Winter Weekend Getaway: Ottawa

The next place I wanted to share from my travel diary is pretty magical, especially in the dead of winter.  My husband is a dual citizen (U.S./Canada) so last year we made the trip up to Ottawa for a little weekend getaway.  Ottawa is known for its winter festivities and we happened to be there during Winterlude, which is Canada’s celebration of winter.

Ottawa is known for being home to part of the Rideau Waterway, or Rideau Canal.  The canal connects the capital city of Ottawa to the city of Kingston, Ontario and spans 202 km.  During the winter they drain part of the canal and make it into an ice skating rink.  It’s deemed the world’s largest skating rink spanning almost 5 miles and supposedly the equivalent surface area to 90 Olympic ice rinks.

My husband, my in-laws and I went up for a long weekend to experience the skateway and enjoy the winter festival.  They had amazing ice sculptures, food vendors and shops set up for Winterlude.  We skated the whole distance (~5 miles), stopping for hot chocolate and warm pastry breaks along the way.

Here are some pictures from our visit:

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We had a great time visiting Ottawa.  Winter is a dreaded season for many, but not for the people of Ottawa.  They were having a grand ole time skating and perusing the magnificent ice sculptures on display…it felt like such a healthy and active city.  Skating on the canal was fun and despite the bitter cold and aching feet, we were determined to make it all the way to the end, which we did!  If you want to taste the best cup of hot chocolate in your life, then I recommend skating out in the cold for hours on end…by the end, anything warm will taste like the best thing ever!

If you ever get a chance to visit Ottawa during the winter then check out the Rideau  Canal Skateway!  I highly recommend it.  Very fun experience 🙂

Have a great weekend!

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