Ottawa is a beautiful city. From vibrant greenspaces and nature access to impressive architecture and culture, we consider ourselves incredibly lucky to live in a city that has it all.
But on top of that, Ottawa is surrounded by small, unique towns that are just a short drive away and worth adding to your day trip travel bucket list. This winter, when you’re looking for a place to visit that isn’t too far away, try checking out one of these towns. Here are five to consider:
For a day trip to hit more than one small town outside of Ottawa, head for Mississippi Mills and get the chance to explore both Pakenham and Almonte – all within the same area. With unique cafés, beautiful waterfalls, museums and boutiques, these two towns will give you some of the best locations to escape to.
More info: https://www.mississippimills.ca/en/index.aspx
Just a short drive from Ottawa, heading into Québec, you will reach Montebello; a small town with opportunities to explore history, food and nature. From checking out Kenauk Park and paddling one of its dozens of lakes to learning the history of the Manoir Papineau National Historic Site and seeing the beautiful architecture and gardens, Montebello offers the best small-town vibe with picture-perfect attractions.
More info: https://www.tourismeoutaouais.com/en/services_en/montebello/
- Perth (1hour west of downtown Ottawa)
Known for being one of the most charming small towns outside of Ottawa, Perth offers a full patio-season vibe with picturesque fountains and bridges, beautiful brick heritage buildings and delicious food to check out. And if you want to feel like you’re in the middle of a Hallmark movie, head into Perth during mid-December and check out the Festival of Lights.
More info: https://www.perth.ca/en/index.aspx
- Gananoque (1.5 hours southwest of downtown Ottawa)
Gananoque is famous for its Thousand Island National Park cruises that take you along the St. Lawrence River and through beautiful island homes and castles. Although the cruises are a summertime activity for the town, you can take to the skies to view the islands this winter with the 1000 Islands Helicopter tours. After you finish your ride, be sure to check out the downtown corridor of Gananoque to try some of the local food and drinks or to visit some of the shops.
More info: https://www.gananoque.ca/
Whether you partake of winter sports or not, Mont-Tremblant is a must-see at any time of the year. After a two-hour drive into Québec, you will be taken back by the beauty of the village and how many activities you can participate in while you’re there. From hiking trails to ski slopes, golfing to shopping, music to wellness festivals, and numerous seasonal fun options, you are sure to find something in the village that piques your interest.
More info: https://www.mont-tremblant.ca/en