Travel Destination: Ottawa - Part 2

Welcome back!

In my previous Ottawa Post I discussed air travel and accommodations.  Did you miss part 1?  Check it out here (link also available at the bottom of the post).  In this post, I will discuss a little about what you can see and do in Ottawa.

The activities I experienced were during two separate trips, one in Winter and one in Spring.  Keep in mind that Ottawa has a number of festivals that happen during different times of year, and surrounding communities have a lot going as well, so searching what may be going on before you go is a good idea!

I will start with one of the winter activities I experienced, hockey!  From September to approximately March/April (depending on the playoff situation) you can attend Ottawa Senators hockey games.  The September games would be "pre-season" games, which are often offered at reduced prices.  As for regular season, the tickets are pretty reasonably priced - for the game I went to, the prices ranged from $25 to $200.  I sat in the highest section of the Canadian Tire Centre and I still had a great view.  As for transportation to and from the rink, the rink is actually in Kanata, so a distance out of the downtown core.  I priced up an Uber, and it would have been about $50 one way (not accounting for potential "demand pricing" after the game.  There is plenty of parking, but also a lot of cars trying to leave at the same time, so that's something to consider if you are driving.  I chose to take public transit.  The transit authority offers buses from downtown right to the rink (check the OTC website for times and routes).  Regular fares apply.  This was a perfect option for me because the bus practically takes you to the front door and picks you up as well to take you back to where you got on.  Each trip was $3.50 (price in March 2019).  Great deal!

Is hockey not your thing?  There are lots of other things to do in the Ottawa area.

Like food?  Lots of restaurants for many different tastes.  If you are staying in, or get dropped off in the Byward Market area, there are restaurants for many tastes: Pubs, All Day Breakfast, gourmet, Italian, Chinese and Thai foods.... to name a few.  Check out this adorable little restaurant:

If you are looking for a unique dining experience, the Byward Market has some good food options: from coffee shops, to gelato, to bakeries, there are some delicious options awaiting you at the Market.  And don't forget - Beaver Tails!  If you haven't tried a Beaver Tail before, this is a "must-have".  Think fried dough (like a donut), but so many options for toppings! My personal favourite is the Avalanche (Skor bar, caramel, and cheesecake spread.  YUM!).  If you are in Ottawa during the winter, they actually also have a Beaver Tails stand on the Rideau Canal where you can go skating.  Fun!

Byward Market

When in Ottawa, you can't miss exploring Parliament Hill.  No matter the time of year it's a beautiful place to discover.  The architecture is gorgeous, and there is lots of open space on the grounds.  In summer it's pretty typical to see lots of people sunbathing, reading, having a picnic and more.  Check out these views:

If you are there at the right time of day, you can hear the bell toll to signal the hour.  Very cool.

So I mentioned the Rideau Canal above.  This Canal was used historically to get boats up and down the water way.  The canal is still very lovely to see, and there is an interpretation centre near the mouth of the canal if you want to learn more about it.  As mentioned previously, in winter, you can skate on the canal, it makes for a very long skating rink.  If you are there in summer, there are lots of walk ways along the canal, so you can walk along to take in the sights.

Another very cool place to visit is the Canadian Museum of History.  If you are at the Parliament Buildings, there's actually a bridge not too far away that will take you across the water to Gatineau, Quebec.  There you will find the Museum of History.  This Museum has some very cool exhibits including some permanent fixtures and exhibits that are there for a limited time.  You can learn about Aboriginal history, stamps or different eras of Canadian History.  In addition to those exhibits, there is an IMAX theatre that shows a few films a day in French and English.  And finally, they also have a Children's museum.  My daughter loved the Children's museum.  Lots of interactive stations that taught children about different areas in the world.

There are so many neat things to see in the area that I can't possibly name all of them, but here are a few that are worth researching if you are heading to the area:  The Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Mint Museum, National Gallery of Canada, Calypso Water Park (actually located in Limoges, but close to the highway in to Ottawa so not too challenging to get to), and so much more!  The Ottawa Tourism website is a great resource to research what is in the area:

Both of my trips were quick, so this is just the tip of the iceburg.  I hope to get back again soon so I can write a "Part 3" on Ottawa.

Have you been to Ottawa?  What are your favourite activities in the area?  Share in the comments below.

Did you miss part 1 of this series?  Check it out here:

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