This 2-day Relaxed itinerary is all about chilling out in Ottawa’s friendly, relaxed urban atmosphere – and sneak away to the countryside and casino!
Day 1 – Go Downtown
8:30 a.m.: Discover Canada’s Capital region with Lady Dive as the only amphibus in Ottawa takes you on a guided tour by land and by water. Or, if you prefer to keep both feet on solid ground, Ottawa Walking Tours offers bilingual guides to show you the city’s highlights and hotspots.
12:30 p.m.: Metropolitain Brasserie offers a cosmopolitan yet casual lunch with a fabulous view of Ottawa’s famous Rideau and Sussex streetscapes, or try Patty Boland’s in the heart of the ByWard Market for genuine Irish hospitality.
2:00 p.m.: Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at Holtz Spa or make your way to the ByWard Market district to peruse the market stalls filled with fresh produce and the one-of-a-kind crafts available in the shops. Then savour one of Ottawa’s sweetest traditions and a purely Canadian treat — a BeaverTail pastry.
8:00 p.m.: Hit the slots, play some blackjack, and practice your poker face at the card table — the Casino du Lac-Leamy offers it all. If gaming isn’t for you, head to Théâtre du Casino for exceptional live entertainment.
Day 2 – Elegant and Lively
9:00 a.m.: Hike, snowshoe or ski in the breathtaking beauty of Gatineau Park, a nature reserve with hundreds of kilometres of trails, just 15 minutes from Ottawa.
Or stay downtown and join C’est Bon Cooking for a tasty food tour of the ByWard Market neighbourhood and see Ottawa’s culinary scene come to life.
12:00 p.m.: Next head to the haven that is Nordik Spa-Nature for some R&R. The largest outdoor spa in North America features an incredible array of Nordic baths in the heart of nature (only 10 minutes from downtown Gatineau-Ottawa). Enjoy Nordik’s fine dining before relaxing in the blissful tranquility of nature, saunas and baths.
Youth/family-friendly option: The ByWard Market area offers a variety of casual food and shopping options. Following lunch, visit the National Gallery of Canada, one of Canada’s premier art galleries. Or follow the money and end up at the Royal Canadian Mint, where they produce handcrafted collector and commemorative coins, gold bullion coins, medals, and medallions.
6:30 p.m.: Pick a delicious dish from the Blue Cactus Bar & Grill in the ByWard Market neighbourhood. Blue Cactus offers a blend of a modern uptown atmosphere and contemporary cuisine.
Jazz, blues, and folk are just a few of Ottawa’s fantastic music festivals during the summer months. Music fans will love the world-renowned Ottawa RBC Bluesfest, an 11-day festival that has boasted such headliners as KISS, Bob Dylan, The Black Keys, the Dixie Chicks and many more. Need a winter sports fix? The Ottawa Senators, Ottawa’s National Hockey League (NHL) team, are the hottest ticket in town!