The Québec maritime Blog
Côte-Nord is home to a unique place that offers glacial history, fascinating industrial and maritime heritage, and access to wild and natural environments. You’ll find all of this and more in Baie-Comeau, a city located about 200 km (120 mi.) east of Tadoussac. Want more details? Here are five good reasons to visit this dynamic city and the surrounding area!
1. Awaken your senses with local products
When you think of the region of Côte-Nord, some of the things that come to mind are the sea, conifers and wild berries… You’ll find all of these flavours and more in the restaurants of Baie-Comeau! Stop in Pêcherie Manicouagan or the restaurant at Hôtel Le Manoir to savour delicious local fish and seafood. The St-Pancrace microbrewery is also worth a visit: their menu features regional flavours and a selection of craft beers made with local ingredients. For a truly unique Côte-Nord experience, you must try Crâââbe, a bitter brewed with crab shells! And for scented souvenirs of your trip, stop in the Borale Soap Factory to stock up on 100% natural soaps made with essences from the boreal forest.
2. Explore 9 ecosystems in a single day
Recognized as one of the best bird-watching sites in Québec, Parc Nature de Pointe-aux-Outardes has a few surprises in store for you! Nature lovers will enjoy visiting this park that protects nine different ecosystems, including the boreal forest, sand flats, a beach, dunes and a salt marsh. If you want to spend the night in the park, you can camp or stay in one of five giant birdhouses. The design of each of these glamping units was inspired by a bird species found in the park.
3. Visit a sentinel of the sea
The Pointe-des-Monts Lighthouse is the second oldest in Québec as well as one of the most photogenic! Admire the building’s colours and architecture as well as its scenic location, and make sure you give yourself enough time to visit it! The lighthouse is a heritage museum offering a fascinating exhibition on seven floors focused on the lives of the lightkeepers, navigation in the St. Lawrence and local shipwrecks. The highlight of your visit will be the panoramic view from the top—who knows, you may even spot whales!
4. Enjoy the great outdoors
For an outdoor stay, head to Attitude Nordique, which offers a multitude of activities. Follow the via ferrata along glacial grooves that border the St. Lawrence, before soaring through the air on one of two ziplines. Thrill seekers will be delighted! You can then enjoy a sea kayaking excursion at sunset to soak up the pastel colours of the early evening sky. Spend the night on site with various lodging options before going paddleboarding at dawn, followed by a healthy breakfast. You can also add yoga to your package to awaken all your senses—and with a bit of luck, you may be observed by a curious seal!
5. Set off on an adventure along Route 389
Ready for a northern road trip? Head off on Route 389 from Baie-Comeau and drive north to the border of Labrador for the trip of a lifetime. Along this road, the region’s slogan, “Nature, beyond measure” makes perfect sense! First, visit the Manic-2 and Manic-5 hydroelectric power plants, where you can tour the world’s largest multiple-arch-and-buttress dam as well as learn more about an important slice of Québec history. The Uapishka (Groulx) Mountains are also giants worth admiring in this area. From the top of these mountains, you can soak up panoramic views of the Manicouagan impact crater, one of the largest on Earth!
So, what do you think? Are you inspired to visit these attractions during a road trip along the Whale Route? Happy travels and enjoy your stay!