Scroll to content

Your Vacations in Authentic Quebec: The Gems of Summer and Autumn

July 7, 2023

Your Vacations in Authentic Quebec: The Gems of Summer and Autumn © Raph Sévigny
  • Home
  • Blog
  • Your Vacations in Authentic Quebec: The Gems of Summer and Autumn

Are your vacations in the regions of Authentic Quebec just around the corner? Are you currently planning your visits and activities in Lanaudière and Mauricie? To enhance your summer itinerary or autumn getaways, we have discovered some hidden gems that you will surely enjoy. Whether they are must-see or unique, these experiences invite travelers to step off the beaten path, engage with nature, and savor the Authentic Quebec in its original form. Happiness awaits on your journey!

Authentic Quebec: Two Regions and Three Atmospheres for Maximum Enjoyment

In Authentic Quebec, as you already know, happiness is found in both proximity and diversity. Perfect for getting away from it all without going too far, Lanaudière and Mauricie stand out first and foremost for their prime location, right between Montreal and Quebec City. From east to west and vice versa, all you need to do is let yourself be guided by the majestic St. Lawrence River—ideally by taking the historic Chemin du Roy. Authentic Quebec along the river thus represents a first layer of discoveries and emotions, including panoramic, historical, and cultural experiences. But Authentic Quebec is also meant to be explored from south to north, revealing the undulating countryside and its delights before leading into the boreal realm of forests and hills. In this part, there are countless off-the-beaten-path routes to uncover hidden treasures, unexpected flavors, or unique adventures amidst limitless nature. Follow our recommendations to embellish your unconventional itinerary with unforgettable moments that shall metamorphose into cherished and enduring memories!

© Pascal Gauthier

The River and the King’s Road: Your Gateway to Authentic Quebec!

Whether you’re coming from Montréal or Québec City, accessing Authentic Quebec immediately puts the St. Lawrence River in the spotlight. The King’s Road, an official tourist route that runs along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, offers a choice itinerary for enjoying numerous panoramas and drawing inspiration from the history and heritage of Lanaudière and Mauricie. Our first gem takes us from Louiseville in Mauricie to an area where the river widens to resemble an inland sea. Extending from Berthierville to Trois-Rivières, Lake Saint-Pierre boasts 353 km2 of marshlands, bays, islands, and islets hosting unique ecological richness. It is home to the largest concentration of aquatic bird migratory stopovers in Eastern Canada – including the largest heron colony in North America – and since 2000, it has been designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. On the shores of this precious gem, the Domaine du Lac St-Pierre invites you to a stopover that can easily extend into a full stay. Here, all means are good for exploring Lake Saint-Pierre, its bays, archipelago, fauna, and flora: canoeing, kayaking, pedal boating, motorboats, jet skis, guided bayou safaris, hiking, and even panoramic seaplane flights!

Continuing along the Chemin du Roy, we recommend a cultural and historical stop in Lanoraie, Lanaudière. The Maison des Cageux du fleuve Saint-Laurent pays tribute to the maritime heritage of the “cageux,” the raftsmen who, in the 19th century, piloted giant rafts made of squared logs. These floating islands could navigate the river for over a month before being safely guided to their destination by these daring sailors. On-site, you can discover a reconstruction of one of these astonishing vessels, as well as a short film and a museum exhibition. Passionate and captivating, your guides Isabelle and Alexandre also invite you to enjoy a pleasant time in their Maritime Café and explore the Boutique du Cageur to shop for souvenirs.

© Myriam Baril-Tessier

Passing Through the Countryside of Authentic Quebec…

Speaking of unique places and tastes, we strongly suggest you make a stop in Rawdon. Welcome to the heart of the beautiful countryside in the Lanaudière region to discover a farm like no other and its pastures where particularly impressive animals frolic. Bison and elk farming is indeed the specialty of this agrotourism enterprise. To familiarize yourself with these giant bovids and cervids, La Terre des Bisons invites you not only to visit an exhibition dedicated to North American big game but also to explore a 1.5 km discovery trail that allows you to observe the herd up close, as if they were straight out of prehistoric times. Then it will be your taste buds’ turn to be surprised by the products made from the meats from this family-run farm. Butcher cuts, smoked meat, sausages, pâtés, spreads, rillettes, sauces, and other dishes such as meat pies and chili can be enjoyed on-site and, of course, added to your gourmet basket.

Lanaudière is also known as the region for Nordic walnuts and hazelnuts in Quebec. By visiting the Jardin des noix in Saint-Ambroise-de-Kildare, you will discover a walnut orchard where no less than 4,000 walnut and hazelnut trees planted in 2007 produce a variety of delicious nuts. They can be tasted on-site (and taken home!) in various forms at the café-boutique, which also showcases other local artisans.

