If you haven’t made plans for the July 4 weekend and are interested in music, want a getaway to someplace with a rich history and culinary scene, the value (and bargain of the summer) is to be had in Quebec City at the Festival d’Eté de Québec (Summer Festival of Quebec), July 3-13.
Only 78 Canadian dollars (or about $73 U.S.) buys an 11-day pass to more than 300 performances by a starry roster that includes Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, Bryan Adams, Soundgarden, the Steve Miller Band, Blondie, and Billy Joel, for starters.
The festival, on 10 indoor and outdoor venues, from small-scale blues and after-hours electro spots to the outdoor Bell Stage on the Plains of Abraham, encompasses a staggering 1,000 artists from Australia to Zimbabwe—the Paper Kites, Gogol Bordello, Gary Clark, Jr., the Bloody Beetroots. The colorful, citywide event is also family friendly: there are street performers, acrobats, jugglers, stilt walkers, as well as special concerts.
Quebec, the only walled city north of Mexico, has hotels that are T+L perennial favorites, from the grand Fairmont Le Château Frontenac with its sweeping views of the St. Lawrence River to the intimate Auberge Saint-Antoine, in the heart of the old port.
Mario Mercado is Travel + Leisure's Arts Editor.