Gatineau vacation rentals
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Your guide to Gatineau
All About Gatineau
Located just across the river from Ottawa, Gatineau is Quebec’s fourth largest city,
home to stately red-brick buildings, the Canadian Museum of History, and a bustling downtown. Bilingual to its core, this city on the border of Quebec and Ontario is where local bistros excel at classic French standards and where shopkeepers will switch from English to French and back at dizzying speed. Spend an afternoon following the two-mile-long Gatineau Culture Trail, which will lead you past some of the city’s historic monuments and public art installations.
No matter what time of year you visit, there are outdoor recreation opportunities in the Gatineau Hills, from cross-country skiing in the winter months to hiking in Gatineau Park when the snow melts in the summer. Since Gatineau is only a 15-minute drive across the river to Ottawa, a stay here also provides a wonderful base for exploring Canada’s capital.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Gatineau?
Although the weather in Gatineau varies dramatically throughout the year, there is no bad time to secure your Gatineau vacation rentals, thanks to the plethora of outdoor activities the area offers all year round. From late June through early September, the days are long, hot, and sunny, inspiring locals and visitors alike to hit the hiking trails. Make sure to bring proper footwear and a water bottle to stay hydrated. During the fall, the foliage in the city’s parks form a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and yellow. In September, Gatineau hosts the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, which fills the sky with balloons in all shapes and colors. Although Gatineau can get very cold in the winter — if you’re planning on spending time outdoors, you’ll want heavy outerwear — the hiking trails turn into snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails. Spring arrives a little late, but once the snow finally melts, the flowers begin to bloom, turning the parks into a sea of color.
What are the top things to do in Gatineau?
Canadian Museum of History
One of the oldest museums in North America, the Canadian Museum of History, which is located along the Ottawa River in Gatineau, offers an in-depth look at the places, people, and events that played a role in transforming Canada into the country it is today. The museum is fittingly located across the river from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, which you can view from the museum’s Grand Hall, a windowed wall six stories high.
This enormous park on the northwest side of town, the green lung of the Ottawa-Gatineau metropolitan area, offers a broad array of outdoor activities. You can walk or bike on miles of hiking trails, visit one of the beaches on Lac Meech or Harrington Lake, explore the Lusk Caves (if you’re wearing waterproof boots), or check out one of the many historical attractions.
Symmes Inn Museum
This gabled, two-story building, whose exterior is dominated by an inverted V staircase, started off as a hotel in the early 19th century, when it provided a stopover for passengers en route from Montreal to Ottawa. It now serves as a museum dedicated to the role of the Ottawa River and is one of the best-preserved historic buildings of Gatineau.