Are you planning your next summer vacation? If yes, then you’ve reached the right place. In this blog, we will cover some good tourist spots near Ottawa. It is known that Ottawa is the capital of Canada and has some amazing tourist attractions. However, there are many places surrounding this city that are worth visiting and should be on your list for day trips from Ottawa. The  .-mentioned places have a lot to offer as there is something for everyone. They are the perfect destinations for day trips from Ottawa. From historical structures and urban landscapes to their natural beauty, these places have unique experiences for every tourist. So, without further ado, let us walk through all the attractions, travel tips, city, entertainment places and much more. 

Top 15 Tourist Attractions Near Ottawa to Visit This Summer

  • Merrickville

The first one on our list is Merrickville, which is an hour away from Ottawa. This small town is just an hour away from Ottawa. You can visit St Lawrence Street to buy clothes, soaps, and garden decorations. You can also get some pretty glass pieces for interior decoration during your day trips from Ottawa. This beautiful town is situated along the Rideau River and has a small island on its other side. The island is known as Merrickville Ruins and was earlier a woollen mill. Presently, there is a small museum in the main building in Merrickville Ruins. This town has many famous tourist attractions, such as Goose & Gridon Pub and Stella Luna.  

  • Perth

Perth is the perfect place to go to if you want some adventure during your day trips from Ottawa. What’s great is that Perth is just 1 hour away from Ottawa. This place has the famous Code’s Mill, which has now become a historical landmark. You can also visit BlackFly GrubHub, Fiddleheads Bar & Grill and Kelly’s Flower and Gift Boutique. People come to visit Perth to spend some time in Stewart Park, which is known as one of the 7 wonders of Lanark County. If you want to know more about the local history, you should visit Perth Museum and Visitor Centre. 

  • Chutes de Plaisance

Located in the province of Quebec, Canada, Chutes de Plaisance is a perfect picnic spot. This huge waterfall is around 40 minutes away from Ottawa, making it a perfect destination for your day trips from Ottawa. People walk around the trails to explore this massive waterfall. There are many breath-taking picnic spots here where you can comfortably have your lunch. You can easily spot some deer, beavers and birds in this place. If you love outdoor activities, then you should definitely give this spot a try. You just have to buy the Day passes after reaching this place and participate in activities like bird-watching and wildlife photography. 

  • Bonnechere Caves

Bonnechere Caves

Now that we have mentioned some historical places near Ottawa let us talk about the geographical marvel that is Bonnechere Caves. You can crawl through a small tunnel to explore the textures and patterns of the rocks. Although it is usually dark in the cave, the sunlight forms some patterns that are mesmerising. It is the perfect destination for a fun summer day trip, as the surrounding forests around the caves add a unique charm to this adventurous day trips from Ottawa. It is advised to follow the Conservational authorities’ guidelines while visiting the Bonnechere Caves. 

  • Wakefield 

It will just take a 30-minute drive from Ottawa to reach Wakefield. Surrounded by the beautiful Gatineau Hills of Quebec, Wakefield has many arts and cultural centres. Visitors can participate in multiple outdoor activities such as:  

    • Canoeing 
    • Kayaking
    • Fishing

It is the perfect destination for a fun summer day trips from Ottawa for the above-mentioned reasons. Visitors coming here go to see the Wakefield Mill. Here, you can also engage in skiing and snowshoeing. The Gatineau Park is one of the prime tourist attractions in this region. You can go for a walk in Wakefield and stroll past the beautiful Gatineau River. Visitors can stay at the luxurious Wakefield Hotel and Spa. If you are a foodie, then you could try dining at MJMD Pizza de Luigi, Pipolinka Bakery and Le Hibou. 

  • Brockville 

Brockville is a small town near Ottawa with breath-taking waterfront views. There are many tourist spots that you can explore in this region as it has a historical significance. Visitors go to the St. Lawrence River for a picnic. Here, you can also participate in many water-based activities. There are many art galleries in Brockville, like Brockville’s Arts Centre. If you love outdoor activities, then you can go to the Thousand Islands region for hiking and bird-watching. Brockville is also home to Canada’s oldest train tunnel with many tall ships. With a 1 hour 8 minutes drive from Ottawa, you will reach this small town to relax and watch the boats or have a kayak adventure. Also, don’t forget to grab some snacks at Don’s Fish and Chips and The Sweet Little Cafe during your day trips from Ottawa. 

  • Morris Island Conservation Area

Morris Island Conservation Area

Forests, wetlands and meadows are what make Morris Island Conservation Area really special. It is renowned for its natural beauty and bird diversity. The Ottawa River is the highlight of this Ottawa day trip tourist destination and is an ideal spot for a picnic. Here, you can easily trek and hike around the trails and explore the wilderness. You can reach this destination within 47 minutes from Ottawa. The Morris Island Conservation Area is one place where you will see something different during the different seasons. Kayaking and Paddling in the water are some of the activities that you can enjoy. If you want some calm and peace, then this beautiful natural retreat is just for you. 

  • Chelsea 

Yet another place in the Gatineau Hills is Chelsea, known for its forests, lakes and hiking trails. The Lac Meech Lake is the go-to place for kayaking, canoeing, and swimming. The Chelsea  Pub and  Brasserie Les Saveurs du Marché are some of the primary tourist attractions in Chelsea. The Nordik Spa-Nature is the perfect place for some relaxation as it has many saunas, hot and cold pools, etc. If you want a delicious meal, then do visit Biscotte & Cie and La Cigale. You can participate in several outdoor activities in Gatineau Park, such as:

    • Hiking 
    • Mountain Biking 
    • Cross-Country Skiing 
    • Snowshoeing
  • Gatineau Park

Gatineau Park

If you are a wildlife enthusiast, then Gatineau Park is the perfect place for you. This park is like a perfect display of Canada’s diverse ecosystems. This is because it houses the below-mentioned animals:

    • White-Tailed Deer
    • Foxes
    • Beavers
    • Moose

The Champlain Lookout and King Mountain Trailhead are the highlights of this park. What’s great is that you can also learn some cultural history by visiting The Visitor Centre. Lastly, suppose you’re interested in some adventurous activities like swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. In that case, this is the place for you as you can participate in these activities due to the presence of Philippe Lake and Meech Lake. 

