Home » 2010 RV Trip to Quebec

Baie St. Paul, QB

Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 7:00am by Lolo
76 miles and 2 hours from our last stop


Mom and Dad at Café des Artistes - AJGMom and Dad at Café des Artistes - AJGWe had reached that difficult to describe point in every vacation, where we were no longer driving towards unknown destinations and adventures, but had turned the motorhome homeward. There is always a different feel to a vacation after it has reached its halfway point. I don’t know how or why, but there just is.

Our true destination for today was Mont-Sainte-Anne, but first, Herb had promised to let me wander around Baie St. Paul, which we had just whizzed through on our way north a few days ago. I do most of the trip planning, and I must admit that I do get a bit stubborn about missing something on my planned itinerary. I even had the restaurant to have lunch at picked out. Herb knew better than to cross me on this one.

Baie St. Paul Church with FamilyBaie St. Paul Church with FamilyParking in town turned out to be not nearly as difficult as we originally thought it would be. The map in the information guide showed at least 4 parking lots. We squeezed into a spot in a large church lot right behind the main drag through town, the rue St-Jean-Baptiste. The parking here was free. We strolled along the street a bit before lunch, stopping in some of the galleries along the way. I can see how the many galleries and museums in town earned it the reputation of the “Soho” of Quebec.

We stopped for lunch at the Café des Artistes (25 rue St-Jean-Baptiste), a bistro in the hotel La Maison Otis, where we sat at a table in the outdoor patio behind the inn. Once again our waitress spoke absolutely no English, surprising for a town as touristy as this one. The specialty of the café was wafer-thin crusted pizzas and there were 15 different kinds to choose from. We all ordered different ones with the promise to share, which can sometimes get ugly when someone really likes the one they ordered. Herb and Tommy stuck with the sausage and pepperoni types while Andrew and I went for the veggy toppings. They were all delicious, and I think we all were glad to have made the stop in Baie St. Paul


Lolo strolling Baie St. PaulLolo strolling Baie St. PaulThe Charlevoix region is the cultural and historic heart of the province of Quebec—an area of farms and charming villages as well as dramatic landscapes. Baie-Saint-Paul is the first of those charming villages that one encounters when driving north on Route 138. Before reaching the village, there is a Visitor Center, high atop a hill with wonderful views of the village and the river below. To get to the heart of town, turn off Route 138 onto the main street through the village, the rue Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

Baie-Saint-Paul is an eccentric town filled with art galleries and museums, sort of the “Soho” of Quebec. There are several galleries and small museums displaying the works of local painters and artisans. The Centre d’Art (4 rue Ambroise-Fafard) has a permanent exposition of 20 Charlevoix painters (admission is free), and the Centre d’Exposition (23 rueAmbroise-Fafard) has three floors of contemporary and modern art (admission at the time of this writing is $3 for adults and $2 for students). One can also visit the Laiterie Charlevoix-Economusee du Fromage, a cheese-making factory. There are dozens of interesting restaurants and cafés as well to stop for a pleasant meal or coffee and watch the people stroll by.

There is camping just 3 km away at Camping Le Genévrier (1175 boulevard Mgr-De Laval), an enormous family-oriented campground with over 400 sites. The campground has a small lake for swimming and 15 km of biking trails along the Rivière de la Mare.

Baie St. Paul location map

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