Magical Moment: Get a taste of la vie francaise, with a friendly Canadian flair, in this lovable — and affordable — cite on the noble St. Lawrence River.
Nonstop Action: Walk out of the gates of the famed Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, a true-to-life castle hotel, and you're in the heart of Vieux Quebec, the city's historic quarter. In winter, try out the giant toboggan run outside the Frontenac and the free skating rink at Place d'Youville, or take the shuttle to fabulous skiing at Mount St. Anne and tubing at Village Vacances Valcartier. In summer, street performers and art displays take over the winding streets. You can ride a tram to the top of spectacular Montmorency Falls and picnic or rent bikes on the lost-in-time island of Ile d'Orleans.
Bonus Attraction: Quebec is home to the world's largest winter carnival (as well as a summer festival), and next year, from February 1-17, there will be a celebration for the city's 400-year anniversary. With a $10 Effigy Pass, you can watch dogsled races, climb ice palaces, and see every kind of ice competition imaginable. From January through April take a side trip to the Station touristique Duchesnay resort northwest of the city, where a hotel sculpted entirely from ice is the ultimate way to top off a day in the Great White North ($15 for adults, $7.50 for kids 6-12; 877-505-0423; www.icehotel-canada.com).
Admission: Ask for the Family Circle special package and Chateau Frontenac will treat you like royalty with a Fairmont room, milk and cookies, buffet breakfast, and more for $229 per night (800-441-1414; fairmont.com). For something slightly less princely, try the Hilton Quebec, which has a year-round outdoor heated pool and rates starting at $145 per night (800-HILTONS).