There's nothing quite like autumn in Ottawa. The beautiful natural landscape changes in a breathtaking way as the leaves take on vibrant hues of scarlet and gold, and a crisp fall breeze blows through the city. The best way to experience Ottawa in the fall months is with one of the city's outdoor tours and attractions. Consider these top picks for taking in the beauty of the season.
View Fall Rhapsody in Confederation Park
Confederation Park covers 2.63 hectares, offering ample space for visitors to unwind and explore. In the colourful autumn period known as Fall Rhapsody, the park offers stunning views from nearly any vantage point. As you explore the landscape, you'll find several historic monuments and artistic sculptures, including the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument, South African War Memorial, and memorial fountain.
If you need a bite to eat, the NCC Bistro at Confederation Park is a convenient choice, located near the Rideau Canal. The bistro serves an all-day menu with sandwiches, salads, pastries, baked goods, and ice cream. You can even purchase beer, wine, and hot beverages.
If you'd like to stretch your legs beyond the bounds of Confederation Park, you'll enjoy easy access to Confederation Boulevard from here. You'll stroll tree-lined walkways along the boulevard and pass notable sites like Parliament, Rideau Hall, the Supreme Court of Canada, Sussex Courtyards, and more.
Location: Elgin Street, Ottawa.
Pick Apples at Cannamore Orchard
Cannamore Orchard offers autumn apple picking that's sure to deliver a delightful sense of fall. Strolling the orchard is a great option for families who aren't equipped for one of the area's more strenuous hikes. You can pick your own apples from mid-August into October or until the trees are bare. You can also pick pumpkins from mid-September through October. If you prefer pre-picked pumpkins, the orchard offers an abundance of these as well, with all shapes and sizes in residence.
The orchard hosts Family Activity Weekends from Labour Day weekend through Thanksgiving in early October. During this event, you'll find various attractions, including covered wagon rides, cow train rides, pedal cars, hedge mazes, and more. Don't forget to visit the Country Store for honey, maple syrup, jams, jellies, apple butter, cider, pies, candy apples, and homemade fudge.
Location: 1480 County Road 32, Crysler.
Take a Bike Tour
Escape Tours & Rentals offers guided bike tours of Ottawa that deliver a well-rounded look at the city in one of its most beautiful seasons. You'll enjoy all the sights on these guided rides as you take in the fresh air, crisp weather, and colourful foliage. Tours include:
- Ottawa Express: Cover 12 kilometres over two hours as you bike through neighbourhoods and parks, cycle along the Rideau Canal, and visit Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, and Rideau Falls.
- Ottawa Highlights: This 3.5-hour bike tour covers 20 to 24 kilometres and takes you along Rideau Canal with visits to the Glebe neighbourhood, Little Italy, Dow's Lake, Dominion Arboretum, the War Museum, and Lansdowne Park.
- Best of Ottawa Neighbourhoods & Nature: Bike 22 kilometres in three hours on this tour of Ottawa's trendiest neighbourhoods and most stunning public art.
These tours primarily stay along flat, easy bike paths, making them accessible to riders at nearly any skill level. If you enjoy rolling along the streets on two wheels, this offers an unforgettable way to take in the city and see all that autumn in Ottawa has to offer.
Location: 79a Sparks St., Ottawa.
Experience Ottawa by Helicopter
There's no better way to take in the vast expanse of fall foliage in Ottawa than by helicopter. Soar into the sky and see the stunning beauty of the area by air with Heli-Tremblant tours. These flights can accommodate up to three people, offering panoramic views from all sides of the helicopter.
The tours begin at just 10 minutes. This covers 30 kilometres and offers views of downtown Ottawa, Parliament Hill, and Rideau Hall. Extend the tour to 20 minutes, and you'll see Meech Lake, the Champlain Lookout, and the entrance to Gatineau Hills. The 30-minute tour continues over Gatineau Provincial Park.
You can also add an optional trip to the baths of the KONEA spa in Gatineau with a 10- or 20-minute ride. This provides a soothing way to fill out your autumn day.
Location: Canada Space Aviation Museum, 11 Aviation Parkway, Ottawa.
Explore the Haunted Side of the City
Ottawa's long history naturally lends itself to an abundance of ghost stories. There's no better time for a chilling city tour than in autumn as Halloween approaches. The Haunted Walk offers three Ottawa tours to choose from:
- Original Haunted Walk of Ottawa: Explore the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Bytown Museum, and a haunted high school on this 75-minute tour.
- Haunted Ottawa Jail Tour: Explore the historic jail, including the cell blocks, death row, and Canada's last working gallows. This tour lasts 75 minutes and is best suited to participants aged 10 and over.
- Ghosts of Upper Canada Village Walking Tour: Explore the chilling Upper Canada Village, which takes you back to pioneer days. In the darkened atmosphere, you may just see history come back to life. The tour lasts for 75 minutes.
Location: 46 1/2 Sparks St., Ottawa.
Visit Saunders Farm
Frightfest at Saunders Farm begins on Sept. 24, 2022. This annual event is considered the top haunted attraction in Canada. You'll find multiple attractions to experience as well as all the terror of street theatre. Craft beer, Saunders Cider, and other beverages are available during the event. If you need a bite, you can find burgers, poutine, fresh-cut fries, and other snacks.
Saunders Farm also offers other fall activities for the family. During the day, you can enjoy pumpkins, hay rides, jumping pillows, hedge mazes, puppet shows, and a parade. The Farm Shop offers ample delights, including fudge, pie, jams, preserves, sparkling cider, and more.
Location: 7893 Bleeks Road, Munster.
Did we include your favourite fall activities on our list? Contact our team at Jim Tubman Chevrolet and let us know so we can update our list with all the best suggestions!
Image by Haydn Blackey is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0