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Finally visiting Ottawa at the end of September.

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Washington DC...
posts: 100
reviews: 513
Finally visiting Ottawa at the end of September.

Here's my Forum topic back in 2011:

I'm debating between a 3 or 5-day visit to Ottawa.

Oct 23, 2011, 1:41 AM

I am not sure if 3 days is enough to see the highlights of Ottawa or not. I'm looking for answers online and its seems most people who visited Ottawa think 3 days is more than enough to experience what it has to offer. I would like some ideas from others and tell me why you think it is so. Thanks.

Today:

I finally made plans for my 3-day Ottawa visit. Planned to see the ffg: Rideau Canal. Parliament Buildings. Byward Market. Perhaps I can add one more museum that is most interesting. Any suggestions?

Of course my trip is not complete without immersing myself into the culinary offerings of Ottawa. Any suggestions to the most discriminating palate, preferably Canadian/ French/ Steakhouse only cuisine, from $ to $$$ menu?

We have tickets to see Emilie Claire Barlow at Shenkman Arts. Any other hot tickets during the last week of September?

Thanks.

51 replies to this topic
Washington DC...
posts: 100
reviews: 513
31. Re: Finally visiting Ottawa at the end of September.

lc_sar and 001traveler001 thanks for your suggestions. We will definitely consider visiting Diefenbunker. We enjoyed our visit to the Minuteman Missile Silo in South Dakota, a cold war relic that is an absolute must if you are anywhere near the Badlands National Park or Mt. Rushmore N.P. I'm sure this D_bunker is just as interesting.

CCPub sounds like a good food stop. That is also something to consider. I see fish and chips on the website. Any idea what's the rest of their menu?

A bus tour is something to consider because of our limited time. We are also looking at the canal tours.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 106
reviews: 61
32. Re: Finally visiting Ottawa at the end of September.

Poutine's a comfort food - In my opinion, best eaten on a cold day when you want something warm and filling in your belly. It's something I'll often have after a morning of skiing. If I were trying it for the first time, I'd probably get it as an unhealthy lunch with some water or your choice of soft drink. I'll still do this every now and then when I get the craving, but definitely not frequently.

The June ribfest on Sparks Street is actually pretty huge... draws thousands of people from all over the city downtown. It was so popular, they started doing a second festival in the September. I suspect that one isn't as big, simply because not as many people know about it yet. Yes, it is a travelling road show, but a very popular one at that. If you like ribs, pulled pork or BBQ chicken it's worth checking out.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 270
reviews: 3
33. Re: Finally visiting Ottawa at the end of September.

The Diefenbunker is a cold-war folly, named after the Prime Minister of the day, John Diefenbaker. It was a ten-storey underground bulwark built to "save" Canada (that is, the essence of Canada) if the nukes obliterated everything else. There was a vault to store all the treasure of the Bank of Canada. There was a complete broadcasting apparatus so the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation could continue to bring the news to anyone still left standing outdoors. There were spartan quarters for the Governor General, The Prime Minister, and whatever remained of the government that remained. Plus a lot of troops, because you'd need a lot of troops after a nuclear strike. It seems so innocent and misguided now.

It is still located in the cornfields outside of Ottawa. It would be about a 45-minute drive from downtown. Not realistic to get there by bus.

Washington DC...
posts: 100
reviews: 513
34. Re: Finally visiting Ottawa at the end of September.

Again, I enjoyed reading all the info JL99 and Leroy. Taking all this into consideration, we might just end up sitting in a restaurant or cafe and enjoy the food and the scenery. Fortunately, this is the last leg of our trip after watching Cabaret on Broadway, visiting a friend in Maine and 3 days of hiking at Parc National du Bic/ Canyon des Porter de l'Enfer near Rimouski. I already made reservations for all 3 nights of dinner in Ottawa. We'll see what we feel like doing once we get there depending on the weather. If it is warm, nice and sunny, we don't mind a 45 minute drive to Diefenbunker or take a stroll at Gatineau Park. Of course if it is damp and dreary, we'll seriously consider a wine bar or a museum nearby. Either way, we will make sure our trip to Ottawa is super enjoyable and something to remember.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 270
reviews: 3
35. Re: Finally visiting Ottawa at the end of September.

ebbtide, you've done a great job of mining local minds about what could make an interesting Ottawa visit. Salut!

