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Gatineau Park, hiking, fall

Nature itinerary for groups and FIT in Ottawa

The Nature itinerary combines outdoor adventure in Ottawa’s beautiful natural setting with discovery and excitement indoors.

Day 1 - City and Colour

9:00 a.m.: Enjoy the scenery along the Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the way to exploring the Experimental Farm’s 400 hectares. Discover the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, found within the farm: take a tour of a modern dairy barn, say hi to the farm animals, and wander through the spectacular ornamental gardens.

12:00 noon: Head to the Fish Market Restaurant in the heart of the ByWard Market neighbourhood for a lively lunch the whole family will enjoy.

2:00 p.m.: Dinosaurs! Birds! Whales! A ‘Nature’ tour of Ottawa would not be complete without visiting the Canadian Museum of Nature. Ready your camera to capture the plethora of natural artifacts, including seven rebuilt, full-sized dinosaur skeletons, a Bird Gallery with over 500 specimens, and a 19.8-metre whale skeleton! In June 2017, the Museum opened its new permanent gallery devoted to the Arctic: Canada Goose Arctic Gallery.

5:00 p.m.: Wander down Elgin Street to the National War Memorial near Confederation Square. Afterwards, stroll over to Major’s Hill Park for a fabulous view of the Canadian Museum of History across the Ottawa River. Make your way down the hill to the Rideau Canal locks and board World Famous Paul’s Boat Line for an enlightening boat tour on the Ottawa River.

7:30 p.m.: Enjoy a lovely dinner at Play Food & Wine before landing on Parliament Hill for the Sound and Light Show, Northern Lights the free nightly performance that brings the Hill to life. (Early July to early September)

Day 2 - Wild, and Wonderful

9:00 a.m.: Hike, snowshoe or ski in the breathtaking beauty of Gatineau Park, a nature reserve with hundreds of kilometres of trails, just 15 minutes from Ottawa.

11:30 a.m.: Defy gravity at Camp Fortune Aerial Experience. The course features suspended walkways, rope bridges and net gangways. Set aside at least three hours for this exhilarating adventure that finishes with a thrilling zip-line ride guaranteed to get your heart rate up! Or choose to face your fears at Great Canadian Bungee, the highest jump (200 feet) in Canada.

Youth/family-friendly option: Splish and splash at Calypso Waterpark. Only 20 minutes east of Ottawa, the waterpark is the summer spot with state-of-theart water rides, a huge wave pool, a river run, slides galore, a whitewater experience and Zoo Lagoon — a safe haven for toddlers.

2:30 p.m.: Relax your mind and rejuvenate your body at Nordik Spa-Nature, North America’s largest spa, in Chelsea. Grab a bite then enjoy nature from the comfort of a whirlpool and their Scandinavian baths.

7:00 p.m.: Reserve your seats at the Albion Rooms, serving up true North hospitality with a hand crafted story.

Evening option: Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro’s relaxed atmosphere invites you to linger and unwind. Their outstanding selection of wines, malt whisky, and imported beers allow your taste buds to dance the night away.

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