Quebec City, Quebec
Why it’s awesome:
Montreal’s nearby glitter and grit often outshines the old-world charm of Quebec City, but we’re putting QC back on the map. If you’re looking to get to Europe without the price tag, you’ll love the cobblestone streets, piercing cathedral spires and elegant French fare of Quebec’s capital.
What to do:
Catch a performance of Crépuscule, a free evening circus show presented by the Flip FabriQue acrobats on the banks of the St. Lawrence river — they’re back for a second summer of performances. Afterwards, head to one of the many bars on nearby Rue Saint-Jean for craft beer or cider, and an obligatory post-drinks poutine.
When to go:
The circus show runs from late July until early September, so a weekend in early August is your best bet. Plus, late summer is the perfect time to sit on a patio and eavesdrop on those passing by to brush up on your French.