Whether you’re seeking ultimate relaxation or an adrenaline fix, you’ll find it in outdoorsy Ottawa. There are so many options beyond cycling or paddling along the Rideau Canal, or hiking and mountain biking in expansive Gatineau Park. Discover a few highlights from our long list of unofficial nature museums that will inspire you to connect with your most relaxed or adventurous self in the Ottawa region.
Mountain coaster - The Unofficial Museum of Twists and Turns
Gatineau Park is an outdoor activity mecca, and now you can zoom down one of its hills at Camp Fortune! Relax on the chairlift ride to the top and enjoy the fresh air and panoramic views before boarding the mountain pipe coaster. The exhilarating experience takes you through a forest, tunnels, and snow-free ski runs at speeds of up to 40km/hr (25 mph).
Gees Bees Honey Company – The Unofficial Museum of Buzzzzzzzzzzzing
Get up close and personal with honey bees at this family-run farm located just south of the Ottawa International Airport. Join one of Gees Bees Honey Company’s tours to see the creatures work at their hives as well as pollinate the plants and trees in the garden and orchard. You can also relax by the Rideau River which runs along the site, and shop for products such as honey, candles, soaps and garden accessories.
Nordik Spa-Nature – The Unofficial Museum of Unplugging
The largest indoor and outdoor spa in North America overdelivers on epic relaxation and nature bathing. Admire the soothing view of trees and landscapes as you wind down in Nordik Spa-Nature’s hot and cold pools, saunas, and on-site restaurants. Plus you’ll want to stay all day to try the speciality treatments and unique options, including the only salt water floating pool in America.
Mooney's Bay Beach – The Unofficial Museum of Beach Volleyball
One of the best sandy beaches to visit on a summer day in Ottawa is Mooney's Bay. This huge expanse on the Rideau River just south of downtown Ottawa has lots of room for activities such as beach volleyball and stand-up paddling (rentals available). You’ll also find a snack bar, barbecue pits and washrooms. Time your visit with big events such as the HOPE Volleyball SummerFest and Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival.
Escape Bicycle Tours and Rentals – The Unofficial Museum of Rolling Around Town
What better way to explore a top cycling destination than on two wheels? Escape Bicycle Tours and Rentals offers curated tours that take you to the city’s best sights and attractions. For instance, you can visit (and sample) culinary hotspots during the Bikes and Bites tour. Several themed self-guided tours are also available and you can rent specialty items such as an ebike for an easier trek!