This pleasant region along the southeastern shore of the St. Lawrence River, southeast of Quebec City, is dotted with historical villages and towns. If you like history (the French, the British and the Iroquois battled for possession of this area), pine-covered mountains (part of the Appalachians) and rocky coastlines, you will enjoy a leisurely drive along Highway 132 from Quebec City.
Stop first at Levis for a stunning panoramic view of Quebec City. Nearby on Point Levy is Fort Quebec No. 1, a restored fortress built by the British as defense against attack by the U.S. Guides lead tours around the exhibits and into the powder magazines used to store ammunition during the two world wars.
Just west of Montmagny, at Berthier-sur-Mer, you can board a ferry to Grosse Ile, which served as a quarantine station for immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries. (Cruises are also available from Quebec City.) Many visitors from Ireland make a pilgrimage there, because the Irish made up the majority of those who died on the island—victims of typhoid and cholera.
Continuing east through Montmagny, stop next at St. Jean Port Joli, where the Musee des Anciens Canadiens (Museum of the Early Canadians) details the history of the region and displays a large collection of wood sculpture. High-quality woodwork is also found in the town's many crafts shops.
Make Riviere du Loup your final stop. The town is famous for its 90-ft/30-m waterfall. You can take a ferry from Riviere du Loup to St. Simeon, on the northern shore of the river (late March-January), and return to Quebec City via Highway 138.
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