Interesting Fact: Gatineau Park is just 20 minutes away from Ottawa. This means that you can easily come here for a quick nature retreat.

  • Montreal

Next up on the list is Montreal, a city renowned for its diverse attractions. History enthusiasts visit Old Montreal to see the likes of Notre-Dame Basilica, Place Jacques-Cartier, and the Old Port. Not only history enthusiasts but also people who love art come here to visit The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, and the McCord Museum. Basilique-Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde cathedral is one of the primary highlights of Montreal. The city’s old architecture showcases the European heritage of Canada. You can also see the beautiful Japanese Garden and Chinese Garden. 

People visit Jean-Talon Market and Atwater Market to buy the local delicacies. Families with kids visit the La Ronde amusement park for its crazy roller coaster rides. You can always go to Mount Royal for hiking or visit Montreal Botanical Garden. After a 2 hour drive from Ottawa, you can come here to see The Montreal International Jazz Festival, The Just for Laughs Festival, and the Montreal World Film Festival. 

  • Calabogie


Motorsports enthusiasts love Calabogie as it fulfils their need for speed. Calabogie Motorsports Park provides premium motorsports experiences. Both beginners and experienced riders come here to use the track days for a thrilling experience. Calabogie Peaks Resort offers many outdoor activities, such as: 

    • Skiing 
    • Snowboarding 
    • Hiking Trails 
    • Golf 

This resort also has a beach on Calabogie Lake. To participate in activities such as canoeing, kayaking, and fishing, people visit the Madawaska River. Calabogie is also a great destination for bird watching and wildlife observation. The trails connect to one another, allowing you to easily reach Eagle’s Nest. Although Calabogir is famous for skiing during the winter, it still has many tourist attractions during the rest of the year as well. In case you are wondering about the distance, don’t worry, as Calabogie is just an hour away from Ottawa. 

  • Almonte

Almonte is situated along the Mississippi River and holds cultural and historical significance. You must have heard about 29 Steps, right? This waterfall, also known as Almonte Falls, is one of the primary tourist attractions. So, take a 1 hour drive from Ottawa to see the magnificent 29 Steps. You can easily find some parks and trails near Almonte to participate in activities like canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. It is advised to try some delicious food at Heirloom Cafe & Bistro. Visitors also prefer seeing the Mill and stroll past the River Walk. You should also visit Almonte Old Town Hall to see some spectacular live performances. 

Fun Fact: There’s a statue of James Naismith (basketball’s inventor) just outside Almonte. 

  • The 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands

Situated along the US-Canada border, The Thousand Islands have some iconic landmarks. Boldt Castle is one of the key attractions due to its magnificent architecture. It is around 1.5 hours away from Ottawa and is known for its scenic beauty. No one can forget the romantic gardens of this castle. Situated on Heart Island, this castle is extremely popular among visitors. You can participate in the below-mentioned activities:

    • Boating 
    • Hiking
    • Birdwatching
    • Fishing
    • Swimming 
    • Snorkelling
    • Scuba Diving

The best part about a day trip to this place is the stunning views it presents on The 1000 Islands Bridge. 

  • Westport 

Drive for 1.5 hours from Ottawa, and you will reach Westport, a place perfect for a natural retreat. You should visit the Foley Mountain area, situated along Upper Rideau Lake’s shores. Here, you can enjoy the spectacular views from Spy Rocks. If you want to see Westport’s art and culture, you should stop by Westport Arts Council. Westport Town Hall and Bedford Mills Ruins showcase the history of this town. Visitors explore Westport’s happening Downtown markets. You can participate in water-related activities such as: 

    • Swimming 
    • Kayaking 
    • Boating
    • Fishing.
  • Gatineau 

The last destination on the list is probably the closest one to Ottawa. Yes, you can reach Gatineau, which is just 10 minutes away from Ottawa, so you can always come here for a quick trip. History enthusiasts come here for the Canadian Museum of History, and sports enthusiasts come here for the outdoor activities. But you can come here for many things, for instance, golfing at Parc de la Gatineau Golf Club. Listed below are some of the must-visit tourist spots in Gatineau: 

    • Casino du Lac-Leamy
    • Mackenzie King Estate
    • Gatineau Park
    • Gatineau River
    • Gatineau Umbrella Street
    • Laval Street
    • Ruisseau de la Brasseurs
    • La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve 

Fun Fact: Since 2018, visitors can see Gatineau by walking across the red line from Jacques Cartier Park. 

Wrapping Up

The next time you feel the urge to go on a short day trip, you can probably explore some of the above-mentioned tourist destinations. These 15 summer day trips are perfect for a quick retreat from the hustle and bustle of Ottawa’s city life. For more travel and real estate-related guides, you can always visit our official website Square Yards.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What would be best for a day trip in Canada?

Friday could be a good day for a day trip to Canada. This way, you can always have a quick day trip in and around Ottawa, Canada

What towns are close to Ottawa?

Gatineau, Chelsea and Almonte are some towns that are close to Ottawa.

Where is the prettiest place in Canada?

Gatineau Park is considered one of the prettiest places in Canada.

What is the most prettiest place in Canada?

Although Canada has many pretty places, Basilique-Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde is considered one of the most beautiful places in Canada.