Once teased as "the city that never wakes," Canada's sleepy capital has recently sprung to life. A young population has energized its diverse neighborhoods, bringing colorful galleries, indie shops and a buzzing dining scene. Ottawa is also surprisingly green, with some awesome opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.
Even if you're not into politics, don't miss the architecturally stunning buildings of Parliament Hill, the heart of Canadian government. Join a tour through its grand neo-Gothic corridors, then enjoy a splendid view from the Peace Tower. Nearby, you'll find the superb National Gallery, Canada's largest art museum. Just across Ottawa River in Gatineau, the Canadian Museum of History is a must-see, with its mesmerizing collection of art and relics from Canada's First Peoples.
Dining in this multicultural city is another highlight. Visit the sprawling ByWard Market for bistros and wine bars, carbo-load on Preston Street (Little Italy) and feast on dim sum in Chinatown. To burn off the calories, stroll along the scenic Rideau Canal or bike the leafy Ottawa River Parkway.