Summer is around the corner and we finally get to walk outside without winter jackets. I just almost shed a tear of happiness writing that, but it's true. Discovering your city can be super hard in the winter, since you have to drive through blizzards, make sure you don't freeze to death, etc. But in the summer? The city is our oyster.
Even though Ottawa is considered a small but big city, we all know it makes sense. There are some well known spots, and some low key spots that maybe not everyone knows about but should. And all of these spots are so amazing that they should be known! They each have something special that you've definitely never seen in Ottawa before, and that's the beauty of our city.
Playa Del Popsical
Where: 809 Bank St.
Why you should go: If you've never heard of Playa Del Popsical, then your life will change this summer. Hidden behind a couple of stores in The Glebe, this adorable popsicle shop will make you feel like you're transported to a tropical island. They have a ton of popsicle flavours to choose from, and it's definitely an adorable picture opportunity.
Union Street Kitchen Cafe
Where: 42 Crichton St
Why you should go: This beautiful cafe will make you feel like you're in Los Angeles, not Ottawa. It's inside of a little house, but they serve such trendy foods like avocado toast, tasty lattes, and their decor is to die for. This hidden cafe is definitely worth a visit!
Equator Coffee Roasters
Where: 1 Elgin Street
Why you should go: It may not seem like it, but there is a coffee shop behind this photo that just opened up. With this view, you're able to see downtown Ottawa in a completely different light. Equator Coffee Roasters just opened up about a week ago, and it's one of the most stunning spots to sit down and relax.
Where: 1 Elgin Street
Why you should go: This waterfront restaurant makes you feel like you're in Amsterdam. Le Café gives you a clear view of the Ottawa River, and it's perfect for any occasion. They're open for lunch and dinner, and you won't be disappointed.
HI Ottawa Jail Hostel
Where: 75 Nicholas St
Why you should go: This will definitely make you see a different side of Ottawa! The HI Ottawa Jail Hostel is, of course, a hostel that used to be a jail. It's reported to be haunted, as it was shut down in 1972. You can spend a night here in one of the cells, but it's not for the faint of heart.
Where: Wakefield, Quebec
Why you should go: Okay, this may be a little bit out of the way but it's worth the half hour drive. Why do you need to go to Iceland when you have this spot so close to home?! Morrison's Quarry is a swimming hole that is perfect for summer days. It's huge, and it's the clearest water anywhere close to Ottawa.
Where: 340 Elgin St
Why you should go: Charlotte is a relatively new bar in Ottawa and it's so boujee in the best way possible. If you're looking for a low key, but still fun place to spend a night with friends, this bar is it! There is definitely no bar like this in all of Ottawa.
Tavern on the Hill
Where: 1223 Alexandra Bridge
Why you should go: I mean, look at that view! You can see the gorgeous Parliament Buildings while eating a sausage and beer, and I'm not sure it can get better than that. Tavern on the Hill will be open again this spring, and we're so excited.
Where: 11 Aviation Pkwy
Why you should go: If you've ever wanted to see Ottawa from a different view, this is your change. You start off at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and it takes you all around Ottawa, and the lowest price is $99 per person. You get to see Gatineau, Hull, and all of downtown Ottawa!
Where: Chaudière Island
Why you should go: Niagara Falls who? Located in between Ottawa and Gatineau, these falls have a viewing platform that gives you a stunning look at the rushing waters. If you want to see something you haven't seen in Ottawa, it's a body of water that is actually nice to look at. And you'll find that at Chaudière Falls!
Copper Spirits and Sights
Where: 325 Dalhousie St
Why you should go: As you can probably tell from the picture above, the views from Copper Spirits and Sights are unreal. You can dine at the top of the Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market, or you can step out on to the rooftop where you'll see views for days. You've definitely never seen Ottawa like this before!
Where: 428 Preston St
Why you should go: If you're looking for a new restaurant, or something you've never tried before, I can guarantee that it's at MATI. They describe themselves as a crudo and charcoal restaurant, which are serving styles from Greece and Italy. This kind of restaurant doesn't pop up in Ottawa very often, so when it does, we need to check it out.
Terrace on the Canal
Where: 191 Colonel By Dr
Why you should go: Everyone knows what the Rideau Canal is, obviously. But hidden behind the Canal is a terrace that you can hang out at all through summer and fall. They serve drinks and they have lounge chairs so you can relax out in nature. It seriously is an amazing place to be in Ottawa and if you want to chill in nature but not at the beach, this is the spot.
Why you should go: Even though it's about an hour drive from Ottawa, this lookout point is so worth it. You'll truly feel like you're nowhere near the city, and it definitely gives you a different view than all of the hiking trails in Gatineau!