Québec City is the crown jewel of French Canada and if you're coming for the first time, look out - there's simply no other place like it in North America. It's pure Old World Europe right smack in North America, the heart and soul of francophone culture in the New World, and it's got a boisterous and down-to-earth population proud to show it all off. In short, it's hard not to be completely wowed by the place.
Perched atop a cliff that swoops down to the St Lawrence River, Québec City is the only walled city on the continent north of Mexico. Plenty of first-time visitors just spend their time walking around the city with their jaws dropped open, muttering 'I can't believe this is in North America.' Québec City's one-of-a kind history and cultural significance has even got the attention of Unesco. And since 1985 the entire old town has been placed on the UN's prestigious world heritage list. Any time of year is good for a visit. Summer draws the mother load of tourists. The crowds create fascinating street life and a buzz wherever you go. There's also terrific festivals and oodles of special museum exhibitions and tours. Check out Quebec City Long Weekend Complete Travel Guide. Fall and spring bring beautiful colors, dramatically reduced prices and thinner crowds. And in the winter, Caribou, an alcoholic drink enjoyed by the early settlers, is sold everywhere to keep people warmed up. Even in the darkest and coldest months of January and February, Quebecers have found a way to have fun: throwing the annual Winter Carnival, arguably the biggest, most colorful and most successful winter festival around. The city has gone to great lengths to make the city as traveler-friendly as possible. Explanation panels are everywhere both inside and outside the walls pointing out historical events and things of interest to travelers - many of the plaques on historical buildings are translated into English. Even most of the street signs have explanations underneath, telling you who the street was named after and why. Most visitors never venture outside the Old Town, but there is plenty to explore outside the walls as well. Check out Quebec City Long Weekend Complete Travel Guide.