With summer in full swing, everyone is itching for a vacation. Though we can’t travel as far as we used to, did you know there are quite a few places near Ottawa where you can enjoy a nice, relaxing staycation? Here are some of my favourite places:
Located approximately an hour south of Ottawa, Smiths Falls is a historic town named after Thomas Smyth, a United Empire Loyalist who in 1786 was granted 400 acres of land. As the Rideau Canal was being built, a small settlement was established around a mill that was located on Smyth’s land. Very quickly, this small establishment grew into what we know as Smiths Falls today. I recommend a staycation at this restored former church which can host up to 12 guests. How many opportunities do you have to stay in a 1900s historic gothic stone church? If you would like a more unique experience, you can curl up in an antique caboose courtesy of the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario.
If you are going to visit Smiths Falls, you should also definitely visit its close neighbour, Perth. Perth is well known as one of Ontario’s prettiest towns. This small town has a big heart and lots of Victorian architecture. With over 100 designated heritage buildings and over 70 boutique shops, restaurants, and specialty stores, there’s truly something for everyone in Perth. Looking for a unique experience? Stay at this gorgeous yurt where you can have the ultimate glamping experience. This yurt is perfect for two guests, includes an indoor fireplace, a backyard, and a dedicated workspace.
If you are looking for a quick getaway, why not stay in town? Enjoy a unique rural oasis by staying in a picturesque waterfront tree house. This eco-friendly, off-grid treehouse is nestled within 100 acres of deep forest. Get away from the daily grind of life without leaving home! Let nature become your sanctuary in this treehouse located nine feet off the ground.
Just over an hour’s drive from Ottawa, you will find the truly unique town of Shawville, Quebec. The town is characterized by its red-brick buildings, and unlike every other municipality in Quebec, it has no Catholic church. This has to do with its 85% anglophone population. Come in the first weekend in September for the town’s major event - the Shawville Fair. It has been run every year since 1856 and includes typical county fair features such as auctions, truck pulls, livestock shows, demolition derbies, art/craft/hobby shows, diverse food stands, and a midway. After a full day of amusement, unwind at this off-grid rustic bunkhouse retreat on an organic farm. The bunkhouse offers many groomed trails and is a prime location for bird sighting and animal watching.
You don’t need to travel far to have a good time. There are so many places near Ottawa that are gems you must visit. Have you been to any magical staycations close to home that you would like to share? Please feel free to let me know!