Just across the bridge not far from Mont Morency Falls, lies the tiny island Ile d’Orleans. Separated into 6 districts, not large enough to be towns, the island is only 21 miles long and 5 miles wide.
We drove to Ste. Petronille and stopped at Vignoble Ste-Petronille. We sampled a few wines while waiting for a table at Panache Mobile. It’s like a food truck next to a large tented area. We had to wait about 45 minutes but the food was worth it. It was also Ste. Jean Baptiste holiday weekend so we knew crowds would be everywhere.
Afterwards we drove to Chocalaterie d’Ile D’orleans for ice cream. It was packed with people so we got back in the car and drove through the other districts. St. Petronille at the southern end of the island was the most densely populated. We drove through St. Laurent and St. Jean where there were a few churches. The area is noted for its farmland and agriculture, as well as vineyards, small shops, art galleries and a handful of restaurants. It’s very much like travelling the Chemin du Roy where you get a flavor for rural Quebec.
At the northeastern end of the island, we came across St. Francois and found the satellite location of Chocalaterie d’Ile d’Orleans. Tucked in an Acadian style house, the front room had a line for ice cream. I can’t tell you how thick the chocolate was, but it was thick and good. Each bite was super rich and encompassed the soft vanilla ice cream. We could have sat indoors but instead chose the back patio. Stairs let down to the garden area flanked by art statues. The St. Lawrence was just on the other side.
Driving through Ste Famille and St Piere, we headed back across the bridge to Quebec City. Even though the island isn’t far, it takes a bit of time because of the two lane roads. A trip to Ile d’Orleans allows you to feel far from a city, when in reality you’re only a stone’s throw from Quebec City.