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Ottawa Like a Local

10 Things you should do during your visit.

When it comes to discovering any new city, the best place to start is with the advice of the locals who live there year-round. So, to help you make the most of your stay, we asked our staff to weigh in with some of their favourite things to do in Ottawa. Check out their top recommendations for unwinding below and begin mapping out your trip today!

“For a true Ottawa experience, come during a local festival or event. We have the Canadian Tulip Festival in May, Ottawa Jazz Festival in June, Bluesfest in July, CityFolk Festival in September, and plenty more in-between. Each one provides insight into the unique history and culture of our beautiful city.”

- Director of Sales and Marketing
Director of Sales and Marketing

“I recommend walking up to Parliament Hill on your way to the Byward Market. It may add about 15 minutes to your stroll, but the views – especially at sunset along the canal – are well worth the detour….Simply step outside, turn right, continue for one block, and then turn left.”

- Front Desk Attendant
Front Desk Attendant

“Get outside. In the winter, that means pulling on a pair of skates, and heading to the frozen Rideau Canal to join the locals in some ice skating. In the warmer months, it means hiking and biking in the Gatineau Hills, which offer plenty of different trails for each type of activity. ”

- Executive Chef
Executive Chef

“TD Place is the hottest venue in town and home of the city’s biggest concerts and theatre performances, as well as popular soccer and football teams....It’s worth peeking at the events calendar to see if anything that suits your interests is happening during your stay with us.”

- General Manager
General Manager

“Of course, while you’re here, you have to try a BeaverTail in the city….They’re flat, fried dough pastries topped with either cinnamon sugar, icing, Nutella, and any number of delicious candies or cookie crumbs. Quite a treat, especially for out-of-town visitors!” 

- Corporate Sales Manager
Corporate Sales Manager

“Turn left out of the hotel entrance and head down Slater over to Bank Street. The area has some quirky little boutiques and a few of my personal favourite coffee shops. It’s definitely worthy of a little exploration, if you’re in the mood.”

- Front Desk Attendant
Front Desk Attendant

“If you’re visiting Ottawa during the NHL season [September through April], join hundreds of local fans to watch a[n ice] hockey game at one of the pubs down along Sens Mile on Elgin Street, or live at the Canadian Tire Centre….The entire city gets into the spirit with our team colours and fan gear….Go Sens!”

- ARC Lounge Server
ARC Lounge Server

“Go shopping! In a city with so much to offer, ranging from the three-story Rideau Centre mall with big names like Nordstrom and Simons, to the locally owned boutiques of Byward Market, to the Tanger Outlets, there’s no excuse to leave town without giving in to a little retail therapy.”

- Revenue Manager
Revenue Manager

“For some scenic views and excellent exercise, rent a bike and travel down Aviation Parkway to the scenic Sussex neighbourhood to see the homes of the politicians, including the official home of the Prime Minister.”

- Valet
Valet

“In the summer months, Ottawa locals love our outdoor patios and craft beers. Visitors looking for things to do can join us at the many charming restaurants, pubs, sports bars, and eateries at the Byward Market and along Elgin Street. Nothing beats unwinding in the fresh air with good company!”

- Executive Meeting Manager
Executive Meeting Manager
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