The Rideau Canal System is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is right here in our own backyard! The system is made up of 202kms of water stretching from the Saint Lawrence River in Kingston all the way to the Ottawa River here in Canada’s capital. The canal system is made up of two rivers, the Rideau and the Cataraqui, as well as several lakes with 27 locks in place to connect the waterways. Along the way, there are all kinds of lake and riverside villages and towns including: Lyndhurst, Elgin, Newboro, Westport, Rideau Ferry, Smiths Falls, Kemptville, Manotick and many more. A few of these beautiful towns have been outlined in our previous blog post “10 Day Trips from Ottawa”. Since our province is still only in phase 2 of our reopening due to COVID-19, we thought we would give you a list of 10 awesome places to stay along the Rideau. And yes, they are all currently open for business!
We hope you can enjoy a wonderful and relaxing staycation, right here in eastern Ontario!
Additionally, if any of these towns strike your fancy, let us know!
We would love to help you find your dream home or cottage along the Rideau!
This list is sorted from the farthest away to the closest to Ottawa.
Average Cottage Price: $175 / night – minimum 5 night stay
Melody Lodge on Cranberry Lake in Seeley’s Bay is a delightful waterfront retreat! Located about a half an hour north of Kingston, the Melody Lodge offers daily and weekly rates for 12 cottages and 32 campsites. They have on-site boats, canoes and paddle-boats available for rent so you won’t be bored! Be sure to bring your bathingsuit to go for a dip off the end of one of their many docks in the warm water with no weeds! Bring your boat or jetski and use the on-site boat ramp to put it in the water. If you enjoy fishing, you will definitely want to bring your rod to the Melody Lodge as Cranberry Lake offers some of the best bass fishing along the Rideau!
Average Cottage Price: $900 / week
The Veldman family has lived in the Elgin area for years. They have always enjoyed fishing, boating and camping which is why they bought these cottages – to share their passions with their guests! Each of the 4 cottages feature stunning views of Opinicon Lake and sleep 6 people. You can take your pick from: White Pine, a 1 bedroom cottage + bunkie. The Jack Pine, a 2 bedroom cottage with attached deck. The Red Pine, a 2 bedroom cottage similar to Jack Pine. And lastly, the Norfolk, a 2 bedroom cottage offering the best views of Opinicon Lake. Included with your stay, you gain free access to the gazebo, horseshoe pit, firepit and more! These cottages are about a 15 minute drive to the town of Elgin, where you can pick up your groceries and make a pit stop to the LCBO. If you are looking for an adventure, Rock Dunder Hiking Trail is also only a 15 minute car ride away!
Average Price: $800 / week
Dorothy’s Lodge is located in the quaint town of Chaffrey’s Lock. This vacation villa can host groups of 15-45! Of course right now we ask for you to only have groups of 10 due to COVID-19. The historic fishing lodge features docking for 7 boats, the perfect spot for swimming, fishing, exploring and relaxing! The serene perfectly calm waterfront offers amazing views of the Rideau and the old iron bridge. There is a great sized beach, perfect for swimming and lots of room for relaxing! The dock offers an amazing spot to lounge all day complete with dry bar and bar fridge so you don’t have to walk up to the lodge to get your drinks! During the day you can go for a hike along the Cataraqui Trail or take a walk to the historic Chaffrey’s Lock and the Lockmaster’s Museum. With boat rentals available at Brown’s Marina just down the road, you won’t run out of fun things to do here!
Average Price: $950 / week
The family owned Cedar Cove Cottages in Portland offers 6 adorable cottages you can call your own for a week at a time right on Big Rideau Lake. All six cottages feature 2 bedrooms, private bathrooms, kitchen, living space, screened in porch and pull-out couch for a max of 6 guests per cottage. The gorgeous waterfront offers stunning views of the lake and amazing sunsets! The town of Portland is just a few minutes away with a restaurant, grocery store and LCBO. Just 15 minutes away is the lovely town of Westport where you can have dinner on the water or do a quick shop in a cute town. There really is no reason to want to leave Cedar Grove Cottages though! Here, you can spend the day on the water swimming, fishing, water-skiing or just tanning on the beach!
