Fall is the perfect time to get away, especially if it’s with your girlfriends. Looking for a girl's getaway itinerary that has something for everyone in your group? Look no further than Ottawa for the best spas, shopping, food and drinks, and more. Let’s go girls!
Day 1 – Coffee, culture and cocktails
First stop: coffee, obviously. Pop in to one of Ottawa's many unique local coffee shops for your caffeine fix. Popular locally owned coffee roasters include Equator Coffee and the Happy Goat Coffee Company. And don’t miss Scone Witch, a local favourite for delectable sweet and savoury scones complemented by local ingredients.
Next, take some time to explore Ottawa’s world class museums and galleries. Ottawa is home to seven of our country’s nine national museums, including the iconic National Gallery of Canada. Ottawa’s museums also offer many opportunities to discover and appreciate the fascinating stories of Indigenous culture.
For the art lovers, the always free Ottawa Art Gallery showcases local, regional and national art in its bright and modern building near the ByWard Market area.
If the weather’s cooperating, experience the sights on foot with a guided tour from Ottawa Walking Tours. The popular 2-hour Historical Highlights Walking Tour includes stops at Parliament Hill, The National War Memorial, Major's Hill Park, and much more.
Time for a break? Stop for some scratch-cooked snacks and a cold craft beer at Flora Hall Brewing or plan ahead and reserve your seats for the legendary afternoon tea at Zoe’s in the historic Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel.
Check-in time! Ottawa offers accommodations for every taste and budget, from luxurious hotel suites to cozy B&Bs. Find your perfect place to stay and take advantage of special offers and promotions.
In the evening, head out on the town and visit one of Ottawa’s great cocktail spots for a drink to toast your friendship. Try Apothecary Lounge, a stylish Prohibition-style lounge tucked into a historic stone building in the Byward Market. Or wander to Elgin St., where you’ll find local hot spots like retro-cool Charlotte.
Day 2 – Rest and relaxation
For the ultimate in relaxation and a chance to truly reconnect with your girlfriends, escape to the spa for a few hours – or the whole day. Just a short drive from downtown on the Quebec side, both Nordik Spa-Nature and Kōena Spa are ideal spots for a girls getaway, featuring invigorating Nordic-style thermal experiences, soothing massages and spa treatments, and indulgent food and drink.
For a more traditional spa experience, you can’t go wrong with a luxurious massage, facial, or pedicure at Holtz Spa in the Byward Market or Au Naturel Spa at the chic Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata.
Fancy something more active? Fall is the perfect time to explore Ottawa’s natural beauty on foot. Choose one of the area’s many hiking trails for an unforgettable outdoor experience along the Ottawa River pathway, in Gatineau Park, or in the protected natural areas of the Canada’s Capital Greenbelt.
Either way, plan to get back in time for dinner. The Ottawa culinary scene has everything from delicious vegan and vegetarian options to must-try international cuisine. And save room for dessert! Ottawa has some of the best fall treats to indulge your sweet tooth.
Day 3 – Brunch and shopping
Check out one of Ottawa’s best brunch spots for a delicious start to your day. Visit trendy Westboro Village for plentiful spots to eat and drink, or venture to the outskirts of the city to one of Ottawa’s lively rural communities, such as historic Manotick.
Of course, every Ottawa girl's getaway must include a little shopping. After brunch, make your way to one of the city’s lovely walkable neighborhoods to peruse unique local shops and boutiques. Situated just south of downtown along Bank Street, the Glebe is a popular shopping destination that offers everything from footwear and clothing to home goods and luxe stationery.
While you’re in the Glebe, visit the year-round Ottawa Farmers Market, held on Sundays at Lansdowne Park. Featuring 70+ local vendors offering everything from produce and prepared foods to crafts and gourmet treats, the market is a cornucopia of delights.
More of a mall person? Ottawa has you covered in every direction. From Bayshore Shopping Centre in the west to Place D’Orleans in the east and of course the CF Rideau Centre in the heart of downtown, you’ll find all the most coveted brands and stores like Lululemon, Aritzia, and Zara. Bargain hunters may want to head to Kanata to check out the deals and steals on top brands at Tanger Outlets Ottawa.
Ottawa is the ideal destination for your next girl's getaway. When it’s time to head home, one thing is for certain – you'll all be looking forward to the next one!