Here are 7 of the most beautiful small towns near Ottawa for a road trip over the holidays.
1. Gananoque, Ontario
The stunning 1000 Islands are famous year-round for its unique topography of coves and lake-side parks. However, the town of Gananoque truly shines in the winter with a light dusting of snow in this natural oasis. This water-front small town is filled with charming local shops and restaurants that are so lovely to explore and there´s a picturesque parkway perfect for taking a relaxing stroll.
By car: 1 hr 45min
2. Merrickville-Wolford, Ontario
Coined the ¨jewel of the Rideau¨, this charming small town really lives up to its name. It has more designated heritage buildings than any other like-size town in Ontario, making it a really unique spot for a getaway. If you want a taste of culture and history but also proximity to the beautiful waterways of the Rideau Canal, a trip to Merrickville-Wolford is a must.
By car: 1hr
3. Wakefield, Quebec
This charming small town in Quebec is well-known by everyone in Ottawa for its immaculate natural wonders, but the town itself is also full of delights. It´s also home to the most incredible ice skating maze that opens next week! Besides skiing and snowshoeing through the stunning forest trails, you can also visit the most incredible French patisseries and indigenous art galleries in their shopping district.
By car: 30 min
4. Prince Edward County, Ontario
The location of some of the most beautiful wineries in all of Canada, Prince Edward County is a wonderful weekend getaway from Ottawa, no matter the season. It´s also where you can find the unique Sandbanks Provincial Park and the charming shoreline of the Lake Ontario. There is no shortage of things to do in this stunning small town, you´re going to want to stay awhile.
By car: 2hrs 30min
5. Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Does anything scream perfect winter getaway like a weekend at Mont Tremblant? One of the best ski resorts in Eastern Canada, Mont Tremblant is a must-see for skiers and non-skiers alike. The charming village stroll alone is reason enough to take a road trip here. There is so much to do – from cross country skiing and ice skating to museum exhibits and fine dining, everyone will love it here.
By car: 1hr 45min
6. Perth, Ontario
Filled with fairy-tale bridges over canals, award-winning bakeries and incredible architecture, Perth truly is one of the most charming small towns near Ottawa. On this month before Christmas is their iconic Festival of Lights at the Crystal Palace – a stunning wintery experience. Grab a warm drink from a local cafe and wander through their picturesque streets for the most peaceful afternoon.
By car: 1hr
7. Montebello, Quebec
Close to the famous Parc Omega, a 2200 acre wildlife zone filled with moose, wolves and 400 wild animals, this spot is truly unique. Not only can you explore this incredible natural oasis, but you can also visit a trail of local micro-breweries, spend a day at the spa or taste test some of their delicious cheeses, right in town.
By car: 1hr