Tadousac Bay in Quebec, One of World’s Most Beautiful

At the heart of Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, the town of Tadousac, in Quebec, Canada, is the gateway to Saguenay National Park and Saguenay Fjord. We followed the Cote Nord Highway 775 miles along the St. Lawrence River and Estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Perhaps the most beautiful place we stopped was the incredibly gorgeous Tadousac Bay, selected for the list of the highly prestigious Most Beautiful Bays in the World. The historic town was one of the first settled along the river and is nestled at the edge of the boreal forest with many of the historic homes and buildings still in excellent preservation.
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At this location, the entrance to Saguenay Fjord, you can cross the River by ferry. The immense waterway is world renowned as one of the very best for whale watches. Four important whale research organizations have bases nearby, and some offer opportunities for visitors to go out for research with them. Although whales can often be seen from shore, tourists can book Zodiac excursions or sea kayaks to enjoy close-up viewing of 13 species of these sea mammals, including the largest of all animals on earth, the blue whales. From the vast Venetian blue waters, to the richly scented evergreen forests, to the brilliant fall colors of hardwood trees, to the historic houses and tiny French flavored villages, the landscape all around is picture calendar perfect.
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There are wonderful hiking trails in many areas which become cross-country ski trails when snows abound. The deep majestic fjord here provides the best breeding waters for whales, who give birth in Southern seas and then return here with whale babies. From pre-historic times this has always been an important whale and beluga hunting ground and trade route for aboriginal people. Explorers found safe harbor here, including Cartier and Champlain.
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Even as early as 1864 vacationers chose this beautiful destination, and Tadoussac village today is still as picturesque with many of the same buildings, including the grand Hotel Tadoussac, where we spent the last night of our adventures on Cote Nord. Our room was beautifully appointed and up to date, even though guests were hosted here in 1864! Of course the rooms have been modernized and tastefully decorated with care given to every detail for beauty and comfort. The dining rooms offer marvelous food and service and panoramic views of the lovely Bay.
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The eight-course, gastronomic, dining event is something very special and is offered weekly by reservations. We spent four hours savoring every bite of the beautifully presented courses, each paired with its own local wine, which was especially selected to enhance the flavors of the specific course. The chef plans three different menus for alternate evenings. Ours featured all locally-grown, fresh ingredients, including meats and fish. We have never had so fantastic, delicious, and lovely dinner! The staff know how to make each guest feel like a King or Queen for an evening! It was a wonderful, memorable feast, yet planned so no one felt stuffed or tipsy…only delightfully satisfied and grateful for the beauty of the experience for all the senses.
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