Quebec City: Where to Stay and What to See

Quebec City is one of Canada’s most historical and fascinating cities and is famous for the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebration, the Summer Music Festival, and the Quebec Winter Carnival.

Old Quebec City

Old Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with some of the oldest streets in North America. The quaint, walled city with cobblestone streets is the only one of its kind that’s north of Mexico. Attractions that you must see are:

  • Chateau Frontenac
  • Rue Saint Jean
  • Place Royale & Petit Champlain
  • Old Port

Chateau Frontenac is a 100 year-old hotel and photographed more than any hotel in the world. Dufferin Terrace has spectacular views of the Old City. Rue Sainte-Anne and Rue Saint-Louis are lined with hops and restaurants. Rue Saint Jean is a charming street of historic buildings, concert venues, boutiques, and dining. Place Royal is the location of North America’s olest stone church, Dame-des-Victoires. The Old Port offers scenic views of the St. Lawrence River. The streets around the Old Port have antique shops and galleries that are fun to browse.

Valcatier Vacation Village

The theme park is the largest of its kind in Quebec, and a fun destination in summer or winter. The park features a wave pool, two rivers, and 35 water slides. In the winter, the park has skating paths, 17 lifts, and snow rafting.

Parc de la Chute-Montmorency

The Montmorency Falls is a spectacular waterfall that’s 30 meters higher than Niagara Falls. Climb the stairway or cross the suspension bridge over the river for for amazing views of the falls. Montmorency Falls is only 15 minutes from Downtown Quebec.

Accommodations in Quebec City

Whether you want to stay in a contemporary, chain hotel, or want the Old-World charm of a boutique hotel, Quebec City has accommodations for every taste and budget. In addition to hotels and motels, there are bed and breakfasts and tourist homes throughout the city. Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Quebec City.

Parliament Hill

This neighborhood features a lot of green space and is near the luxury neighborhood of Mont Calm. The accommodations here are excellent for travelers with rental cars and thoe ttending special events.

Upper Town, Vieux-Québec: Haute-Ville

The hotels in this neighborhood are ideal for the visitor who wants the charm of European accommodations. Hotels near Chateau Frontenac are more expensive than in some other areas but are worth it for the experience.

Lower Town, Vieux-Québec: Basse-Ville

This region is an excellent choice for tourists who love small hotels with luxurious amenities. During the off-season, the neighborhood is tranquil, with few tourists.

Vacations in Quebec City can be customized for a weekend or extended stay. Whether you love nature, cultural events, regional cuisine, or historical attractions, Quebec city has something for every lifestyle.
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How to Get Great Pictures with a DSLR Camera

Perhaps the holidays have led you to acquire the prized possession of a DSLR camera. The only problem? You’re not exactly sure how to use it.

There are several factors that lead to producing impressive images for your friends and family to admire. Here are a few steps that will help you begin to master the use of your new device:

Understanding ISO

This is the ratio of how sensitive your camera is to various forms of lights. There are low and highly sensitive environments the change what type of exposure you will need for your picture. Low sensitivity is ISO 100 and the scale ranges to the highest sensitivity of 6400. Basically, the lower your lighting conditions the greater ISO number you will need to compensate and magnify what light you do have available. At high noon, outdoors on a gorgeous summer day you are fine with a lower 100 ISO. However, if you are shooting a nighttime party or get together you will want to increase the ISO number accordingly. On average, for an event like this the ISO would be around the 3000 range.

Focus, Focus, Focus

We all know that focus is a key element to a successful picture. Knowing which options to use for stills versus actions shots is going to make a huge difference in your results. A DSLR camera has two very handy features. AF-S-autofocus-single and AF-C-autofocus-continuous. Autofocus-single is utilized for landscapes, architecture and portrait shots. Autofocus-continuous is for actions shots like sporting events, fast moving objects and busy moments with lots of movement.

Proper Framing

Here is another tidbit of information that DSLR cameras are especially useful for. While preparing to shoot your image you want to make sure it is properly framed. Too much space below or above the subject in the picture can through off the entire balance of the photo. The DSLR helps you with this by giving you a suggested framing for every image as you are taking the picture. Be conscious of the lines that appear on your device while you are preparing to shoot your images. It will give you suggestions when you are about to venture out of proportion.

