With bone-chilling storms, wild winds and icy sidewalks, the Canadian winter doesn’t usually evoke warm, fuzzy thoughts. We Canadians often dream of Florida and imagine ourselves in Cuba–we rarely consider vacationing in our own country during the winter months, but Canada overflows with comfortable and stylish winter vacation options.
Here are some insider tips for a romantic winter getaway in Gatineau, Québec, a town near Ottawa offering picturesque white landscapes, and countless opportunities for a tête à tête by the fireplace with your special someone.
Hiking in Gatineau Park
Set off in the woods and leave the car in one of the numerous free parking zones in the park. Pure air, delicate wilderness and absolute calm will let you unwind, disconnect from everyday stress, and enjoy the beauty around you. A lesser-known trail takes you around Pink Lake in less than an hour, or choose another hiking trail in the area.
Fine grub and beer at Brasseurs du Temps
Share a charcuterie platter with your better half in a historic building while enjoying one of their house brews. Sample the obscur désir (dark desire), the allumante (kindler) and the belle empoisonneuse (beautiful poisoner).
Many websites offer a comfortable place to stay for a long weekend. Airbnb offers over a hundred options under $150 a night in Gatineau or Ottawa. A big plus: airbnb accommodations are real homes with real kitchens, so you can make a real breakfast in bed for your loved on a Sunday morning.
A Day at the Outdoor Spa
A gem in the greater Ottawa-Gatineau region can be found in Old Chelsea, at the end of Highway 5 North, a 10 minute drive from Ottawa. The Nordik is located in nature, surrounded by trees and rocks. You can find outdoor pools of various temperatures, saunas and rest rooms in beautiful wooden buildings. Tip-toe in the snow between pools and hot saunas, or treat yourself to a massage package.