Summer is here and with it comes the opportunity to relax and unwind after all the hard work and meetings are over…
When travelling on business it is all too easy to visit a city and leave again without ever experiencing what it really has to offer. Why not instead take an extra couple of days out to see what else Ottawa has to offer?
With a pedestrian-friendly downtown core, close to hotels and venues, delegates and business travelers are guaranteed to enjoy their visit to Ottawa. From gourmet restaurants and high-end shopping to vibrant and walkable neighbourhoods, discover how to get more from your summer business trip in the Capital.
Spend a relaxing evening after your business meeting
What a better way to clear your mind after a full day of meetings than sitting for a drink on one of Ottawa’s outdoor patios? Enjoy the view, sip a local craft beer and watch the world go by.
If you have some free time after your meeting, you can find the perfect souvenir in one of the many artisan boutiques. Alternatively, explore the ByWard Market neighbourhood, an outdoor farmers’ market by day and the heart of the city’s social scene at night. It is an ideal area to buy local products or gifts including maple syrup. And don’t miss a stop at the CF Rideau Centre, a premier shopping complex located next to the Shaw Convention Centre, and home to 180 shops of the biggest names in fashion, food and services.
Another great reward after a long day either alone or with colleagues and clients is to dine at one of Ottawa’s great restaurants. As the sun sets, peruse the delicious restaurant menus in the historic ByWard Market area, head to Lansdowne in the Glebe neighbourhood, or the Casino du Lac-Leamy for drinks and some live entertainment.
If you are lucky enough to stay in Ottawa on Thursday night, art and culture lovers can indulge in one of the capital’s world-class museums, which are open for free from 5 to 8 pm. The only challenging is choosing between Art, History or Nature…
Extend your stay on a weekend to enjoy the capital
If you have the time why not add a couple of extra days to your trip to really see what Ottawa has to offer:
DAY 1 – Cruise and culture
Morning: Take a relaxing electric boat trip on the Rideau Canal – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a guided tour with Rideau Canal Cruises, and float quietly on a state-of-the-art bateau-mouche that takes you to Dows Lake and back with views of some of the city’s prettiest parks and neighbourhoods along the way.
Lunch: After your boat tour, cross the bridge and head to the National Arts Centre (NAC) where you will find 1 Elgin restaurant (formerly Le Café). Can’t get enough of the Rideau Canal? Opt to sit on their charming covered patio, which is at the water’s edge. Enjoy the view and contemporary Canadian cuisine.
Afternoon: Hop in a regular taxi or opt for Ottawa’s Au feel de l’eau Aqua-Taxi and head over to the Canadian Museum of History. This is Canada’s most visited museum! Wander through the Grand Hall, home to the world’s largest indoor collection of totem poles, and discover the artifacts as well as people who helped shape Canada.
Evening: Want to discover the famous craft beer scene in Ottawa? It is a good way to discover trendy neighborhoods, all accessible from the downtown area, and taste for yourself!
Walk back up to Parliament Hill in time to take in Northern Lights, a Sound and Light Show that is projected onto the Parliament Buildings. Playing nightly throughout the summer, this free show depicts Canadian stories of nation-building, discovery, valour and more.
DAY 2 – Hiking, flying and tasting
Morning: Fuel up for your last day of exploration by trying one of Ottawa’s hot brunch spots.
Get out and hike or walk the urban pathways just outside your hotel: it is one of the best ways to explore Canada’s capital during the warm months. Land-based adventures are everywhere, you’ll love exploring these hiking highlights in the Ottawa area by yourself, or take a look at some of Ottawa’s best walking and cycling tours.
Need some adrenaline? Take to the skies and enjoy the best views of Ottawa from an authentic, WWII-era WACO UPF-7 biplane! Ottawa Biplane Adventures invites you to sit back in the open cockpit and hang tight as you soar above the city’s majestic Ottawa River and downtown Ottawa – including views of Parliament Hill.
Then head to the historic Glebe neighbourhood for a variety of restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. Down the road is Lansdowne, a newly developed pedestrian-friendly space with expansive restaurants and movie theatres, while the adjacent TD Place, home of the Ottawa REDBLACKS, regularly present major sporting and entertainment events.