Every year, Quebec’s Côte-Nord attracts more and more visitors, drawn by its rugged landscapes, its larger-than-life forests and its cultural heritage.
If many decide to drive all the way to Havre-Saint-Pierre or Natashquan, it is also possible to spend a few days in Tadoussac and explore the surrounding area for a great overview of what Côte-Nord has to offer.
On the menu: meeting passionate craftsmen who are committed to promoting their region, unusual activities, outdoor activities and good food!
Here are some of the best things to do during your next stay in Tadoussac and the Upper North Shore between Tadoussac, Sacré-Coeur, Les Escoumins and Forestville.
As the gateway to the Côte-Nord region, the charming little village of Tadoussac has been welcoming tourists from all over the world for a long time.
And if Tadoussac remains a tourist village, it is nevertheless a place of choice to settle down and spend a few days in the region.
Here are some activities to do there:
Walk the dunes of Tadoussac
If one can be surprised to find dunes and such a large sandy area in Tadoussac, which would make some southern beaches green with envy, it is not the only one on the Côte-Nord.
They are called dunes, but they are marine terraces of sand uncovered during the last glacial melt.
Today, people go there to observe this curiosity, admire the view of the river, take a walk or have a picnic.
For those who don’t feel like going down (the climb requires a slight effort), there is also a lookout nearby to observe the dunes and the river from above.
You can also rent electric bikes at Vélo E-Go.
Walk around the village of Tadoussac
Strolling through the village of Tadoussac is very pleasant and allows you to visit the Marine Mammal Interpretation Center, the Chauvin Trading Post and the Little Chapel, the oldest wooden church in North America built in 1747.
Also, several walking trails around the village allow you to admire the river and observe marine mammals, such as the Pointe-de-l’Islet trail, the Colline-de-l’Anse-à-l’eau trail or the beach trail.
15 minutes from Tadoussac, you will find the village of Sacré-Coeur. Make a stop to visit Herbamiel and spend the night in an unusual accommodation at Canopée-Lit.
Founded in 2004, Herbamiel opened its honey house in the fall of 2011.
On site, there is a store with a wide variety of honeys. Don’t miss the ones flavored with rose and fir shoots.
The virtues and medicinal properties of honey are also highlighted in various beauty products, propolis, pollen, etc.
Raising bees and producing honey on the North Shore poses its own set of challenges, particularly because of the shorter summer season.
So while you are there, you can learn more about beekeeping, with guided tours offered from June to Thanksgiving (check their website for exact dates) and self-guided tours with explanatory panels.
Sleep in a bubble in the trees at Canopée-Lit
Sleeping in a bubble at Canopée-lit was definitely one of the favorites of this stay on the North Shore.
Perched in a tree, with a transparent dome, the bubble offers the desired intimacy and the pleasure of observing the sky, the birds of prey that fly over the forest and especially, the stars.
Each bubble comes with a private toilet and shower, adjacent to the bubble, and breakfast is included. Other activities are also offered on site.
Good to know: the bubbles are located within walking distance of the cars, so you have to carry your luggage in carts.
The charming village of Les Escoumins is well worth an hour or two to stroll to the Pointe à la Croix, stop at the marine mammal interpretation center to possibly observe whales directly from the shore, and take a break at the very pleasant KiboiKoi café.
It is also from the village of Les Escoumins that you can take a whale watching cruise or a guided kayak tour.
Whale watching cruise with Croisières Neptune
A whale watching cruise on the river is probably the most popular tourist activity of any stay in Tadoussac.
So why talk about this one? Because we had the opportunity to test the cruises offered by Neptune in Les Escoumins, which renew the genre, thanks to their boats, and which reconciled us with this type of activity.
Unlike other cruises, where you have the choice between an open zodiac or a large boat, here you have a closed zodiac with windows that protect you from the cold and wind when the boat is moving, but that open when it’s time for whale watching.
Another plus, you can also move freely in the boat and stand up for observation, which allows you to have better views at times.
The boat is also equipped with railings that protect against falls, making it a safe experience for families.
We were lucky during our cruise and were able to see a humpback whale from the start, many porpoises as well as a whale. Information and reservation
Last stop of our tour, the relay village of Forestville. Interestingly, this is where the 2017 series “The Truth About Harry Quebert” was partially filmed. A viewpoint with explanatory panels has been set up there.
Les saveurs boréales
But the main reason we went to Forestville was to meet the man behind Les Saveurs Boréales, Russel Tremblay.
A living encyclopedia of the boreal forest, a born gatherer and storyteller, he will be pleased to welcome you for a fascinating visit.
He specializes in the gathering of edible forest products from the region such as plants (glasswort, lovage), teas (Labrador tea, chaga tea, fireweed flowers), mushrooms (crab mushroom, chanterelle mushroom, boletus) or spices (balsam myrtle, dune pepper, fir powder).
It supplies several stores and restaurants in the area.
However, to ensure that he is available, you should contact him in advance and make an appointment.
Where to eat?
Check out our article Côte-Nord: 17 good places to eat and drink on a roadtrip which lists more than 20 places to eat in the region, for all budgets.
Where to stay?
Here are some options in the area:
- Hôtel Tadoussac: icon of Tadoussac, comfortable rooms and bedding.
- Auberge La Galouïne, different types of rooms, in the heart of Tadoussac.
- Canopée-Lit original lodging in Sacré-Coeur.