Experience France in North America

With some of the more famous and popular vacation destinations in the world, you don’t need a travel expert to tell you why you should visit. But some of the more overlooked spots on the planet may require a bit more advertising – and that can be most true for places that are nearby, places you always plan to visit but never quite make it.

In particular, one of those destinations for many Americans is Canada. Our neighbor to the north is huge and diverse, but many US travelers I know think of it as too similar to home and therefore not exotic enough for a vacation. There are certainly plenty of similarities between the US and Canada, which can make a Canadian vacation a really accessible one for first-time travelers, but among the many reasons to visit Canada there’s the fact that you can get a small dose of Europe without a long overseas flight.

The province of Quebec offers many of the same elements that a vacation in France offers – the province’s official language is French and although English is widely spoken you’ll hear plenty of French almost anywhere you go in the province. There is scenery in Quebec to rival any French countryside, including some of those picturesque chateaux we all wish our family legacies included.

And while no one would dare say the chefs in France have lost their lustre, there is so much excellent French food to be had throughout Quebec that you could be forgiven if you closed your eyes midway through a meal and – surrounded by a soundtrack of French-speaking locals – muttered “magnifique” and forgot you were still in North America.

Finally, besides all of the “fun” reasons to put a trip to Quebec high up on your vacation dream list, there’s the practical one. The dollar isn’t as strong right now as it was several months ago, and while it’s roughly on par with the Canadian dollar it’s once again out of whack with the euro – which makes a visit to Quebec, quasi-France in North America, a much more budget-friendly trip.

>> Get your vacation planning going by checking out flights to Montreal, and browsing the many budget Montreal hotels.

photo by Manu H