If it's warm and sunny, I would opt for a walk in the autumn glory of the Gatineau, not a fairly boring drive through farmland to the Diefenbunker. It's a cold war curiosity, no more. If it's rainy, of course, a cozy bar and a glass of wine cannot be bad. But the thing that gets to me here in the fall (right at the time you will be here) is that even if the weather's dreary the leaves are still shouting all their colour everywhere. So if it's raining, get in your car and drive a bit. Even just go down Sussex Drive to the circle and turn around and come back. Some trees will be yelling YELLOW and ORANGE and RED to you, even if it's raining. Then get your glass of wine.

Hope you enjoy your visit. You've done a grand job of researching. I hope I've at least done half as well for my upcoming trip to Venice!

Washington DC...
posts: 100
reviews: 513
36. Re: Finally visiting Ottawa at the end of September.

I would like to thank everyone for sharing loads of wonderful tips on Ottawa. I wish we'll have the opportunity to experience all, regardless of how everyone else's here differed. Three days in Ottawa is too short. It would be absolutely impossible to squeeze even half of the places/ activities mentioned here. Everytime I plan a trip, I make a bucket list but at the end, it always does not play out as planned. And I think that's the fun part of it. Surprises.

I will try to post/ review our experiences once we get back, Hopefully it will be helpful to someone who intends to visit the city in the near future.

Leroy, good luck to your Venice trip. That's one city we planned to visit when we were in Italy but decided to soak up in the small towns in Tuscany instead.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 270
reviews: 3
37. Re: Finally visiting Ottawa at the end of September.

Aw yeah, Venice. This is a tough one to plan. I was on the ground there last time for eight hours before my cruise, and it blew me away. Everything was so beautiful, everywhere. I am a very logical, list-making person, and in no time at all I understood that you cannot be in Venice with your lists and maps and such. It just doesn`t work that way.

At the same time, you can`t spend two days looking stupidly in awe at every passing boat, every shop window, every little medieval street. Or can you? Maybe that`s what you should do.

I`m making plans, and also know that they may just get dumped because I had to spend extra time looking at how beautifully they arranged the radishes for sale in the Rialto Market. It`s just that kind of place.

Have a lovely time in Ottawa. You can always come back, you know. It`s what I had to do with that darned Venice.

Washington DC...
posts: 100
reviews: 513
38. Re: Finally visiting Ottawa at the end of September.

I'm sure you'll have a lovely time in Venice. I gathered from friends that it is a city best visited off peak tourist season for at least a week. I might have to seek your advise in case I decide to visit the city in the near future. Cheers.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 106
reviews: 61
39. Re: Finally visiting Ottawa at the end of September.

Don't go out without a detailed map if you're in Venice, especially if you find yourself on the opposite side of town after dark and have to find your way back to your hotel. I think most of the hotels provide them. It's very easy to get lost in the narrow alley ways they call streets there. It's a neat place, with some memorable vistas, but probably not one of the my favourite destinations... it's such a tourist destination that there are few real locals living there anymore, and it shows with many of the buildings falling into disrepair, the abundance of 'tourist trap' restaurants and the lack of every day services in the central area. That said, it's still a must check out - as are some of the neighbouring islands. As a place to spend some time, I found nearby Florence much more enjoyable.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 1
reviews: 8
40. Re: Finally visiting Ottawa at the end of September.

No one has mentioned the brand new TD Place at Lansdowne Stadium. The Ottawa REDBLACKS CFL team has two home games in September (5h & 26th): www.ottawaredblacks.com/schedule/year/2014/65 Also, if you are driving, I'd highly recommend a trip to Upper Canada Village which is a living village representing Upper Canada in 1867! www.uppercanadavillage.com/index.cfm/en/home/

Edited: 5:19 pm, September 01, 2014
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