Immerse yourself in France via Quebec

Sunday, June 2, 2002

Go a little farther north on your next vacation and spend some time exploring Quebec, a little bit of France with a North American flavor.

A little knowledge of French wouldn't hurt, but you can survey the province's offerings and do all your planning in English with several helpful Web sites.

Depend on the provincial government's official Bonjour Quebec -- /www.bonjourquebec.com/ -- for information on the 20 tourist regions, including Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Charlevoix and Bas-Saint-Laurent. You'll find tips on places to explore and things to do, sample itineraries (Circuits) and help finding places to stay. Point to Holiday Ideas for a menu of suggestions for family vacations, city or country tours, and holiday resorts.

Bonjour's Activities section has hunting and fishing information and Explore has maps. Get an advance look at the landscape and cities by pointing at Explore Quebec to open a menu, and then clicking on Scenes of Quebec. There are two nifty videos, and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page you'll find a map where you can access photo albums arranged by region.

The Quebec Tourist Guide -- www.quebecweb.com/tourisme/introang.html -- also divides the province into tourist regions, and provides links to places to stay, hunting and fishing outfitters, parks, and local attractions.

Montreal is the province's biggest city, and Tourisme Montreal -- www.tourisme-montreal.org/B2C/00/default... -- can help you find your way around and plan your visit. They offer an Image Gallery to show you what the place looks like, and a selection of Great Deals. And take a look at Experience Montreal for suggested tours.

The next big metropolis is the historic Quebec City, founded in 1608 and the oldest French-speaking city in North America. Try Quebec City and Area -- www.quebecregion.com/e/ -- to learn about the history and culture of the city and the surrounding region. Click on Tours for suggested itineraries around the city, including Old Quebec. Consult Quebec City Hotels -- www.quebec-city-hotels.com/ -- for places to stay, including the century-old Chateau Frontenac that dominates the skyline.

Try Museocapitale -- www.museocapitale.qc.ca/menua.htm -- to learn about Quebec City's museums and historic sites, with Web links to some of the major attractions. One of the biggest attractions is the Quebec Winter Carnival -- www.carnaval.qc.ca/index.htm -- which claims to be the world's biggest.

If your outdoor interests are hunting and fishing, visit the Department of Wildlife and Parks -- www.fapaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/index1.htm -- for regulations, brochures and information.

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