June to September
Québec City weather varies drastically from season to season. Summer temperatures are lovely, with cool nights and daytime highs of about 75 degrees F that make these months the best time to visit Québec City. This climate makes the St. Lawrence River ideal for wakeboarding, waterskiing, canoeing, sailing, and kayaking. A ferry ride provides stellar views of the city, while the region's many spas and health centres are perfect for pampering. You can hang out at beautiful lakeside beaches, stroll around the city, and enjoy fine dining, shopping and relaxed summer living. The city is quite busy during summertime, with lots of outdoor cultural activities, festivals and open-air concerts, but the vast countryside has plenty of room for everyone!
November to March
Québec is synonymous with winter sports, especially skiing. Winter weather is nothing to sneeze at, with 10 feet of snow on the ground at any given time and nighttime temperatures as low as 18 degrees to 1 degree F. Bundle up! Cross-country junkies will enjoy the proximity of national parks and trails perfect for snowmobiling, snowshoeing and even brisk winter walks. Downhill ski and snowboard aficionados can head to one of three big resorts in the area: Stoneham, Le Massif and the majestic Mont-Sainte-Anne. In the city, go tobogganing at the Dufferin Glissades, a wooden toboggan run constructed each year outside the Fairmont Château Frontenac hotel. Try ice skating at Place d'Youville or Dufferin Terrace, ice canoeing on the frozen St. Lawrence River, ice climbing or dog sledding. There’s also a wonderful annual winter carnival (usually late January to mid-February) that since 1894 has brought out tons of locals and visitors to enjoy a plethora of merry activities—hockey and other winter sports, snow art and ice sculpture competitions, dog sled races, the glamourous SAQ Bonhomme’s Ball, and even a Nordic spa village (www.carnaval.qc.ca). February is actually peak season, as well, and many of the regional ski resorts are sold out.
April, May and October
Spring and fall are among the most beautiful seasons, especially in late September and October when you can see the leaves change and Indian summer weather hits for a few weeks. In fact, this whole leaves-changing business is a regional tradition—and with good reason. Québec’s landscape, full of hills and trees and mountains, is an amazing and inspiring backdrop for nature’s wonder, and when the leaves change colour it’s quite a sight to behold. The same can be said for spring, when nature wakes up after a long, frigid winter and spring break week (usually late February to early March) is very busy, as many university students vacation in Québec City and hit the slopes of neighbouring ski resorts.