The numbers for 2017 are coming in and we are discovering that it has been a banner year for Québec City. Tourists came by the hundreds of thousands to see the la Vieille Capitale. In fact, they came in record numbers, surpassing even 2008 – the 400th anniversary of the founding of the city and the year against which all tourist seasons are now measured.
Québec City shone in terms of critical acclaim, as well: USA Today named the Old City the Best Attraction in Canada, the Cruise Critic editors crowned us Best North American Homeport, and Travel + Leisure conferred on the city the title of Best Destination in Canada for the second year in a row.
Meanwhile, the streets of Old Québec continue to impress as 2017 comes to a close. The buildings are decorated for the season with lights and garlands, while the public squares each show off their unique winter character. La Place Royale outshines them all, in my opinion, with a lone Christmas tree installed on the site where it all started. Currier and Ives would be at home here with tourists and locals alike soaking up the holiday cheer.
And Québec City tour guides are on the job despite the extreme cold that descended upon the region in mid-December. Dressed in layers and prudently shod, they introduce visitors to the many wonders the city has to offer. Not only do they explain the history of this place, but they also tender words of wisdom to those friends from further south who are not quite so well prepared for the frigid weather.
Happy New Year, everyone! Au plaisir de vous croiser dans les rues du Vieux-Québec!