Is Île d'Orléans a worthy destination?
After reading about it, my wife got really keen on the idea of touring the island but after looking into it a bit more, it doesn't really seem like much of a food-oriented destination. Is it worth spending the better part of a day exploring or should we skip it and focus more on other endeavours?
I'd say yes! If you're into wine, fine alcohols and sweet treats (jams, chocolates, etc), it's surely worth it. With so many orchards and wineries, there's a lot to see and try!
I'd recommend a stop at Cassis Mona et Filles (especially for their Port like specialty), a winery (many options, I'll let the wine experts on this board tell you which is best), a cider spot, the cheese factory, where they make and sell the first North American cheese (http://www.parcoursgourmand.com/eng/a...), and at least one jam store ... check out this interactive map for all the options:
If you drive without stopping much, the circle is quickly done. But take your time, enjoy the beautiful views, stop in all the nice shops (some have touring visits of their installations or take the time to present their products, and many are very generous with samples), make a picnic!
And of course, in season, the Island strawberries are truly something special.
In terms of dining, I've had a very nice experience at l'Auberge le Canard Huppé.
Thank you for the recommendations. I've looked at the interactive website but it's hard to tell whether they're genuinely decent or just a huge tourist trap.
Our planned day involves checking out Montmorency Falls and the Sanctuaire Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré and then touring the island. Dinner that night will probably be at Le Pain Beni since most other restaurants are closed on Mondays. I'm just now realizing I had planned to do this on a Monday, so I guess I'd better check to see if things are open...
I really enjoyed our summer day leisurely driving around the island with the views of quebec city, montorency falls across the bays, When you enter the island stop at the tourist office and they have foodie maps of where to stop and it is quite easy to get around and sample everything, the museum felix leclerc a singer who lived on island was also enjoyable. We stopped at an inn Auberge La Goeliche near entrance to island and it was quite picturesque could take a coffee out on the patio overlooking water (didnt want to have a meal there as we wanted to leave room for our grazing across island). Left the island with a cookbook http://www.farmersinchefhats.com/pref... and much satisfaction in discovering the charm and food of this island so close to quebec city. We wanted to have our supper in Quebec city but saw the restaurant l'Auberge le Canard Huppé and their parking lot was full.