10 Summer Day-Trips from Ottawa

Sophia Quinn Sophia Quinn

10 Summer Day-Trips from Ottawa

We’re into the first weekend of June and the weather just keeps getting better and better. Be sure to check out some of these amazing summer day-trips from Ottawa as restrictions allow in your health-region! 

1. Omega Park 

Less than an hour from Ottawa, this wilderness park is a favourite spot for animal lovers. The park is a habitat for deers, elk, and even a pack of wolves you can view from up close. Like a safari, you can drive through a 12km long path to see all of these incredible creatures from the comfort and safety of your car. Buy your tickets here


2. Westport 

A little further from Ottawa, Westport is a beautiful town located along the Rideau Canal with plenty to do both on and off the water. Only an hour and a half by car, this spot has plenty of cycling and hiking trails and watersport rentals if you want to get outside in nature. The Rideau District Museum or the Historical Walking Tours are also fun additions to your afternoon visit. 


3. The 1000 Islands 

This incredible Ontario oasis is only a two hour drive from Ottawa and a nature-lover’s paradise. With uninterrupted views of the water, there is plenty to see in the town of Gananoque before setting out to explore the area by a kayak or canoe. The UNESCO designated sites of Frontenac Arch Biosphere and the RIdeau Heritage Route make for an interesting cultural element to this waterfront retreat. 


4. Almonte 

Almonte is a picturesque small-town located only 40 minutes by car from Ottawa. If you’re looking for a taste of history and art, this spot is the perfect day-trip destination to explore. The town’s historic Mill Street has a collection of vintage clothing, antiques, and local artisan boutiques to check out before taking a relaxing stroll on the boardwalk by the Mississippi River. 


5. Calabogie 

One hour outside of Ottawa, Calabogie is one of the coolest places for an adventure close to home. The Eagle’s Nest lookout is the best spot for a photo-op where you can take in the views after a fun hike through the forest. There’s also plenty to enjoy down by the water when it gets hot around mid-day. 


6. Gatineau Park 

This huge park checks all the boxes for an incredible summer’s day. Bright blue water and vibrant green trees make this spot feel like you could be anywhere in the world. There are plenty of hiking trails, rock climbing routes, and places to swim, bike and picnic. Only a 20 minute drive from Ottawa, Gatineau park is a local favourite to escape the city. 


7. Wakefield 

This small-town is an art-lover’s paradise. Only 30 minutes away from Ottawa, there are plenty of galleries and exhibits, as well as small-cafes and restaurants to check out. Feeling crazy? Wakefield is also home to Canada’s largest bungee jump, where you can soar 200ft above Morrison’s Quarry. 


8. Merrickville 

This town is an hour outside of Ottawa and another of the many charming spots along the Rideau Canal. There are plenty of cute shops and restaurants in the centre where you can find local artists’ work and antiques to bring home with you. Otherwise, you can take a relaxing boat ride on the Canal or try some hikes or paddling on the water. If you’re craving something sweet, try the Yellow Canoe Cafe for a huge variety of delightful treats. 


9. Bon Echo Provincial Park 

A bit further than the rest, Bon Echo is a 2 hour drive from Ottawa, but trust us, it’s worth it. The stunning cliffs into the water seem like right out of a movie. Here, you can hike the Cliff Top Trail for incredible views of the water, or paddle up close to the famous Mazinaw Rock. The entire park is the perfect place for a hot summer-day and worth getting up early to visit. 


10. Baird Trail 

Roughly a one hour drive from Ottawa, Baird Trail is a series of boardwalks that take you through the old-growth forest of the Lanark Highlands. It’s 8km circular route is a great way to spend some time outdoors and get a picturesque walk in, not too far from the city.


Things To Do Wellness & Nature