Meander cobblestone streets in early fall.

It's Europe without the price tag. Montreal and Quebec City boast cobblestone streets, café culture, sophisticated locals and beautiful architecture. Plus, Montreal nightlife on St. Catherine or Crescent streets rivals what night owls might find in Paris.

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Hike, bike and kayak this gorgeous province.

Take advantage of the mild weather and spend some time outside. Quebec offers something for everyone -- from hiking and mountain biking on one of the province's 3,700 miles of trails to kayaking down Montreal's Lachine Canal. Or, consider a whale-watching excursion on the Saint Lawrence River.

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Enjoy unique fast food and open-air markets.

Poutine, anyone? Try the famous dish of fries, cheese curds and gravy at La Belle Province -- Quebec's answer to McDonald's. Other local faves include Montreal bagels and smoked meat. Enjoy Quebec's mild weather by strolling the open-air Jean-Talon Market for gourmet treats.

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This famous troupe from Quebec offers free shows.

Quebec's biggest entertainment export, Cirque du Soleil, has achieved global celebrity by blending street performances, vaudevillian theatrics and jaw-dropping acrobatics. See where it all started. For those who act quickly, the troupe will perform free one-hour outdoor performances in Quebec City through Sept. 5.

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Trade the city for country charm and wine trails.

Forgo the bustle of the city and enjoy the smaller-town charm of regions such as Gaspésie or the Laurentians (home to Mont-Tremblant). Wine lovers shouldn't miss the Brôme-Missisquoi Wine Route in the Eastern Townships, which links 16 vineyards and features artists' studios, antique shops and quaint restaurants featuring local cuisine.

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