13 Awesome and Memorable Day Trip Locations Near Ottawa

13 Awesome and Memorable Day Trip Locations Near Ottawa

While there’s no denying that Ottawa has some pretty incredible attractions, I do love to explore the nearby sights that other towns and cities have to offer. I consider myself to be quite an adventurous guy, so when I get the chance, I love to schedule long trips.

One thing to love about Ottawa is its location. It’s surrounded by so many awesome places that you just have to explore the area. 

From Gatineau Park to the Thousand Islands, I’m very pleased to live in a city with so much to see. If you want to go on a day trip yourself, here are a few places that I highly recommend you go and visit. 

Gatineau Park

Gatineau Park

Location: 33 Chem. Scott, Chelsea, QC J9B 1R5, Canada

Just a short drive across the river, Gatineau Park offers beautiful hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, lakes, and picnic areas.

It offers a plethora of activities to suit all interests. If you enjoy hiking, you’ll find an extensive network of trails that cater to all skill levels. 

Leisurely strolls along scenic paths and challenging hikes are some of the highlights here. 

As a challenge, I recommend you try an easy trail first. Once you finish that one, switch to a moderately difficult one and see how well you do. 

One popular path here is the Pink Lake Trail, where you can witness the striking turquoise hues of the lake and learn about its unique ecosystem.

For those who love cycling, the park offers well-maintained bike pathways that wind through picturesque landscapes. You can rent a bike if you don’t have one, and pedaling through the forested trails is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in nature.

Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal

Location: 34 Beckwith St S, Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2A8, Canada

So, picture this: you start your day by strolling down to the Rideau Canal, a shimmering ribbon of water that winds its way through the heart of our beautiful city. The canal is not only a historic gem but also a hub of activity and enjoyment.

Now, lace up your walking shoes or hop on a bike because we’re about to embark on an adventure. As you make your way along the canal, you’ll notice the charming locks that transform the water levels, allowing boats to have an easier time navigating. 

Once you start craving some delicious food, visit the delightful eateries and vendors situated near the area. You can treat yourself to a BeaverTail, a beloved Canadian pastry topped with sweet delights like cinnamon sugar or Nutella. 

Trust me, it’s a delicious indulgence that locals and visitors alike can’t resist!



Location: 317 Brock St W, Merrickville, ON K0G 1N0, Canada

This charming village on the Rideau Canal is known for its historic downtown, unique shops, and picturesque waterfront. Locals and tourists love taking a leisurely stroll and exploring the local boutiques and artisanal stores.

One of the highlights of Merrickville is the iconic Rideau Canal locks, which pass through the heart of the village. You can sit by the locks and marvel at the boats gracefully navigating the waterway while relaxing with a snack in hand. 

If your timing is right, you might even witness the locks in action as boats are raised or lowered.

Whether you’re strolling the streets, exploring the local shops, or simply enjoying the idyllic surroundings, Merrickville offers a delightful escape from the ordinary.

Calypso Water Park 

Calypso Water Park

Location: 2015 Calypso St, Limoges, ON K0A 2M0, Canada

Entrance fee: 

  • Adults 12 years of age and older:  $12.50 + tax
  • Senior (65+) & Military (with ID) $10.50 + tax
  • Children 3-11 years of age:  $10.50 + tax
  • Toddler Ages 1 & 2:   $5.50 + tax – fee includes a water diaper
  • Infant Under 1:  FREE   

After 3 PM, adults and kids can get a $2 discount. 

Do you want to beat the summer heat? Then Calypso Water Park, located east of Ottawa, is the perfect place to go. 

It features thrilling water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers, making it a perfect family-friendly destination.

Are you ready for a heart-pounding adventure? Take on the towering water slides, each offering its own unique twist and turns. 

I do recommend that you brace yourself, as you will be plunging down steep drops and will feel the rush of adrenaline as you zoom through twists and tunnels. It’s an exhilarating experience that will leave you wanting more!

