Winter is coming, and some of us barely did anything all summer. Aside from outing myself, I'm pretty sure this is sort of relatable. The days are getting shorter and colder, and now's the time when we get kicked into winter anxiety. We really only have the next few weeks to get every outdoor activity possible in.
If you've already explored all of Ottawa, don't worry - you can still find something new. Day trips with friends and/or family are always a fun way to get mini vacations in, especially with the long weekend coming our way.
Here are 8 spots, all less than 2 hours away, that you need to check out this fall for your next road trip.
Experience life in the 1860s. Upper Canada Village, a quick hour-and-a-half drive from Ottawa, is one of the largest living history sites in Canada. It's made up of authentic buildings, which are all authentic and were specifically transported to the site, ornamental gardens and farmland, and different restaurants and cafes to stop at throughout your visit. Upper Canada is refreshingly scenic and great for photography, not to mention the perfect place for family trips.
"Barns, mazes, a hayride, a march, and a theatre". Aside from being a fall-time ritual, Saunders is celebrating its 25th year in the business with a brand new 1930s' themed haunted carnival. While it's family-friendly in the daytime, the carnival's Big Top Fear House transforms into their "scariest" attraction for their famous Fright Fest at night. It's open till 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights, so if you're not in the mood to go to another halloween-themed party, here's an option for you.
3. Old Montreal
Just 2 hours from Ottawa, Old Montreal, or Vieux-Montréal if we're getting technical, offers up beautiful architecture and living history as one of the oldest areas in North America. A trip here lets you experience European charm close to home - its cobblestone streets are lined with art galleries, picturesque cafes, and the famous old port.
The Bonnechere Caves, an hour-and-a-half drive from Ottawa, is the perfect place for those looking for something a little off-beat. Be prepared for small and dark spaces - Bonnechere is an underground wonder home to bats, fossils, waterfalls, and the full adventure experience.
Wakefield looks like an IRL postcard. It's a quaint, adorable little city just 30 minutes from Ottawa, and is the getaway if you need some TLC - both Instagram-famous Nordik Spa and Wakefield Mill Hotel and Spa attract hundreds of visitors every year for some much needed weekend pampering.
6. 1000 Islands
Yes, they have a castle. The 1000 Islands, straddled on the Canada-US border 2 hours from Ottawa, is a "sightseer's paradise". Aside from their own scenic boat tours, with exclusive fall season tours on now, you can also hire private charters to experience the seaway for your personal events. Vacationers have been coming here for more than 150 years to enjoy the area's natural beauty, so if you haven't been here yet, where have you been?
7. Parc Omega
Get up close with nature. Parc Omega, located approximately 1 hour from Ottawa, is home to many species of uncaged Canadian wildlife. This is a must visit for any animal lover, and it's a great place for families too. You can drive through the park and feed the animals, who literally come to your window to greet you, along their hour-and-a-half car tour.
8. Perth, ON
The cutest town you will ever see. Filled with cute coffee shops, an adorable walk-friendly downtown, and countless festivals happening year-round, there is always something to do or see at Perth. It's only around an hour's drive from Ottawa, so it's basically the same thing as bussing from downtown to Barrhaven - you have no excuse not to go.