There’s something so special about fall. As the weather starts to cool and the leaves turn from deep green to an array of yellows, oranges and reds, it’s the perfect time to explore Canada’s Capital City. With many fall-inspired activities to partake in, you and your partner will experience the best autumn has to offer in the Ottawa region.
Day 1: Fall colours, food and outdoor fun
As the vibrant leaves paint Ottawa in gorgeous warm hues, the capital city comes alive with plenty of fall treats that will captivate your senses. Are you and your love looking for something sweet? No trip to Ottawa is complete without sampling a pastry from BeaverTails. Warm up with a fall-inspired drink like a pumpkin spiced latte at one of Ottawa’s many local coffee shops. You’ll find something delicious at Happy Goat Coffee Company and Beandigen Café. Check out more of Ottawa’s best fall treats here.
Once you’ve satisfied your sweet tooth, it’s time to take a hike. The trails in Ottawa are filled with stunning fall leaves that’ll leave you both mesmerized. Discover hidden waterfalls, panoramic viewpoints and charming ruins together. A fall hike in the Ottawa area not only brings you closer to nature but also makes for a perfect date idea. With nearby Gatineau Park, Canada’s Capital Greenbelt and many recreational pathways, the hiking options are endless.
Get wild at Parc Omega—a nature park less than an hour from Ottawa. Drive through 12 kilometres of Canadian safari and see deer, elk, bison, caribou and more! Grab a bag of carrots at the entrance and be amazed as the animals come right up to your car. Parc Omega makes for an incredible date experience you’ll never forget, and the autumn leaves will make it that much more memorable.
Spend the night at an off-grid cottage, yurt, your own tent or in a Vintage Hideaway airstream at Hammond Hill. Boasting solar power and water reclamation systems, Hammond Hill is a stunning escape from city life. Cozy up around a camp fire and make s’mores with your love!
Day 2: Romantic relaxation
Start the day off by treating your partner to a delicious brunch. With so many incredible places to choose from, picking one place to fuel your day’s adventures won’t be easy. Savour modern authentic French cuisine at Ottawa’s charming Cocotte Bistro, delve into Spanish and Latino fusion flavours at Soca Kitchen, experience the beauty of old world charm at the Courtyard Restaurant and so much more.
Ottawa is lucky to have seven of Canada’s nine national museums! Explore the Canadian Museum of History and take a walk back through time. Experience the castle that is the Museum of Nature, where you’ll find mammals, birds, insects and flora. Or ignite your curiosity at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, showcasing Canada’s long history of scientific and technological achievements. You’ll also find the National Gallery of Canada, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Canada Agriculture and Food Museum and Canadian War Museum nearby. The capital city also boasts 11 other museums! These museums highlight the inception and history of Ottawa.
After you’ve had your fill of delicious morning eats and museums, head over to one of Ottawa’s Nordic spas. Nordik Spa-Nature is North America’s largest spa, located just 10-minutes from downtown Ottawa. Another great choice is Kōena Spa, also located close to the downtown core. Warm up in one of the many saunas, then cool off with a cold plunge. These spas make for the perfect romantic escape nestled in nature.
Finish the day at one of Ottawa’s many romantic restaurants. This year, eight Ottawa restaurants landed on the list of Canada’s 100 Most Romantic Restaurants! Along the cobblestone pathway of Sparks Street, you’ll find Riviera, this upscale restaurant offers a blend of modern European and Canadian flavours. Along Bank Street is Cantina Gia, a stunning and intimate restaurant serving up delicious Italian fare. Feast + Revel, found inside the trendy Andaz Hotel, has a gorgeous view of the ByWard Market and showcases a menu full of New Canadian cuisine.
Day 3: Spooky season in full swing
Take advantage of the fun fall activities available this time of year! Head to a pumpkin patch and apple orchard with your partner for a fun date full of nostalgia. At Saunders Farm, not only can you find your perfect pumpkin, you can hop on a hayride, get lost in a corn maze and on the weekends, get spooked at their annual can’t-miss FrightFest! Known for its pedal carts and giant jumping pillows, you can pick your own pumpkins and apples at Ouimet Farms Adventure. From the end of September until the end of October, Proulx Maple & Berry Farm is transformed into a Halloween playground, perfect for a playful date.
Level up your relationship by taking a cooking class together. Learn about local food artisans and experience the many flavours of Canada’s capital region with a cooking class or food tour at C’est Bon Ottawa. There’s even a dedicated in-person cooking class specifically for couples!
Next, challenge each other to a round of axe throwing. Grab a drink and enjoy some loving competition against one another! Make the stakes higher, the loser must buy the winner their drinks. With places like Bad Axe Throwing, BATL Axe Throwing, LumberJaxe and In the Air Legacy, you and your partner are sure to have a great time.
Take a lantern-lit stroll through some of most Ottawa’s haunted spots with Haunted Walks. Learn about Ottawa’s spooky history, complete with ghost stories and a visit to the Fairmont Chateau Laurier and the Bytown Museum. With more than 10 tours to choose from, there’s something for everyone!
Wrap up your trip with a visit to one of Ottawa’s many incredible craft breweries. With seasonal ales on tap, you can both get into the fall spirit at the Big Rig Brewery, Mill St. Brew Pub, Kichesippi Beer Co. and more. Pumpkin and ginger spiced flavoured beer is the perfect way to end your couples fall getaway to Ottawa.
Discover Ottawa like never before with the new Visit Ottawa Pass! Get discounted access to seven major Ottawa attractions with a 1-day or 3-day digital pass.