6 Day Trips from Ottawa for the Whole Family to Enjoy

It might feel as though Ottawa is located far away from everything, but that’s far from the truth. There’s a multitude of wonderful places to visit all within a three hours’ drive. So if you’ve just moved here and are looking for some exciting day trips to take from Ottawa for the whole family to enjoy, check out our list below for some great ideas.

The 1000 Islands and Gananoque

Not far from the city is one of the most beautiful areas of the province, the 1000 Islands. From fishing, boating, hiking, and shopping, there’s so much to see and do here for people of all ages, making this picturesque area the perfect spot for the whole family to spend a day or entire weekend. There’s even a fairytale castle – the Boldt Castle – that makes it a worthwhile visit.

Mont Tremblant

This world-class resort destination is fun to explore all throughout the year. With exciting hiking trails and unique adventure activities to enjoy, Mont Tremblant has everything you need for a nice escape from work and the hustle and bustle of the city. A quick trip just to enjoy a hilltop gondola ride is well worth the mesmerizing panoramic views. If the kids refuse to leave (and they might), there are lots of beautiful chalet rentals available if you decide to stay for the night.


Nestled exactly where the St. Lawrence River meets the Rideau Canal and Lake Ontario is the quaint city of Kingston. Only 2 hours south, it’s an easy drive that will give you a full days’ worth of exploring without feeling the need to rush. Here you’ll find charming old limestone-based architecture, bustling markets, popular foodie spots, quaint boutique shops and signature experiences like the Kingston Penitentiary tour and the Old Trolley city tour. The city is also right on the water, so if you love to kayak, canoe or SUP, there are lots of opportunities to get out on the water. 

Prince Edward County

If you have extra time, head out from Kingston to make a stop along Prince Edward County, just below Belleville. This area is known as the other Wine Capital of Ontario, second to Niagara on the Lake. Prince Edward County has a lot more activities to partake in than just sipping wine and eating cheese. This area is in fact, a kid’s paradise. Beaches, playgrounds, pools, mini-putt, drive-ins, animal farms – the list goes on. It’s a win-win day trip for both the kids and the adults.

Iles-de-Boucherville National Park 

Just drive past Montreal and you’ll reach the stunning Iles-de-Boucherville National Park, a natural escape from city life. With vast greenspace to explore, bring your hiking shoes, fishing rods and even your canoe. Access waterside trails to look for animals or pull out your picnic blanket and gear for a peaceful retreat away from the city.

Granby Zoo

The ideal day trip from Ottawa for families of all ages is the Granby Zoo, located in the quaint town of Granby. With thousands of animal species to see, both domestic and exotic, this giant animal kingdom is worth the three-hour drive. Best of all, this zoo has its own waterpark, so you can spend the morning seeing the animals before they hide from the heat, and enjoy the afternoon cooling off in the water. Ottawa is more than just a great city. It’s also conveniently situated between a variety of unique and engaging locations. If you’re looking for a new place to call home or just a fresh location within the city, contact McElheran and Associates today. One of our experts will show you all of the latest on and off-market deals to find the perfect home for your needs.