QUEBEC CITY AND MONTREAL: COME FOR THE JOIE DE VIVRE, STAY FOR THE BAGELS
May 7, 2009
Where else can kids travel back to a time of cobblestone streets and cannons, dress up in 18th century clothing, or watch a bagel being made from scratch and eat it hot out of a wood-burning oven?
Travelforkids.com chooses Montreal and Quebec City as best bets for family vacation destinations in 2009. The two cities are rich in European charm, French-inspired food and colonial history, only closer to home and a lot easier on the wallet.
Real life experiences are always the source for the family travel content on the Travelforkids.com web site. So when parents began sharing their vacation stories from Montreal and Quebec City, it was obvious that a visit was in order to discover what these cities offer. “Traveling to Montreal is like a visit to Europe. It's not just that everybody is speaking French – the children at city parks, the fruits and vegetables at the markets, the fresh croissants – all make you feel like you've crossed an ocean,” says one parent about her family’s trip.
The Quebec province is an excellent budget-friendly alternative, where families can immerse themselves in a French-speaking culture without the language barrier since English is widely spoken or a long flight. Founded as a French colony, Quebec is over 400 years old and preserving French heritage and history is taken seriously everywhere you look… and eat.
Quebec City is home to beautiful well-preserved old city walls, fortress-like gates, ramparts, turrets and cannons all set within a vibrant cosmopolitan city. The city has lots of fun things to do in store for families whether it's climbing on the cannons at Parc Montmorency, dressing up in period clothing at the Place-Royale, riding the ferry across the St. Lawrence River, ice skating outdoors, running through Battlefields Park or eating dinner in the oldest building in Quebec City after a horse carriage ride.
Kids will have the time of their lives in Montreal as they watch the river otters and penguins in the Biodome, pedal boat at the waterfront, ride the coasters at La Ronde, cruise the St. Lawrence River or stroll through the Chinese Gardens. “And if the weather doesn’t cooperate, just head underneath the city to explore light and airy complexes, complete with waterfalls, restaurants, and shops galore,” advises Elizabeth Young, editor of Travelforkids.com.
Researching and booking a hotel in Quebec City or Montreal with the amenities your family needs is often the trickiest part of planning a vacation. No matter what your priorities - indoor swimming pool, breakfast included in the room rate, on-site restaurants with children's menus or coin-operated laundry facilities - selecting a hotel for your family is easy on Travelforkids.com. The site provides a comprehensive list of recommended hotels that are handpicked, personally researched and include all styles and price ranges.
And of course, there’s the food. Throughout the province, you'll find delicious maple treats and snacks. A regional favorite is maple cornets - little cones filled with thick syrup called taffy. Kids will also want to sample maple sugar pie, candies, cookies, fudge and ice cream. Travelforkids.com lists where you can find the best cornets, bagel shops, farmers markets and cafes in each part of Montreal and Quebec City.
In true European style, fresh-made bagels are a local Montreal specialty. Kids will love to watch bagels being made and eating them warm out of the oven – big slices of dough are sliced off, shaped into circles, boiled in sweetened water and finally cooked in wood-burning ovens.
“Affordability and the favorable Canadian exchange rate are particularly important this year when families are looking for good values. Montreal and Quebec City have so many unique places and enriching activities to offer at any season. We’ve listed the favorites, the must sees and the things you won’t see anywhere else, along with insider tips that are really helpful to families, such as free museums, the bus loop around the waterfront, and walks through the old cities,” says Young.
As featured in Newsweek and Cookie magazines TravelforKids.com combines fun things to do with practical tips from people who know how to make family vacation memories last a lifetime. The site features best bets for family hotels, family tours and travel tools, and staff recommendations for children's books introducing cities all over the world.