Best Scenic Drives in Ottawa During the Fall
Feeling a little rundown and cooped up from the pandemic? A scenic drive in Ottawa during the fall might be just what the doctor ordered. Our city has some of the most beautiful natural landscapes where you can get in some fresh air and snap some great shots along the way. Here are just a few of our favourite scenic drives that are sure to lift your spirits and put you in a better mood this fall.
Queen Elizabeth Drive to Dow’s Lake
The Queen Elizabeth Drive hugs the Rideau Canal from City Hall and then wraps around the beautiful Dow’s Lake, providing some of the most scenic waterfront views in the city. What’s great about this route is that you can park the car for a while and explore the colourful trees and flower-filled gardens which are the perfect spots for family photo-ops during this time of year.
For those amazing magazine-worthy panoramic views of the Parliament buildings and the world-renowned Fairmont Chateau Laurier, head to Nepean Point. Located just east of the Byward Market and before the Alexandra Bridge, this hidden lookout spot offers the best sunset views of the cityscape and the Jacques Cartier park across the river. You honestly can’t get views much better than this!
Once you’re done taking in all the landmarks from Nepean point, head down along the Ottawa River to find one of the most beautiful areas of the city, Rockcliffe Park. The Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway winds up and through these cliffs with mesmerizing views of the Ottawa River on the left and the Rockcliffe estates on the right. You’ll get stunning views of the waterfront, Gatineau Park in the distance, and the massive embassies that line the hills. There’s even a lookout spot to park your car and take brag-worthy photos of the area.
Sir John A Macdonald Parkway
The west end of Ottawa is so scenic that it can make you feel as if you’ve left the city entirely. For the best waterfront views, take the Sir John A Macdonald Parkway that runs alongside the Ottawa River and then veer south by Britannia Conservation Area, a natural paradise sitting just outside of the downtown core. Other points of interest on this route that are picture-worthy include the Remic Rapids Park, the Kitchissippi lookout and well-known Westboro Beach. All the best spots to see the spectacular sunrises and sunsets!
Terry Fox Drive
If you’re looking for a backdrop of fall colours, west Ottawa is surrounded by natural landscapes that are also worth the trip. Head to the Terry Fox Drive to explore some of the most interesting and picturesque areas of the suburbs. One spot not to miss is the South March Highlands Conservation Forest, a hidden natural gem with walking trail access off of Second Line Road.
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