Average Room Price: $150 / night
The Cove Inn Resort in Westport is a family-owned four season inn with great views of Upper Rideau Lake. Situated in a grand old home, this building has all kinds of history dating all the way back to 1876! It’s historic charm paired with beautiful setting make this a great getaway and an awesome place to stay! You will have to be sure to indulge in some of their amazing food while you sit next to the water on their outdoor patio while enjoying live music. When you aren’t enjoying your accommodations, you can take a stroll through the village of Westport to check out the shops, or you can take a hike up to Foley Mountain to see the stunning lake views. There is lots of great fishing and boating on Upper Rideau Lake, all just outside the doorstep of the Cove Inn. Your mouth will water when you see their 10oz striploin steak!
Average Room Price: $700 / 7 nights
Previously known as The Rideau Ferry Inn, the Rideau Lakes Resort is under new ownership and better than ever before! Currently, the resort offers 4 different types of accommodations. Offering the motel-style Lake View Efficiencies which are a great choice for budget travellers offering 200SF of living space including 2 bedrooms and partial views of the water. They also offer the cozy One Bedroom Cottage which is a 550SF detached cottage with your own kitchen and a lake or garden view. The Two Bedroom Cottages which offer 650SF of living space. Lastly, they offer the Five Bedroom Private Luxury Summer Home. A whopping 2800SF summer vacation home on a one-acre lot with 150 feet of pristine lakefront with your own dual boat docks and private boat launch! No matter which stay you choose, you have on-site amenities including volleyball, badminton and swimming! Take a walk over to CC’s on the Rideau for a fabulous waterfront dining experience!
Average Room Price: $250 / night
The Baldachin Inn in Merrickville is full of old world charm and elegance! Offering a historic ambiance with a stunning ballroom, family dining, Harry MacLean’s Pub, Courtyard Garden Patio and of course your overnight accommodations in finely appointed rooms and suites. Built in 1860, the Baldachin Inn was once the largest department store between Montreal and Chicago! The friendly staff is just the icing on the cake at the Baldachin! When you aren’t enjoying one of the great dining areas, you can take a stroll down the streets of Merrickville with over 100 historic properties, 3 Rideau Canal Locks, great shopping and more! This one-of-a-kind accommodation will have you talking about the experience for years to come!
Average Room Price: $206 / night
The Kemptville Suites by Rob Thompson Hotels in Kemptville offers a variety of luxurious heritage suites outfitted in modern aesthetics. Each suite is full of character with its curated art works, bespoke furnishings, exposed stone walls and top of the line amenities! With heated bathroom floors, flat panel TV’s, fireplaces and more, you will never want to leave! No check in required with your personal access code for immediate entry into your suite! These gorgeous suites are located conveniently just across the road from the Kemptville Creek – which flows out to the Rideau River. Enjoy a walk down the Waterfront Trail, or check out the shops and fine dining that Kemptville has to offer. If you are looking for a great outdoor patio to stop for a drink with water views, you will have to check out Salamanders located just across the road from the Rob Thompson Hotel!
Average Room Price: $150 / night
Looking for a true staycation? Check out the Ramada on the Rideau! This 2-star hotel is located just off of Prince of Wales Drive near the Rideau Canal Lock 13. The Ramada offers river-views, an outdoor pool and luxurious rooms! Though there is no outdoor patio, you can order takeout from the on-site restaurant at the River Lounge. Grab your food and bring it down by the water and enjoy a picnic while watching the boats go by! Speaking of boating, if you bring your boat to this hotel to stay overnight, you will receive complimentary use of their dock! Room service offers an array of dining options and a selection of wines to suit your palette. Of course, there are tons of things to do in the city of Ottawa, but there really is no need to leave when you have amazing water views right here at the Ramada!
Average Room Price: $200 / night
We couldn’t have a list of accommodations along the Rideau without mentioning the famous Fairmont Chateau Laurier located right in the heart of downtown Ottawa! As of July 1st, the Chateau Laurier will once again be open for room rental! From cozy rooms to opulent suites, the Chateau includes something for everyone! Providing luxurious accommodations all within walking distance to some of Ottawa’s best attractions including Parliament Hill, the historic Byward Market and the famous Rideau Canal Locks 1-8! Be sure to have a drink and a bite to eat at La Terrasse, the perfect outdoor dining patio with stunning views of Parliament and sunsets over the Ottawa River. If you live in Ottawa and have never experienced an overnight stay at the Chateau Laurier, we highly recommend you try it! This experience will truly be like no other.
We hope you enjoyed our 10 awesome places to stay along the Rideau! If you end up going to stay at one of these amazing places and fall in love with the area, remember to give us a call so we can help you find your dream home or cottage on the Rideau!