Ottawa is Canada’s capital, and is home to not just great architecture, but wide-open green spaces that invite its residents outside at every opportunity. Anchoring the downtown center are the colossal gothic Parliament buildings perched on top of Parliament Hill, the towering icon of Ottawa and Canadian government. The Rideau Canal is the main artery of the city. This 125-mile canal is flanked on either side by runners and bikers in the summer, and in the winter, its frozen surface is crawling with fun-loving ice skaters. If the weather is nice, take a cruise down the canal all the way from Chateau Laurier to Dow’s Lake for a great way to see Ottawa.

Visit the ByWard Market in the heart of downtown, one of Canada’s largest public markets, to find local vendors selling everything from maple sugar candy to hand-made hats and mittens. This is also one of the best places to sample the local cuisine, with so many stands selling delicious snacks on-the-go. If you’ve got time, check out an Ottawa Senators game to experience Canada’s feverish obsession with hockey.

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