Why plan a quick getaway to Outaouais?
The Outaouais area is the portal to Western Quebec across the river from the Capital of Ottawa. It encompasses a region that includes Gatineau, Aylmer, and Hull along with several National Parks. It is a short 2-hour drive from Montreal and within an hour from Ottawa. Even if heading in from Toronto, it is a little more than a 5-hour drive.
In Outaouais, it is easy to explore the history, culture, and adventure of the area during a quick getaway.
For the urban explorers, check out the Downtown Gatineau Cultural Trail, a 3 KM route that invites us to walk and discover the hidden treasures of Old Hull and admire some of the great urban artwork along the way.
For the History and Cultural Buff
This a definite must see – the Canadian Museum of History’s brand new gallery, a 40,000 square foot space tracing Canada’s history from the dawn of human habitation to present day. An incredible and enlightening exhibition as you discover the stories and artifacts, as well as movements and figures that shaped and influenced Canada throughout the years to present, all with a National focus.
If you have a chance before October 15th, make your way to the Mosaic150 exhibition. A major horticultural exhibition that celebrates Canada and its 150 years through the various arrangements combining art forms with horticulture. The displays are exceptional and very creative, with representations for every province and what they are known for.
For the Adventurist
Gatineau Park itself has over 50 different trails and 200 km. of cross-country ski trails. It is also located just 1.5 km from downtown Gatineau. For the cyclist, they have over 33km of bike paths in the summer and 28 km. in the winter. If you are in the park in the fall, you will find a burst of colour as the leaves are on full display at that time.
If you have ever wanted to experience mushing, the place to head is north towards Bristol to TImberland Tours. You don’t have to wait for the snow to enjoy a dog sled adventure as they have year-round sledding.
Follow the road east towards the Montebello region where you will find Omega Park. You can discover wildlife such as moose, elk, bison, wolves, and bears all within their natural environment in the park. If you prefer, you can even sleep near the bears and the wolves on the grounds until the end of October in one of the on-site accommodations.
For those looking for rest and relaxation
The Montebello region is also home to the unique Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello located along the Ottawa River; the largest log building in Canada and steeped in history. A beautiful, rustic, yet luxurious resort to relax in for a few days. They have several activities available on the grounds and the marina, along with exceptional cuisine for great dining experiences.
Have you been to the Outaouais area, what was your favorite experience? Be sure to check for more detailed articles on some of the above experiences in future posts.
*Disclosure: I was generously hosted by Tourisme Outaouais, however, all opinions are my own.