Infused with history, spirit and culture, Trois-Rivières is the perfect place for a weekend getaway.
Trois-Rivières is the halfway point between Montreal and Quebec City. Although it’s often overshadowed by the two cities, I think it’s definitely worth a trip on its own.
There are lots of things to do in Trois-Rivières and the surrounding regions. You can visit the bustling historic quarter, admire the shores of the St.Lawrence, hike in the nearby mountains or trace the footsteps of our French Canadian ancestors on the Chemin du Roy.
Or you can spend the whole weekend drinking wine in the hot tub at a local resort. No one’s judging!
Let’s take a look at the best things to do in Trois-Rivières, including where to stay, eat & more.
Where to Stay in Trois-Rivières
There is no shortage of places to stay in Trois-Rivières. There are chain hotels on every highway exit in town and a few located in downtown. But if you want to stay somewhere more authentic, then you should avoid these at all costs.
Opt to stay on the other side of the St. Lawrence River, in Becancour. It’s minutes away from the city but feels like you’re in the countryside. With plenty of woodland parks, covered bridges and historic sights, it makes for a very charming area.
On the first exit after the bridge from Trois-Rivières, you will find a hidden gem of a hotel, the Auberge Godefroy. With a full-service spa, golf course and all-season heated pool access (free for all guests), it’s almost like an all-inclusive resort.
I had the pleasure of spending 2 nights at the Auberge Godefroy during my recent visit to the area. Let me tell you more about it.
Why Choose the Auberge Godefroy
Whether you’re travelling for business, a family vacation or a romantic getaway in Quebec, this resort-hotel hybrid will suit all of your needs. For nearly the same price as a chain hotel on the highway exit, you can choose from one of the Auberge Godefroy packages and create your own custom experience.
You can add meals, spa treatments, golf fees, show tickets & romantic goodies to your hotel stay with ease. I highly recommend getting a package that includes breakfast & dinner because the food here is AMAZING. I’m talking huge pancake platters for breakfast and 5-star dining at night. More on that in a minute.
Rest assured that even you book a basic room, you still get access to the best parts of the resort, like the cozy fireplace, fitness studio, walking trails, complimentary sporting equipment (like bikes & snowshoes) and the Espace Aqua-Détente. It’s a wet-spa with heated pools, hot tubs and a sauna – such a unique feature. If you want to have the place to yourself, come swimming late at night. The pools are open until 11 pm.
Our Stay at the Auberge Godefroy
During our visit to the Auberge Godefroy, we had the pleasure of staying in the Executive Suite with 3 beds, which is the PERFECT size for a family of 3-4.
It comes with a living room, which has two double murphy beds in the wall and a TV so big, it feels like you have a private movie theatre. The main bedroom comes with a cozy king-size bed, therapeutic jacuzzi bath (big enough for 2 people) and electric fireplace. The bathroom is between the two rooms and features a massage shower (there are 3 different modes to choose from) and a television built into the mirror. Between the shower and jacuzzi, it kind of feels like you have your own private wet spa right in the room.
I have stayed in a LOT of hotels around Canada and have never seen something as modern & thoughtful as this room. If you’re travelling as a couple, opt for the Luxury Room which has a private balcony and wood-burning fireplace instead of the living room.
10 Things to Do in Trois-Rivières
As mentioned, the Auberge Godefroy is located in Becancour just across the river from the city. There are plenty of things to do in Trois-Rivières and the surrounding regions. This hotel is the perfect place for exploring them all!
1. Get Lost in Downtown
You can spend a couple of hours just wandering through the downtown core of Trois-Rivières. It’s the area around Rue des Forges and Rue Notre Dame Centre. There are cute shops, cafes and delicious restaurants on every corner. The best part is that because you are NOT in Montreal or Quebec City, most of them are quite affordable!
2. Stroll through the Historic District
Did you know that Trois-Rivières is the second oldest French-speaking city in North America! It’s true! This historic district can be found on Rue des Ursulines and features some pretty impressive architecture. Visit one of the art galleries or pop into the Musée des Ursulines ($), an old monastery converted into a museum.
3. Check out ALL of the Museums
Trois-Rivières has a museum pass that allows you to visit the best museums, historic sites and attractions in the city with just ONE ticket. As of October 2020, the pass is under $40 and grants you entry into 15 different places. It’s also valid for an entire year, which gives you an excuse to come back to the city. Be sure to check out the Old Prison!
4. Visit One Of Canada’s National Shrines
There are 6 national religious shrines in Canada and one of them can be found in Trois-Rivières (you can visit another just outside of Quebec City). The Shrine of Our Lady of the Cape (Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-du-Cap) dates back to the 17th century and is considered to be one of North America’s most important “Marian” or Virgin Mary shrines. You can admire the building from outside and walk down one of the paths along the river, or visit the interior to marvel at the stained glass windows.
5. Find the Gnomes in Godefroy Ecological Park
You can find the Godefroy Ecological Park just down the street from the Auberge Godefroy Hotel. It’s the perfect place for a post-breakfast walk… which is essential after a big plate of pancakes. Even though the park is close to town, it feels like a remote fairytale forest. There are tall trees, lots of singing birds and a colony of gnomes. That’s right! There are tiny gnome homes scattered throughout the woods in this park. It’s a fun time trying to find them all.
6. Have a Picnic at the Port-Royal Acadian Society
Did you know that over a million Quebecois have Acadian heritage? Many of them can be found in the Bécancour region as well! You can learn more about Acadian history and lineage at the Société Acadienne Port-Royal ($) in Saint-Grégoire. Although we didn’t get a chance to visit the museum itself, we loved walking around the little park and taking pictures of the beautiful stone mill. It’s a hidden gem in Trois-Rivières for sure. Before your visit, pop into Bagel St-Grégoire and grab some picnic supplies!
