Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by IHG. Opinions are, as always, my own.

I’ve always loved a good road trip, which is not surprising since I
started travelling at such an early age. At only a few weeks old, my parents
buckled me up (or, probably not – it was 1977!) and took me to Ottawa. 

Only two years later, here I am again in front of the Parliament
Buildings with my baby brother, Ed. Do you see a road trip theme here?

Yes, my family has always loved spending time in Ottawa, Canada’s fourth largest city – with a rich history and so much to see and do. For visitors,
there’s a huge variety of IHG
hotels in Ottawa
as well.
Of course as teachers, my parents were always big on educational fun,
and the museum selection in Ottawa is fantastic. Here’s an amusing shot from
our 1989 visit to the then brand-new Canadian Museum of Civilization (now
called the Canadian Museum of History). I say amusing, of course, because of my
XXL eyeglasses (yep, those were real.). Hey, this was before I was old enough for contact lenses and well before LASIK!
You can also visit the Canadian
War Museum, which tells inspiring wartime anecdotes through exclusive photos,
art, tours and presentations, or the Royal Canadian Mint (which is on my list
for our next trip to Ottawa).
The outdoor scenery in the city is beautiful, too. Many visitors and residents enjoy walking
alongside the Rideau Canal with a cup of cocoa in the colder months. Skating is
also very popular when the Canal is frozen.
Of course, there’s a place for sports fans in Ottawa as well. In fact,
a few years ago when our beloved Montreal Canadiens were in a playoff series
against the Ottawa Senators, my husband, father and I went wild and crazy and
got same-day tickets (on a workday, no less – if you know how much I love my
sleep you must be totally shocked by this) and hit the highway for Ottawa,
driving back straight after the game. Who won the game, you ask? Oh, it doesn’t
matter.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the great shopping in Ottawa. The
Byward Market is extremely popular, and for mall-lovers, the Rideau Centre is a
popular choice with 20 million visitors each year.
Since Ottawa is the capital of our beautiful country, you can also find
the Parliament Buildings here of course – a huge tourist attraction for my family,
obviously!
Just this past spring, our ten-year-old Olivia made it to the
Provincials for Lions’ Club Effective Public Speaking (her topic was “Careers
of the Future” – let me know if you need any tips!), which was held in Ottawa.
We took advantage of our family time in this beautiful city to introduce the
girls to the Parliament Buildings, which they had never seen.

I love these next photos, taken at the same spot where the Prime
Minister and Members of Parliament address the media outside the House of
Commons. You never know, my girls could be back there someday!

There are seasonal events to consider in Ottawa, too. Thinking of visiting
this fall? Note that the Ottawa Food and Wine Festival takes place in October.Who
doesn’t love food and/or wine?
While we have done a couple
of same-day Ottawa trips (over three hours each way…that seems crazy as I type
it!), we usually try to take advantage of all of the great Ottawa hotels. By joining the IHG® Rewards Club, the
world’s first and largest hotel loyalty program with more than 92 million
members worldwide, you can get points for your hotel stay at IHG hotels. IHG is
a global organization of hotel brands including Intercontinental® Hotels and Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels and Restaurants, HUALUXETM Hotels and Resorts, Crowne
Plaza® Hotels and Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN® hotels, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®.
Ottawa certainly has
something for everyone, and I would highly recommend it for your next family
trip.
I started this post with a 1977 Ottawa family photo, so what better way
to end than with one from 2016? This time, it’s a selfie!



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