Ottawa City Rafting

Explore Ottawa with your family bubble in summer 2020

Grab your family bubble and experience Ottawa’s summer vibes with this 3-day itinerary. From the downtown core to the countryside, Canada’s capital is full of fun attractions for everyone, including tours, rafting and museums!

Day 1

Drive to Ottawa by car, take a VIA Rail train – or perhaps captain your canal houseboat with Le Boat and travel along the Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, to downtown Ottawa.

Get familiar with Ottawa’s compact walkable downtown core, and learn about the history of Canada’s capital, with Ottawa Walking Tours, then enjoy lunch on a patio in the historic ByWard Market.

Boasting over 800 kilometres (497 miles) of recreational pathways, the longest of any city in North America, Ottawa is a cycling enthusiast’s dream destination. The Capital Pathway network extends from downtown to the east and west of Ottawa on both sides of the Ottawa River, as well as along the Rideau Canal.

Experience Ottawa’s natural areas, parks, and the Garden Promenade on a self-guided or guided cycling tour. Contact RentABike or Escape Bicycle Tours to reserve your bicycles and/or bicycle tour.

After an early dinner, enjoy an evening cruise along the Ottawa River with Paul’s Boat Line or along the Rideau Canal with Rideau Canal Cruises.

Day 2

With your own car (or car rental), drive a little ways west from Ottawa and partake in an underground experience unlike any other. Concealed under a hill near the town of Carp lies the Diefenbunker Museum, Canada’s Cold War bunker. Built in the 1950s in case of a nuclear attack, its four subterranean floors give visitors a glimpse into what might have been if cooler heads had not prevailed!

After lunch, experience Ottawa from a completely unique perspective by enjoying a guided, interpretive trip through Ottawa and Canada’s living history with Ottawa City Rafting – an ‘urban’ whitewater rafting excursion starting just a 10 minutes’ drive west of downtown Ottawa (minimum age is 5 years and min weight is 23kg/50lbs). The trip finishes with a full mid-river view of the downtown core, including the Parliament Buildings.

Alternatively, enjoy an interactive pirate-theatre cruise set in a real pirate ship on Mooney’s Bay, with A Pirate's Life Theatre. Ideal for ages 3-11, and approximately 1.5 hours.

After grabbing dinner at one of the many patios situated along the historic Sparks Street, book an evening walking tour with Haunted Walk of Ottawa, where guides lead guests by lantern light to well-known locations and share their ghost stories and darker history.

Day 3

This morning, learn about Ottawa’s artistic past and present, and delve into the world of Indigenous art, at the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG).

Afterwards, take an Aqua-Taxi ride across the Ottawa River for some of the best views of Ottawa – pro tip: make sure you have your camera handy. Then take the Aqua-Taxi back or walk back across the Alexandra Bridge and through Major’s Hill Park for more stunning photo opportunities.

This afternoon, drive about an hour east of Ottawa for a dazzling trip through Omega Park’s 2,200-acre (890-hectare) preserve in Montebello, Quebec. You might see deer, elk, bison, caribou, and other animals roaming in their natural habitats.

Alternatively, drive a little over an hour west of the city and spend the day white water rafting. Most companies have family-friendly rafting experiences.


**Due to COVID-19 health and safety measures, all activities and attractions require advance bookings.

Stay up to date

Stay up to date on upcoming events and ideas to plan your next trip to Ottawa with friends, family or on your own by signing up for the Ottawa Tourism Newsletter.