One of the best things about living in Ottawa is how easy it is to escape from the city. What Otown lacks in city size it more than makes up for in proximity to majestic nature and cozy little townlets.
Chelsea is one such example of a perfect city getaway. Just 10 minutes from downtown, the municipality brings a classic charm to the beautiful Quebec countryside. Here, you can wander around the main street in Old Chelsea, enjoy some fine dining in old log cabins or go hiking on one of the many beautiful trails in Gatineau Park.
So, to inspire your next last-minute excursion from the city limits, here are 8 of the many things visitors can do in a day trip to Chelsea.
1. Grab a drink at Chelsea Pub.
Drink some local craft beer at one of the oldest heritage buildings in the region. Drop into this log cabin that was built in 1875 and enjoy some apres-ski vibes after a day at Camp Fortune. Chelsea Pub is also located at the crossroads for cross-country skiers and hikers in Gatineau, along with simply being one of the coziest pubs around Ottawa.
2. Self Care at Nordik Spa-Nature.
Treat yourself and spend one of the many upcoming cold days relaxing in the hot baths at Nordik Spa. This renowned picturesque spa is complete with outdoor baths and saltwater floatation pools, an elevated self-care destination that can't be missed!
3. Hike to the top of Camp Fortune.
Camp Fortune has activities for all seasons, including zip lining and mountain biking during the summer or hiking on its quiet trails for views of Gatineau's coloured forests in the fall. In the winter, consider Camp Fortune as a go-to ski destination!
4. Spend a day exploring Lac Meech.
One of the most beautiful lakes in Gatineau is just next door to Chelsea and the Camp Fortune grounds. Enjoy a day at one of their beaches in the summer or take in the lakeside views with a hike along its banks.
5. Explore the Carbide Wilson Ruins.
Just around Lac Meech, these well-preserved ruins are a treat for those who prefer exploring sites off the beaten track. For this photo op, make sure to bring some good boots on this roughly 30-minute hike.
6. Visit the sugarbush at Le Vignoble de Chelsea.
Embrace your inner Canadian and head to the sugarbush for authentic, local maple syrup. Locals know that it's all about the warm maple taffy that you scoop off snow with a popsicle stick.
7. Take a date to the charming L'Orée Du Bois.
Experience fine French dining in a rustic setting. The romantic charm of the restaurant creates an idyllic atmosphere for anyone looking for a cozy and intimate change of restaurant scenery.
8. Grab ice cream at La Cigale.
One thing is for sure, no trip to Chelsea is ever complete without ice cream from La Cigale. There's always time for ice cream, even outside of summer and especially with this place's seasonal offerings.
This article has been updated since it was originally published on October 25, 2016.