If you fancy escaping the city for a day, Ottawa’s proximity to other amazing places makes it easier than ever to pack up the car and head off for a spontaneous adventure. From charming villages and nature parks to some of Ontario’s most culturally diverse cities, each of our recommendations can be reached in less than three hours.
If you have the time and you’re passing through Gatineau Park, carry on to the village of Wakefield. Around 30 minutes from Ottawa, this popular spot also has hiking and biking trails, but is perhaps best-loved for its quaint boutiques, antique shops and eateries, including MJMD Pizza de Luigi, Pipolinka Bakery and Cafe Le Hibou. Those who fancy staying the night can treat themselves to luxury spa treatments before relaxing in a bubbling hot tub with panoramic landscape views at Wakefield Mill Hotel and Spa.
Also around two hours from Ottawa is the city of Kingston, which was originally Canada’s capital. With a thriving cultural scene, incredible waterfront views and an abundance of cafes, restaurants, shops and festivals, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. Fort Henry will transport you back to 19th-century military life in Canada, with tours, performances and demonstrations. The city’s food and beer walking tours also come highly recommended, showcasing foodie favourites such as Italian restaurant Olivea, and the subtle French-influenced dishes at Chez Piggy.