Wednesday 20 March 2019
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Plan Your Atypical Vacation to Ottawa

Plan Your Atypical Vacation to Ottawa

When you take a vacation, you usually select a city and visit the local attractions. Or sometimes you choose an attraction, like a beach or a theme park, and plan your trip around it. You book a hotel near the attractions based on location and your desired amenities.

Sometimes, however, you want to do something different! Make Ottawa a part of your trip. Visit the offbeat destinations and participate in unusual activities. If you are planning a vacation in Ottawa, here are some ideas for an atypical, unique getaway.

Take a Cruise

The St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers are a destination in themselves, and you can enjoy them to the fullest on a cruise. St. Lawrence Cruise Lines offers six-day, five-night cruises that run from Ottawa to Kingston. Along the way, you will see the 1,000 Islands, Fort Wellington, the Fur Trade Museum, Montreal, and much more. All shore excursions are included. If you don’t want to devote days to cruising the river, many companies offer day trips or shorter sightseeing voyages.

Stay in a Castle

Built in 1912, the Chateau Laurier is an enormous castle-like structure that houses many treasures, such as art-deco Tiffany stained-glass windows and hand-molded plaster decorations. It was built as a hotel by American millionaire Charles Melville Hays, who died on the Titanic. Despite this sad story, the 429-room hotel continues to operate — and you can stay there, too. Visit Hotel Planner to book a room in this palatial hotel, or find a more budget-friendly room and visit on-site Wilfrid’s Restaurant for a fine dining experience you won’t soon forget.

Escape the Diefenbunker

The Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum, was built in 1959 as a bunker to protect Canada’s government and military officials in the event of a nuclear attack. This engineering marvel has 100,000 square feet over four levels and was built to withstand a 5-megaton nuclear blast. It was decommissioned in 1994 and opened as a museum in 1997. You can also visit the Diefenbunker as the “world’s largest escape room” Thursday through Sunday evenings. As you wrap up the day’s final museum tour, you discover that it’s a cover for a spy organization. You have 60 minutes to escape and stop the launch sequence to save the world. Can you do it?

Go Ghost Hunting

If you thought haunted houses were just for Halloween, think again. Ottawa boasts some of the most haunted places in North America, according to locals. Book a group tour with The Haunted Walk, and spend about an hour and a half learning about Ottawa history and its supernatural experiences. Year-round tours include a trip to the old Carleton County Jail, home of the last working gallows in Canada. From April through November, you can tour several downtown spots by lantern light listening to ghost stories along the way. From June through August on selected dates, join a spooky after-dark tour of Upper Canada Pioneer Village.

Although Ottawa is full of popular destinations for travelers like museums, shopping, and nightlife, making your trip unique with offbeat destinations results in an even more memorable journey.

Mike Thomas is a travel explorer, consultant and renowned blogger. He travels almost 10,000 miles every year to different corners of the world and shares his experience, adventures and stories in T- Holland Travel Guide for more than one year.