Descriptions of Ottawa read like an appealing dating profile: dynamic, gregarious, bilingual, likes kids and long walks on the river. In person, the attractive capital fits the bill.
Canada's gargantuan Gothic Parliament buildings regally anchor the downtown core, an inspiring jumble of pulsing districts at the confluence of three rivers. In the distance, the rolling Gatineau hills tenderly hug the cloudless valley. Ottawa has a wonderful conglomeration of world-class museums, from the smooth, undulating walls of the Museum of Civilization to the haunting arches of the Museum of Nature; all are architecturally inspiring homes to a variety of intriguing collections.
Ottawa's cultural diversity is reflected in its culinary prowess. A compact footprint makes finding great food simple: there's a plethora of excellent dining options catering to most tastes and budgets. Look forward to a dynamic mix of flavors and aromas from around the globe, prepared using fresh, local ingredients.
The capital is truly a year-round destination. Parks, gardens and wide, open public spaces pay an accesible homage to all four seasons – don't dismiss a winter visit because of the bracing cold. Locals celebrate the city's longest-seeming season with a bunch of outdoor pursuits. Many skate to work or school on the frozen Rideau Canal, the largest skating rink in the world. Visitors from far and wide come to delight in the Winterlude festival with its sprawling village made entirely of ice. Once everything melts, auspicious tulips cheer the downtown as spring clicks to summer. Vibrant autumn leaves round out the year, lining the streets with a blaze of eye-popping reds and yellows.
Whether it's for the stunning museums or mouthwatering eats, the rainbow of seasons or outdoor retreats, we think you'll be smitten with Ottawa.