Most Romantic Place in North America

No matter what your definition of romance, Old Quebec City is easily the most romantic getaway destination in North America. It has plenty to do for lovers, families and singles.  Just a little north of New England (about a 7 hour drive from Boston, 4.5 from Burlington VT., or 5.5 hours from Portland ME), any trip to New England could easily include it in the itinerary.  Or, it makes for a great long weekend.


View Quebec City Sites in a larger map
Founded in 1608 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quebec City is as close to being in France as you can get in North America.  If you speak French, and so desire, you will never need to utter a word in English your entire visit.  Getting by with English, however, is not a problem.

It is full of history, quaint hotels and B&B’s, great restaurants, outdoor Parisian-style cafes, fabulous vistas, and wonderful museums for both art and history lovers.  Easy to tour by foot, it is simply one of the best places to spend a few days and a pleasure any time of year.  Be forewarned, it can be very cold in the winter.

Enjoying a Parisian-Style Cafe in Old Town Quebec

Old Town Quebec consists of Haute-Ville (Upper Town) and Basse-Ville (Lower Town), which also is the location of the old port. I’ll highlight a few of my favorite spots in each.

In Haute-Ville:

The best tour starts by simply walking around. It is small and self contained, beautiful, quaint, there are great places to eat, and is is just a wonderful place to be.  The entire city is surrounded by a stone wall built by both the French and British armies.  In fact it is the only North American city with fortress walls that still exist north of Mexico.  The views overlooking Basse-Ville and the St. Lawrence are excellent.

Château Frontenac & the St. Lawrence from the Citadel

Le Château Frontenac is probably the most photographed hotel in North America.  To stay there can be pricey and the property can feel a little stuffy (if you want high-end, as an alternative you may want to consider some of the more intimate, but superb boutique hotels in Basse-Ville like the Dominion or Aberge Saint-Antoine – and both of these are relative bargains), but a martini in the Frontenac’s bar and a guided hotel tour can make the Quebec experience complete.

Plains of Abraham and Citadel from near Musée National

The Plains of Abraham Battlefield Park is a great walk on a nice day. The Plains are the site of the 1759 battle between the French, under Montcalm, and the English, under Wolfe. (Both Montcalm and Wolfe died as a result of wounds received here.)  The battle was deciding moment in the conflict between France and Britain over the fate of New France, and resulted in the turning over of Quebec to the English. The park features beautiful gardens, historic exhibits and great views of the city and the St. Lawrence.  Be sure to visit the Discovery Pavilion for a great overview of the park and its history.  Check for music and festivals during the summer and bring a frisbee.

Le Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec is a wonderful art museum in the Plains of Abraham Battlefield Park. Housed in three buildings, one of which was the 19th century city prison, it is a great way for art lovers to spend couple of hours. It is home to impressive permanent collections as well as traveling shows.

The Citadel, built between 1820 and 1850 is the largest British fortress built in North America. It features a museum, tours and has a well known changing of the guard ceremony. A must if traveling with children.

In Basse-Ville:

As with Haute-Ville, simply wandering around is a great way to experience the city.  To go between Haute and Basse-Ville, there is the Funiculaire that can be taken up or down if you do not want to navigate the stairs or winding streets, which are steep.  The 17th century architecture and French flavor sets a tone unequaled in North America. There are many places to shop, which range from high-end furs and art to pure kitsch – at your pleasure.  In nice weather, sit outside in a cafe, close your eyes, and when you open them, you are in a French village (truly). Superb!

Rue Souse-le-Fort just below the Frontenac

Musée de la Civilization is an impressive museum dedicated to the history of the world’s peoples. It houses excellent exhibits focused on the humanities, with a concentration on the Canadian people. It is enjoyable by both adults and children.  If it is inclement, this is the best place to spend the day.  The free tours are well done and very insightful.

Le Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec

Le Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec is a wonderful fresh market near the old port and off most tourist agendas.  It is  great place to wander around and pick up supplies for a picnic or to bring back to your hotel room.  Most everything comes from Quebec and the varous stalls specialize in fruits, vegetables, wine, cider, maple products, cheeses, pastries, breads, deli meats, and more.  This is a great place to find non-traditional souvenirs to bring home.

Place-Royale and the Notre Dame des Victoires church

The Place-Royale is where Samuel de Champlain landed in 1608 and founded the first French settlement in North America.  It is an absolutely beautiful square.  Visit the Centre d’Interpretation de Place-Royal for exhibits describing the challenges of setting up a town in the 17th century.  At the end of the square is the Notre Dame des Victoires church, built in 1688 and subsequently destroyed by the British bombardment of 1759.  It has been restored to it’s original character.

Enjoy!!

Wonderful Machu Picchu Book

Ruth Wright creates the best Machu Picchu material I have found. If you can find a copy, also highly recommend is her “The Machu Picchu Guidebook, A Self Guided Tour.” Beautifully illustrated, very thoughtful, they will enrich your trip.

Machu Picchu Revealed


New From: $199.98 USD In Stock

Recommended Peru Guidebook

We use Insight Guidebooks. They are well written, provide excellent background information and contain useful illustration and maps. Marry this with my ebook for a great trip!

Peru (Insight Guides)


New From: $14.90 USD In Stock

Map of Referenced Machu Picchu Locations


View Machu Picchu Sites in a larger map

Map of locations described in Steve’s Guide to Cuzco and Machu Picchu

Map of Referenced Cuzco Locations


View Important Cuzco Travel Sites in a larger map

Map of locations described in Steve’s Guide to Cuzco and Machu Picchu

Cuzco and Machu Picchu Guide

I first visited Cuzco and Machu Picchu as part of a six month trip throughout South America in 1976.  That experience was great.  I saw fantastic places, worked through challenging situations, and learned a lot about myself through experiencing other cultures, the people and their history.  And, I got to spend time and learn from some very interesting and broadening fellow travelers from all over the world.

Wanting my family to experience some of what I did, we traveled to Cuzco and Machu Picchu.  Machu Picchu is one of the “Seven Wonders of World” and is a truly amazing place.  Cuzco is a great colonial city with wonderful Incan and Spanish history.  This was to be our first family trip to a developing country.

I wrote this book when, after our trip, a friend commented “I’ve always wanted to go there, but was intimidated and felt it was too expensive.”  Given that kick, I wrote this ebook.  It answers everything I wanted to know when planning our trip but could not practically find in guide books or on the web.  And, I added tips and experiences learned from the trip that will simplify your trip, making it safer, less expensive and more enjoyable.

Pick it up.  It is an amazing adventure and you can do it.

For the Nook, please visit: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Steves-Guide-to-Cuzco-and-Machu-Picchu/Steve-Gladstone/e/2940012230997/?itm=1&USRI=machu+picchu%2c+gladstone