So, I’m not sure how many of you guys know this but I’m originally born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. If you’re not familiar with the city, it’s the capital of Canada aka where John Trudeau lives! I don’t get to go back that often (usually just for Christmas + Thanksgiving) but every time I do, I always have a blast! Ottawa still has that small city charm to it where the hustle and bustle isn’t quite like Toronto but definitely has its share of great gems and a cozy vibe to it.
In celebration of Canada’s 150th, my friends over at Marriott Hotels asked me to share with them (and you guys) my favourite things to do and visit while in my hometown.
If I’m not staying at my family home (which is in Orleans), the best place to be situated in the city, is downtown. Finding a hotel in the downtown core is definitely the best way to see and explore the best of what this city has to offer. My best friend and I stayed in a beautiful suite at The Westin hotel ( see previous post for a hotel tour). We had the easiest check-in possible, dropped our luggage off, let our family know that we landed safely and got straight to exploring!
Being that we’re both from this city, we already had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to check out! First stop, lunch at Andaz (which has a beautiful rooftop patio and view of the city). It’s the perfect location to unwind and catch up with good friends over food and cocktails.
Second stop, the Byward Market. The Byward Market is a must visit if it’s your first time visiting Ottawa. It’s the home of cool one of a kind shops, trendy cafe’s and nightlife.
Back to the hotel to recharge before our dinner reservations and a night on the town, starting with one of my favourite spots, The Social.
Day two – We woke up pretty early on our second day in Ottawa, ready to see and do more stuff. We had breakfast at our hotel, visited the spa and got ready to check out the National Art Gallery. I’m a lover of the arts and the gallery was definitely a highlight of our trip for me.
We later on grabbed a nice lunch at a new spot called Riviera in the financial district. If you’re looking for a place that’s elegant and on trend I’d recommend checking them out!
Now if you guys know me, you know that I can’t visit any city (even if it’s my hometown) and not do a little bit of shopping. If you come to Ottawa everyone will tell you to visit Rideau Centre or Bayshore which both houses great stores. But If you’re like me and looking for more street style, athletic apparel or luxury, I’d suggest checking out Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, NRML and Common Concept.
After a long day, we headed back to our hotel to just hang out before dinner at Spin Kitchen + Bar and got some exciting news that we’d be attending The Weekend concert! I’ve seen him perform in Toronto, at a much smaller show and it was great, so I was definitely hyped to see him perform in my hometown at the Canadian Tire Centre.
Honestly, this trip back home was such a great time, filled with great moments. Canada as a whole is full of beautiful locations to visit but if you do get a chance to check out my hometown, you should jump on it! It’s that perfect getaway that’ll leave you with fun memories and give you the chance to just relax.
Actually, remember the contest I told you guys about that Marriott is hosting in celebration of Canada 150? It’s still going on and you should enter for a chance to potentially visit Ottawa or other cool cities in Canada. All you have to do to enter is visit Marriott Canada or SPG Canada. There will be a total of 5 contest winners from Canada and the United States, 3 of which will win ‘epic’ adventures at Marriott Canada locations and 2 will win ‘epic’ adventures at Starwood Canada locations. What’s included in these ‘epic’ adventures? Flight and accommodations for the contest winner and a guest, $1000.00 CAD spending money and a complimentary experience/activity.
Good luck guys!