OTTAWA - Relax
This 2-day Relaxed itinerary is all about chilling out in Ottawa’s friendly, relaxed urban atmosphere – with side trips to the countryside and casino!
Day 1 - GO DOWNTOWN
8:30 am: 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 feel on solid ground, Ottawa Walking Tours offers bilingual guides to show you the city’s highlights and hotspots.
12:30 pm: Santé Restaurant offers a cosmopolitan yet casual lunch with a fabulous view of Ottawa’s famous Rideau and Sussex streetscapes, or try D’Arcy McGee’s Irish Pub in the heart of the Sparks Street Mall for genuine Irish hospitality.
2:00 pm: Enjoy a relaxing afternoon at Holtz Spa, next door to Santé Restaurant, 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.
6:00 pm: Spend your evening at Le Café, the National Arts Centre’s fabulous restaurant (reservations required). Discover the true flavours of Canada — with a global twist — offered by the NAC Executive Chef, John Morris.
7:30 pm: The National Arts Centre, a National Historic Site of Canada and home to Canada’s National Orchestra, always has something wonderful on stage, whether your choice is theatre, music or dance.
Day 2 - ELEGANT AND LIVELY
9:00 am: 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 Epicurean Adventures for a tasty food tour of the ByWard Market neighbourhood and see Ottawa’s culinary scene come to life.
12:00 pm: 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 pm: From its gracious home in downtown Ottawa’s Lord Elgin Hotel, to its warm contemporary ambience and locally sourced menu complete with a casual-to-sophisticated stocked cellar, Grill 41 is a perfect place for dinner.
8:30 pm: People-watching in the ByWard Market neighbourhood or along Elgin Street, or partake in the nightlife offered at pubs, bars, and bistros.
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 Royal Bank Bluesfest , an 11-day festival that has boasted such headliners as KISS, Bob Dylan, The Black Keys, the Dixie Chicks and many more (see the Calendar of Events for dates). Need a winter sports fix? The Ottawa Senators, Ottawa’s National Hockey League (NHL) team, are the hottest ticket in town!