Located on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, in the heart of Charlevoix, Pointe-au-Pic is a lovely village long known for its hospitality and a landscape that has inspired painters and writers from Quebec and Canada. Pointe-au-Pic, a perfect marriage of nature and culture, was the birthplace of Canada’s resort industry.
Tourist appreciation of the site dates back as far as the end of the 18th century, when first fishermen visited the region to fish salmon or simply relax in the natural surroundings of Charlevoix Region. Since then, for many years, New York, Toronto and Montreal elites arrived in quest of a change of scenery aboard luxurious white cruisers. To cater to growing popularity, the prestigious Manoir Richelieu hotel was built in 1899.
It was there where the fashionable elite rendezvoused. The hotel featured 250 luxurious rooms atop the cliff of Pointe-au-Pic, overlooking the majestic St. Lawrence River. As a result of its excellent location and noble ambience, Richelieu Manor became a noted destination for visitors. Among them was William Howard Taft, future President of the United States.
Unfortunately, disaster struck in 1928 while the employees were closing the hotel for the winter. A fire destroyed the property.
The task of rebuilding the hotel was given to Canadian architect John Archibald, who designed it in the style of a French castle. The new hotel was inaugurated in 1929. Today Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu features an 18-hole championship golf course that boasts a history of its own. The golf course Murray Bay Golf Club was designed by British architect Herbert Stron. It was opened in 1925 by U.S. President William H. Taft, and thus it’s one of Canada’s oldest.
In 2000, the golf course was named "Canada's Golf Resort of the Year" by Canada's Golf Ranking Magazine. A seaside promenade invites strollers along the bay down to the Quai Casgrain Park, with its splendid riverside views. Tourist House of La Malbaie – a tourist centre of the community – is located close by.
The Pointe-au-Pic waterfront underwent major changes in 1997. The buildings and pier were upgrades, Du Quai Street was rebuilt to be more pedestrian friendly, and new recreational and tourist facilities were put in place. The Port of Pointe-au-Pic is primarily used for transhipping newsprint. The port is linked to the railway and highway network, and is open year-round. A few stately homes still grace Chemin des Falaises.
While some remain private estates, other have been converted into charming inns open to those who seek peace and quiet, as well as fine cuisine of Quebec.
A tiny Protestant Church is worth a stroll. It was built here in 1867.
The Casino de Charlevoix is also very close by.