Upper Canada Village

Upper Canada Village

Location: 13740 County Rd 2, Morrisburg, ON K0C 1X0, Canada

In this location, you will step back in time at Upper Canada Village, located near Morrisburg. This living history museum showcases rural life in the 19th century with authentic buildings, costumed interpreters, and interactive exhibits.

The village showcases authentic buildings, costumed interpreters, and interactive exhibits, all meticulously recreated to reflect the daily life of the early settlers. It’s like stepping into a time machine and finding yourself in the heart of 19th-century Canada.

Parc Omega

Parc Omega

Location: 399 QC-323, Montebello, QC J0V 1L0, Canada

Entrance fee (one day ticket): 

  • Adults 16 to 64 years old: $40.88
  • Entry for seniors 65 and over: $36.53
  • Child entry 6 to 15 years old: $30.44
  • Admission 2 to 5 years old: $16.09

If you want to discover Canadian wildlife, look no further than Parc Omega, situated near Montebello. In this area, you can drive through a nature reserve to see animals like bison, elk, wolves, and bears in their natural habitats.

One of the main draws of this experience is the interaction with the animals. You will be allowed to roll down your windows to a certain length, and you get to feel the excitement build as you enter the park. 

I recommend that you keep your camera at the ready because you never know when you’ll come face to face with a majestic elk, a playful deer, or even a towering bison. 

As you drive through the road, you will be awed as the magnificent animals graze, interact with each other, or cross the road just inches away from your vehicle.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there! Parc Omega is also home to other fascinating creatures like black bears, wolves, and even the elusive white-tailed deer. 

Be sure to drive slowly and keep your eyes peeled for these incredible creatures that call the park their home.

Before I forget, I highly recommend that you try hand-feeding some of the deer or goats that approach you. It’s a chance to connect with nature in a unique and memorable way, and there’s just something special about feeling these animals eating from your palm.



Location: ON K7H 1H9, Canada

Known for its heritage buildings and beautiful downtown core, Perth offers a pleasant day trip experience. 

There are plenty of quaint shops for you to explore here and delicious meals to try out at the local restaurants.

You also have the option of taking a leisurely stroll along the charming streets lined with beautifully preserved heritage buildings. These date back to the early 19th century, which gives you a firsthand look at the architecture from that time. 

If you’re up for some adventure, consider taking a boat ride on the Tay River. It’s an exhilarating experience to hop aboard a guided tour. 

If you want something even more thrilling, go and rent a canoe or kayak for yourself to explore the picturesque waterway at your own pace. 

All I can say is, it’s a wonderful way to experience Perth from a different perspective and enjoy the surrounding natural splendor.



Location:  Wakefield, QC J0X 3G0, Canada

Nestled in the scenic Gatineau Hills, Wakefield is a charming village with a vibrant arts scene.

As you arrive in Wakefield, you’ll immediately sense the creative and laid-back atmosphere that permeates the village. 

Wakefield is known for its thriving arts scene, boutique shops, and cozy cafés, which all contribute to its unique and welcoming ambiance.

You can start your day by exploring the village’s artistic side. Wander through the local shops and galleries, where you’ll find a diverse range of artwork, crafts, and handmade treasures created by talented local artisans. 

From paintings and sculptures to pottery and jewelry, there’s something to suit every artistic taste.

It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the fresh air while immersing yourself in the splendor of the Gatineau Hills.

Rockcliffe Park

Rockcliffe Park

Location: Rockcliffe Park, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Rockcliffe Park is an affluent neighborhood known for its stately homes and picturesque landscapes. Here, you have the option to take a relaxing stroll through the Rockcliffe Park Pavilion or explore its extensive trail network.

As you look around, keep an eye out for the Rockeries, a collection of unique rock formations and gardens that add a touch of whimsy to the park. These artistic creations will transport you to another world where imagination and nature blend seamlessly.

For a touch of history, make a stop at the MacKay United Church. This beautiful stone church is a designated heritage building and offers a glimpse into the area’s rich history. 



Location: Montebello, QC, Canada

Room prices (Fairmont Le Château Montebello):

  • $37 per night, including taxes

Home to the iconic Fairmont Le Château Montebello, this village offers a blend of history and natural beauty. 

