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Canada's capital city, Ottawa, has become as much a tourist meccca as a haven for government functionaries and enough high tech industry to be called Silicon North.

Season for season, event for event, Ottawa's got everything, including a great exchange rate on U.S. currency, usually 35 cents higher on the dollar.


Ottawa's Rideau Canal is the world's longest skating rink. Rent skates or bring your own; lots of rest stops along the Canada plus restaurants and kiosks to keep you warm and warmer.

Winterlude in February attracts tens of thousands of spectators. Two weeks of daily events, world class sculpting competitions, barrel jumping, events for kids, buskers galore.


More than a million tulips blooming at once on Ottawa's parklands and roadways; a city with more public green space per thousand people than any other city in North America. The Tulip Festival is another two weeks of public events, parties, and receptions. For Ottawans after a long winter, the Tulip Festival is a signal Spring has sprung.


Festival time for sure: Ottawa hosts an International Jazz Festival; BluesFest--this year opened by Sting; a world-class International Chamber Music Festival featuring nearly 100 concerts in venues throughout the city. This year a Beer festival, boasting beers from nearly a hundred micro-breweries.


This season showcases the best vintage wines of Canada in a gala Gourmet Food and Wine Festival drawing tasters, testers, and imbibers from all over the world.

This is also the season to catch the year-round attractions, starting with the National Art Gallery and touring the various museums befitting a national capital. Buildings with history abound, architectural masterpieces spanning 200 years.

Opening this year in the heart of Ottawa's downtown district is the new U.S. Embassy, worth a look in its own right.

And oh yes, the U.S. currency exchange rate--a welcome surprise for visitors. Check it our before you go.