Ottawa Weekend Getaways: 10 Best Road Trip Ideas
Even with gas prices at an all-time high, Laura Byrne Paquet will have you wanting to pack your bags, fuel up, and head out on an adventure ‘close to home’.
Byrne Paquet does not call herself a travel writer. Rather, she says she is a traveling writer.
And some of her favorite trips are close to her home in Ottawa.
“I am a huge fan of this region. I love meeting people, tasting food, learning history, exploring trails, everything, really,” says Byrne Paquet.
“It helps me feel rooted in this place. I like to know where my food comes from, who was here before me, why our buildings are the way they are, where the rivers flow. And I don’t think I’m the only one. »
Fortunately, the award-winning writer and ardent explorer shares her discoveries in Ottawa Road Trips: Your Weekend Getaway Guide.
It’s his third published nod to all that’s fabulous about our region and it’s a gift for those who aren’t keen jet-setters, an adventure guide for those who like to stay closer to at their home.
This book follows the success Ottawa Road Trips: Your 100km Getaway Guide published last year.
“It happened because Ron Corbett – who I had worked with a million years ago in my first job after school, as a reporter at Ottawa Business News – called me and told me suggested the idea. We put that first book together incredibly quickly, as we realized things were about to open up a bit that summer.
Corbett is a co-founder of Ottawa Press and Publishing and features many authors who, like him, are dedicated to the stories of this region.
“Laura is one of the most talented and hardworking journalists working in Ottawa, and traveling is her great passion,” says Corbett.
“His Ottawa Road Trips books and blog are becoming the definitive guides to day trips and road trips in the Ottawa area. His research is exhaustive. No other guide can replicate what Laura did.”
Corbett points out that even if you consider yourself a local, these books will keep you more “in the know”.
“These books are filled with places you’ve probably never seen and people you’ve never met. It’s just a wonderful local book.”
“I would love for these books to encourage people to get out and connect, especially after the last two years when it’s been so hard to do,” says Byrne Paquet.
“The small communities that depend on visitors are really looking forward to welcoming people back. And I think a lot of people don’t realize the wide variety of experiences available in our backyard.
“You can sit in an airplane simulator, jump from Canada’s highest bungee jump, raft some of Canada’s best whitewater, attend a concert in a cave, dine under the highest lock in lift of Canada, zipline over a waterfall, learn to blow glass or cook a soufflé or any of the millions of other things that could float your boat, all without taking the plane.
The official release date for: “Ottawa Road Trips: Your Weekend Getaway Guide” is May 1. You can pre-order the book, but if you want to get into road trips, here are some of Byrne Paquet’s top picks in the book.
1. Alexandria – Priest’s Mill
“Alexandria has some nice shops and restaurants. The Priest’s Mill Arts Center is both a studio and an exhibition space for local artists. You can see people blowing glass and sign up for classes in this art and in other kinds of art.In the same old mill building, the North Glengarry restaurant has a terrace overlooking a waterfall.And across the street, Buvette du Marché is a great gastropub. “
The Calabogie Eagle’s Nest is one of Laura Byrne Paquet’s top 10 road trip suggestions from Ottawa. (Photo: Ottawa Valley Tourism Association)
2. Calabogie – Eagle’s Nest
“You can reach this beautiful lookout via a short hike from Calabogie, but I have a few caveats. First, the trail will still be muddy for a few more weeks. Give the forest time to heal from winter before putting on any the pressure on the trail.Second, this hike is quite easy and has great rewards, so it has become VERY popular during the pandemic.It has been nearly loved to death and has created a lot of traffic problems for local residents. So if you go try going on a weekday or first thing in the morning Nearby you can dine overlooking Lake Calabogie at On the Rocks And the Somewhere Inn is an old motel that has been transformed into a great little hip boutique hotel.”
3. Deep River – Canadian Clock Museum
“I am fascinated by labors of love – those big projects that individuals undertake, often without much time or resources, simply because they love something and want to share it with others. really enjoyed the Canadian Clock Museum in Deep River, it is the “retirement” project of founder and curator Allan Symons, who started it two decades ago and continues to buy new items He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the hundreds of clocks in the collection.He will also wind up old gramophones for you, or hold a Geiger counter in front of an old clock painted with radium paint to show you how the needle twitches. “
4. Foresters Falls – White Water Rafting
“Again, it’s something people can’t do immediately, but now is the time to start thinking about it and making a reservation. Anything to do with local travel was quickly phased out last year , and I predict this summer will be even busier The whitewater rapids about an hour west of Ottawa are among the best in Canada, and there are several ventures around Foresters Falls and Beachburg (Ontario side ) and in the Pontiac (Quebec side) which will take you white water rafting. In most of them you can also spend the night.
5. Ithaca, NY
“Now that it’s easier to travel to the United States again, I have a recommendation. Ithaca, New York is a short distance from Ottawa – just over four hours – so why do I Recommend it? The town’s slogan is “Ithaca Is Gorges”, and they’re not wrong. Within the city limits, you’ll find dozens of waterfalls, including this one (pictured) in Waterfall Park. Buttermilk Falls State. You can hike along the trails on both sides of the falls, and have a very scenic picnic at the bottom. Ithaca is also home to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, one of the premier centers for research on birds in the world.You can visit it to learn about birds and observe birds.
“What can I say about Kingston? There’s just about everything you could want in a great weekend getaway destination. It is only two hours from Ottawa. There are hotels for everyone, from big chains to quaint bed and breakfasts. There are some great restaurants – try Tango Nuevo for some of the best tapas you’ll ever eat. It’s brimming with history, from the Martello Towers and Fort Henry to the Maritime Museum of the Great Lakes. You can hike the K&P trail, take a ferry to Wolfe Island, enjoy a few craft beers at the Kingston Brewing Company, and shop till you drop (don’t miss Cooke’s Fine Foods and Coffee, which has been selling food to Kingston residents since 1865).
7. Laval, Que.
“This huge suburb immediately north of Montreal is the perfect destination in bad weather, because there is so much to do inside! You can try your luck by ‘landing’ a plane in one of the 24,000 airports around the world in Aerosim Experience’s flight simulator, “skydive” in an indoor skydiving chamber at iFly, experience one of the many escape rooms, climb walls at Clip ‘n Climb, discover the space at the Cosmodôme or catch an indoor wave at Maeva Surf.”
“The Canadian Canoe Museum is a fascinating place for anyone who enjoys paddling. You’ll find Aboriginal birchbark canoes, high-tech kayaks, a canoe that a Canadian adventurer paddled to South America, Bill Mason’s canoe and even Pierre Trudeau’s canoe (with the famous fringed jacket he wore when he paddled. You’ll learn all about the history and construction of canoes. The collection includes some 600 boats, as well than 500 paddles and all sorts of other artifacts. In 2023, the museum will move into a beautiful new building on the bank of the Otonobee River.”
9. Pontiac, Que.
Did you know there is a vineyard in the Pontiac? In fact, there are several. This photo features the Little Red Wagon Winery near Shawville, which also serves meals and hosts many live music events.
10. Rideau Lakes
“The Delta Old Stone Mill (pictured) in Delta is a National Historic Site. The Rideau Lakes region is best known as a summer destination for cottagers, but there is plenty to do in and around the Rideau Lakes even at this time of the year. the Jubilee Bakeshop in Delta for amazing sandwiches, shop for gifts at the Green Gecko in Lyndhurst and stay the night at the Cove Inn in Westport. The Delta Maple Syrup Festival returns this year, Easter weekend (16 and April 17).