If you’re in Québec City, you’re not far from Charlevoix. It’s the next tourist region further downstream, on the north shore of the St-Lawrence, so basically northeast of the city.
The drive along the river is stunning, with tremendous views of the river to the right and ancient rolling mountains to the left.
You’ll drive through Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, which has a famous shrine and massive basilica which is very easy to visit. A few minutes after that is Canyon St-Anne, which not a lot of people know about, but there are short and easy hiking trails that take you along the river and looking out over waterfalls. Also a zipline and via ferrata there if you’re interested in that.
It’s worth doing the loop though from Baie-Saint-Paul to La Malbaie. Both towns are known for their artisans and crafts. A few pottery shops along Rte. 138. La Malbaie is known for the Manoir Richelieu hotel, which hosted the G8 conference last summer.
And if you really want to get off the main path, descend the steep hill at Les Éboulements and take the short ferry to Isle-aux-Coudres. You can easily bike around the island, do some beachcombing, camp overnight and feel like you’re right out in the middle of the Saint-Lawrence River, with tremendous views all around. Well worth the detour.
All this is within a couple hours or so of Québec, so you could do the first bit as a day trip or stay overnight somewhere and do the whole thing. Lots of more intense hiking options are around too, and camping. May is a nice time to travel, not too busy and better weather (usually).