7. Take a Photo in Front of a Covered Bridge
Covered bridges are a dime a dozen in Quebec, but I’m from Ontario and we only have ONE in the entire province. Needless to say, covered bridges are kind of a big deal for us. Whenever I visit Quebec, I like to check out the local covered bridges. They are usually in rural locations and there’s a good chance you will have the entire bridge to yourself! Take those Instagram photos in peace. In Bécancour, I found two covered bridges; the Pont Couver Étienne-Poirier and the Pont Couvert des Raymond. They are only about 10 minutes away from one another.
8. Walk the Boardwalk at the Ecological Park of Anse du Port
The St. Lawrence River is home to many different landscapes, including thick forests and vast wetlands. The Ecological Park of Anse-du-Port is a free attraction just outside of Trois-Rivières, where you can walk through a network of wooden boardwalk trails and take in the beautiful scenery. We had chickadees land in our hands, watched a family of herons graze in the water and watched the sunset from atop the observation tower. It’s another hidden gem in Trois-Rivieres and should not be missed! It’s only 10 minutes away from the Auberge Godefroy Hotel.
9. Drive One of Quebec’s Famous Tourist Routes
They don’t call Quebec la belle province for nothing. This province is home to MANY unique and beautiful tourist driving routes. It just so happens that several of them start or travel through Trois-Rivières including:
- Chemin du Roy, a historic road connecting Montreal with Quebec City. It travels along the St. Lawrence River through many historic small towns. My favourite stops are Champlain & Deschambault.
- Navigator’s Route, a cultural route from Trois-Rivières all the way to Rimouski. It encompasses all of the best restaurants and cultural sights along the way. If you are short on time, check out the “Central Quebec” portion of the route for some day trip inspiration.
- Steeples Route, a drive through the region of Bécancour that takes you to eight of the best churches in the region. This is a great way to explore the countryside and can easily be completed in one day.
10. Explore the Mountains at Parc National de la Maurice
The Laurentian mountains are calling and you must go! The Parc National de la Maurice ($) is a great place to explore the Quebec wilderness close to Trois-Rivièress. You can come for the day to hike some trails or rent a canoe and travel along a historic portage route. But if you have the time, consider spending a night camping at the oTENTik, which is like a little rustic cabin in the woods. If you’re lucky, you might even hear the wolves howling at night.
Where to Eat in Trois-Rivières
Trois-Rivières has such a variety of places to eat. Whether you’re in the mood for something cheap and greasy or a five-star dining experience, you can find it in this city. Here are my top 5 places to eat in Trois-Rivières.
1. Victoria Fromagerie ($)
Victoria Fromagerie is one of my favourite cheap eats in Trois-Rivieres. It’s a fromagerie, restaurant and creamery all wrapped into one delicious stop! You can buy some of their cheeses, frozen pies and local products to take home. Or you can come to fill up on some classic Quebec dishes like poutine, hot dogs and fringales (fried cheese bites). In the summer, they serve handmade ice cream & milkshakes. Prices are very reasonable. There are two locations in Trois-Rivieres and many more in the Central Quebec region. It’s a must-visit for sure!
2. Cafe Frida ($)
Cafe Frida is a super-chill cafe in downtown Trois-Rivières. It’s the perfect place to grab brunch or just sip on a hot latte while enjoying a view of the river. Their menu is 100% vegan, seasonal, organic and handcrafted. They also do a great job of serving classic French Canadian dishes vegan-style. So you can go ahead and try creton on bread, squeaky poutine and a croquette without touching any meat or animal by-products. Brunch plates and main menu dishes range from $15-$20 each.
3. Archibald Microbrasserie ($$)
Archibald Microbrasserie is a popular microbrewery in Trois-Rivières that serves up delicious craft beer and pub eats. It’s a great spot to come with friends after a day exploring the town! There are a few locations throughout Quebec, but the one in Trois-Rivieres is really beautiful! It feels like you’re in a modern cabane à sucre, with moose antlers on the wall and plaid-coloured seating booths. Grab one of their sampler flights with a burger on the side, you won’t be disappointed.
4. Le Manoir du Spaghetti ($$)
Le Manoir du Spaghetti is a cozy restaurant in the heart of the old town district of Trois-Rivieres. They have been in business for over 40 years and do one thing right, pasta. From spaghetti to fettuccine, linguine and farfalle, you can pretty much guarantee they will have whatever type of pasta you’re in the mood for. I highly recommend the Carbonara Manoir, which is the perfect amount of creamy and saltiness. If you can, get a seat on the outdoor garden terrasse, it’s beautiful.
5. Le Godefroy ($$$)
Le Godefroy is the dining room inside the Auberge Godefroy hotel that I mentioned earlier. This is where you should come for fine dining in Trois-Rivieres. They have an executive chef, an attentive wait staff and many locally grown products. For dinner, you can choose from a seven-course tasting menu or order à la carte. I highly recommend trying the stuffed ravioli and salmon fillet. Come back again in the morning for breakfast, you can’t miss out on their “sweet” platter, which includes a pule of pancakes with local maple syrup and whipped cream.
Plan Your Visit to Trois-Rivières
As you can see, Trois-Rivières and the surrounding region is MUCH more than just a pit stop between Montreal and Quebec City. With an almost all-inclusive resort, delicious dining options and plenty of unique things to do, Trois-Rivières is one of the best places to visit in Quebec.
I hope this guide helps you plan your journey, but if you have any recommendations on things to do in Trois-Rivières, share them in the comments below!
And don’t stop here, check out some of my other blog posts on places to visit in Canada:
- Ultimate Guide to Quebec City
- Best Small Towns to Visit in Ontario
- Eastern Canada Road Trip Itinerary
- Manitoulin Island Getaway
Happy travels friend!