While an exotic vacation to a deserted beach may sound heaven-sent after the hoopla of a wedding, sometimes the money (or time off) just isn’t feasible immediately following the big to-do. Never fear: there are tons of romantic, intriguing, and downright fun things to do in your own backyard. Take a weekend after the wedding to enjoy a honeymoon on home turf and explore your city like a newbie newlywed.
For the hopeless romantics
If exchanging vows, kissing the bride, and feeding each other wedding cake was just the tip of the iceberg for you romantics, then Ottawa is the perfect place to keep the flame burning. Stay for a night or two at the luxurious Lord Elgin – known for its elegant setting. It’s also just steps away from hand-in-hand walks past the Parliament Buildings or along the Rideau Canal.
In wintertime go for a romantic skate on the canal or, in the warmer months, rent bikes for a jaunt along the waterway and through cozy neighbourhoods. Stop for a hot chocolate and Beaver-Tail, or set up a private picnic lunch. Enjoy an intimate meal at the Courtyard Restaurant or Taylor’s Genuine Food & Wine Bar, both of which are reputed for their cozy atmospheres and top-notch fare.
For the history buffs
There are countless buildings in the Ottawa area that are steeped in history, but none is as unique and colourful as that of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. Go all out and book one of their indulgent Presidential Suites, and then dine at their renowned Wilfrids Restaurant (try the chef’s local tasting menu).
Perhaps you and your new mate are major history buffs, and there’s no shortage of interesting museums to check out in the Nation’s Capital Region. The recently-renovated Canadian War Museum along with the Canadian Museum of Civilization both have amazing regular displays as well as ongoing special exhibits – check their respective websites for a full schedule.
For the adventurous duo
Maybe posh hotels aren’t your thing and you’d rather rough it – the Gatineaus are picturesque and there are slews of cabins you can rent for a one-of-a-kind nature experience.
Ottawa is a city known for its active community, and if you’re a couple who loves to get your adrenaline pumping, it’s time to attempt one of the many extreme sports offered in and around the region. Go white-water rafting down the Ottawa River with Wilderness Tours, where you can also rent kayaks for a smoother ride. In the warmer months you and your mate can take another plunge and go bungee jumping with Great Canadian Bungee, or if you’re really gutsy (and trusting), battle things out with Ottawa X-Treme Paintball. Sign up for a Sky Adventure hang-gliding lesson. This honeymoon will test and excite you – are you up to the challenge?
Once darkness has settled in, brave a Haunted Walk and explore some of the city’s more frightening and daunting points of interest for an evening you won’t soon forget.