A Hidden Haven: Merrickville, Ontario

It’s a wonderful feeling exploring your own city. Most people seek adventures outside of their comfort zone in hopes that they’ll be able to find that little something they might be missing. What not many people seem to understand, is that sometimes, you’re more likely to find that missing something locally; that is if you know how to look for it.

It’s strange to me that I’ve been living in Ottawa for the past six years now, when it feels as though that I only moved here last year. As I get older, I realize how quickly the time passes, and so, I’m doing what I can to get the most out of my time here.

During my first 4 years in Ottawa, I hadn’t done much exploring. Granted I was busy with school, studying and a job, but once I graduated and started working full time, I thought it best to explore the city’s capital that is so much more than just a political city. I’ve found (and keep finding) wonderful places to eat, trails to blaze, and parks to explore. Once more, I discovered that Ottawa also had some pretty interesting neighbouring small towns, each with their own appeal. There’s Carp with its charming cafés and the Dieffenbunker museum, Manotick with its history and festivals, and one of my personal favourites, Merrickville, with its charm, welcoming community and specialty shops.

The town of Merrickville is straight out of a fairytale. It isn’t too large in size and so it has a quaint and welcoming atmosphere. It’s easy to make a day trip out of it, or even stay over a weekend with its wonderful hotels and Bed & Breakfasts. They host all kinds of events throughout the year in which the whole town participates. They have artisans tours of the many makers in the town. They host a wonderful Christmas celebration where everyone contributes and welcomes people from everywhere. There’s the beautiful Rideau river to walk alongside or even camp next to. You can also find old mill ruins and explore the grounds around.

But my favourite part of the town is all the wonderful and unique shops at your disposal. There’s vintage thrift stores and antique re-salers. There’s artisans guilds and plenty of restaurants, and people who are more than happy to give you suggestions of things to do and see. Some of my personal favourites are:

  • Wick Witch
  • The Merrickville Book Emporium
  • The Mainstreet Family Restaurant
  • Sidecar Café
  • Whistle Post Antiques
  • Anarchy Gallery
  • My Vintage Revamped

I recommend you take the chance to go and explore the destinations just at your fingertips. Most times, it’s the perfect remedy until you can go on your next big adventure. If you’ve already visited Merrickville, or have found your own special gem of local love, I’d love to hear what you’d have to say! Please email me at k.p.heyming@gmail.com or visit my travel blog: https://northernwanderwomen.blogspot.ca to share your ideas, or even to become a guest writer! Wander often, wonder always!