See Tadoussac in a Day Trip

Tadoussac is a pretty little village that guards the entrance to the Saguenay River. Surrounded by nature reserves, the rugged beauty of Tadoussac is sure to inspire any nature-lover who stumbles upon it.

I visited Tadoussac over the span of 24 hours – 1 afternoon, overnight, and the next morning. It is always possible to stay longer, but if you’d like to see the village’s best in 1 day, here are my suggestions:

1) Explore the CIMM (Centre d’interprétation des mammifères marins (1 hour)

The CIMM is Tadoussac’s greatest attraction next to the nature itself. It is run by the Groupe de recherche et d’éducation sur les mammifères marins (GREMM). GREMM naturalists enhance your knowledge about all species of whales while you gaze up into the skeletons of whales swimming above your head. There are hands on activities like comparing your hearing and breathing to a whale’s, discovering their evolution from land animals (really!) and listening to their entrancing songs. You can also watch a short film on whale conservation, “Meetings with Whales of the St. Lawrence”, and find out which whales are nearby right now! Outside there is also a whale-singing course, which is always in full attendance. This is a great first-stop before going whale-watching yourself!

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A humpback whale in the Saint Lawrence River

2) Go Whale Watching (2-3 hours)

There are numerous boat excursions out into the St. Lawrence to go whale-watching. Many local shops have brochures inside, and the tourism office has many organizations listed. Choose whichever one you like best, and head out to see what luck you have!

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The Pierre Chauvin trading post

3) See the Trading Post of Pierre Chauvin (<1 hour)

Pierre Chauvin was a French Naval Captain who was one of the three founders of Tadoussac. Known to locals as simply “La Poste de Traite”, the house acting as a trading post long after Chauvin’s death in 1603. Today the building that stands is a replica of the original, and the museum inside revolves around first European contact, the trading post and fur trading in New France. They have lots of real pelts on display that you can touch, a short film, and many native and early European artifacts.

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The Old Chapel

4) Visit the Old Chapel (<1 hour)

I myself am not very religious but I decided to check out the Old Chapel, which is the oldest wooden church in North America. The visit is free and the views the structure has over the St. Lawrence are worth the visit. For those who are religious and would like to take a few moments, there are some pews for use inside.

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Watching sailboats from the shoreline

5) Cool Off at the Beach (as long as you’d like)

The water may be chilly all year round, but the sandy beach in Tadoussac is a lovely spot to picnic, build sandcastles or just relax and soak up some rays.

6) Shop the Local Boutiques(1-2 hours)

Tadoussac’s beginnings were as a French trading settlement, so it only makes sense that the shopping is unique. You won’t find any brand names here, but the local native crafts, abundant sea shells and handmade goods make for a calm leisurely stroll down town.

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