We may not be venturing far this summer, but these destinations will transport you, even if it’s just for a day. Next up in our summer road trip series: picturesque Eastern Quebec.
With everything that has been going on over the past year, it’s no secret we could all use a rejuvenating escape. Luckily, the most awesome points of interest are sometimes close to home. We tapped four guides from across the country to send you on a road trip to remember. From where to eat to what to buy, here’s how to make your next local excursion a truly bon voyage. First, we showed you how to conquer the majesty of Lake Louise, Alberta and explore Sauble Beach, Ont. like a local. Next up, discover stunning Eastern Quebec with insider tips from illustrator and muralist, Dominic Laporte.
Favourite things about this region
“Variety. There’s something for everyone. Forests, mountains and the Gulf of St. Lawrence as well as an abundance of culinary stops — plus friendly residents to guide you along the way. We followed Route des Montagnes and Route des Baleines for the amazing views.”
Notable places to nosh
“Quebec is known for its terroir products (products made of raw materials particular to the region), so check out the following: Le Rond Point, in Baie-Saint-Paul, for a delicious upscale burger made with local ingredients; Cantine Armande, in Chuteaux-Outardes, for traditional casse croûte (my girlfriend, Anais, and I lived the casse-croûte and picnic life for 12 days!); La P’tite Cochonne, an artisanal bakery in Grandes-Bergeronnes that creates little pizzas perfect for a picnic; Kiboikoi, a charming café in les escoumins that has an outdoor space overlooking the water and live music at night; Plage de Haldimand, where you’ll find Café des Artistes and La Cantina Latinogaspésienne, which serves up delicious tacos; and Pub Pit Caribou, where you can order snacks like pickled trout and smoked bacon — rustic, delicious and fun! A great vibe and great tunes.”
Where to shop
“We stopped at a tiny secondhand shop called Boutique Rock n’ Coll et Friperie Sativa in Matane (it has lots of leather — I found a cute bucket hat there!); Les Savons de L’Atelier, a soap shop in Tadoussac; Atelier à Barachois, near Percé (artist Margot Mérette decorated this property — which doubles as her workshop/studio — in a fun way; when you visit, she will recommend her favourite places to 3explore); Herbamiel, in Sacré-Coeur-du-Saguenay, near Tadoussac, for honey products; Épicerie-Boucherie R. St-Gelais, a fine grocery in Matane with specialties including pastries, cheese, jams and marinades (it’s hard to leave without wanting to buy the entire store).”
Where to take in the scenery
“Route 132 is incredible, especially toward the north, when you’re approaching Forillon National Park. Take it slow, and stop whenever and wherever you can to take pictures — seeing Percé Rock at sunrise is an experience. Portneuf-sur-Mer has a beautiful sandy beach — untouched, serene and wild. A great stop for a picnic and pictures.”
What to bring
“Warm clothes (even when you’re in the sun, it can get cold with the wind coming off the St. Lawrence), hiking shoes and a picnic blanket, cutlery and basket (so you can have a snack when the scenery inspires a stop).”
Favourite places to explore in the Gaspé peninsula
“Mont Albert for a strenuous hike; Cap Bon Ami in Forillon National Park for a great view and an easier climb; L’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé National Park for gannet watching; and Cap Aventure, a small campground that organizes kayaking excursions to see seals. Booking in advance is key for all activities, ferries, campgrounds and national parks. Day passes for parks sell out quickly. Rivière Bonaventure, with its clear waters, is a beautiful spot where you can go kayaking, swimming or tubing. Also, Mont-du-Lac-des-Cygnes and Acropole-des-Draveurs, in Charlevoix, for hiking, offer stunning views.”
How to get there
The Toyota Sienna has a range of exterior lighting options, independent climate control and Safety Connect and Service Connect features.