Île d'Orléans is an island in the Saint Lawrence River about 5 km (3.1 mi) east of Quebec City.The island was one of the first parts of the province to be colonized by the French, and a large percentage of French Canadians can trace ancestry to early residents of the island. The island has been described as the "microcosm of traditional Quebec and as the birthplace of francophones in North America."
Since the days of the first French settlers, agriculture has been the main economic activity. The island, known as the "Garden of Quebec", is famous locally for its produce, especially strawberries, apples, potatoes and wineries. Sugar maple stands produce maple syrup and other products.
While the old trades of fishing and boat building have been abandoned, the island's rich cultural heritage and pastoral scenery has led to a flourishing tourism industry. It offers many bed-and-breakfast inns, regional cuisine restaurants, roadside fruit stands, art galleries and craft shops. Today the island is a mix of suburban communities and farms. It is a popular destination for day-trippers and bicyclists.