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Canada’s capital city at first seems unassuming, a place famous primarily for being a capital. Get to know this friendly, picturesque city, however, and you’ll discover a destination that really should be better known. The Parliament of Canada is one of the showstoppers here, resembling something more like a European Chateau.
Rent a car in Ottawa to pack in as much of the city as possible. Drive between attractions such as the National Gallery of Canada, which hosts several Canadian masterpieces, and the fascinating Canadian Museum of Nature, which is hosted in a Scotland-inspired building toward the south of the city center. Use Orbitz to help you find the perfect rental car for your itinerary.
Once you’ve picked up your rental car and seen the sights of the capital, drive out of Ottawa to see what else is nearby. We’ve highlighted three destinations you can easily visit in your rental car.
Gatineau sits just over the Ottawa River from the capital in the state of Quebec. This equally charming Francophone destination features a vast, wooded area known as Gatineau Park. Come here for cross-country skiing, hiking and a historic estate. Gatineau’s neighborhood of Hull is home to two of the best museums in the region, the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian Children’s Museum.
Journey time: Around 15 minutes
Distance: Approximately five miles
If you were to hop over Lake St. Lawrence from New York into Canada, you’d reach the Upper Canada Village, an enchanting pocket of history in the southern reaches of the country. The heritage park recreates life in the 1860s, with traditional huts, costumed guides and themed activities. Take a seat in an old-world tavern, or join farmers in milking the cows at this informative and entertaining destination.
Journey time: Around 1 hour 15 minutes
Distance: Approximately 60 miles
Quebec’s largest city is packed with cultural attractions and scenic spots. Spend most of your time in the Centre-Ville neighborhood, where you’ll find the architectural and cultural attractions, and the Old Montreal district. On a sunny day, relax in the shaded grounds of the picturesque botanical gardens. Visit the Biosphere in Parc Jean Drapeau to learn about ecology beneath a huge glass dome.
Journey time: Around 2 hours 10 minutes
Distance: Approximately 125 miles