The vast Canadian province of Québec stretches from the valley of the Saint Lawrence River in the south (where Québec borders Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire) up to the desolate arctic tundra between Hudson Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. France’s colonization ended more than two centuries ago, but French is still the official language here, and while English is commonly spoken, most signage is in French.
Montréal, in the south, is a major metropolis with renowned arts festivals that blends neo-gothic cathedrals with contemporary museums. Québec City, the capital, has a slightly more provincial — and markedly more French — feel; its ramparts give way to spectacular natural parks nearby. Other highlights include the Gaspésie peninsula, which has a rugged maritime splendor, and Montérégie, a lush patchwork of vineyards, orchards and maple groves with numerous renowned restaurants. Canada’s largest province is best seen by car, and the routes along either side of the Saint Lawrence offer spectacular shoreline driving.