The Rideau Canal was constructed in 1832 and added in 2007 to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. For most residents of Ottawa, and visitors too, the 126-mile long canal is appreciated less as an engineering marvel than as a year-round playground. In the summer, boaters sail their crafts on its water and joggers and bikers take advantage of the paths along its banks; in the winter, skaters take to the ice when it freezes solid. There’s a bike station conveniently located right across from the Fairmont Château Laurier. A leisurely ride will give you a taste of much of the city, including Dow’s Lake, the boutiques and galleries of the Golden Triangle and Parliament Hill. When you are ready to explore Canada, read Cari’s itinerary and nine others created by AFAR’s Travel Advisory Council at AFAR Journeys.

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