Couple enjoying autumn scenery in a park with colorful leaves. Couple enjoying autumn scenery in a park with colorful leaves.

Picnic Haven: Navigating Ottawa’s 6 Best Spots for Outdoor Feasts

Filled with natural beauty and lovely green parks, Ottawa is ideal for laying out your picnic blanket and having an exotic feast with your family or friends.

Among the popular picnic areas, some of them even have accessible parking facilities, along with convenient walking paths and even cute picnic tables for your picnic lunch. These picnic spots are ideally open, especially for laying your picnic basket and having quality time.

Whether it is about a sandy beach, mature trees, a splash pad, or warm weather full of nature, we have got you covered with the prettiest picnic spots in Ottawa, which are all at a stone’s throw distance from the Rideau River, Parliament Hill or the Gatineau Park.

1. Ottawa’s Perfect Picnic Havens

1.1 Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa

This lovely picnic area is among the top-rated picnic spots in Ottawa, with undoubtedly efficient and outstanding experience and facilities to look forward to. You’ve found your match if you prefer calm, solitary, and vastly green spaces without too much crowd but with much to admire.

Andrew Haydon Park is for introverts, at best. Situated at Carling Avenue beside the Ottawa River, this fascinating picnic spot is filled with fresh air, vast green spaces, small ponds where you can find small ducks, and fun play rides for kids.

picnic spots in Ottawa
Image by 999kasya999 from Pixabay/Copyright 2021

It is one of Ottawa’s most relaxing picnic spots, where you’ll enjoy a high-quality time with your family or friends over the Ottawa River and small ponds. Enjoy the magnificent sunset experience since this park offers one of the best views in Ottawa.

It is quite a big park with play structures and windmills, where you can also find BBQ pits for having a barbeque time once in a while when you visit. This incredibly simple park is one of the favorite spots in Ottawa for children and adults.

There are also a lot of parking zones with extraordinary scenic views of Gatineau Park or Rideau Falls. This lovely park is a peaceful destination for an evening stroll with your kids or family.

It only takes a short walk from the Ottawa River or Gatineau Park, and you’ll reach Andrew Haydon Park in no time. It is truly one of the most popular picnic spots in Ottawa.

1.2 Major’s Hill Park, Ottawa

Being another one of Ottawa’s most anticipated picnic spots, Major’s Hill Park is undoubtedly a marvelous choice for a picnic area near the Ottawa River. Situated at Laurier Avenue, this fantastic park is renowned for being one of the oldest picnic spots in Ottawa.

It has a perfect location near the Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill, and Ottawa River. This place is an ideal picnic spot in the summer when Ottawa dwellers and tourists conquer the green playground of this park to their own. The Park also has a few picnic tables to get you started.

If you’re up for a drink or snacks, visit the Tavern atop the Major’s Hill. You can find beers and other beverages to enjoy. There are also parking facilities, both paid and accessible, near the Byward Market area. This park served as a gathering spot, especially during quarantine when people were starving socially.

It is a great picnic spot where people can gather and chat at a well-known distance due to the vast green fields of this remarkable park. You can also enjoy a pleasant, lovely view of the Rideau River from afar. Enjoy the great atmosphere surrounding this park!

Since flowers make the parks even more elegant, Major’s Hill Park has fields of blooming tulips during the Tulip seasons. So, it is also a perfect spot to enjoy a heart-throbbing beauty of colors and flowers while you have your picnic lunch at this spot.

Enjoy quality time in this lovely park, surrounded by winding, leafy paths and massive trees. This Hill Park also has art galleries and museums around the place. So, it is always an option to try out these places occasionally.

1.3 Confederation Park, Ottawa

Stuffed with incredible monuments and picnic tables, Confederation Park is one of the quirkiest picnic spots in Ottawa. It is situated at Elgin Street near the St. Lawrence River in Gananoque. It is one of the famous landmarks in Ottawa. It is also known for its historical significance.

You’ll find small ponds with cute small animals like squirrels, birds, chipmunks, and ducks as you enjoy the scenes go by. There are lighthouse provisions facilities, which are available across the street. You can find delicious snacks like sandwiches, bread, and other cheese-related snacks to get you started.

It is a quiet and peaceful spot if you’re up for watching life go on. Enjoy a good cup of tea and a book to immerse yourself in. It is the best picnic spot you can get if you’re alone or wandering to spend the afternoon or evening alone.

It is located near the Elgin Hotel, where you can visit and also get a stay while coming to this lovely park once in a while to enjoy some quality time. There are stunning statues and memorials to look forward to, especially if you’re into historical tales.

It is under the care of the National Capital Commission of Canada. You can pay a visit as well. It has almost 70 beautiful gardens to indulge in, so expect something special. The Park is a hosting ground for some of the famous winter events. Events like Canada Day, the Jazz Festival in Ottawa, and even Winterlude.

Expect something surprising from this remarkable park. It is among the best picnic spots in Ottawa for a reason. It holds a fortune of significance and value in Canadian History.

1.4 Pink Lake, Ottawa

One of the most stunning picnic spots in Ottawa, just as beautiful as the name of the Pink Lake suggests. People have been enjoying long picnic times since the era of Queen Victoria. Pink Lake is a great choice if you adore gorgeous lakes and hiking.

Renowned as the Meromictic Lake in Gatineau Park, this lake is gorgeous in visual aestheticism but similarly a bit dangerous if you don’t follow the principle rules set by the Canadian Capital Commission.

The water of the lake is primarily green throughout the year, due to its algae formation, however, it still looks outstanding.

picnic spots in Ottawa
Image from Pink Lake

Swimming or bringing boats to Pink Lake is not allowed. Pets like dogs or cats are not allowed as well. However, it is still the perfect place in the Ottawa Valley to enjoy the enthralling scenery of the lake through the lookouts. This unusual maintenance and process make this lake one of Ottawa’s most popular picnic spots.

This lake picnic spot may not have picnic tables, but it still doesn’t make it any less of a favorite picnic spot in Ottawa. Along with free parking of motorcycles, bicycles, and cars, you can enjoy gorgeous views of the lake from the circular trails located around the lake.

Suppose your family or friend group is interested in hiking and picnicking. In that case, this Lake has to be your top priority when choosing the best picnic spots in Ottawa.

Even though this lake may have some restrictions and strict rules to follow, you’ll be stunned by its ethereal beauty. So, don’t forget to check out this magnificent lake.

1.5 Britannia Park, Ottawa

Britannia Park is among those all-rounder picnic spots in Ottawa. It excels and shines in every aspect to be the ideal picnic destination for Canadians and tourists. It is situated beside the main beach of Britannia and overlooks Britannia Bay.

From widespread picnic tables to snack bars, from the big grassy fields to the BBQ grills, everything about Britannia Park screams perfection and idealism. The fresh air surrounding the beach always has a festive vibe throughout the year, making it unique.

The Park looks the most beautiful during the autumnal time. The mature trees become yellowish orange, enhancing the glamour of the beautiful sunset experience of the fellow picnickers. Britannia has a range of shades and a canteen, where you can enjoy the best.

Britannia Park, Ottawa in Winter and Summer

The Britannia Beach works as a massive tourist attraction as well. So, no wonder you’ll find many picnic spots taken by tourists to experience the magnificence of the fabulous Britannia Beach near Britannia Bay.

The facilities at this park are not worthy since not many picnic spots in Ottawa have these features. They provide facilities like washrooms, picnic tables, snack food, and rentals like paddleboards and kayaks. There’s also an arrangement for playing volleyball at the beach.

There’s also an additional coffeehouse near the parking area where you can grab picnic desserts like ice cream, muffins, or cinnamon rolls. Don’t be shy about asking for tea or coffee alongside. They offer those as well.

After knowing all these perks, you’re assured that you’ll enjoy the smoothest picnic experience ever at this beautiful park. Just hitch a bike ride from the road along the Ottawa River. You’ll be at this picnic spot in no time.

1.6 Petrie Island, Ottawa

Petrie Island is another one of the most popular picnic spots in Ottawa, without a doubt. With green natural beauty and a group of animals and birds, this popular spot is second to Britannia when discussing its endless facilities.

Petrie Island is probably among the most photogenic picnic spots in Ottawa. It is where photographers and other videographers gather around to snap pictures and videos of this incredible scenic park. It is terrifically famous for its wonderful sunrise and sunset views.

You can do many activities here, such as boating, birdwatching, picnicking, fishing, and hiking. You can do all of it by walking only a short distance from your picnic tables. The park has over 30 picnic tables. It is probably the only spot with such a high table number.

picnic spots in Ottawa
Image from Petrie Island

The best part about Petrie Island is you’ll not be bored. The park is well-planned and packed with exciting activities you can try out anytime with friends or family.

You can enjoy a mindblowing and goofy time with your mates. You can also enjoy the most memorable sunset scenarios.

It is situated on the city’s west side to the main beach, making it even more well-known.

The park’s beach is undoubtedly the largest one in Ottawa. So, enjoy a great time on Petrie Island and experience what it feels like to be in Ottawa’s most photographed picnic spots.

Closing Thoughts

Going out on a picnic can be a great escape for your family from the chaos of daily life. And if you live in Ottawa, it is one of the best ways to spend your holidays and free time with your loved ones.

The other great picnic spots in Ottawa are Vincent Massey Park, Rockcliffee Park, and Mackenzie King Estate. With scenic views and excellent services, these parks are also incredible choices.

FAQs

1. Which parks have BBQs in Ottawa?

BBQ facilities are pretty famous for picnicking. However, it is only featured in some of the famous parks. There are a few renowned parks with BBQ or charcoal fire pits. They are Andrew Haydon Park, Petrie Island, and Britannia Park.

Please only have a BBQ grill in the parks where it has been designated or featured. Otherwise, many parks in Ottawa do not entertain this popular facility, although it has become quite common lately.

2. Are there picnic tables at Confederation Park?

Yes! There are a few branches of the Confederation Parks. The Gananoque one has picnic tables and seats to witness the monuments and the waterfall mill ponds. The Confederation Park in Calgary or Kingston also has those.

Each has over 12 tables, which is a significant number. It is an excellent park to linger around alone or with family for picnic time and beautiful sunsets.

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