Road Trip Goals: An Ultimate Winter Playground and Ice Hotel in Québec City

Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean you need to put all of your road trip dreams on hold until the ground thaws.

In fact, in the dark depths of winter, we need all the excitement we can get—and that’s exactly why Québec City is a solid option to kick off the year properly.

By now, you already know that we’re huge fans of ‘La Belle Province’ and all its offerings—from the history and culture to its restaurants. But, what you may not know about is the adrenaline-filled winter wonderland that awaits just 20 minutes from Québec City.

If you’re in the market for a little All-Canadian fun in North America’s biggest winter playground, you’ll find it at Valcartier Vacation Village.

Photo credit: FGagnon

Photo credit: FGagnon

Trust us when we tell you that the thrills, activities, social media material and bonding opportunities it offers are reason enough to book your Québec escape on your lunch break. Aside from channeling your inner child on the 35 tubing runs and the winding skating trails, or hitting the slopes via 17 lifts and four adrenaline-pumping hills, the village takes the whole ‘winter wonderland’ concept a step further with the Hôtel de Glace.

Photo credit: Dany Vachon

Photo credit: Dany Vachon

If you’re in need of a little French-class refresher, this translates to ‘The Ice Hotel,’ an enchanting building made of snow and ice, where guests sip specialty cocktails in glasses of ice.

The majestic hotel—which has attracted more than a million visitors since 2001—is complete with glimmering ice sculptures, arches made of snow, ice bars and 44 rooms and suites (oh, the Instagram material). The hotel is open for the season until March 26 (so, seriously, the time to act is now).

If you’re more of a summer person and can only do winter in small doses, the village also has a new indoor complex where it’s the breezy days of July and August all year round, thanks to a one-of-a-kind, 102,000 square foot, Polynesian-themed water park. It’s not just for kids either, with perks like a 4,000 square foot wave pool, slides that hit 15.25 m high, an adventure river and a double surf wave.

Photo credit: Dany Vachon

Photo credit: Dany Vachon

There’s also a patio restaurant where you can make like it is August, with things like light dishes and drinks that taste like vacation.

Other perks of Valcartier Vacation Village include an assortment of restaurants, bars, spas and a new four-star hotel.

Of course, you don’t have to travel too far to experience the slew of winter activities offered in town either, from the Québec Winter Carnaval (the world’s biggest winter festival), to the restaurants and retail of the Petit Champlain district and the culture and history of Old Québec.

So, don’t wait for summer; there’s too much fun to be had right now.

Photo credit, cover image: Dany Vachon

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