Saguenay is like an oasis because it is on the Saguenay River in the Saguenay Graben rift valley. It is beautiful and a great place to get away from everything because it is in the middle of Northern Quebec.
There are lakes, rivers, hills, and valleys all around the city, which makes it a peaceful place to go on vacation. Plus, it’s not as well-known as other cities in Quebec, which adds to its charm. Saguenay is made up of three boroughs, and each one has something to offer visitors. But overall, these are the best things to do in Saguenay:
1. Tour a massive pulp mill
The La Pulperie de Chicoutimi – Regional Museum is a must-see. It was once the biggest in the world. Learn about the history of the pulp industry as you walk through the huge pulp mill.
Take a guided tour of the pulperie and learn about the trading post in Chicoutimi. The museum has more than 26,000 objects and works of art on display.
The La Pulperie de Chicoutimi Regional Museum also has special shows that are worth seeing. Also, check their schedule to see if there are any cultural events or programs for kids.
2. Spend time outside
Saguenay is the entrance to the beautiful Fjord-du-Saguenay National Park, which is one of the best places to visit in Quebec. There are lots of things to do, and the scenery is beautiful.
When you hike, ski, sail, or kayak through the park, you’ll feel like you’re in a National Geographic magazine. At any time of year, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery.
You can also look for birds and other animals in Fjord-du-Saguenay National Park. You could see moose, beaver, porcupine, and even beluga whales while exploring the park.
3. Stare at marine life
This can be done without going fishing. At the Musée du Fjord, you can go to the aquarium.
The aquarium is all about Ha! Ha! Bay and all the things that live there. You can look at the sea life or touch it in the touch pool.
There’s also an interactive screen where you can talk to some of the fish and ask them questions. Visit during feeding time for something truly unique.
4. Handle bugs
This can also be done in the vivarium at the Musée du Fjord. The vivarium has both insects from far away and those that live in Quebec.
At the museum, you can look at and even touch both naturalized species and live specimens. See big spiders with lots of hair, pretty butterflies, stick insects, and grasshoppers.
You can also see hermit crabs, frogs, salamanders, and even scorpions at the vivarium.
5. Head for the hills
Visitors to Saguenay who like to try new things should go to Mont Lac-Vert. This winter wonderland is at the foothills of the Laurentians, southwest of the city.
Mont Lac-Vert is a place where you can ski, snowboard, tube, snowshoe, and fat bike. There are also events at the ski resort.
The ski resort has a vertical drop of 240 meters, 20 slopes, and snowshoe trails. It is also known for its great night skiing and has the highest tube slide in the area.
6. Enjoy a park
There are things to do at Parc de la Rivière-du-Moulin all year long. And no matter when you go, you can walk or hike through this beautiful park.
At Parc de la Rivière-du-Moulin, there are 35 km of well-kept trails, of which 7.2 km are open in the winter. If you’d rather ride a bike, you can also go mountain biking.
Come to the park with your family and have a picnic while the kids play on the playground. You can also rent a canoe or kayak or go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or ice skating in the winter.
7. Take pictures of fighter jets
If you like planes and jet fighters, you should go to the Air Defence Museum. The museum is the only one of its kind in the whole province.
Take pictures of jet fighters like the North American F-86 Sabre, the CF-116 Freedom Fighter, the Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck, and the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23. Or look at the Piasecki H-21 helicopter or the Canadair CT-133 Silver Star jet trainer.
You can also look around the museum to find out about the history of military aviation in Quebec. You might be able to take a tour of the base itself, which is still in use.
8. Visit a pyramid
Even though it is nothing like the pyramids in Egypt, the Pyramid of Ha! Ha! is still a cool place to see. The pyramid was built to remember the flood that happened in Saguenay in 1996.
The Ha! Ha! River gives the pyramid its name, and it is right next to the river. The people of La Baie built the pyramid, which is 21 meters tall.
In the summer, you can go inside and up the stairs to the observatory to see a wide view of the bay and river. There is also a park nearby that has live entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.
9. Go back to the past
If you go to the Val-Jalbert Historical Village, you can go back in time to 1927. The town looks like it’s stuck in this time because the people who work there are all dressed up.
It is a real company town with a post office, convent school, general store, and pulp mill. Take the cable car to the top of the mountain after walking around the village.
Find out what it was like in the 1920s to live in the village and work in the pulp mill. Take in the stunning views of Ouiatchouan Falls or ride your bike along the Canyon Trail.
10. Walk along a boardwalk
At Chicoutimi’s Port Area, you can walk along the boardwalk and enjoy the views and breeze. The one-kilometer-long boardwalk has restaurants and bars all along it, but it’s also a nice place to take a walk.
During the summer, there is often live music and a park with a place for kids to cool off. In June, the Beauce Carnaval is held, and in July, the Saguenay Beer Festival of the World is held.
There is also some history to the port, and some historic buildings are there. It has been fixed up and given a new look, making it a well-known landmark.