Trip 1 The Charlevoix Approximately 200 km (125 mi) and theoretically only a couple of hours. The reality is that this is a day-long trip with stops, side trips, and loops. To make trip planning easier, this ride has been divided into five sections. Mix and match them with other Québec rides to structure your own tour. Riverside drive and roller coaster hills with a few tight corners in the mix. Dramatic views are the norm on most of these roads. Travel is through mostly deciduous forest and small villages. This ride is one of the premier motorcycle touring routes in Québec. Québec City is an experience in itself. Montmorency Falls, the Shrine of Ste-Anne, 19th-century gristmills and forges in the Charlevoix, art galleries and studios, food to die for, and outstanding scenic views are part and parcel for this ride. You will see more motorcyclists on Route 138/Route 362 than anywhere else in Atlantic Canada. Autoroute 440 follows the northern bank of the St. Lawrence River for 9 km (6 mi) and in many places the river meets the shoulder of the highway. The easiest way to gain access to both Routes 138 and 360 is by turning onto Blvd. François-de-Laval in the suburb of Giffard. The last exit before the autoroute becomes Route 138 is Exit 325. This affords a quick stop to take in Montmorency Falls or an 88-km (55 mi) side trip to explore Île d’Orléans. 1 26 Motorcycle Journeys Through Atlantic Canada The Route from Québec City to Baie-Saint-Paul on Route 138 0 km (0 mi) Begin on Autoroute 440 at Blvd. Honorè-Mercier in Quèbec City. 4 km (2.7 mi) On your left is Blvd. François-de-Laval for optional access to Routes 138 and 360. 9 km (6.0 mi) This exit ramp should be taken for the optional side trips to Montmorency Falls and/or Île d’Orléans. 10 km (6.5 mi) Autoroute 440 becomes Route 138. 15 km (9.8 mi) Arrive Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. Continue on Route 138. 35 km (21.7 mi) Optional left turn on Route 360 for Mont-Sainte-Anne ski area. (Route 360 rejoins Route 138 farther east.) 83 km (51.4 mi) Turn right on Chemin Du Belvédère to visit the Charlevoix Tourism Information Center. 86 km (53.4 mi) Turn right on Route 362/Rue de la Lumiére in Baie-Saint-Paul. Route 360 follows high ground along the tops of the bluff that marks the ancient shore of this great river while Route 318 follows the current shoreline. Both come together in the town of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré (pop. 2,800). The magnificent Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine (10018 Ave. Royale, 418-827-3781, www.ssadb.qc.ca) is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in North America and receives over a million visitors a year. Next door, the great cylindrical building is the Cyclorama of Jerusalem (8 Rue Regina, 418-827-3101, www.cyclorama.com) one of the last cycloramas in the world about the life of Jesus, is the largest panorama in the world. It was painted in Munich between1878 and 1882 and erected here in 1895. A more secular attraction is the Musée Edison du Phonographe (9812 Ave. Royale at Rue Regina, 418-827-5957, www.phono.org/beaupre.html). Alva Edison invented the phonograph in 1877 and the museum has three tinfoil phonographs dating back to 1878-1890. There are 200-plus phonographs in the collection, including a three-cylinder jukebox and a cylinder phonograph alarm clock. Here you can listen to recordings made by Teddy Roosevelt, Enrico Caruso, Sarah Bernhardt, and Alva Edison himself. The ski resort ofMont-Sainte-Anne is just outside the village on Route 360 and 1 there is abundant affordable lodging to be found along Route 138. The highway becomes more of a rollercoaster ride as it enters the Laurentian Mountains. The Charlevoix Tourism Information Center is located a couple of miles before and 1,000 feet above Baie-Saint-Paul. The observation deck offers a stunningly beautiful view of the only populated meteorite impact crater on the planet. In fact, the information center is built on its rim. This is a UNESCOWorld Biosphere Reserve and a region that’s internationally recognized for its culinary and visual arts. Baie-Saint-Paul (pop. 7,288) has the highest concentration of art galleries per capita of any town or city in North America. Bronze busts of artists on marble plinths grace public places instead of statues of military heroes or industrialists. It also has the distinction of being the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil in 1984. This is a place that attracts food aficionados from across North America and Europe and the region has an established Flavor Trail of specialty food producers. It has a single microbrewery that produces Belgian beers of very high caliber and sampling them on the patio of Le Saint Pub (2 Racine St., 418-240-2332, www.microbrasserie.com) is always on my agenda when visiting the region. Le Bouquet is an award-winning eco-café 1 28 Motorcycle Journeys Through Atlantic Canada The Cyclorama of Jerusalem with its panoramic depiction of the life of Jesus has been part of the Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré since 1895. and La Muse a sweet romantic inn (39 Rue St-Jean-Baptiste, 418-435-6830, www.lamuse.com) in the heart of the village. There are so many choice places to eat and stay that you’ll just have to “follow your nose” in this village. This is a majorQuébec motorcycle destination and even on a weekday you’ll see hundreds of bikes rolling through or parked. From Baie-Saint-Paul two primary highways and a secondary series of roads traverse the ancient crater to LaMalbaie, while another leads north to La Baie on the Saguenay River.