Discovering the Outaouais region
This article is sponsored by Tourisme Outaouais. All the opinions mentioned in this article remain mine.
When it comes to choosing a destination, as a traveler, one is often tempted by exotic and distant destinations. What about our country and our provinces? We often forget that the adventure is very often not too far from home, as in the Outaouais region!
Whether for pure pleasure of personal discovery or for photo assignments with different clients, I had the chance to discover several regions of Quebec in recent years.
However, I had not yet taken the time to discover the region of the Outaouais which is huge and which is very close to where I live, Montreal.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to discover this beautiful corner of the country and visit several good spots to make your next stay in the Outaouais definitely memorable.
What to do in Outaouais?
The very first thing you wonder when you decide to go to a destination is “what are we going to do there?”
Personally, I like having some activities planned during a stay and add some discoveries that I will do on site.
Here a few favourites we had the chance to do while in the region.
From a cultural point of view as well as from an architectural point of view, the Canadian Museum of History is worth the detour. Located in Gatineau, near the Ottawa River separating the two provinces, you can get lost in the various exhibitions for hours!
See Ottawa from across the river
When you leave the museum, take a walk on the path in front of the museum. A breathtaking view of Ottawa awaits you, take the opportunity to take some shots while you’re there!
Strolling in Vieux-Hull
After an immersion in Canadian history at the museum and enjoying the view of the national capital, I recommend you take a walk in Vieux-Hull and discover the various shops and restaurants of the area. I had a real crush on Café Merkén, a small café located in the center of Old Hull.
Activités à Montebello
During our visit to the Outaouais, on our way back to Montreal, we made a stop in Montebello. A small bucolic municipality located on the Ottawa River. It includes the Fairmont Le Château Montebello, where you can do many activities such as dog sledding, curling in winter, tennis in summer and enjoy the beautiful indoor pool all year round. When you pass through this area, take the opportunity to discover the various shops on the main street, such as the Fromagerie Montebello and the chocolate factory Chocomotive.
When in Outaouais, one necessarily has to pay a visit to the famous Omega Park, a safari park that will make you discover several species of animals of Canada. It was a first experience for Jérémie and I and as we love animals, we were totally delighted with this visit and took a ton of photos! My favorite section was definitely the new area created for wolves, it was really magical to be able to see these animals so closely. My recommendation: go early in the day, so you will avoid long lines and tons of visitors.
Where to eat in Outaouais?
As an assumed foodie, it was obviously necessary to try different gourmet addresses during this stay in the Outaouais — and we were totally charmed by the gastronomy of the region.
The first restaurant we visited during this stay was Les Vilains Garçons — and they definitely set the bar high for the rest of the stay.
The concept is very simple at Les Vilains Garçons — there is no menu — so it’s a surprise at every visit. Even if there is no menu, pintxo is the real star of the menu and allows Les Vilains Garçons to offer a wide variety of fresh, local and seasonal cuisine to its customers.
Everything was absolutely excellent and very beautiful visually, as you will see in the photos.
We also discovered a beer from the new microbrewery Brasserie du Bas-Canada — an Imperial Stout which was very delightful.
In the evening, we had the chance to discover another superb gourmet address in Vieux-Hull, the Rustiek. A seasonal cuisine performed wonderfully in the most inviting and cozy atmosphere. Jérémie and I agreed that this was one of the best meals we have eaten lately, everything was absolutely perfect.
Originally, we had to go snowshoeing in the Gatineau Park, but as the weather was not in our favour, we had the chance to discover Biscotti & Cie, a cute little café located in the center from Chelsea. Bring a good book and discover the lounge on the second floor sipping a good coffee.
If you are visiting Gatineau Park and you are looking for a good place to eat, head to the Chelsea Pub where Gainsbourg Microbrewery beers and great food will be waiting for you.
If you pass near Montebello, you absolutely must go to the Bistro for their excellent pizza cooked in a wood oven, a real delight!
Where to stay in Outaouais?
During our stay in Outaouais, we had the chance to stay at two totally different establishments. As the area is very large, I recommend choosing your hotel according to the activities you plan to do.
Located in Wakefield, a small village bordering the Gatineau River, this property offers two types of rooms. We stayed in the Eco River Pavilion where the rooms have amazing views of the river. The bath with a view of the river and the fireplace totally charmed us!
You can also eat directly on site and also benefit from the services of the spa.
If you are looking for a unique experience, the Fairmont Château Montebello is definitely the place for you. You will have the opportunity to stay in the largest log cabin in the world and enjoy the facilities of this beautiful resort.
Huge crush on the main area of the hotel that will definitely win you over with its unique rustic charm.
In addition, for the more athletic, a huge indoor pool is at your disposal during your stay.
How tot get there from Montreal?
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