ABOUT 90 MINUTES upriver from Québec City, Québec's Charlevoix region is known for its natural wonders and for the many artists, writers, and musicians who call the area home. The area's geology, wildlife, and flora have earned it a UNESCO designation as a World Biosphere Reserve.

At the heart of Charlevoix, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu was established in 1899, completely rebuilt in 1929 after a fire, and expanded and restored in 1999. It is a relaxing retreat overlooking a broad expanse of the St. Lawrence River, with 405 rooms, including 15 suites, three restaurants, a tea room, and a cigar room (blissfully odor-free); the last is available for private dining and receptions. A bustling casino is part of the property.

Le Manoir has 12 meeting rooms on one floor, including a ballroom that can be divided into three sections, for a total of 22,000 square feet of space.

The resort offers leisure activities for every age and inclination. A multisport center lends equipment for tennis, running, mountain biking, ATV rides, snowmobiling, skating, and more. Outdoor saltwater and indoor pools are open year-round. The Amerispa, with 22 treatment rooms, offers a long list of services. Whale watching, dogsledding, rock climbing, and skiing are possible nearby.

An 18-hole golf course is being expanded to include nine more holes. The project should be completed by mid-July and will include a new clubhouse, a driving range, a golf academy, and spectacular views of the seaway.