Ottawa Tourism

3 Things To Do in the Ottawa Region This Fall

Have a meeting or a conference planned in Ottawa this fall? That’s great! As the summer heat slowly dissipates, Canada’s Capital is refreshed by a crisp fall breeze and beautiful fall colours. Ottawa is truly enchanting during this season. Wondering how to make the most of your brief visit to Ottawa in the fall season? We’ve got you covered. Discover three things you should do in the Ottawa region this fall!

Nordik Spa-NatureRelax at Nordik Spa-Nature:

Located at just a 20-minute drive north of Ottawa’s downtown core in Chelsea, Que., Nordik is North America’s largest outdoor nature spa. This is a great place to spend a late afternoon or an evening after your meeting or conference and take in the splendor of fall.

Here, you can enjoy Nordik’s relaxing Thermal Baths and Saunas experience, which invites you to move through seven cold and temperate baths, more than eight saunas and an infinity pool that overlooks Ottawa’s beautiful skyline. And as Nordik is set in the luscious Gatineau Park, you can be sure that natural fall beauty will surround you. Soak away the pressure of a busy day in a hot tub and enjoy the lovely fall colours all around you.

New at Nordik: Discover Banyä. Opened just this year, Banyä is the spa’s new Russian sauna. According to Nordik, in the Banyä sauna, dry heat is mixed with steam to create a slightly humid environment. This particular environment helps to cleanse the skin and to improve blood circulation.

Additionally, throughout the spa’s expansive property, you’ll find small campfires, which are great places to cozy up with a chair and a cup of complimentary tea. If this experience doesn’t put you in a cozy fall mood, we don’t know what will.

Pumpkinferno - Upper Canada VillageDiscover Pumpkinferno:

If you’re coming to the city a day early or staying a day late, you won’t want to miss this special fall season event!

If you have your own car or if you’ve rented one, head to the town of Morrisburgh, Ont., which is located at about an hour drive south of Ottawa’s downtown core. Here, you’ll find Upper Canada Village; the home of Pumpkinferno.

Each harvest season, this charming 1860’s pioneer village is taken over by more than 6,000 ornately hand-carved pumpkins that make up several beautiful sculptures from dragons to butterflies and more. Make sure to bring a camera with you as you explore the darkened village by soft pumpkin lantern glow. The pumpkins are carved by talented young artists from the Eastern Ontario region.

Going into its fifth season, Pumpkinferno is running from Sept. 30 to Oct. 30, 2016. A fun and unique activity for all ages, this is a fall evening in the Ottawa region that you won’t soon forget.

Gatineau ParkGo for a hike in Gatineau Park:

Located just across the Ottawa River at about a 20-minute drive north of Ottawa’s downtown core, the expansive Gatineau Park is the perfect place for a hike at any point in the fall season.

If you have a few hours of free time either before or after your meeting or conference, consider hiking the beginner-friendly 2.5-kilometre Pink Lake trail. Immerse yourself in the colourful fall foliage as you make your way around a beautiful, crystal clear “meromictic” lake, which means that its layers of water don’t mix. This lake is so clear that you can see all the way to the bottom!

This is a popular hiking trail for Ottawa visitors and locals alike, as it provides lovely lookout points all along the way. Look out over the turquoise lake surrounded by a tableau of beautiful fall colours. This is the perfect backdrop for a fall photo. At a leisurely pace, it takes about 60 minutes to go around Pink Lake. Make sure to bring a camera along!

In Ottawa, the leaves start to change colour in mid- to late-September. The height of the vibrant colours however, takes place in October. From Oct. 1 – 16, 2016, you can experience Fall Rhapsody in Gatineau Park. During this time, you’ll find lots of free events going on in the park. Fall Rhapsody celebrates the majesty of the changing leaves.

These three ideas however, are just a few suggestions to get you thinking about some lovely fall activities in Ottawa. There are a lot of things to see and do.

For example, if you don’t have much free time during your meeting or conference, consider visiting the historic ByWard Market instead. Located just steps from the Shaw Centre and from several downtown area hotels, the ByWard Market is one of the oldest and largest farmers’ markets in Canada. Though it operates year-round, during the fall season in the ByWard Market, you’ll find lovely displays of fresh pumpkins, colourful corn, fall flower arrangements and more. This is also a great place to find locally made maple products, which make great Ottawa souvenirs.

For more ideas on what to do in Ottawa during your free time, explore our See & Do page.