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Carleton Place: The charming small town where heritage and nature intertwine

A half hour from Ottawa’s west end, you’ll find the stuff idyllic day trips are made of

Carleton Place downtown view

A short drive from Ottawa’s west end is a picturesque town where you’ll find beautiful landscapes and historical charm on the shores of the Mississippi River. 

Whether you’re looking to get away for the day or a long weekend, Carleton Place is a friendly town that offers plenty of options for anyone who needs some fun, a bit of romance, or a relaxing getaway.

History and heritage

Kickstart your trip with a stop at the Carleton Place Visitor and Information Centre at 170 Bridge St., where you can pick up a map of their self-guided walking tours, and view the Captain Roy Brown exhibit — the Carleton Place born WW1 flying ace pilot who shot down the Red Baron.

Carleton Place visitor centre

To learn more local history, wander over to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, where in June you’ll find out about local life during the Roaring 20s — the perfect time of year to enjoy the museum’s lovely back garden labyrinth. 

If you’re looking to up your selfie game on Insta, there are plenty of local murals to choose from including none other than Stompin’ Tom Connors. 

Food, fun and fashion

There’s lots for foodies to enjoy when it comes to eating in Carleton Place, including the Black Tartan Kitchen — which offers a fine dining culinary experience featuring hyper-local food and seasonal menus. 

Carleton Place restaurants

If you’re looking for something more casual, you’ll find some of the best sit-down breakfast diners and waterfront patios. Additionally,  you can enjoy fresh hot pretzels at Little German Bakery and sweet treats at donut shops like Maverick’s or Holey Confections of Dragon’s Den fame.

Also downtown you’ll find one-of-a-kind experiences, like the Canadian Co-Operative of Wool Growers, the organization that processes 85 per cent of Canadian wool. You can see how wool is handled before picking up some of their wares at The Real Wool Shop and CCWG Livestock Supplies. Don’t let the latter’s name fool you, they also sell children’s toys, housewares, wool clothing, and nifty bird feeders!

Those looking for a “grand” experience can book a room at The Grand Hotel where you’re steps away from the downtown heritage shopping district. There you’ll find an array of shopping including but not limited to, Canadian-made and European fashion, thrift and consignment, antiques, jewellery, bridal and flower shops, children’s apparel and toys, handcrafted goods, and even a metaphysical store for your mind, body and soul!

Carleton Place downtown shops

Relax and unwind

Vacation is all about finding time to unwind, whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or prefer the indoors.

Carleton Place

If you need a big dose of Vitamin D, you can borrow fishing poles for free and rent teal cruiser bikes from the Visitor Information Centre. Travel along several cycling trails in the area, or throw your golf clubs in the trunk and hit the links

For hot summer days, cool off at Riverside Beach and splash pad. Kayak rentals will be available in May at Centennial Beach so you can explore the Mississippi River.

Commune with nature on one of the many trails, the Mississippi RiverWalk being a favourite.

Biking in Carleton Place

Cycling enthusiasts will love how cycle-friendly Carleton Place is, especially with the Trans Canada Trail and Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail intersecting in town. Carleton Junction’s pump track is especially fun for the kids, whereas adults can have fun too at the breweries downtown, like Stalwart Brewing Co., and Braumeister Brewing Co.

Meanwhile, those who prefer to relax inside can head over to Mahogany or other salon and spas to enjoy some well-deserved pampering!

Plan your trip by visiting and check out the 2024 information guide or follow @carletonplacetourism on Facebook and Instagram to see all the fun being had and future events!