13 Must Do Ottawa Activities to Take You from Summer into Fall

How is it already nearing the end of August? Typical, this beautiful Ottawa summer is flying by, and there is still much fun to be had. Don’t miss out on these fun summer (and early autumn) events before the seasons change and the leaves fall.
If you’re looking for more Ottawa summer adventures, check out the post of 40 Ottawa Summer Bucket List Activities.



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Paddle the Ottawa River Next to Parliament

Get out on the river before summer comes to an end. Escape Bicycle Tours has recently added watercraft rentals to their lineup, and the paddle location is unbeatable! Head to the Hull Marina and kayak, SUP or canoe along the Ottawa River. You will pass epic Ottawa landmarks including Parliament, Château Laurier and the Canadian Museum of History.

Now, until the end of the month of August you can receive 20% off kayak, canoe and paddle board rentals when you mention OTTAWARIVERESCAPE20. 

Location: 160 Rue Laurier, Gatineau, QC



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Relax at a Thermal Spa

Immerse yourself in a complete northern thermal experience only 5 minutes from downtown Ottawa. Bring your bathing suit and sandals for a day of relaxing at Kōena Spa. Alternate between the bath cave, a salt room, saunas, steam baths, hot and cold pools and more. They also offer rest areas and outdoor fire pits. Bistro Kōena has a varied menu of food, smoothies, coffee, and cocktails available to re-energize during your visit.

Location: 1172 Chemin d’Alymer, Gatineau, QC



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Visit Art Installations in Gatineau

Just across the Ottawa River from downtown Ottawa, there is a 3KM stretch of murals, art installations and local stops, known as the Gatineau Culture Trail. One of the definite annual highlights, is the art installation on Rue Aubry. In the past there have been colourful umbrellas and origami figures featured above the street, this year the theme is colourful clothing hanging from a clothesline. Another must visit is the ‘C’est La Vie’ mural on rue Laval near rue Wellington. Near the end of the Gatineau Culture Trail, you won’t want to miss the Brewery Creek Installation. This year it features canoes hanging over the water.

Location: Canadian Museum of History to Brewery Creek (Ruisseau de la Brasserie), Gatineau, QC



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Cool Off in a Beautiful Quarry

Float in a magically blue, limestone quarry, just outside of the city. Morrison’s Quarry beach has opened for the 2021 season, featuring picnic area, volleyball area and playground. This picturesque location is perfect for relaxing and soaking up the last of the summer sunshine. There is a maximum occupancy of 100 people, and the cost is $20 for adults, $10 for children. If you’re looking to ramp up your adventure you can bungee jump with Canadian Bungee or scuba dive on site.

Location: 1780 Route 105, Chelsea, QC



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Ride a Mountain Coaster

Camp Fortune is known for their ski hill, yet they have many summer activities including mountain biking trails, an aerial park, zip lining and a mountain coaster! The mountain pipe coaster is one of the Capital region’s newest attractions! Your adventure begins with a scenic chairlift ride before you cruise through the forest on a single track. Ride solo or with a buddy! Currently open daily.

Location: 300 Chemin Dunlop, Chelsea, QC



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Tour the Capital on an Amphibus

Experience Ottawa both by land and sea with Lady Dive Tours – Ontario’s only amphibus. You will learn some local facts and Canadian history by a bilingual guide, pass many iconic landmarks and buildings, before heading to the Ottawa River. The entire tour lasts about one hour; 30-40 minutes on land and 20-30 minutes on the water. Relax and enjoy the views.

Location: 59 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON



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Whitewater Raft in the City

You may already know that the Ottawa Valley is known as the Whitewater Region, for all of our rapids you can raft along the Ottawa River. Did you know you can not only go whitewater rafting but go tubing as well, within the city of Ottawa itself! Ottawa City Rafting offers whitewater rafting from Britannia beach, for a 3-hour trip in varying levels of difficulty.  They also offer Turbo Tubing, a 2-hour guided trip down the Ottawa River on a kayak tube. Enjoy your river adventures in Ottawa. 

Locations: 102 Greenview Ave | 1 Vimy Place Private, Ottawa, ON



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Walk Through an Enchanted Forest

Discover the beauty of nature by night with a sound and light experience at Parc Omega. Omega by Night is a 1.5KM illuminated trail that passes through a forest and marsh, featuring some interactive experiences and ending at the wolf observatory where you can admire a wolf pack under the moon. The tour begins after 8:00pm, and is a fun option for both adults and children. Typically, open until mid-October.

Location: 399 Route 323 Nord, Montebello, QC



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Cozy by a Farm Campfire

Back by popular demand, you can visit Saunders Farm for an evening campfire, including everything you’ll need to enjoy the experience. They offer different packages suited to couples, families and groups, with a variety of inclusions. The packages typically include hotdogs, s’mores, roasting sticks, napkins, condiments and more, depending on your selection. The campfire experience lasts 2 hours. Make sure you bring chairs and drinks, as they are not included.

Location: 7893 Bleeks Road, Munster, ON



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Explore Underground Caves

After being closed for most of the pandemic, the Bonnechere Caves are open again to the public for ‘bubble’ tours. This natural underground wonder, is a family owned tourist attraction and a geological beauty. Venture over 100 feet underground and back in time millions of years, with a guided tour experience, learning about the specific geology of theses caves and more general fossil information. Make sure to have sturdy shoes and a sweater. Feel free to bring a flashlight and camera as well!

They previously opened at 10:00am, but under the current stage 3 restrictions they are open at 9:00am. Visit until Thanksgiving weekend.

Location: 1247 Fourth Chute Road, Eganville, ON



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Take a Cruise of the Rideau Canal

Enjoy a tourist activity in Ottawa that features lovely views of the water and local history. Ottawa Boat Cruise offers a 90-minute tour of the historic Rideau Canal. Take in Ottawa views by boat, as you learn some fun history and facts about the canal itself and Ottawa as a whole. It is also a sustainable ride! The Queen Elizabeth boat is an EKEAU certified, 100% electric vessel. Discover the Rideau Canal from the Ottawa River to Dow’s lake.

Location: 1 Elgin Street, behind the National Arts Centre, Ottawa, ON



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Climb Through Treetops

Play through the treetops with Arbraska Lafleche, one of 7 Arbraska adventure parks in Québec, with 6 Treetop Trekking parks in Ontario. Outdoor courses, ziplines, suspension bridges, swinging logs, caves and other outdoor games await you. Their ‘Zip Line and Aerial Game Trek’ will surround you with the beauty of nature as you wander between the trees in a range of ways. The course at this location is for both adults and children, ages 5 and up, and will take you about 3 and a half hours to complete.

Location: 255 Rte Principale, Val-des-Monts, QC



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Zip Line Across the Ottawa River

The first ever inter-provincial zipline, Interzip Rogers, opened this year in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Your experience begins on the Gatineau side, where you get suited up in a harness and helmet, before walking across the bridge to the Ottawa side. From Ottawa, you will fly at roughly 40 KM/hour, across the Ottawa River and back to Gatineau. Enjoy views of Parliament the Chaudière Falls in the distance.

Location: 40 Jos-Montferrand Street, Gatineau, QC



Tag @ottawariverlifestyle on Instagram or Facebook to share these Capital Region experiences. I’d love to see your adventures!

Photos are not my own. Click on each photo to bring you to the corresponding Instagram page. 

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