Learn to Edit As You Go

Yes, you can edit your images after you have taken them on a computer or other device but it is much easier to edit as you go. The functionality of a DSLR camera is one you should take full advantage of. Every image has a myriad of options that can be used to adjust or enhance your photo on the spot. You can change the lighting, the framing and the imperfections with a few taps of a button. Take the time to get familiar with all the editing features of your device.

Digital photography has put the potential to create beautiful, flawless images into your hands instead of having to rely on a professional. Take the time to get comfortable with your device and explore the world of options now at your fingertips!

Hanging in Honolulu for the Holidays

This year I decided to treat myself. It was time for something special.

Anyone who knows me knows very well that I’m really not a fan of the cold – hard to believe considering my upbringing! Since my mom had to travel for the holidays, and the winter season was already hitting particularly heavily, I figured there was no better time than now to cross another destination off of my bucket list – this time the Islands of Hawaii!

Hawaii is a bit of a doozie – as everyone and their mom always says, it’s quite expensive. This was apparent when I was booking the hotels. It was apparent when I was booking my airfare. But I really didn’t realize just how bad it could be until I actually got settled in here for a few days, evaluate all of my options, and found that I really had no choice but to spend a small fortune on food and drink – even going to the grocery store to prepare my own meals proved to come at quite a hefty price tag!

But I guess I shouldn’t get caught up on money. Hawaii is all about beauty.

(I apologize for the graininess on this photo, I only had my phone with me! But it was such a gorgeous site, I had to make the best of what I had!)

Beauty of nature, beauty of culture, you name it. Of course, it’s easy to get caught up in the tourist wind but once you’re off the beaten path you can find yourself quickly surrounded in a lush tropical forest stacked full of rainbows and waterfalls.

And let’s not forget about the beaches.

The beaches are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever see. The sand ranges from sun-bleached white to completely black, with every color in between if you know where to look. You can find hideaways where the local crew of surfers will meet up after work to tackle some waves, or where sea turtles will come out for a feeding frenzy just before sunset.

Even when you’re in downtown Honolulu, you still get a pretty cool vibe. There are some beautiful sites (despite the crowded beaches) and endless stretches of beach to walk. Definitely worth the trip if you can swing it. There’s no denying that is is an expensive journey though, and it does make you consider how much of the world you can see while making an equivalent dent in your wallet. Not everywhere you go has statues like this guy though:

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and wishing everyone the best for the coming New Year!

Life Amongst the Quebecois

After quite a bit of struggle with the relaunch, I am happy to say that we are finally back up and running. Thanks for sticking with me! It’s been a long haul, but I’ve finally re-established my brand new site.

For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Jen. I am a photographer from Quebec, though most of my photographs you will find are from all around the world. You see, I live for travel. My photography follows me everywhere I go (as long as my cameras are working!) and captures all of the important moments that I encounter along the way.

I was born in Buffalo, NY, but my parents relocated to the Quebec area when I was six years old. We have since learned quite a bit of French (or Quebecois, as they’ve adapted it here!), but I’ve always been most comfortable with the English language. I guess that’s just what I’ve grown up on. Don’t worry, for all those born and raised in Quebec, I assure you that I comprendre le français de base and I can completely fit in with the local conversation.

Since we’re on the topic of Quebec, I figure I should share a photograph or two of my beloved home city. It’s such a beautiful place full of architectural prowess that would impress even the most astute of travelers.

 

The city is full of beauty – from the internationally renowned Chateau Frontenac, to the beautiful Saint Lawrence river, the old city of Quebec really has quite a bit to offer to both tourists and residents alike. Of course, when in Quebec, you really shouldn’t stray too far from the gastronomic scene! Quebec has some of the best restaurants – certainly in the area – but some would argue in North America. Here is a shot froma recent dinner with my family at one of the most classical restaurants in old Quebec City – La Continental:

Gorgeous, isn’t it? If you’re willing to pay the price, the experience you’ll get from this restaurant is one of the best in the world. I’m so glad to call a city that houses this experience my home. By the way, yes, the cherry dessert was magnificent.

Enough ranting and raving for now – long story short, I’m happy to have a place to call home on the internet once again. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read through all that I have to say. I can be a handful 🙂

If you like what you see here, make sure to leave us a note in the comments and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

To your continued happiness,

Jen