If you’ve just moved to Ottawa and want to travel on a budget, day trips just outside the capital may be a great option. There is lots to see and do from visiting national parks, small neighbouring towns, and larger cities.
Gatineau Park: This is practically in our backyard! You can find this park just across the Macdonald Cartier Bridge in downtown Ottawa. It is 139 square miles of lush green space. There are a variety of things to do here including hiking, biking, visiting historical sites, boating, rock climbing, swimming and more. Gatineau Park is a must see in the fall when the leaves are turning their bright colours!
Almonte: Nicknamed the friendly town, it is just 45 min from downtown Ottawa. Here you can visit many boutique shops, galleries and antique stores. Check out their summer festivals, restaurants and historical buildings.
Chateau Montebello: This is a family favourite. The chateau is situated on the Ottawa River on the Quebec side. It is about 60 min from Ottawa and if you are in the east end you can take the ferry across the river for easy access. Chateau Montebello is a log hotel first and foremost and is of course situated in the town of Montebello (which also holds festivals in the summer). They offer many different activities such as swimming, horse back riding, ATVing, hiking, and in the winter months: skiing, curling, sleigh rides, dog sledding and more! You can catch a glimpse of the boats that dock in their harbour, visit a few historical buildings on site, and take in the surrounding nature. However, my family likes to visit this beautiful Chateau for not only it’s amazing grand 6 sided fireplace, but the gourmet all you can eat Sunday Brunch buffet. This place can’t be beat!
Montreal: A famous city known around the world for it’s history, fashion, food, and people. You can reach Montreal within 2 hours from our city and you will have plenty of time to explore with the family. This city is the second most populous in Canada however, so you won’t be able to see it all in one day. Just be sure to get some shopping in, visit a bakery and end the day at Schwartz’s Deli to try their famous smoked meat.
These are just a few of the many great places to see just outside Ottawa. We are so lucky to only be a short drive away!