May is the Month to Visit Ottawa

If you never had the chance to visit Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, then you’ve missed out on seeing North America’s only version of the Changing of the Guard ceremony, the morning ritual where dozens of red-coated soldiers with bearskin hats parade down city streets to the lawn of Parliament Hill. The best month to visit the city is in May during the Canadian Tulip Festival. From May 4-21, over three million tulips bloom in Ottawa. Visitors can sample food and entertainment from around the world at the International Pavilion, located near Commissioners Park, where 300,000 tulips bloom alone. Later in the month, Dutch tulips give way to a Dutch painter named Vincent Van Gogh. From May 25 to September 3, the National Gallery of Canada will present Van Gogh: Up Close, which explores the artist’s representation of nature. Visitors can marvel at 45 of Van Gogh’s paintings, including The Iris. Afterwards, reenergize with a BeaverTail. This wholewheat pastry, cooked in canola oil, and topped with a variety of savory toppings like chocolate, jam, pie filling, or cinnamon, is available year-round in Ottawa’s ByWard Market neighborhood.