How to Explore Ottawa Like a Local

Planning a socially distanced, mask-wearing staycation to Ottawa? We asked six local influencers to share some insider intel about their hometown The post How to Explore Ottawa Like a Local appeared first on FLARE.

How to Explore Ottawa Like a Local

girl standing against a brick wall with pink bicycle

Credit – Zara Ansar, @xoveloxo

The Chic Cyclist
Zara Ansar, @xoveloxo

What are your favourite places to visit in Ottawa? I love exploring on my bike. If I’m looking for a casual ride, my go-to is the Arboretum. If I’m planning a longer ride, I love the rail trails, especially in the fall.

What local businesses are you supporting throughout the pandemic? Mehfil Indian Cuisine, Wallacks Art Supplies, Bellwethers Vintage and Darrell Thomas Textiles.

The most underrated place in Ottawa is… Mer Bleue Bog. I love it there, especially walking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.

 

Woman wearing a face mask walking down the stairs

Credit – Kamara Morozuk: Katie Hession, @yowcitystyle

The Content Creator
Katie Hession, @yowcitystyle
Photos: Kamara Morozuk

What are your favourite places to visit in Ottawa? The Andaz Ottawa rooftop, Tavern on the Hill or La Terrasse at the Fairmont Château Laurier for sunset cocktails. Also, for someone who was born and raised here, I still think the Parliament Hill and the Ottawa River views never get old.

How has the pandemic changed your lifestyle habits? I’m trying to be even more mindful about choosing a local option for my everyday needs, like groceries and skincare (brands such as Purple Urchin and Woman Divine).

How are you spending your COVID staycation? We’re planning to sleep over with the wolves at Omega Park and hope to also continue our tradition of visiting Chateau Montebello during Christmastime.

 

Credit – Dominique Baker, @styledomination

The Brand Builder
Dominique Baker, @styledomination

What are your favourite places to visit in Ottawa? It’s a tie: I love the National Arts Centre and the Rideau Canal. They’re both beautiful and so full of life.

What local businesses are you supporting throughout the pandemic? I love fine-dining, so I’ve been ordering from North & Navy, my favourite Northern Italian restaurant. Fashion is also my jam, so I’m a regular at Tallow, a great little boutique which features tons of chic clothing brands.

The most underrated place in Ottawa is… I’ve spoken to many people who have never heard of the Mer Bleue Bog. Its boardwalk is Instagram-worthy, and the sand ridges are beautiful.

 

Credit – Mary Marquardt, @thechicacademic

The Doctor
Mary Marquardt, @thechicacademic

What are your favourite places to visit in Ottawa? My top picks are scenic views of Parliament Hill and the National Gallery of Canada from Nepean Point, the National Arts Centre, and I also really enjoy walking or skating along the Rideau Canal.

What local businesses are you supporting throughout the pandemic? We have ordered a fair amount of takeout since the start of COVID started, and when restaurants re-opened we visited some of our favourites, including Zoe’s, La Terrasse, Riviera, Pure Kitchen, SuzyQ and The Third.

How are you spending your COVID staycation? We’re staying local and supporting Ottawa and Ontario businesses. This summer, we did a tour of the Ottawa River with Ottawa Private Yacht Tours. We also have a one-night stay coming up at the Andaz Ottawa, along with a weekend getaway at the Fairmont Château Laurier.

 

Credit – Erin Elizabeth, @erinelizabethh

The YouTuber
Erin Elizabeth, @erinelizabethh

What are your favourite places to visit in Ottawa? I live right downtown, so I’m biased toward Centretown and the Rideau Canal area. I love the mix of city and greenery around there and all the little parks.

What local businesses are you supporting throughout the pandemic? I have been doing my fair share of takeout and patio dining locally. A couple of places that I’ve enjoyed are Heartbreakers Pizza, Moo Shu Ice Cream, Mati, Chesterfield’s, The Whalesbone, Jax and Mamma Teresa.

The most underrated place in Ottawa is… I think the food scene in Ottawa is underrated! There are so many amazing local spots, and I think a lot of the time Ottawa is overlooked for that.

To start planning your next Ottawa day trip, visit ottawatourism.ca.

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