Travel like a local.


Winterlude Festival, Canal Cruises & Beaver Tails in Ottawa, Canada with Megan

Best things to do in Ottawa Canada Megan Renaud - Rideau canal, Chateau Laurier, BBX Co sweater cover photo

Megan Renaud out for a ride by the Rideau canal with Chateau Laurier in the background

I’m really excited to interview Megan Renaud of Ottawa River Lifestyle about Ottawa, Canada. Megan’s tips for the best things to do in Ottawa are awesome because she blogs about the latest and greatest things to do, eat, and experience in her city. She met her partner while they were both traveling, then moved to Ottawa to be with him. Megan has fallen in love with the city and her beau in Ottawa.

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Best things to do in Ottawa Canada Megan Renaud - Byward market and poutine

Enjoying some poutine at Byward Market.

Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, and its Parliament building is a popular tourist attraction. During Christmas, you’ll find light shows bouncing off the Parliament Building. The Parliament Hill area is filled with museums and offers a gorgeous view of the city. While visiting, you can book a free guided tour of the Parliament Building.

The city is located along the Ottawa River. The Rideau Canal offers canal cruises in the summertime and ice skating in the winter. Winterlude is an annual festival in February that was started in 1979 and is very popular with locals and tourists. One of Megan’s favorite things to do at Winterlude is eating taffy on the snow.

Weather can vary considerably when visiting Ottawa. Summertime has highs of 40* Celsius (100* F) and lows of -30* Celsius (-22* F) in the winter. Summertime is Megan’s favorite for all of the outdoor activities, like boat cruises, kayaking, outdoor concerts, and wandering around town on a bike. The annual Bluesfest also happens in July.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Ottawa, the local convention and visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Ottawa Canada Megan Renaud - Parliament Building

Parliament Building in Ottawa.

Getting around Ottawa

The local airport is Ottawa International Airport (YOW), which is 15 minutes from downtown. Many people fly first to Toronto, then it’s about an hour’s flight to Ottawa.

Megan says that, if you’re staying downtown, there’s no need to rent a car. If you want to travel to outside areas, such as Quebec, you will want to rent a car. For the best offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

Uber and Lyft are excellent ways to get around. It is approximately $30 for an Uber from the airport to Downtown. You can also use the OC Transpo to get around. It is a light rail train and subway system that covers most of the city.

Best things to do in Ottawa Canada Megan Renaud - Rideau canal skateway

Skating on the Rideau canal in winter and canal cruises in summer.

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Megan Renaud about Ottawa, Canada. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Ottawa, Canada
  • Green dots = best things to do in Ottawa, Canada
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Ottawa, Canada

Who is Megan Renaud?

Megan Renaud is an Ottawa tourist turned local. She moved to Ottawa Ontario, the capital city of Canada, after growing up in Windsor Ontario. She began a blog named Ottawa River Lifestyle, focusing not only on the Ottawa core but also small towns and suburbs along the river. Find her Ottawa Region guides and itineraries on, and follow her on social media for outdoor adventures, local eats, and Canadian products.

Best things to do in Ottawa Canada Megan Renaud - Rideau canal, Chateau Laurier, BBX Co sweater cover photo

Megan Renaud out for a ride by the Rideau canal with Chateau Laurier in the background.

Here are a few articles that she’s written:

You can connect with Megan on her website and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Best things to do in Ottawa Canada Megan Renaud - Winterlude taffy on snow

Try taffy on the snow at Winterlude.

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BeaverTails dessert at Mont Tremblant with Timothy January 2020

Timothy and I enjoyed some BeaverTails desserts during our trip to the Mont Tremblant ski resort in January 2020.

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Houston Texas Haley FountainListen to the next episode when Haley Fountain of shares the best things to do in Houston, Texas. In this episode, we talk about visiting the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, riding horses through town for Rodeo Houston, and diving at the Blue Lagoon. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Ottawa? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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Related episodes

To learn more about Canada and the best things to do in nearby cities, listen to these other episodes: