The long weekend in May is always so appreciated by the time it rolls around. Generally the start of summer, this weekend is best enjoyed when spending time outside. I’m sure many of our readers are heading out of town for the long weekend, but for those of you staying in the city, we’ve put together a list of the top things to do.
1. The Tulip Festival
A staple for spring in Ottawa, the Tulip Festival is definitely worth checking out. A few years back, we checked it out and it was a great way to spend a day in the sun, getting more acquainted with the historical festival. The tulips are a symbol of international friendship and for years have acted as a thank you from the Dutch for the role Canada played in helping free them during World War II. Each year, the festival draws thousands and thousands of tourists and really is a beautiful sight to take in. This year it’s running from May 8-18; make it a stop on your long weekend to-do list!
2. Flights of Beer at Beyond the Pale
When we were in Halifax over the Holidays, one of the best things we did was stop in at a local craft brewery for flights of beer. Lucky for us, Beyond the Pale offers the same experience here in Ottawa! From Thursday-Saturday you can stop by the brewery to sample the beers and take home a few growlers. One of our personal favourites is their Pink Fuzz!
3. The New Urban Cowboy
Last year, food trucks took over the Capital and one of our favourites, Urban Cowboy Eats, has now opened up a restaurant on Limebank Road. With a Texas-inspired menu, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your dining companions. We loved the tacos from the food truck, so definitely give them a try when you visit!
4. Canal Date
If you’ve ever talked to us, you know how obsessed we are with the tacos from El Camino. One of the things we like so much is the take-out window, because we can take their delicious treats to go. Last summer, you could often find us with tacos in one hand and a picnic blanket in the other. Grab some tacos and head down to the canal and dine al fresco. Next, grab a drink and take in some live music at 8 locks’ flat and take in one of the best sunsets in the city.
We have been raving about Landsdowne since it’s facelift, but this summer it’s better than ever. The Ottawa Farmer’s Market is launching their new season on Sunday with their opening event: A Royal Celebration. Held just outside Aberdeen Pavilion, there will be seasonal tastings, buskers and entertainment. Plus, don’t forget about the fresh, local produce! If you’re not in the mood to cook, you can pop by one of the new restaurants that have opened: Local Pubic Eatery, Joey, and Jack Astor’s.
6. Black Sheep Inn
Just outside of Ottawa, in Wakefield, you can check out an awesome spot for live music: The Black Sheep Inn. They describe themselves as, “a workingman’s jukejoint divebar tavern”. This weekend, they have live music Friday-Sunday, with tickets available on their website in advance. It’s worth the trek out!
7. New Restaurants, East and West
There are always new restaurants to check out in Ottawa, and this weekend is no different. There have been a few new spots that have opened up all across the city, so no matter where you live, there’s something delicious to check out.
East: Big Rig Brewery. The first location opened on Iris street and was a hit. Now, Big Rig has expanded to the east end (and we East enders couldn’t be happier!) Pro tip: the nachos are awesome.
West: Pure Kitchen. We’ve been enjoying Pure Kitchen’s cold pressed juices all week, but they also have an amazing menu! The menu is comprised of vegan and vegetarian options and there is something for everyone.