Pack the car! Canada's capital can certainly hold its own when it comes to fun adventures, but we can all admit, it’s nice to escape the city every now and again. So if you’re looking to for spontaneous day trips from Ottawa, then we’ve got you covered. 

You don’t even have to travel far to uncover fun adventures, since all of these destinations are less than a three-hour drive away.

Whether you want to casually stroll through charming small towns with major European vibes, or want to get up close and personal with animals, there’s a variety of day trip ideas to choose from here. 

For example, Perth is one of the most breathtaking places in all of Ontario and you can get there by car from Ottawa in roughly one hour. 

Another nearby small town, Merrickville, is equally cute and has tons of whimsical shops for you to check out.

If it’s getting in touch with nature that you’re after, then Foley Mountain Conservation Area has a lookout point with your name on it.

And it’s only about an hour and a half away, too.

So, here are 11 ways to elevate your road-trip game this summer.

Shop 'Til You Drop In Merrickville 

Price: Free

Address: Merrickville, ON

Why You Need To Go: The charming small town of Merrickville is filled with cute shops and cafes for you to peruse. If you love candles and crystals then you need to stop by Wick Witch while you visit.


Make New Friends At Omega Park

Price: $33.05

Address: 399 QC-323, Montebello, QC

Why You Need To Go: You can take a car tour of the park and feed some furry new friends alone the way.


Go Stargazing At This Dark Sky Viewing Area

Price: Free

Address: 7980 Lennox and Addington County Rd. 41, Erinsville, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can gaze at a sea of stars at the most southerly point in Ontario. The viewing platform now has physical distancing circles to keep everyone safe.


Wander Along The Almonte Riverwalk

Price: Free

Address: 14 Bridge St., Almonte, ON

Why You Need To Go: Almonte is a gorgeous town filled with all the charming shops and cafes you'd expect. But one of the best ways to see the town is from this gorgeous river walk.


Hike To A Breathtaking Lookout In Westport 

Price: $7 day pass

Address: Foley Mountain Ln., Westport, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can bask in a stunning view of the Rideau waterway from this lookout point in Foley Mountain Conservation Area. 


Pretend You're In Europe In This Charming Small Town

Price: Free

Address: Perth, ON

Why You Need To Go: Perth is one of the prettiest towns in the province and it will make you feel like you've spent the day in Europe.


Go Island Hopping In Your Car At Long Sault Parkway

Price: Free to drive

Address: South Stormont, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can go on a picturesque drive crossing 11 islands. At the time of writing this spot is open for drive-through access with some day-use spots open as well.


Soak In Natures Beauty At Bon Echo Provincial Park

Price: $2 walk-in fee

Address: 16151 Hwy. 41, Cloyne, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can hike to lookout points, take a canoe to see Indigenous pictographs, visit beaches, and more in this gorgeous park.


Tour Prince Edward County Gems

Price: Free

Address: Prince Edward County, ON

Why You Need To Go: From wineries to stunning patios on the water and every unique shop in between, you can never go wrong with a trip to the county. If you're looking for something a little unusual then Dead People's Stuff Antiques is a must-stop. Just be sure to check their website before you visit.


Light Up The Night At Brockville Railway Tunnel

Price: Free, donations accepted

Address:  1 Block House Island Rd., Brockville, ON

Why You Need To Go: This historic tunnel has a whole new light and sound show for 2020 and you won't want to miss it.


Get Lost In A 7-Acre Corn Maze

Price: $15 per person or $25 for two people

When: Saturdays & Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Address: 63 Main St. W., Vankleek Hill, ON

Why You Need To Go: You'll be totally amazed at this spot near the capital where you can hunt for hidden mailboxes in a massive corn maze.


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