A Window on the River

What to do in St-François *

Founded in 1679, the village of Saint-François-de-l'île-d'Orléans is situated at the eastern tip of Orleans Island and offers breathtaking views on the St-Lawrence River. On the north shore, your eyes are drawn by Mount Ste-Anne and Cape Tourmente. On the south strands, you can take a walk and admire nearby Madame and Ruau Islands and let the cargos and liners impress you as they go right by you. At the end of the nearby dock, you'll feel you can touch them!

You can't stay in Saint-François without a stop at the «boutique» À l’ombre du vent. Located on the northern part of the village, the pleasant artists will welcome you behind their century old house, where the shop shelters magnificent pieces: popular art such as island bird or animal sculptures, textile creations, weaving and knitting. You will be charmed for sure! Call before visiting.

À l’Ombre du vent, 3201, chemin Royal, (418-829-1103).

La Bergerie d'Argentenay offers you lamb meat, reknowned for its finesse and its high-quality taste. Reserve early cause lambs are available usually at the beginning of fall. Visit the additional web site to know more about the carves and some recipe ideas.

La Bergerie d'Argentenay, 3334, chemin Royal, (418-829-1461).

Depending on the season, watch the fruit and vegetable booths by the road. A few minutes away from the campground, on the north side, you can get all you want of farm products, fresh from the fields, or maple products. What's better for an outdoor meal back on your campsite? On your left hand side, turn on the Argentenay route and find some self-picking strawberry fields. An activity that cannot be ignored!

Mechanical problem? Solve it at the Garage Dallaire a little bit further. General mechanics, welding, painting, body work, good service and more. In case of mishaps!

Garage Dallaire, 637, route d’Argentenay, (418-829-3234).

One feature of Saint-François is its very high observation tower, back on the Chemin Royal. Sixty feet from the ground, you'll be marveled by the beauty of the surrounding mountains and islands, by the view on the river that seems to draw you right to the Atlantic, and mostly by the particular geometry and colors of the fields and land of Île d’Orléans. From there, enjoy a walk on the path that leads to the heart of the village. The countryside air and the magnificent view on the river will revive you!

The village of Saint-François includes two historical sites. First the church, dating back to 1734. Even if the 1988 fire destroyed part of the religious patrimony, a visit is still a must. The children's cemetery outside is touching.

Second is the old school, at the left of the church, where you will find La Confiserie de la Vieille École. This candy shop, with fudges and home-made candies, will bring back your childhood days.

La Confiserie de la Vieille École, 505, rue Lemelin, (418-203-0648).

On the left of the old school, the Lemelin road brings you to Camp Saint-François. This summer camp, a few minutes away from the campground, offers to youngsters a varied activity program, be it for one day or for longer periods. A memorable experience for all!

Camp Saint-François, 383, rue Lemelin, (418-829-2453).

Back to the entrance to the Lemelin road, the Le Sillon Centre shelters a shop not to be missed. Fontaine-Negrin will seduce lovers of art: the uncommon Raku ceramics with its original pieces and its wood baking. You can watch the artists at work in this shop opened to all. Varied opening hours.

Fontaine-Negrin, 554, rue Lemelin, suite 210, (418-829-1453).

Take a couple of steps back to your right and visit the old presbytery. That is where you'll discover the Chocolaterie de l'île d'Orléans. Enjoy a wide selection of homemade chocolates and delicious ice cream. You will want to go back for sure!

Chocolaterie de l'île d'Orléans, 3501, chemin Royal, (418-829-2252).

On your way back to the Camping Orléans, discover the Brocante's treasures. Located in the gardens in the back of the house, this shop with a particular charm offers a great variety of antiques and collection pieces.

La Brocante, 3512, chemin Royal, (418-829-2881).

Cross the street and get everything you need at Dépanneur du Quai. You will find at this convenience store some local products, beer and wine, meat and deli, frozen sweets and tobacco products.

Dépanneur du Quai, 3523, chemin Royal, (418-203-0833).

From the campground going west, La Seigneurie de l’Île d’Orléans invites you to "arouse your senses". Walk through four hectares of lavender and Japanese or fruit gardens. Visit the magnificent vineyard and try local products. You'll be delighted!

La Seigneurie de l’Île d’Orléans, 3658, chemin Royal, (418-829-0476).

Hungry? At less than one kilometer from the campground, you'll be satiated at the Resto du Sud. Homemade pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches, breakfast and so much more, all of it in a family ambience. 32 indoor seats and a view on the river!

Resto du Sud, 3681, chemin Royal, (418-203-0993).

At the far limit of Saint-François, just before the village of Saint-Jean, La Fromagerie Les Chèvres de l'île d'Orléans offers you an assortment of fresh goat cheeses. Because of their right taste, not too strong, the cheeses are appreciated by amateurs and connoisseurs. Get them especially at Dépanneur du Quai in Saint-François.

La Fromagerie Les Chèvres de l'île d'Orléans, 3897, chemin Royal, (418-930-4304).


*This list is indicative only and the information may vary.