OH, Canada! You are so full of places to explore — like our capital, Ottawa. And while most people think of there are few things to do in Ottawa, because it's considered being a small town compared to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, we often forget that there's so much heart in the heart of the country.
Now, when you think of Ottawa, you probably think of Parliament Hill and Justin Trudeau walking down the street (I wonder if he goes to the local Tim's?)
And with good reason. Most of us head to Ottawa at some point in school for the very "I'm in school, I need to learn about the capital" trip.
Maybe if you're lucky for a hockey tournament.
But now that we're older, Ottawa is actually such a great place to visit.
Cafes, boutiques and, of course, lots of history.
And when I chat with some Ottawans, they tell me that fall is a particularly special time of the year.
So next time you're feeling particularly patriotic or just feel like you need a getaway, here are all of the best things to do in Ottawa that aren't a visit to Parliament Hill (although you can totally do that, too).
Take A Haunted Walk
Address: 46 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON
Nothing says Halloween quite like a spooky story. Take it one step further and visit the actual setting. Haunted Walk Ottawa is currently offering bubbled tours of the Haunted Ottawa Jail Tour and The Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa
Go Down The River
Address: 895, rue Jacques-Cartier, Gatineau, QC
We, Montrealers, are proud of our St. Lawrence River and the Lachine Canal. But even we can admit that other cities have some waters, like the famous Rideau Canal. It also makes for a great way to see the city. Be sure to book ahead!
Ride Along The Rideau Canal
Address: Rideau Canal, Ottawa, ON
Speaking of the canal, riding your bike along the path is another great way to see Ottawa. Makes you feel right at home, doesn't it?
Sip Some Tea At Café Cristal
Address: 240 Kennevale Dr, Ottawa, ON
Cafe Cristal is probably one of the most beautiful places in all of Ottawa and is known for being one of the coziest places for a cup of tea and has some delicious treats. Spot of tea, anyone?
Go Pumpkin Picking
Address: 3932 Concession 14 Rd., Fournier, ON
Pumpkins may just be the most quintessential part of the fall season. There are so many places near Ottawa where you can pick your own, like at L'Artisan Farm.
Pick Your Own Apples
Address: 10175 Clark Road, Mountain, ON
Ottawa is basically the apple of Canadians' eyes. Perfect reason to go apple picking at local favourites like Mountain Orchard.
Visit Ruines Carbide Willson
Address: 639, Chemin du Lac Meech, Chelsea, QC
Just on the other side of the Ontario-Quebec border are these gorgeous ruins that you definitely need to visit. Plus, it's a great way to explore the nature of the Outaouais region.
Fairmont Château Laurier
Address: 1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON
Everyone knows Le Château Frontenac In Quebec City. But Le Château Laurier is just as beautiful and totally worth a stop to see. Or you can head inside for a drink on the terrasse.
Stroll Along Preston Street
Address: Preston Street, Ottawa, ON
Found in Little Italy, Preston Street is filled with shops and boutiques for you to explore. And, of course, you can try one of the amazing Italian restaurants.
Check Out Book Bazaar
Address: 417 Bank St, Ottawa, ON
You can pick a rare book for your drive home!
Have A Picnic On Major Hills Park
Address: Mackenzie Ave., Ottawa, ON
Just like us Montrealers, Ottawans love picnics, too. And even though this list is about things that aren't Parliament Hill, you have to admit, a picnic with it in the background is definitely worth adding.
Watch The Sunset At Brittania Beach
Address: 2805 Carling Ave., Ottawa, ON
Sunsets are always beautiful, but there's something so special about sunsets in Ottawa. After a long day of exploring the capital, no better way to end it off by watching the sunset over Britannia Beach.
Time to go explore our nation's capital!