Winter Escape: Quebec City

    Photo: Photograph by J.F. Bergeron/Quebec City Tourism

Instead of splurging on Europe, try Quebec—you get all the nightlife, plus Canadian wilderness, at a fraction of the price. Base yourself in medieval-style Quebec City—just a 90-minute flight from Newark on Continental—at Auberge Saint-Antoine, an old wharf warehouse turned boutique hotel (doubles, US$150; saint-antoine.com). On night one, wander along 17th-century ramparts, then jump into Old Town and shake it at the Maurice nightclub. The next day, drive 40 minutes northeast to the hamlet of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré to ski Mont Sainte Anne's 200-plus miles of groomed cross-country tracks and 65 downhill trails (lift tickets, US$58; nordic passes, US$19; rentals from US$36; mont-sainte-anne.com). The spruce-lined routes offer views of Quebec City jutting up beside the St. Lawrence River. Buyer beware: Quebec City's Winter Carnival runs January 29–February 14, so you may notice 800,000 others drinking among outsize ice sculptures and watching 48 teams of paddlers sprint across the half-frozen St. Lawrence during the Ice Canoe Race. NEAREST AIRPORT: Quebec City, 20 minutes.

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