Stop and Smell the Roses this Valentine’s Day

Aside from singular architectural designs and philosophical arguments, the Romans are also the ones who brought us Valentine’s Day. The holiday has a blurry history, although the popular understanding is that Saint Valentine of Rome became a martyr when he was persecuted for performing forbidden marriages. Whatever the true origin may be, the tale told today is all about roses and chocolates. However commercial the holiday’s become, why not spend a little time appreciating the love you have in your life this year, romantic or otherwise — those memories will be priceless. Here are a few fun and easy travel suggestions to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year:

If you want to celebrate with your significant other

Quebec City:

Only a short 5-hour drive will make you feel like you’re in the heart of Europe. Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America and still carries that historic charm. Take the day to wander around the old town and find your way up to the famous Chateau de Frontenac. You should also pay a visit to Quebec Ice Hotel, and if you have the means, spend the night in a one of their themed rooms.

Have a Spa Day:

Tired of the cold? Just a 2.5-hour drive away will turn your getaway tropical. Did you know that Montreal’s Vieux Port is home to a spa on a boat? It’s called Bota Bota! If it’s a little too far, treat yourself to a day at Spa Nordik, the largest spa in North America — and only thirty minutes away from Ottawa. The winter temperature shouldn’t be the only reason to get chills.

If you want to celebrate with your friends/family

Go for a hike or rent a cabin:

Did you know that Valentine’s Day in Finland is called Ystavanpaiva, which translates into “Friend’s day”? If you like the outdoors, venture out into our National Parks like the Mackenzie King estate only half-hour away from Ottawa, or Mont Orford which is a little over 3 hours away. Not feeling up for a hike? Rent out a chalet and curl up by the fire or jump in the hot tub!

Road trip to Niagara Falls:

You could also drive down to Niagara Falls to go on a wine tour! Make a stop at the following locations: Joseph's Estate Winery, Caroline Cellars Estate Winery, and Konzelmann Estate Winery. In addition to their great wines, you will be able to get a sip of their seasonable icewine! Also, be sure to check out our beloved Niagara Falls frozen in this winter wonderland.

Some have said that this holiday is overrated, to which we at Ottawa Life say “stop and smell the roses!” This month we have the chance to celebrate love, romance, friends, and family — why not take it? And take a trip, too!