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Québec By The Sea

OTTAWA -- Over the past year, we’ve all spent a lot of time thinking about where our next vacation might take us. Would you go to the beach for some sunshine? Across the pond for some history and culture? Maybe go west to explore the natural parks?

But what if you could have it all without the long flight (not to mention the jetlag!) with an incredible road trip to Eastern Québec?

Whatever you’re looking for, Eastern Québec genuinely has it all. Known as Québec by the Sea, the gateway to Canada’s east coast is made up the province’s eastern regions of Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Côte-Nord and Îles de la Madeleine. It combines rich, distinctive maritime character with breathtaking parks and wildlife, offering a truly unique experience for your next road trip.

Suspended platform overlooking Percé Rock
(Mathieu Dupuis/Le Québec maritime)

Intrigued? Perfect. Here are 5 tips to help you plan your adventure through Québec by the Sea.

Explore national parks

If your perfect vacation includes a healthy dose of the great outdoors, look no further. The region is home to 10 different national parks, along with a host of other sites offering forests, mountain scenery, and the vast sea, where you can take part in cycling trips, hiking, kayaking excursions, kitesurfing and plenty of other outdoor activities.

Soak up the historic maritime culture

Step back and forth between modern day and days of yore with the distinct maritime character and world-class cuisine and craftsmen. Between the four regions, there are more than 40 lighthouses, countless artists, museums, places of interpretation, and a vast cultural mosaic.

Ile verte - Le Québec maritime
(Mathieu Dupuis/Le Québec maritime)

And after a long day of hiking through the parks, is there anything better than fresh, mouth-watering seafood?

Admire the incredible wildlife

While the people create the culture of a region, there’s no denying the influence of natural wildlife. On any given day in Eastern Québec, you could see one of the 13 different species of whales, four species of seals, black bears, moose, and over 100 species of birds, including the famous northern gannet.

Whale watching, Côte-Nord
(Marc Loiselle/Le Québec maritime)

Get lost in the majestic St.Lawrence

The St. Lawrence River brings together the four regions of Québec by the Sea, and is a major influence on their way of life.

The waterway brings life to the national parks, connects the mainland to the hundreds of islands archipelagos, including the Îles de la Madeleine, and offers sea kayaking and other water sports to satisfy our adventurous side. The sea excursions are also a great opportunity to bird watch and learn about the region’s history.

Lobster fishing in the Maritimes
(Mathieu Dupuis/Le Québec maritime)

Travel on 2 wheels or 4

Not only is Québec by the Sea a fantastic destination for a road trip, it’s an amazing place for a motorcycle trip. With thousands of kilometres of meandering panoramic routes, you can ride along the seemingly endless shoreline and through picturesque villages to really experience the area. The only downside of riding through such a beautiful area is how often you’ll be tempted to stop to take in all the views.

Québec by the Sea really is one of Canada’s finest hidden gems. It’s off the beaten path, it’s wonderfully eclectic, it transforms from one season to the next, and you’re sure to experience something like never before.

It’s for the people looking for something completely different than the usual hotspots. It’s for the travellers, not the tourists.

To learn more, visit quebecmaritime.ca.