Ottawa and tulips

May 7th, 2002, 08:45 AM
  #1  
Di
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Ottawa and tulips

I heard that tulips in Ottawa are spectacular right now. Is it worthy a day trip from Burlington, VT? What is so interesting about Ottawa, anyway, besides tulips?
 
May 7th, 2002, 11:47 AM
  #2  
Sherry
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Di: Well, Ottawa is the nations capital so you have the parliament buildings that many tourists like to see. The canal is always pleasant for a stroll or boat ride. There are different flotilla runs as well. The "market" area in downtown Ottawa is always hopping with outdoor vendors at this time of year, lots of people strolling around, lots of cafes and restaurants too. And then of course there is the tulips! A wonderful display. I would say it is worth a trip, expecially if you have never been.
 
May 7th, 2002, 12:05 PM
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gary
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And don't forget the Museums and Galleries - especially the Musum of Man, the National Art Gallery, the Museum of Transportation, etc. etc.
 
May 7th, 2002, 12:19 PM
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ron
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Just to keep things factual and up-to-date, the Museum of Man is now known as the Museum of Civilization (at which the King & Queen of Norway are today opening a Viking exhibition). There is no Museum of Transportation, but there is an Aviation Museum and Museum of Science & Technology, the latter with a good train section. To complete Gary’s list, there is the Museum of Nature, War Museum and Contemporary Photography Gallery, currently showing an exhibit of Malak Karsh photos.
 
May 7th, 2002, 02:08 PM
  #5  
gary
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Thank you Ron - I stand corrected. Bottom line - the museums are one of the best things about Ottawa and shouldn't be missed. Unless of course that's not your thing.
 
May 8th, 2002, 03:01 AM
  #6  
Di
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Thank you Sherry, Ron and Gary for such fantastic information. Museums are my things, thanks. I will be there next week. Any day of the week when museums are closed?
Where should we head for tulips?
Where is the best place to park a car for a day and walk around from there? Is it possible?
Any specific great place for lunch?
 
May 8th, 2002, 03:11 AM
  #7  
D.S
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Hi Di,

You can check out http://www.ottawakiosk.com/museum3.html for museum info in ottawa. Gary and Ron are right, the museums are fabulous here. Don't miss the museum of Civilization in Hull.

As for the tulips, if you can get to Majors Hill Park downtown, you can catch the tulip shuttle for free and ride the tulip course which will get you ultimately to Dows Lake (which is just blooming with tulips!! A must see!!). You can park anywhere in the Byward Market area and walk over to M.H Park to catch the shuttle. FYI, Tulip festival booklet is available at Majors Hill Park.
As for lunch, the market offers something for everyone.. lotsa great cafes and nice restaurants too.
Enjoy ur visit!
 
May 8th, 2002, 07:36 AM
  #8  
ron
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To add a bit to D.S.’s excellent note:
1. The tulip festival’s website is http://www.tulipfestival.ca in case you haven’t found it.

2. The distance between Majors Hill Park and Dows Lake, where the major tulip beds are, is about 5 miles along the Rideau Canal. The tulip shuttle makes about 8 stops along the route, so you may want to walk all or part of the route. There is a restaurant about half way, the Canal Ritz, built right on the edge of the canal, that could be a good lunch stop. Not great, but competent Italian food, in a great location.

3. As D.S. says, lots of restaurant choices in the By Ward Market; a personal favourite is the Black Tomato.

4. Re parking, if you are staying downtown, you would likely leave your car in the hotel parking garage during your stay, unless maybe to go to the Aviation or Science Museums, which are a bit out of the way. If you are staying outside the centre, you may still want to look at public transport rather than driving in. For example, if you were staying south of the city (on highway 31) you could park at the South Keys and take the O-train (free during tulip festival weekends) to the Carling Avenue station, which is near Dows Lake and which is a tulip shuttle stop. If you end up driving downtown, parking should cost you around C$12 for the day - Rideau Centre is as good a parking garage as any.
 
May 8th, 2002, 07:39 AM
  #9  
Sherry
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Di, There is a website for the Tulip Festival, its www.tulipfestival.ca
That should also give you info regarding concerts, routes to take, locations of tulips etc.
Have fun!
 
May 10th, 2002, 10:06 AM
  #10  
Di
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Thank you all for so many great informations. I checked www.tulipfestival.ca and now I have another problem. There is so much to do and next week I can only go on a day-trip. What day of the day would be least crowded?
I need to make a choice which museum to visit. For the first-time which one would you personally recommend.
Thanks again.
We have a wonderful weather here in Burlington and I hope that next week in Ottawa will be a gorgeous weather too. Any ideas?
 
