This past weekend was the Victoria Day Long Weekend in Canada and my family and I went to Ottawa for the Tulip Festival which is in its 70th year! And the trip also served as a belated Mother’s Day Celebration, I remember we wanted to go last year but it didn’t work out- so hooray for finally going!
We stayed at the Fairmont Chateau which is right in the downtown area and a short 5 minute walk to Major Hill Park. We arrived at Ottawa in the late afternoon after about 4 hours in the car, and we went to the park to have a little picnic. I was also able to convince my family to go to the National Gallery of Canada and walked them through the contemporary art section. There was an exhibition on Canadian painter Alex Colville (they had one at the AGO but I missed it) and I’m glad my sister told me she really enjoyed that.
If you’re going to Ottawa for the Tulip Festival here’s what I recommend:
- a Tulip shuttle (donation of $2 ea. ) from Lord Elgin Hotel will take you to Commissioner’s Park – there’s tons more tulips and that’s where the fireworks were
- pack some snacks, having a picnic in the park is really quite relaxing
- bring an umbrella and sunscreen ( I forgot sunscreen and you’re walking around in these big parks so be smarter than me and protect your skin!)
- go to the National Gallery of Canada, the War Museum or other spaces – if you have time
- Parliament, the gallery, Byward Market, Major Hill Park etc are within walking distance of each other if you’re staying downtown, so wear comfy shoes
- it sounds typical but eat a beaver tail- I had my first one on the weekend
- be patient, there will be lots of crowds and tons of people that want to take pictures too
- random note: finding a tim hortons in the downtown core was a lot trickier than expected and I’m not sure why
Anywho, I took a bunch of photos with film (2 rolls!!) that I have to get develop so here’s a few from my phone.
Our picnic in the park with non alcoholic “wine”, brie cheese, strawberries, croissants, crackers, and turkey sandwiches
Fam being all cute and stuff. And look how green it is!
By Parliament Hill, behind me is the Fairmont Chateau!
Our time in Ottawa was short- just 2 days, of course there’s a ton of things you can explore but this is just a little recap of what we were able to do. Enjoy your travels 🙂
All photos on this site are mine unless otherwise stated.