If You Love Montreal, Visit Quebec City

Quebec personifies French fashion and "all things chic," but Quebec City also captures a distinctive Amerindian, French and English history with its cultural center. Alongside the Saint Lawrence River, Quebec City is separated into two parts: Lower Town and Upper Town (the Old Quarter). Resting above Cap-Diamant, the Old Quarter is the only walled-in city in North America, as well as a UNESCOWORLD Heritage Site. Home to Quartier Petit Champlain, one of the oldest commercial districts the world, Quebec City visitors can have their fill of Euro-inspired galleries, bistros and shops.

A great vacation spot any time of year, the Carnaval de Quebec, the third largest carnaval in the world (behind New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro) attracts all snow-enthusiasts. Among the 300 annual festival events from January through February, Carnaval must-sees include the snow sculpture show, La Grand VireE (dogsled race) and canoe race. And if the festivities are not enough, ski-lovers can take the shuttle to Mont-Sainte-Anne Mountain Resort, the premier expert ski resort in Eastern North America, which caters to all levels of experience with 65 trails and free admission for kids six and under.

For a special treat, stay a night at the Ice Hotel, the first all-ice and snow-created lodging of its kind in North America. Thanks to Mother Nature, the Ice Hotel offers a unique architecture each year and stays cool with entertainment in the ice bar and reception hall. Getting married? Set your date for the ice chapel -- but remind guests to bring their hats and gloves! Average Quebec City temperatures for the winter months run around nine degrees or less.

Compiled by Theresa Newhard of washingtonpost.com from discussions with experts, travelers and guides.

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