau mécanique, you will find plenty of things to explore in the surrounding Petite-Rivière-Saint-François.
This charming village at the foot of Le Massif de Charlevoix offers tons of activities to make the most of the outdoors, including hiking, canyoning, mountain biking and unmatched views of the St. Lawrence River.
When you're ready to relax, immerse yourself in eco-friendly activities at the Coop de solidarité l'Affluent or head to the charming beach right by the Petite-Rivière-Saint-François wharf.
Enjoy amazing food & scenery at Crater and Tides
Charlevoix's Crater and Tides sector is home to two of the area's most charming and picturesque villages — Les Éboulements and Saint-Irénée.
Crater and Tides gets its name from being more-or-less at the centre of the meteorite impact 400 million years ago, as well as its beautiful beaches.
Arts fans won't want to miss out on the program at the nearby Le Domaine Forget de Charlevoix, which features some of Quebec's best classical and jazz musicians in concert, dance performers, sculpture exhibitions and more.
Taste the best of Charlevoix at Le Sainti
An elevated casual restaurant and patio overlooking the gorgeous Saint-Irénée beach, Le Sainti boasts a menu celebrating the best of Charlevoix produce.
There, you can sink your teeth into elegant dishes like sautéed local mushrooms with duck hearts, halibut and boar sausage surf and turf, or a Caesar salad with house-made bacon and locally sourced whelks.
During the summer months, their charming terrasse is a magical spot to enjoy a warm evening of delicious food paired with specially imported wine.
Immerse yourself in Baie-Saint-Paul's arts & culture scene
The cultural heart of Charlevoix, Baie-Saint-Paul is known for its many galleries and artisan boutiques; there are close to 20 within just 1 kilometre of each other along picturesque Saint-Jean-Baptiste Street.
An afternoon stroll among the art and architecture of the bay is undoubtedly an excellent way to spend a sunny afternoon.
While you're at it, check out the works of both upcoming and renowned artists at Musée d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul.
Right now, you can check out a brand-new exhibition to honour the 100th birthday of Jean-Paul Riopelle — one of Canada's most renowned artists.
These fab activities, restaurants, galleries, beaches and trails are just a handful of what you'll find in Charlevoix.
If you're looking for an escape that offers something for everyone, make some time to explore this hidden gem this summer.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.