Quebec is ideally located for camping, with access to wilderness in almost all directions. The local culture is very outdoor-oriented, and winter is no reason to stay home.
The province of Quebec has more than 1m lakes, and exploring is often done by canoe. Much of Quebec’s forest is deciduous, erupting into green in spring. In the fall, the colours are spectacular, particularly with the flaming red maples. In winter, the low mountains are more visible through the bare trees.
Despite a climate of extremes, Quebec City sits at 46 degrees north, remarkably far south for an environment with such a long winter. With so much water in the region, Quebec’s clean air is humid and heavy. Summer can be hot and sees an abundance of mosquitoes and mean little black flies, so come prepared.
Only minutes up the north coast from Quebec City, Orleans Island is a charming retreat. The island is agricultural, and you’ll see berries for sale along the roads. There are several small communities on the island and the southern tip offers nice views of Quebec City, Cape Diamond and the narrowing of the river. There are camping options on the far eastern tip of the island, which can be reached by bicycle or car.
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The ski and camping resort of Mont-Sainte-Anne, just over 30 minutes from Quebec City, is located up the north coast of the Saint Lawrence river. During summer, this is a great area to camp, with mountain biking, hiking and climbing on offer. If you’re lucky, the wind off the river will help to scare off some the bugs. There are restaurants and grocery stores close by.
A short drive north of Quebec City, in the Stoneham resort area, this camping area is highly developed and geared towards RVs and camper vans, which are very common in Quebec. The campsite is in the Laurentian Mountains and is fully serviced; it also has a swimming pool. There are many outdoor activities in the area, and it’s a good base from which to visit the city.
You’ll find this campsite some three hours’ drive up the north coast from Quebec City. Tadoussac’s origins are Inuit, and the area is famous for whale and dolphin watching, as well as cruising up the Saguenay Fjord. The camping area in town offers cabins as well as sites to pitch your tent.
Less than an hour northwest of Quebec City, Lake Saint Joseph is a popular beach area. The campsite, which is geared towards RVs, is located on the shores of the lake. The site has electric hook-up and wifi. The water is warm enough to swim in and the beach has kayak and canoe rentals, volleyball nets and all the attractions of a summer camp.
This full-service camping centre is located slightly east of Lévis on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence river. Staying in Lévis offers easy access to Quebec City via a ferry across the river. It arrives directly into Old Quebec and offers the best photos of the Château Frontenac Hotel. This camping area is also a good base from which to explore the south shore region of the Saint Lawrence river, which connects to the Gaspé region and New Brunswick.
These recommendations were updated on June 29, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.