Craving a little pick-me-up or a digestif? Don’t leave the Lanaudière countryside before paying a visit to Distillerie Grand Dérangement, whose name reveals the Acadian influence that characterizes the village of Saint-Jacques and its surroundings. It is the first micro-distillery in the region and stands out further with its organic certification. A visit to the distillery, which also houses the distiller’s Economuseum, is complemented by the pleasure of tasting the excellent organic spirits produced on-site, such as Saga gin (the only organic gin in the province) or Petite Eau vodka. Yet another discovery full of original flavors!

© Simon Laroche

The Call of the Forest and the Great Outdoors in Two Authentic Quebec Experiences

In Authentic Quebec, the woods are a cornucopia in many ways. The forest is also home to wildlife and flora, an unbeatable playground for adventurers, with endless trails to hike, contemplate, and, above all, savor. One activity, in particular, combines all these dimensions: mushroom picking. It is during the summer and autumn that you can find the greatest diversity of edible species to gather. To enter this abundant universe, the Filière mycologique de la Mauricie offers a range of activities featuring forest mushrooms from the region: mushroom initiation and picking sessions with mycology guides, hikes in the undergrowth, interpretive activities, forest culinary tables, recipe suggestions, and more.

If you happen to be in Mauricie a month earlier, specifically from September 8th to 17th, 2023, another event will awaken not the woodsman in you, but the cowboy. The famous Festival Western de St-Tite has no equal in eastern North America when it comes to celebrating western culture, transforming a peaceful village of four thousand souls into a bustling capital of professional rodeo, dance, and country music. These 10 days of festivities, filled with “ihaaaa!” moments, attract over half a million festival-goers in a unique atmosphere. It’s the perfect opportunity to let yourself be carried away by the infectious excitement that fills the Grandes Estrades surrounding the arena, where rodeo competitions, bull jump demonstrations, and hoop-dance performances take place during intermissions.

© Étienne Boisvert

Venturing Off the Beaten Path in Authentic Quebec Works Day and Night!

What if we synchronized our nights and days with activities, embracing originality and authenticity? It’s quite simple in the regions of Authentic Quebec, especially in the northern forest area, which is full of new and unusual places to stay. The only challenge is knowing about them! Eco-friendly accommodations are gaining momentum in Lanaudière and Mauricie, where new players in sustainable and environmentally friendly tourism emerge every year. Méandre, an ecotourism resort conceived by Pascale and Nicolas on the banks of the Croche River in Haute-Mauricie, perfectly embodies this spirit. Here, you can experience gentle adventures in perfect harmony with the surrounding nature, such as canoeing and kayaking down the river. The eco-accommodations are absolutely delightful: micro-cabins and Cocodômes that comfortably accommodate 4 people shine with their innovative design, being both modern, practical, and minimalist.

Still amidst the landscapes of Haute-Mauricie, we also love the glamping experience offered by Les Versants de la Falaise. Nestled in nature, their beautiful geodesic domes accommodate 2 or 4 guests with everything needed for a self-sufficient stay, keeping stress at a good distance, including a private outdoor pool and jacuzzi. Enjoy eco-friendly nights under the stars!

In Shawinigan, in the heart of an environment conducive to rejuvenation, Le 2800 du Parc invites you to live in rhythm with the majestic Saint-Maurice River. Swimming, paddle boarding, canoeing, road or mountain biking, and hiking on trails compete for the day’s program, while eleven mini-chalets, lofts, and studios can accommodate 2 to 14 people, not to mention the pleasures of dining in a renovated old barn by the river.

© Jean-Gabriel Pothier

Other Responsible Favorites for a Different Stay in Authentic Quebec

When staying green and protecting the environment come together… Head to the Lanaudière region, to Rawdon, to experience BESIDE Habitat in a beautiful natural setting, between lakes and forests. Enjoy hiking trails, self-service canoes and paddleboards to play on the water, wildlife observation, or moments of relaxation in the sauna. It is also a thriving community that is developing in this enchanting site, with superb minimalist cottages hidden in the woods, and soon pods, a library, workspaces, and even a music studio, all in the middle of the forest. An innovative project that preserves 900 acres (364 hectares) of natural heritage.

We head north without leaving the Lanaudière region to discover another gem that stands out for its commitment to a more virtuous way of experiencing the territory. In Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci, Expérience Equinox is developing a concept of immersive 4-season accommodations in the heart of nature within fully equipped domes. You will undoubtedly enjoy alternating between outings in the surrounding nature (hiking or horseback riding, cycling, golfing) and the small pleasures of your stay under the dome, with its panoramic roof, private spa, fireplace, equipped kitchen, and BBQ. To top it off, you are staying close to the amazing Parc régional de la Forêt Ouareau, where you can indulge in limitless hiking, biking, climbing, canoeing, and paddle boarding, not to mention a challenge trail that will delight young adventurers.

© Felix Michaud

Companies and events