May 11th, 2002, 02:09 AM
  #11  
DS
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Di, I would personally recommend the Museum of Civilization in Hull. If I'm not mistaken, a new exhibit on the Vikings has recently (last week) been opened. I also really enjoyed the Museum of Nature.

Forecast in Ottawa calls for showers next week (until Wed at least) with temps around 14-16 C, but that may change.
 
May 11th, 2002, 04:12 AM
  #12  
Di
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Thank you DS. We will be there next week on Thursday or Friday
 
May 14th, 2002, 09:25 AM
  #13  
Rich
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Di, if you like museums you definitely should go to Ottawa! Going for a day trip this time will be nice, but you should plan for a longer trip later on. It's one of my favorite cities in North America and think it's WAY underrated.

My favorite museum is the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec, which is right across the river. The totem pole gallery on the main floor is pretty fantastic, and they have tons of fascinating exhibits there. Another great thing about that museum is that you get terrific views across the river (with its rapids) to the Parliament buildings and the rest of the city.

The market downtown is fun to walk around, too, and you can see the changing of the guard at Parliament. Ottawa is a very walkable city. Have a great trip!
 
May 15th, 2002, 08:10 AM
  #14  
LJ
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Just caught the Vikings Exhibit at the museum of Civilization (just across the bridege in Hull)...amazing, informative, charming and provocative! Do go...also the tulips are spectacular this year. If you go for a stroll around Parliament Hill do not miss the Cat House!
 
May 16th, 2002, 11:42 AM
  #15  
Di
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Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions. Our plan was to leave home this morning at 7 am and visit as many tulip spots as possible, then visit maybe one or two museums with Museum Civilization and Nature Museum being highest on our list. Then we planned on having lunch perhaps in the Black Tomato. Finally we wanted to gather as much as possible info and plan our next a few days long trip. Well, we left home at 7 am but after driving for more than two hours in a heavy rain, which was getting heavier and heavier with every minute as we got closer to Ottawa, we decided to turned around and go back home. Got gas $1.33 per gallon in Akwesasne reservation, and soon after that a speeding ticket. So this incompleted trip was in a way eventful.
Anyway, my question is

are there going be tulips blooming next week?
 
May 16th, 2002, 01:09 PM
  #16  
Sherry
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Di, I'm sorry to hear about your aborted trip to Ottawa. And a speeding ticket to boot! Geesh.
As to your question, yes the tulips will be blooming next week. The weather has been so lousy that they are a little later than normal this year. The first few days of the festival last week, lots weren't out yet. Contrary to many years when the tulips are practically all gone by the last weekend. So you should be fine next week. And hopefully by then the weather will have warmed up and make for a nice trip!! Have fun, and watch out for those speed traps!
 
May 16th, 2002, 06:47 PM
  #17  
Rich
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Di, I'm sorry to hear about your unfortunate trip, too, but do hope you'll give it a go some other day. Ottawa is a fabulous place to visit even when the tulips aren't blooming.

I'm not sure you're going to be able to leave Burlington at 7, drive to Ottawa, see all the tulips, and then go to a couple of museums all before lunch. I think you'll find yourself really rushing and not getting to enjoy it much. I might do the tulips, then maybe a little stroll downtown, the market, changing of the guard, then lunch somewhere in the area. Haven't been to the Nature museum but I know you could easily spend half a day at the Civilization museum.

If you or anyone in your party likes potatoes and cheese, you'll have to try the Quebecois dish poutine. French fries, stringy melted cheese, dark gravy...it sounds pretty gross, and doesn't look good either, but it's delicious. You can hear your arteries clogging while you eat it, but it's not like you'll be eating it every day for a month, so don't worry about it. A very Quebecois dish that you can find all over the place in Ottawa. Even most of the fast food places have it (wouldn't recommend trying it at one of those, though, although the poutine at Harvey's is pretty good).

A beaver tail from one of the stalls in the market is the classic Ottawa snack, I think. It's like a funnel cake.

Anyway, have a great trip when you finally make it to Ottawa! When you go for your longer trip, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised that hotels are, as a whole, very reasonably priced by American standards because of the favorable exchange rate.
 
May 18th, 2002, 04:17 PM
  #18  
Jen
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Ottawa is definetly worth the trip. Stay for a night or two. It's awesome. Take a boat ride up the beautiful canal. There is WAY more to Ottawa than the tulips! Have fun!
 
May 18th, 2002, 05:19 PM
  #19  
Jim Rosenberg
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I agree wholeheartedly and after a couple of trips to Ottawa, I regard it as one of the most underrated destinations in North America. It's a really wonderful place to spend a few days!
 
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