A travel wishlist from someone who has never been to Ottawa

Michael Palin once said ‘Once the travel bug bits there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life’. Never a truer word has been spoken. I arrived late to this travelling lark – I was well into my late 20’s before I really started travelling and I am now well and truly addicted, getting serious withdrawals if I am in London for more than four weeks uninterrupted.

I am often asked how I found out about some of the places I have been and the experiences that I had, and the answer is from the 101 travel websites and emails that I subscribe to, as well as social media – some of the best kept secrets are in others photos. That is where I get most of my travel envy from which leads to some serious inspiration. Which is why working for Daniel has led me to some serious travel envy in Canada. I have visited Canada briefly – to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side and that is really it. Which is quite frankly shameful. This has made me very keen to see more of Ontario and in particular Ottawa.

First up I hit up a few friends (one guess who those cats were!) and checked out a few blog posts as to what was happening, where I should stay and where I should eat. Below is what I found out, now if a lovely fairy godmother could find me a plane ticket, I will be there! Plus, who wouldn’t feel inspired to get to Ottawa after seeing photos like this from Catherine & Daniel?!

How to get there

  • My go to, KAYAK, tells me that Air Canada has this one all sorted – with an 8 hour flight direct to Ottawa that does not seem too rough on the pocket I am seriously wondering why I have not done this earlier!

Where to Stay in Ottawa

There are two choices here –

  • Westin Ottawa – this place cannot be beat for views and location, right in the heart of downtown Ottawa!
  • Marriott Hotel’s – there a few choices here for location and budget – meaning that you can have a fabulous stay no matter your situation. Check out the Ottawa Marriott Hotel to be close to museums and galleries.


Next up, what am I going to do when I get there?

  • If I can get there by November, then I need to indulge my inner geek and get myself along to the Canadian Videogame Awards! This a huge tournament that will see the national competition projected onto buildings across the city. This seems like a must see to me!
  • Visit the fresh oyster bar at Metropolitan Brasserie – I love the look of this place with its Parisian feel and I have it on good authority that the food there is delish!
  • Visit some exciting neighbourhoods – Sparks Street stands out for me as a place that is home to a busker festival but also a Haunted Walk where you get to explore one of the most haunted buildings near darkness – ummm you had me at haunted building. I love being spooked like this.
  • Slightly related is the Cold War Museum, Diefenbunker, which would be a creepy enough place on its own, without a zombie experience for Halloween, or in fact the Cold War Cinema that takes place on the third Tuesday of every month.
  • I think it’s important to find out about the indigenous people of the place that you are visiting. In October and early November Miwate is happening in Ottawa, which will see the Chaudiere Falls illuminated. This event will help you to discover a beautiful landmark, as well and giving an understanding of the First Nations culture, and in my books that makes it not to be missed!
  • It’s no secret that whilst I cannot sing, that I love karaoke, with a passion. Not normally in front of a crowd, but I might just be brave enough to sing at the Shanghai Restaurant, which hosts a club night on Saturdays from 9pm, with local drag artist China Doll at the helm.
  • Last but not least is get back to nature. I am always inspired by Hannah’s insta stories where she gets out and about in nature – I am sure she would show me around the National Capital Greenbelt – well maybe not all of it as its 20,000 hectares large, but her fav bits I am sure!

I really feel like I am only scratching the surface of what Ottawa has to offer, but I know that from my trip planning and research that it looks like a fabulous place to visit or live. I am so inspired to see and do all that it has to offer, as well as meeting up with some more of the team who live there. I would love to get there this year during the 2017, 150 years young celebrations for Canada! So, let me know if you beat me too it, how it was and if you have any other must do’s to add to the list.

For more information about Ottawa and what this beautiful Canadian city has to offer, make sure to check out the Ottawa Tourism Website & Ottawa 2017 website. Don’t forget to join in on the conversation by following  @2017Ottawa & @Ottawa_Tourism on Twitter, and @Ottawa_2017 & @OttawaTourism on Instagram. Make sure to follow and use the #Ottawa2017 & #MyOttawa to share in these and many more amazing events happening in Ottawa. 


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Luvs xx

Nicola Whyte

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