Auberge Festive, Sea Shack Quebec. One funky accommodation to visit on your Canada holiday.
Updated: Mar 14, 2019
We are big proponents that the accommodations you stay at on a trip should be unique, comfortable, clean and provide amazing experiences - yep a lot to ask for. A trip, Out Here, wouldn’t be the same without staying at the incredible Sea Shack. It does this and lots lots more. And anyone that enjoys an adventuring and entertainment experiences should stay at the Sea Shack aka Auberge Festive. Actually, just about everyone should plan their trip around spending a few nights there - whether for a special event or a random evening.
While there are other options in the large and beautiful Gaspesie area, the Sea Shack is absolutely fantastic and one of a kind. Conveniently located near the Gaspesie national park and other great activities like canyoning, it is just the start. There are epic sunsets, coastal views, beaches all at your doorstep. Tidal changes to observe, whales to be seen from the shore, a tiki bar with amazing bands and DJs, bonfires always raging into the late evening and sometimes early morning, super friendly and awesome staff and you get to sleep yurts and cool cabins all speckled along. It is called the Auberge Festive for a reason!
The vibe of this place, and the people you meet are surreal. It isn’t just from the natural wonders you get to experience or the feeling you get feeling the sea breeze watching the sunset - although that is a huge part of it. It sends something through your mind and body. Almost all of the people that visit the Sea Shack are Quebecois - and they are friendly and curious at how these international travelers got there or even discovered it. Conversations are easy to be had if you are just a friendly and curious person. There are funky drawings and artwork throughout. Even if you just look outside from the main lodge! There are random costumes and old-school vintage clothes out and available that many just toss on while dancing up a storm with their old and new friends.
The tiki-bar is always going on. Whether it is a low key night and they are playing the classic Quebecois hits, or some jazztronica - we promise that you will have a fantastic time. On many occasions there will be an amazing Quebec or New Brunswick band playing. Even groups that play at much larger places such as Sara Dufour, Caravane, Brown, Skatalites, Five Alarm Funk, Bleu Jeans Bleu or the Quebec redneck bluegrass project. They come here because they love the place, intimate experience and vibe as well.
Want to share your positivity with your new friends around the bar? Simply order everyone sitting around the bar a light shot for $25 and ring the bell to a huge round of applause and cheering (it is a big round bar by the way and there can sometimes be 50 people around it!). Or just sit near the bar and cheer and sip or slug away. While you can party in that way, you don’t have to and it isn’t necessary to have an amazing and unique time. You can just hang out and enjoy the tunes are dance away or head down to the beach. Bring your own beers or "bevvies" to the beach if you want - it is allowed so long as it isn’t in the bar area.
During all hours of the evening you can grab a seat on the beautiful beach and listen to the sound of the water, guitars being strummed or voices howling. There are usually 3+ large bonfires raging and many more during large festival occasions. They even have someone that comes around with an ATV (four by four) for the more distant fires dropping off wood to ensure they are burning bright and high. Old trees and large pieces of driftwood wrap around the fire-circles for comfortable seating. Usually there are guitars, harmonicas and other musical instruments being played while the conversations or relaxations being had. The stars shine bright, the moon views are gorgeous. Want to relax but not right at the fire, take a nap in a nearby hammock.
This isn’t your standard epic sunsets comment about a place. These are EPIC sunsets. The atmosphere and relaxing feeling watching them a short walk from your little hut or yurt is indescribable. The colours, the sun dipping over the water near the tree speckled shoreline, the changing tides and views from the rocks and beach, that sea breeze feeling, the birds singing sweet songs and the many places just go to sit, lie down or walk around and watch - all by yourself or with a new group of friends. You can check it out from a hammock, the beach, the little platform outside of the tiki bar or walk down and along the shore for an unrivalled view. You will not be disappointed.
If you are into getting up to some other activities in addition to hiking there is lots that you can do, and many are conveniently provided by the hostel at really reasonable prices. Rent a paddle-board for half a day? Check. Go snorkeling and diving with wetsuit flippers and all included? Check. Go for a swim in the sometimes frigid water? Check! Go fishing along the river with just gear or guided in their awesome fishing boat? Double check! Into something a little more adventurous, you can go abseiling and canyoning at a provider just a 5 minute walk away. Or simply go for a long wander and forage along the beach and coast. There are also beautiful small towns and areas to visit a short drive away.
As for the standard accommodation considerations, they are just great - clean, comfy with style. There are yurts, little cabins to stay and standard dorms provide you a nice classic bunk bed and protection from the elements and a great sleep. They are clean and tidy - as are the fresh sheets they give you. If you are near the tiki bar it might be a little bit loud through the evening - but we suspect you will be out and about at that point anyways or so tired that it won’t matter. There are standard bathrooms and showers, but also ones that provide lookouts over the river aka fleuve aka ocean - it sounds weird but they are different (the showers, not the water!).
The kitchen is huge with lots of seating and people hanging out cooking and eating. There is a piano, guitars and drums around for anyone that wants to pick-up and play, join in on the singing or hangout. Couches and more are nearby along with a free book library. If this isn’t your vibe, sit on the deck and watch the water or people play ping-pong below.
During most of the season there is an amazing Chip Shack stand right on site, and on busy notes open to the week hours. It is in a little converted trailer right beside the main lodge with the kitchen. Grap an authentic and delicious poutine (multiple topping options to make it a little different than the classic), amazing burger, veggie options and more. They have great coffee for breakfast (and poutine for breakfast!) and more. While cooking your own meals is more affordable, be sure to grab one meal here (or three). It is is worth it.
One of the great things about staying at the Sea Shack is the gorgeous national park right around the corner. It has some of our favourite hikes throughout the country. There are long & hard hikes and shorter hikes as well - all with amazing view of the surrounding landscapes and other mountains you could hike. Arctic alpine plants, mountains and peaks to hike to and more. Along the drive to get there you follow the beautiful Sainte-Anne river. The area is diverse and unique for Quebec not to mention North America. There is only so much we can describe about hiking and exploring the outdoors in Gaspesie so seriously, just get out here and do it.
And the best thing about the Auberge Festive is how friendly, nice and just plain cool and awesome the staff are. We are excited to visit again and again and again and again and again because of our friends that work, live and play there. They are just great people that are excited to host you for an amazing time.
Enjoy the festivities!
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