Now that the days are getting longer and warmer, we’re itching to take a drive and explore the Ottawa Valley again.
Our first destination this year is Almonte, home of a historic mill and the birthplace of Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of the game of basketball.
Pick up an excellent fair-trade brew at Equator as you drive into town, and don’t forget to pick up some ‘Freakin’ Good Coffee’ to bring home with you (yes, that’s the name and yes, it’s true to its name). Equator roasts their own beans, so if you happen to be there on a weekend, you might be able to catch a behind-the-scenes tour.
Once suitably fueled, continue on to the historical part of Almonte for a casual walking tour.
Mill Street Stop
Whether you’re into old antiques or the newest of fashions, there are lots of sweet shopping opportunities to be found here:
- Kentfield Kids for pretty party clothes and gifts (don’t miss the consignment section at the back).
- Robin’s Paper Thin for cards, notebooks and travel games.
- Blackbird for beautiful housewares. They also carry fab coasters by VersaTile.
- Doree’s Habit for fashion-forward clothing and accessories.
- Gilligallou Bird Store (tucked inside a mini mall at 14 Mill St.) for fantastic bird feeders, gourmet seed, and other items for the bird nerds in our lives.
Need to take a breather? There’s a perfect place to sit and snap some pics at Centennial Square. It’s right on Mill Street. Look for the statue of Dr. Naismith.
Mill Street Crepe Company and the Heirloom Cafe are great lunchtime options. So is Cafe Postino, located in Almonte’s gorgeous old post office.
The Almonte Riverwalk (near Mill St. and Main St.) is an easy stroll with a lovely view of the river (and it’s great for photo ops, too).
Just a thirty-minute drive can give you that get-out-of-town feeling for the break we all need. Slip into the countryside, soak up some history and enjoy a day away. Girlfriends are invited, kids optional. Tested by Andrea T., Ottawa
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