To start your day, you can explore the grandeur of Fairmont Le Château Montebello. This iconic hotel, known as the largest log cabin in the world, is a sight to behold.

Once you get there, walk around its grounds, marveling at the impressive architecture and enjoying the beautiful views of the Ottawa River. It’s a fantastic spot to capture some Instagram-worthy photos and soak up the elegance of this historic landmark.

Afterward, take a leisurely stroll through Montebello’s charming downtown core. The village is dotted with boutique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafés. 

Don’t forget to sample some delectable treats or sip on a cup of coffee while taking in the laid-back ambiance.



Location: Arnprior, ON, Canada

Situated along the Ottawa River, Arnprior is a small town with a rich heritage. You have the option to explore its historic downtown, visit the Arnprior and District Museum, or enjoy recreational activities like fishing or boating on the river.

Afterward, embrace the beauty of nature by visiting Robert Simpson Park. This scenic waterfront park offers stunning views of the Ottawa River, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. 

Thanks to its fresh air, I love to take a deep breath in this place. After that, I simply enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings and appreciate the natural beauty that Arnprior has to offer.

If you’re in the mood for some outdoor adventure, head to the nearby Gillies Grove and House Trail. This nature reserve boasts old-growth forests and serene walking trails that offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 

During the hike, you get to marvel at the towering trees and embrace the calming ambiance of this natural sanctuary.

Mont Tremblant

Mont Tremblant

Location: Mont-Tremblant, QC, Canada


  • Lift tickets: $90-$110
  • Season passes:  $800-$1,200 
  • Equipment rental: $40-$60

Mont-Tremblant is a popular ski resort village that offers all sorts of exciting activities. 

Even in the summer, you can still go hiking in the area. If you want to do something else, you also have the option to go mountain biking or relaxing by the beautiful Lake Tremblant.

Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a first-time snowboarder, the knowledgeable staff will ensure you have everything you need to conquer the slopes. 

You will be able to access skis, snowboards, helmets, and boots, here. Needless to say, you’ll be well-equipped for a day of snowy adventures.

Now, it’s time to hit the slopes! Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort offers a wide range of trails catering to all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned experts. 

As you strap on your skis or snowboard and carve your way down the powdery slopes, you feel the rush of adrenaline and the cool mountain air on your face. The breathtaking views of the surrounding Laurentian Mountains will leave you in awe as you descend.

If skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, fear not! Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort has something for everyone. 

You can take a break from the slopes and explore the charming pedestrian village nestled at the base of the mountain instead. 

In this section of the resort, you can stroll through the cobblestone streets, indulge in some retail therapy at the boutique shops, and warm up with a cup of hot cocoa or a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants and cafés.

Thousand Islands

Thousand Islands

Location: Thousand Islands, ON, Canada

Do you want to admire the beauty of several islands? Then I recommend that you take a boat tour or cruise along the stunning Thousand Islands region, located between Canada and the United States. 

On this boat cruise, you will be able to marvel at the countless small islands dotting the St. Lawrence River and visit Boldt Castle.

With over 1,800 islands, each one definitely has its own unique charm and story to tell. 

As you cruise along the tranquil waters, keep your eyes peeled for magnificent mansions, charming cottages, and even some of the elusive wildlife that call this area home.

The knowledgeable guides will share fascinating stories and legends about the islands and their rich history as you take the tour. You will be able to learn about Boldt Castle, a grand turn-of-the-century mansion with a captivating love story. 

Not only that, but you get to discover the secrets behind the mysterious Thousand Islands dressing. Needless to say, the boat tour offers a wonderful blend of entertainment, education, and breathtaking views that will leave you in awe.

For something a bit more thrilling, why not consider taking a kayak or canoe tour to explore the islands at your own pace? 

You will get to paddle through narrow channels, glide past lush vegetation, and discover hidden coves that can only be accessed by water. 

It’s a chance to connect with nature, enjoy the serenity of the surroundings, and create your own personal island-hopping adventure.