There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a road trip. Flexibility, mobility, and freedom are just a few of the perks that a road trip grants the cultured traveler. And with so many quaint towns, historical destinations, and beautiful locales within a few hours of each other, Ottawa makes for one heck of a fun time.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide of the best road trips from Ottawa we could muster. You’ll find an eclectic mix of interesting things to do all along the way. Now let’s hit the road!
Best Ottawa Road Trips for RV Travelers
Without further ado, let’s dive into the top five weekend road trips from Ottawa.
Start your Ottawa road trip here at Almonte, a small Ontario town with plenty of old-world charm and pleasant scenery.
Must-see spots: Almonte Riverwalk, Almonte Old Town Hall, Ottawa Valley Recreation Trail
Best time to visit: June to September
Get your visit started at the heart of this historic town’s past, the Old Town Hall. You’ll find a visitor center here housed within the cathedral-like visage of Almonte’s past. Admire the architecture and get your bearings at the visitor center before moving on. From there, nature lovers can stroll along the Almonte Riverwalk to spot several landmarks or just sit and admire the view. And don’t forget the Ottawa Recreational Trail if you’d like an even more rugged adventure. Think 300 km of winding trails, ATV paths, horseback riding, and more.
2. Smiths Falls
In recent years, Smiths Falls has become a lively summer getaway for its rich history, scenic beach, and family-friendly vibe.
Must-see spots: Bascule Bridge, Smith Falls Railway Museum, Downtown Smiths Falls
Best time to visit: Summer
After all your adventuring in Almonte, you might want to slow things down. Smiths Falls is the perfect place to do it, thanks to its summer vacation vibe. Start out at the historic downtown area for a romp through time. It’s now a popular tourist destination for the wealth of shopping opportunities. But if you take some time to admire your surroundings, you’ll be able to spot architecture dating back to the late 19th century. Once your legs or wallet have had enough, take a well-deserved breather at the Smiths Falls Railway Museum. Not only does it offer a fascinating look inside antique train engines, you can even sleep in a train cabin on Airbnb! Before it gets too late, head over to Bascule Bridge for the best place to watch the sun go down.
For a trip into the past with one of the most unique hiking opportunities in Ottawa, head to Cumberland!
Must-see spots: Humanics Sanctuary and Sculpture Park, Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, Black Walnut Bakery
Best time to visit: May to October
Start your trip at the surreal and transformative Humanics Sanctuary and Sculpture Park. Though the area is just nine acres around, you’re in for a truly unique hike ahead, thanks to the themed walks and collection of sculptures obtained from all over the world. Its owner, Dr. Ranjit Perera designed the park to help show the similarities between people of all races, colors, and creeds. For a glimpse into a time before the internet, take a stroll to the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. There you’ll find buildings faithfully replicated based on the early 19th and 20th centuries for the history buffs among us. Finally, don’t miss out on some baked goods from a local favorite, the Black Walnut Bakery. They feature a rotating menu of lunch specials and muffins with a taste beyond all reason.
No Canadian road trip is complete without a stop at this iconic city. There’s no shortage of things to do no matter when you visit. So, we tried to include some less obvious choices.
Must-see spots: Mont Royal, Pointe-à-Callière, Old Montreal
Best time to visit: Anytime
Get a grand view of this beautiful city by first ascending Mont Royal. This beautiful park offers views of historic landmarks and overlooks all of Montreal. Don’t forget to stop at St. Joseph’s Oratory while you’re there. It’s a beautiful destination with one of the best viewpoints in the area. After that, get a glimpse of life in 17th century Montreal at Pointe-à-Callière. In the lower levels of this museum, remnants of the original stone streets and buildings await you. When all’s said and done, the best way to experience Montreal (or any large city) is to wander about the streets. Take in the sights, the sounds, and the pulse of daily life, stopping to pop into interesting shops, pubs, or anywhere else that strikes you. And Old Montreal is the spot to do it.
This former capital of Canada was once known as the “Limestone City.” Its romantic atmosphere along with a rich history behind it makes Kingston a city worth stopping for.
Must-see spots: 1000 Islands boat cruise, Kingston Waterfront Trail, The PumpHouse Museum
Best time to visit: June to August
Start your visit by sailing around the 1000 Islands. The boat tours are a relaxing way to get a scenic view of Kingston while taking in a little history from a knowledgeable guide. After that, you might want to stop by the unique PumpHouse Museum. Tinkerers will be thrilled to learn about the steam engines and Victorian-era tech that revolutionized the city. Finally, wind down the day by watching the sun go down on the Kingston Waterfront Trail.
Get Your Ottawa Road Trip Started With Cruise America
That wraps up our guide to the best Ottawa road trips. It was a pleasure having you along for the ride! But before you go, we wanted to tell you about the best way to road trip there is.
Cruise America’s lineup of RVs has everything you need to find that flexibility, mobility, and freedom you’ll want out of any vacation. And with built-in comforts like a working kitchen, bathroom with shower, and living space, you’ll feel at home anywhere you roam.
Check out our full fleet and reserve your RV rental today!