The charming Ottawa suburb of Manotick is the perfect place to go on a beautiful day, any time of year. It’s only a 30 minute drive from downtown Ottawa and has lots to offer in the way of beautiful places, things to do, shopping, and food. While Manotick is technically part of Ottawa, it has a completely different feel from central parts of the city. It’s considered a village of Ottawa, and absolutely has that small village feel to it. My Dad lives in Manotick, so I’ve become very familiar with the area over the years.
Manotick is fantastic day trip from Ottawa if you’re looking for a quaint and charming place to spend the day. This guide to Manotick includes all of the best things to do in Manotick, shops, cafés, and restaurants, year round. Manotick might be a small area, but it has a lot of great spots within it and you’re probably going to want to visit more than once!
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Things to do in Manotick Ottawa
The Watson’s Mill is easily Manotick’s most iconic site. It’s open daily in the summer and is definitely the best Manotick photo-op. The Mill is open and operational in the summer. Step inside to learn some of the mill’s history, or to buy fresh flour! That’s right, Watson’s Mill has been making flour since 1860. See an old-fashioned flour grind in action from 1-3PM on Sunday’s, and buy some flour to take home with you.
Whatever the season, Miller’s Farm is one of the best places in Manotick to enjoy seasonal experiences. Pick your own strawberries in the spring and your own raspberries in the summer, and buy fresh produce on site like tomatoes, beans, and sweet corn. I think Fall is my favourite time to visit! Go on a tractor wagon ride, pick your own pumpkins, enjoy fresh apple cider, and wander the corn maze. When winter rolls around you can stop by for preserved berries.
There’s no admission fee, and dogs are welcome. I have very fond memories of exploring a corn maze with my dog Piper! He absolutely loved it (and he led me really, really far off course).
Manotick is home to a few adorable, locally owned cafés that you can pop in to for a snack. On the Main Street is Morning Owl Manotick, new to Manotick and an Ottawa-based small chain.
On Mill Street visit Miller’s Oven for delicious (and very well-priced) Breakfast or Luncheon options. There’s a lovely outdoor garden to enjoy your food in, too. Right next door is Take Another Bite, a fantastic little cafés with delicious, fresh out of the oven pastries. I had a peach scone on my last visit, so good!
Just on the other side of Watson’s Mill, Mimi’s is the perfect place to get a treat like ice cream or a fun donut!
Shopping in Manotick
Manotick Mews and the Main Street (Rideau Valley) are the best places to go in Manotick if you’re looking for a bit of shopping. Step in to Rebel Petals Floral Design Studio for home decor and flowers, Mansfield Shoes to upgrade your footwear (I have sneakers from here), or Lasting Impressions Gifts if you’re looking for a thoughtful gift for someone special. Stores I haven’t visited myself but that come highly recommended include are Green Spirit for spiritual pieces, and Chilly Chiles for amazing hot sauce and spices.
Long Island Aquatic Club
This beautiful waterfront swim club is the perfect place to go on a hot summer day. The Long Island Aquatic Club is set along the Rideau River and has several swimming pools, and lots of nice tents and deck chairs in the shade. If you’re looking to cool off after a day exploring Manotick, this is the place!
Restaurants and Patios in Manotick
When you’re ready for a bite to eat or to relax with a nice cold drink, there are lots of great places in Manotick to choose from. Most of the patios are located on the Main Street (Rideau Valley). The Mill Tavern is a classic UK pub, and my family’s favourite place for fish and chips. They’ve got two levels and lots of outdoor seating so you can enjoy your food in the sun!
La Piazza Courtyard is (pictured below, before opening hours) as it sounds – a beautiful courtyard restaurant with lots of seating and shade. The menu includes pizzas that are great for sharing, and sandwich and burger options. Just down the street, the Black Dog Bistro is perfect for a date night or special event. They have a great selection of wine and a wide variety of menu options.
Beryl Gaffney Park
Enjoy a beautiful walk along the Rideau River stretching through Beryl Gaffney Park. This parks is dog friendly, and offers an easy, 45- 60 minutes worth of walking trails through the trees with some stretches along the water. There is a short segment of the park that goes through a neighbourhood, so don’t be surprise if suddenly find yourself on a neighbourhood street. Just go straight, the park reconnects on the other side.
The Third World Bazaar
This amazing shopping experience features handcrafted and one-of-a-kind goods from all over the world. The Third World Bazaar is actually a family business. The family purchases products from around the world, and sells them right to you from September to November. It’s pretty exceptional! If you’re looking something unique to add as home decor, or for a gift you can’t get anywhere else then this is definitely the place to be. The bazaar has a really upbeat, festival-like atmosphere is unlike any other shopping experience in Ottawa.
Peppermint Organic Spa
This lovely little spa is tucked away on Mill Street, and is the perfect place to relax. It’s not just a name – everything used in the Peppermint Organic Spa is organic. The spa offers everything, including facials, nails, and massages. There are even couple’s treatments available if you’re going to Manotick with your significant other or a close friend. Enjoy facials and / or massages together in the attic surrounded by exposed beans and a cozy fireplace. Peppermint Organic Spa is set in a heritage building! Best of all – their prices are excellent.