How to Have the Most Canadian Day Ever in Ottawa

Cycle along the Rideau Canal, eat a BeaverTail, visit a museum and go to Parliament Hill.

Rideau Canal, photo by Tracey Whitefoot/Alamy

Morning: Cycle along the Rideau Canal

Cyclists adore Ottawa’s more than 600 km of pathways. Rent a bike from RentABike—helmets, maps and locks included—then ride a 7.5-km sightseeing route that passes several top museums as it follows the historic Rideau Canal and Ottawa River.

Lunch: Eat a BeaverTail

Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time for a gotta-eat-it-once BeaverTail, the famed Canadian dessert of fried dough with toppings like cinnamon and sugar that originated in the city.

Afternoon: Visit the Canadian Museum of Nature

Explore the Canadian Museum of Nature. This summer, must-sees include the perennially popular Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year exhibit, as well as the brand-new permanent Canada Goose Arctic Gallery, which showcases the cultural and biological diversity of Canada’s northernmost regions through multimedia and interactive experiences, as well as artifacts such as a traditional sealskin kayak.

Evening: Northern Lights at Parliament Hill

Relax on Parliament Hill for Northern Lights, a bilingual sound and light show on the story of Canada.

National museums to visit in Ottawa: 

Canadian Museum of History

This museum explores nearly 20,000 years of human history and, on Canada Day, it unveiled its Canadian History Hall.

Canadian War Museum

Learn about Canada’s combat history, from the first wars fought on Canadian soil to the country’s current role in conflicts abroad.

The National Gallery of Canada

Explore more than 1,200 works of art from Canadian, indigenous and international artists at one of the country’s largest museums.



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