National Arts Centre's 1 Elgin

Girls’ getaway in Ottawa: A summer itinerary

Grab your girls for a mini getaway in Canada’s Capital City! There’s no shortage of incredible experiences to be had with your besties by your side. From cultural attractions and outdoor adventures to shopping destinations and culinary wonders, you’ll make memories to last a lifetime in the most picturesque settings.

Day 1: Shopping, spa and NAC

Shop ‘til you drop at one of Canada’s largest outlet malls, Tanger Oulets, or check out the newly renovated CF Rideau Centre and Bayshore Shopping Centres for high end and trendy finds Ottawa is also home to many unique boutique stores throughout charming neighbourhoods . With places like Elisa G. located right near Parliament Hill, MILK, found in the ByWard Market and One of A Kind Inc. on Rideau Street, you’re guaranteed to find something you love.

Make one of the Ottawa region’s many incredible spas your next stop. After all that shopping, you and your girlfriends have earned some R & R. North America’s largest spa, Nordik Spa-Nature, is just 10-minutes from downtown Ottawa and offers an incredible Nordic spa and culinary experience. Also close to downtown is Kōena Spa, where you can soak up a delightful thermal experience. In the trendy neighbourhood of Westboro, you’ll find Uppliva Sauna & Steam, where you can also enjoy the age-old Nordic sauna tradition.

Finish the day with a live performance at the National Arts Centre (NAC). The only bilingual, multidisciplinary performing arts centre in Canada, you and your girlfriends can enjoy a variety of performances, including dance, theatre, Indigenous theatre and much more.

Day 2: Brunch, outdoor adventure, Northern Lights and nightlife

Your girl group will love the decadent and delicious brunch spots Ottawa has to offer! Nestled in the Metcalfe Hotel is Cocotte Bistro, an elegant French-inspired bistro perfect for taking stunning Instagram photo. Check out Soca Kitchen, with Spanish and Latino flavours, you’ll want seconds and thirds. Head to Gezzellig for a brunch menu that will absolutely delight your tastebuds. Mix savoury and sweet when you choose the option that lets you pick three of any of the brunch menu items.

Take your Ottawa trip to the next level with one of many outdoor adventures in the Ottawa area! Go on a paddling adventure by renting a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP), kayak or canoe. Or rent some bikes and take a guided tour of the city. Looking for more of a thrill? Experience the Peak to Peak zipline at Camp Fortune and get panoramic views of the lush Gatineau Park! Learn more about the many outdoor adventures you and your girl friends can get up to here.

Did you know that Ottawa is home to eight of Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants for 2023? Have an elevated dining experience at the likes of Riviera, that offers creative Canadian cuisine. Enjoy the quaint and picturesque North & Navy, with dishes inspired by Italian tradition and high-quality ingredients.

Unique to Ottawa, and for the last time ever, experience the incredible Sound and Light Show on Parliament Hill — Northern Lights. Every Thursday-Monday until September 4, you can witness a stunning 30-minute multimedia light show presented against the backdrop of the Parliament Hill buildings. On August 2, 5, 9, 12, 16 and 19 there will also be a display of fireworks! The annual Les Grands Feux du Casino Lac-Leamy will light up the sky with a dazzling experience for everyone.

From there, head out for a night on the town! Right next to Parliament Hill is the ByWard Market. Boasting with bars and nightclubs, get dolled up and go dancing as the perfect way to cap off the day with your girls. Learn more about some of the can’t-miss bars in Ottawa’s ByWard Market here!

Day 3: Ottawa Farmers’ Market, museums, patios and Les Grands Feux

After a fun girl’s night out, start your morning off fresh at one of Ottawa’s many trendy cafes including Little Victories Coffee Roasters or Happy Goat Coffee Company. Then head over to one of the many local Farmers’ Market at the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne. With over 100 vendors you can shop produce, meats and cheeses and even handmade goods.

You and you girls need to experience at least one of the seven national museums in the Ottawa area! You can check out the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Museum of History, Canada Science and Technology Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Canadian Museum of Nature or the Canadian War Museum. The Capital City is also lucky to have 11 other museums that also offer unique rural experiences!

Finish off your girls’ getaway the right way. With so many unique neighbourhoods that offer their own charm and a slew of gorgeous patios in each one, patio hopping is a must in Ottawa! Head to Lansdowne and check out CRAFT Beer Market with over 100 beers on tap. The Andaz Ottawa features Copper Spirits & Sights, an elevated rooftop bar that overlooks the entire ByWard Market. The Social’s patio in the ByWard Market offers elegant old-world charm you won’t find elsewhere.

After you experience and enjoy what Ottawa has to offer, you’ll want to start planning your next girls’ getaway in the region soon!

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