Cycling in the Capital - Parliament

Summer chillin’: an Ottawa itinerary

Ottawa’s perfect blend of relaxed urban vibe, vibrant culture and outdoor spaces makes it the ideal weekend getaway destination. Use the itinerary below to start planning your refreshing getaway to Ottawa this summer.

DAY 1 – Stretch out, take a hike, let loose

Arrive in Ottawa and check into the hotel of your choice. Most of our accommodation members are located downtown near many of the city’s main attractions.

Plan your visit over a Wednesday to experience Yoga on Parliament Hill. Hundreds of people participate in these weekly free yoga sessions on Wednesdays during the noon hour, mid-May through the end of August. Add that to your bucket list!

Go for a hike in the Canadian wilderness – just 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa! Gatineau Park is an outdoor paradise with trails ranging from beginner to expert. You can also visit the historic Mackenzie King Estate and enjoy a meal in the Tearoom. Gatineau Park is just one of many hiking highlights in the Ottawa area!

As the sun sets, the city’s nightlife heats up. Head to the historic ByWard Market area, Lansdowne in the Glebe neighbourhood, or the Casino du Lac-Leamy for a meal, drinks and some live entertainment.

DAY 2 – Paddle, cruise and groove

For that kick of energy in the morning, visit one of Ottawa’s independent coffee roasters. Savour a locally-brewed beverage as well as tasty breakfast treats.

Paddle your favourite craft on some of the beautiful waterways that criss-cross Canada’s capital. Whether you have your own standup paddleboard (SUP), kayak or canoe, or you rent one here, you’ll love exploring this paddling paradise.

Or take a relaxing boat trip on Ottawa’s picturesque waterways. Float through downtown on Rideau Canal Cruises’ electric boat which runs on Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or climb aboard with Capital Cruises or World Famous Paul’s Boat Line for a multilingual narrated trip on the majestic Ottawa River, offering stunning views of major sites like Parliament Hill and even a waterfall. Their evening departures offer some of the city’s best sunset vistas.

The culinary scene in Ottawa is seriously tasty. Check out some of Ottawa’s great restaurants as well as delicious vegetarian and vegan options.

Get out your dancing shoes and head to one of the many summer music festivals. From intimate performances to huge outdoor shows, you’ll find rock, jazz, chamber and folk featured at events throughout the city.

DAY 3 – Jump, savour and sip

It’s not a real weekend getaway without brunch. Start your last day with a visit to one of Ottawa’s hot brunch spots.

For an adrenaline boost, make your way just 25-minutes from downtown Ottawa to Canada’s highest bungee jump. The rebound alone at the Great Canadian Bungee is higher than any other full jump in the country!

Stimulate your sweet tooth with some of Ottawa’s best sweets and treats like BeaverTails and Obama Cookies, or plan your own frosty crawl by trying some of the city’s best ice cream.

Cheer a successful summer trip by sipping a cold beverage. Explore Ottawa’s hopping craft beer scene by visiting breweries, joining a tour or attending an event, or hang out on a popular outdoor patio. Cheers!

For more fun ways to explore Canada’s capital in the warm months, check out our list of best places to photograph this summer.  

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