Canada : What to do in Ottawa | Activities and dining suggestions

To the point Ottawa: events, restaurants and activities not to be missed in the capital, but also little secrets revealed by its residents.
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A 4 seasons destination

our Canadian capital doesn’t really need an introduction.

Every year thousands of visitors come to the Tulip Festival(12-22 May 2023), to the celebrations surrounding the 1st of July, to visit the parliament, its museums or the Byward Market. Many people also go there for Winterlude (February 2023). And more.

Because it’s easy to get free accommodation with our Marriott points, this article offers a reminder of the points of interest in Ottawa and some new avenues to get to know it better. We add restaurants for the pleasure of our taste buds.

Ottawa Tulip Festival

What are we doing in Ottawa? Activities

The Rideau Canal

It’s impossible to avoid the Rideau Canal and all the life that surrounds it in Ottawa. You can skate in winter, sail in summer; by cruise, kayak or canoe that you can rent.
You can simply walk or cycle along its western and eastern shores.
In the spring, crabapple and cherry trees bloom at theDominion Arboretum on Dow’s Lake. You can also rent kayaks, canoes and paddleboards as well as skates in winter.
Finally, why not bring a picnic lunch to the nearby Commissioners’ Park ? There are many opportunities to get away from it all in Ottawa.
Rideau Canal Ottawa
Rideau Canal Ottawa
Finally, it is fromOttawa that you can observe the manual locks, which are part of the UNESCO heritage. They allow pleasure craft to navigate between the Ottawa River and Lake Ontario.

Did you know that you can camp along the Rideau Canal from Ottawa as far away as Kingston?

With your own tents, with those rented on site, or in Park Canada’s O’Tentik accommodations, you will be able to watch the lockmasters at work.

You prefer to spend the day at the beach and return to your hotel in the evening? Check out one of the 4 great beaches in the Ottawa area.

Petrie Island Beach Ottawa
Photo credit: Swim Guide

Ottawa's big and small events

There are those we know:
  • the Winter Jazz Fest (February 2023),
  • Winterlude (February 2023),
  • July 1st festivities on Parliament Hill,
  • the Blues Festival from July 6-16, 2023,
  • Christmas lights illumination,
  • the Byward Market
Courtyard by Marriott Ottawa East-21

And there are those we know less about:

Yoga on Ottawa Hill.

Where to eat in Ottawa?

The secrets of the residents

Di Rienzo’s Grocery. A little deli known to the locals that makes the best sandwiches in town! In addition, the prices are very affordable.

El Camino, for excellent Mexican food.

Boulangerie L’Art-is-in, for its pizzas, sourdough breads, burgers, pastries, and croissants that impress even the French!

Copper Spirits & Sights, the Andaz terrace. It overlooks a beautiful view of the city of Ottawa and the Byward Market.

The Grand Pizzeria and Bar. We go there for the wood-fired pizza, the beer and the wine which are at reduced prices during the market hours.

Sidedoor and its indoor Ceylonta terrace on West Somerset Street. It is a restaurant that does not pay a lot of money but that serves absolutely delicious Sri Lankan food. Ottawa‘s little well kept secret.

Wood oven pizza
Wood oven pizza

High-end in Ottawa

T.O.W.N. An intimate bistro with modern and tasty cuisine.

Two Six Ate for creative dishes, as beautiful as they are good.

Fairouz Cafe which is a Lebanese restaurant

Riviera, whose excellent food is served in a century-old building, the site of the former Canadian Imperial Bank. Beautiful Art Deco building, with a 70 foot long brass bar and a 50 foot high ceiling!

Beckta Dining & Wine, very high end, it is regularly on the list of the best restaurants in Canada. We go there to celebrate a special event.

Beckta Dining and Wine
Photo credit: Beckta Dining and Wine

Some other restaurant suggestions for all tastes:

Where to stay in Ottawa?

There are several Marriott hotels in Ottawa. Here are the reviews of those tried by our team:

Bottom Line

We hope this short list will add to yours to complete your visit to Ottawa and its region. Little secrets revealed here and there that make an escapade a memorable moment.

We would like to thank Mrs. Josée Madore, a resident of the city and an expert member of the Milesopedia facebook group, for directing us so well. Shall we meet there?

milesopedia group facebook banner
Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
4.5 Milesopedia Rating
Retired from the health care system and a slow traveller at heart, she invests many hours of her free time in travel. She loves to write about everything related to travel, miles and points.

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