Top 7 Road Trip Spots Outside of Ottawa
Being so close to Quebec, Ottawa has plenty of road trip options. Whether you are interested in small town getaways or having a resort weekend, there are plenty of options within 5 hours of the city. Check out our list below to discover your next road trip hot spot.
7. Kingston and the Thousand Islands (2 hours from Ottawa)
Kingston is a city built on history and is located right near the Gananoque border. There are several historic buildings within the city including Fort Henry, a replica of a War of 1812 fort and the Kingston Penitentiary. If you want to explore the water, there is a ferry to nearby Wolffe Island that leaves regularly. A fun family activity can include a trip to the Boiler Room– a rock climbing facility which features the tallest climbing wall in Canada. Closer to the American Border is the Thousand Islands. Just as it sounds, there are over one thousand islands to explore which can be done through a Thousand Island cruise.
6. Quebec City (4 and a half hours from Ottawa)
Explore Old Quebec, Place Royale, and Upper Town for old stone architecture and to achieve a European feel on a weekend getaway. Quebec City is a beautiful place just to walk around and absorb the culture which makes it a perfect afternoon. If you are looking for a beautiful park, check out Parc De La Chute-Morency which even has its own waterfall. If your daughter wants to be a princess, this is the place to go as the city even has its own castles such as the one in Le Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge. Fo those interested in history, you can see the site of the Plains of Abraham. Quebec City offers so much and in a pictresque package.
5. Montreal (2 hours from Ottawa)
If you are looking for new places to eat, take a road trip to Montreal. This city has the second highest number of restaurants in North America and is beat out only by New York City. Food, of course, isn’t the only thing to take in during a trip to Montreal. It features several unique museums including the Barbie Expo, the Biospehere, and Grevin Montreal (a celebrity wax museum). For stunning architecture, you can tour McGill University as well as Olympic buildings from the 1976 Summer Olympics.
4. Perth and Smiths Falls (1 hour from Ottawa)
Right on the Rideau Canal, these towns are a perfect stop after a day of boating or kayaking. Stop in to see the quaint streets of Perth, featuring its town hall as a National Historic Site. Perth has several parks, an antique market, and enough small town charm to spend an entire afternoon in. Nearby Smiths Falls has a railway museum, several hiking trails, and more than enough water for kayaking and canoeing.
3. Magog (3 hours from Ottawa)
Located next to the Vermont border, Magog is a beautiful waterfront location with a lot of character and even an unofficial mascot. Memphremagog, the lake that Magog is situated on, is said to have a lake monster similar to the Lochness Monster called Memphre so try to spot him while out and about in Magog. If monster hunting isn’t your idea of a vacation, check Mont Orford for hiking and gorgeous mountain views, explore the Bleu Lavande Estate for an authentic farm experience, or check out Le Monde de Tikito to give the kids a chance to slide, climb, and swing in an indoor fun park.
2. Montebello Fairmont Resort (1 hour from Ottawa)
Featuring the amazing Fairmont Montebello Resort, this is the place to go if you just want to relax this vacation. While you’re not lounging around the resort, be sure to explore Omega Park which has tons of wild life that you can’t see in the city. You can also check out a Fromagerie if you’re interested in fresh, home made cheese. Spend the rest of your vacation looking at old fashioned architecture and enjoying each other’s company.
1. Eganville and Pembroke (1 and a half hours from Ottawa)
Dive into history with Pembroke’s Pioneer Village and Trail Museum and go old school by taking in a drive-in movie at Pembroke’s Drive-in Theatre. Every labour day weekend, Pembroke is host to a four day fiddling competition so be sure to check that out if you’re in the area. Eganville, Pembroke’s neighbour, also features several things to do. Check out the Bonnechere Caves for a cool point of view and awesome pictures.