Affordable long weekend fun in Ottawa
posted on May 12, 2023
Here comes May 2-4, otherwise known as Victoria Day weekend and the beginning of summer! It's been a tough year for many of us, so we'll be welcoming the long weekend and warm weather with open arms. If you're ready to kick back and relax, here are some affordable and fun ways to do it in Ottawa this long weekend.
Visit ByWard Market
Is any weekend in Ottawa really complete without a trip to ByWard Market? It's the perfect weekend excursion in the city and it's pretty practical, too! In fact, it's Ottawa’s number one tourist attraction, and a great destination for shopping, dining, arts, entertainment and more. It's home to a local farmers’ market, artisan vendors, and over 600 businesses. Stock your fridge and pantry with farm-fresh ingredients and some ready-to-eat delights. While you're there, take your time and eat or drink on a restaurant patio and peruse some local art work.
See some rock sculptures
Take a hike and enjoy John Ceprano’s rock sculptures at Remic Rapids along the Ottawa River. John creates amazing sculptures with rocks that are available on site. Don't forget to take a few sculpture selfies while you're there!
Go for a hike
Gatineau Park is the National Capital Region’s conservation park. It's the largest green space in the region, and occupies an area of more than 361 square kilometres. It's a place rich in biodiversity and the second-most visited park in Canada. Its vast territory is divided into sectors, one of which is 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa, and each of which features fascinating points of interest and historical places. It's a great destination for hiking with more than 165 kilometres (102 miles) of trails to explore. Best of all, admission is free!
Go for a walk
Get active in the outdoors
Go cycling, roller skating, running or walking to explore Ottawa's over 800 kilometres (497 miles) of recreational pathways that link green areas, parks, gardens and historic sites. Weekend Bikedays are on from late May to early September, giving you access to more than 50 kilometres (31 miles) of parkways which are closed to motorists.
Check out a gallery
Visit Ottawa Art Gallery for free to admire historic and contemporary works tied to the Ottawa region, including pieces from the Group of Seven. The OAG also hosts creative gatherings for kids, Happy Hour for adults and has free childcare for OAG visitors.
Get some ice cream
Mint chip, French vanilla, double chocolate chunk! If you love ice cream, Ottawa is a fabulous city to get it in. Our favourite shops include Moo Shu Ice Cream and Kitchen for their small batch local ice cream flavours, The Merry Dairy for their nut-free frozen custard, The Beachconers Microcreamery for its creative flavours and Haven's Creamery for its outrageous flavours and special diet options.
Try high tea
Did you know one of Queen Victoria's court members invented high tea? It's the perfect Victoria Day long weekend activity. You can have your tiny cakes and sandwiches, and eat them too, at The Vanitea Room, Zoe's and Joy on Sussex.
Grab a drink on a patio
Looking for a bar with a great patio where you can enjoy a drink or two? We've got you covered. Looking for a patio with a view? Tavern on the Falls is a great spot and so is Mill Street Brew Pub. If you love rooftop patios, head to Rabbit Hole and Copper Spirits and Sights.
We hope you enjoy a fabulous Victoria Day long weekend and a wonderful summer season in Ottawa.