Guys’ road trip: An Ottawa itinerary

If you and the guys are getting together for a weekend away, there’s no better place than Canada’s capital. With top-notch indoor and outdoor activities, must-try craft breweries, live music and more, the fun never ends here.

Day 1: Sports, comfort food and craft beer

Kick off your guys’ road trip in Ottawa by fueling yourselves with the best comfort food. Try mouthwatering burgers from G Burger on Elgin Street, Umbrella Bar in Little Italy or The King Eddy in the ByWard Market. For pizza, check out Heartbreakers Pizza in Westboro, Pizza Nerds on Bank Street or Tennessy Willems in Hintonburg.

Next, catch an Ottawa Senators hockey game at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata or an Ottawa 67’s hockey game at the TD Place in Lansdowne. Also at the TD Place, you can watch the Ottawa BlackJacks shoot some hoops if you’re a basketball fan, or if football is more your game, cheer on the Ottawa REDBLACKS as they score touchdowns.

After the big sports event, it's time for beer! Ottawa boasts a thriving craft beer scene. Visit Beyond the Pale Brewing Company for their Pink Fuzz grapefruit beer (it’s kind of a big deal in Ottawa) and unique rotating seasonal taps. Head to Pub Italia, home of the Beer Bible, an endless menu of beers for you to try! Or try Flora Hall Brewing on Bank Street, where you’ll find award-winning beer and food cooked from scratch in a funky, industrial space.

Day 2: Indoor adventures and live music

Start the day off right with a hearty breakfast from Ottawa staples like Zak’s Diner in the ByWard Market for classics like pancakes and French toast. Head to the Manx Pub on Elgin Street for a seemingly endless list of brunch options like their banana bread French toast or breakfast burger. Or try The Third, an unassuming spot in the trendy Hintonburg neighbourhood where you can feast on breakfast nachos and mish mash hash.

If it’s colder out, or you and the guys prefer indoor adventures, check out Altitude Gym or Coyote Rock Gym, two incredible indoor climbing gyms. You can also challenge each other to a game of pool at Dooly’s—where you can eat, drink, watch sports and play pool. If you need even more friendly competition, axe throwing might be just the place! LumberJaxe, BATL Axe Throwing and Bad Axe Throwing are all must-visit spots during your time in Ottawa.

Test your wits at one of Ottawa’s many escape rooms. Check out Jigsaw Escape Rooms for heart pumping adventures like Cabin in the Woods, CSI: The Study or The Diamond Heist. At Escape Manor, you can try to get out of rooms like Flight 69, the Winemaker and Death Row. Head to Escape Manor’s cocktail and experience bar on Elgin Street aptly named Escape Lounge. Here, you can play darts and bocce ball while drinking your choice of beer, wine or cocktails.

Grab dinner at El Camino on Elgin Street or in the ByWard Market for delicious tacos like pork al pastor or ox tongue and handcrafted cocktails. Or check out Local or Joey at Lansdowne for great food, drinks and a great atmosphere.

Catch some live music at Heart & Crown in the ByWard Market or in Little Italy, at The Rainbow Bistro in the ByWard Market or at Red Bird on Bank Street.

Or end the night with a belly full of food and laughs at Absolute Comedy in Little Italy. Here, you can see a number of comics perform their best work over some beers. If you’re not already full from dinner, you can keep eating here too!

Day 3: Outdoor adventures and more sports

Grab breakfast at another Ottawa staple like Elgin Street Diner on Elgin Street, The King Eddy in the ByWard Market or Father & Son’s in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood. The large portions and coffee that doesn’t stop coming your way will leave you feeling full and awake.

Now that your appetite has been satiated, your group is ready to take on some outdoor adventures! Ottawa is a haven for year-round outdoor sports like hiking and cycling.

If you’re here during the winter months, go snowshoeing, skating along the Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest outdoor rink or skiing at nearby Camp Fortune.

In the summer, head to Gatineau Park, where you can hike, rock climb, paddle, swim, road bike, mountain bike and spelunk. Also located in Gatineau Park is Camp Fortune where you can go zip lining, finishing with a two metre free fall! Don’t forget to have a round of golf with the guys at one of the city’s many incredible golf courses like Marshes Golf Course or Club de golf Le Sorcier.

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