E-Savers to Canada and a Visit to Charming Quebec Cityby david daly on 01/04/13
Nonstop flights from NYC to Canadian cities rarely drop below $400 which can seem like a hefty amount to pay for such a short flight. However, every week United publishes its list of web specials which often include weekend flights from Newark to several cities in Canada for $240 nonstop! Montreal and Toronto are frequently included in the web specials as well as other beautiful destinations like Quebec City and even Moncton.
In order to get these low fares, travelers are required to depart on Friday evening after 7pm or anytime on Saturday. The return flight must be the following Monday or Tuesday. Most of these flights are operated by United Express and offer 6am Monday departures that still get you back to NYC in time for work. For all of the details or to sign up for the weekly web specials visit:
I recently took advantage of these web specials with a December trip to Quebec City to frolic in their very festive winter wonderland. Ben was a few miles short of earning status on United for the following year, so this weekend jaunt secured another year of perks.
Quebec City is a beautiful historic city that oozes charm from every corner. Being a sucker for all things quaint, I was in awe of the old towns cobblestoned streets and perfectly manicured shops and cafes decked out in Christmas decor. Rising above the walled old town and overlooking the St. Lawrence River is the iconic Chateau Frontenac. This 618 room grand hotel was built in the late nineteenth century and claims to be the most photographed hotel in the world. I personally snapped at least 30 photos of the massive structure with its glimmering green copper roof. The hotel is now owned by Fairmont and boasts a beautiful indoor pool and several restaurants. Unfortunately the Chateau was booked full for Saturday night of our visit, but I was able to scoop up a Sunday night room for just $180 which was well worth the experience of staying in such a spectacular castle for our last night.
For our first night, I selected a top rated hotel on Tripadvisor in the Lower Town section of the city called Hotel Le Germain. Unlike the Chateau Frontenac, this hotel included breakfast and offered free wifi which is critical for staying in touch while abroad. For a Saturday night stay the rate was $274 but I cashed in a free night from my Hotels.com Welcome Rewards and paid only the taxes of $33.
The Lower Town section of Quebec City reminded me of Manhattans Tribeca neighborhood and is a must-see for any visit. It is a bit quieter than the Upper Town but easily accessible via a breathtaking $2 funicular ride from the front of the Chateau Frontenac.
Many of Quebec Citys finest restaurants can be found in the Lower Town including the scrumptious Panache which is housed inside an old stone warehouse adjacent to the Auberge Saint-Antoine hotel (one of Travel and Leisures best hotels in the world for 2012). My favorite meal of the trip was a cozy lunch at Café le St. Malo complete with a mouth-watering ham and cheese croissant.
Quebec City is a wonderful place to explore and wander. It exudes all of the charm of a small town in France while conveniently located just 300 miles from New York City. For photos from the trip, be sure to check out the ATC Facebook page at: