It’s time to come out of hibernation and emerge from your cocoon. Spring is here. Summer is right around the corner and your time to shine is now. Grab your BF, BFFs or whoever makes you feel warm and fuzzy, and plan that epic getaway!
And if you're looking for a quick and rejuvenating getaway, look no further than Ottawa. Yup, our nation's capital is brimming with art, food, music, and adventure... it’s the capital for a reason!
It offers truly amazing hidden gems - from restaurants to cafes, gelato hotspots, and adventurous dares. In fact, the entire National Capital Region (which includes Ottawa and Gatineau) is a fun destination right in your backyard, just around two hours away from the city.
Paddle Along The Rideau Canal
Hey, friend. Have you ever been to Ottawa before? If you have, then you know exactly how gorgeous our capital city truly is - and you know all about what a gem the Rideau Canal is!
If not, no worries! With its waterfront views, forests and much more to explore (the ByWard Market is something every Canadian needs to discover at least once in their lives!). But one of the most fun things about Ottawa? Probably how much fun you can have on the Rideau Canal!
Other than Stand Up Paddleboarding, courtesy of companies like Dows Lake Pavillion, you can also explore the canal via pedal boat, kayak or a guided voyager canoe tour, all while appreciating the great views of the city!
Get Your Adrenaline Pumping Courtesy Of Canada's Highest Bungee Jump
Okay, show of hands: who here has always wanted to go bungee jumping? Let's be real here - the wind through your hair, that stomach-dropping feeling of adventure, the rush of adrenaline... bungee jumping sounds like one of the most fun things you could do!
And it just so happens that the biggest bungee jump in the country (and all of North America, actually) is situated in a small town that's just 20 minutes outside of our nation's capital. The Great Canadian Bungee is located in Chelsea, Quebec, and promises a 200-foot drop (!) into the Morrison's Quarry. Sounds like a good time? You know it does!
Then Soak Your Adrenaline Away At Le Nordik Spa
After a long day of Paddleboarding the Rideau Canal and/or discovering North America's highest bungee jump, what would you totally feel like doing? That's right. Literally nothing.
And thankfully, the National Capital Region's got your back on that, too! Le Nordik Spa is also located in Chelsea, but right at the entrance of Gatineau Park... and trust, this is one of the most relaxing spots you can possibly enjoy! In fact, it's got the only salt-water floating pool on the continent - oh, and it also happens to be the largest spa on the continent, too. AKA, it's relaxation done the right way!
Get Wild At Canada's Biggest Waterpark
About 40 minutes outside of Ottawa, Ontario is a town called Limoges; and this will also lead you to Calypso Water Park, AKA Canada's largest themed waterpark, AKA the reason you're going to have an awesome summer.
Calypso isn't just awesome because it's the biggest themed waterpark in the whole country, but also because of its super fun rides, including Summit Tower which is the tallest waterslide in North America!
Whitewater Raft Through The Ottawa River
The Ottawa River is THE place to check out! We really, really mean it! Not only are there chill activities you can do in an afternoon, but there are also things to do that'll get that adrenaline way, way up.
Like whitewater rafting, for example! Yup, you could totally whitewater raft in Ottawa - in fact, there are tons of companies that offer the adventure along the river, so get prepared for the time of your life!
Hike The Breathtaking Trails In Gatineau Park
Gatineau Park, your beauty knows no end. Although it feels like visiting Gatineau Park is like entering some kind of beautiful, hidden fairytale grotto, the truth is that it's still close enough to the city so that those of us who love our modern comforts won't be too put off.
How close? Well, it's a mere 15-minute drive out of Ottawa's downtown core. So if you're already staying in Ottawa, a short trek out to Gatineau Park to discover its rich biodiversity and over 160 kilometers of hiking trails - among many other things - is a no-brainer!
Explore All That The Ottawa Greenbelt Has To Offer
Seriously, there's no end to the wonders that Ottawa holds. Even though it's a thriving metropolitan area, with tons of things to do and see - AND home to many historical and political buildings and landmarks - it's also one of the best spots to reconnect with nature.
Specifically, the Ottawa Greenbelt is an amazing place to go and bask in those nature vibes. The Ottawa Greenbelt is home to the Mer Bleue Bog, a 33-kilometer conservation area; Stoney Swamp trail, which features a network of beaver ponds, wetlands, and forests; and a whole lot more!
Glamp Your Summer Up In The Ottawa Valley
The Ottawa Valley is legitimately one of the most awesome spots to road trip to. Why? Because it's just straight-up fun and hello STUNNING!
Referring to the valley along the Ottawa River, it is home to small towns - like Elora and Perth - and tons of natural, beautiful spots. Oh, and protip? You can actually go "glamping" in the Ottawa Valley in luxury tents, thanks to Elements Luxury Tented Camp!
From awesome food, beautiful views, and fun vibes to outdoor adventures, lakes and national parks, a weekend in Ottawa/the National Capital Region is always a good idea!
And, the best part? Ottawa is at most around a 2-hour drive out of the city. So grab your friends, grab your vehicle and embark on the most fun weekend of your life!