Local Airbnbs

A lot of times, living in a small town means there aren’t any major hotel chains nearby. In the Ottawa Valley, we are fortunate to have a wide array of small boutique hotels, bed & breakfasts and Airbnb options. Airbnb’s are a growing trend and in Almonte and Carleton Place there are a number of great options available, depending on what it is you are looking for.
The Almonte Suites: Located steps from downtown Almonte, the Almonte Suites offers a number of different apartments. There are 2 different self-contained suites, each with their own kitchen. Also available is the entire house to rent for larger groups. Walk to downtown shops and restaurants in less than 5 minutes.

The Almonte Suites II: Just up the road from the Almonte Suites, is a beautiful 2-unit home with a full, 3-bedroom suite as well as a cozy bachelor apartment. Both are tastefully decorated and renovated. Each unit has a private entrance and own laundry facilities.

Pinehurst Manor (Almonte): For larger groups, this stunning historic home has been dubbed the “Downton Abbey” of the Ottawa Valley by previous guests. This beautiful home is ideal for entertaining and events. The exterior offers stunning yards with flower gardens as well as a large stone patio with fire pit and BBQ which overlook the waterfalls and river. There is a 95-yard golf hole and space to basketball or badminton. This great Airbnb can accommodate 20+ people. We have personally stayed at this venue and LOVE it!

Sunny Napoleon St. (Carleton Place): A hidden gem close to downtown Carleton Place! This Airbnb has been given rave reviews from previous guests. The entire, beautifully renovated, log house is for rent and can accommodate up to 5 guests. At just $100/night, it’s a bargain price for a beautiful home rental!

Chateau Jan (Carleton Place): Just outside of Carleton Place on a beautiful 2.6-acre lot, this Airbnb offers a wonderful apartment and a taste of country living! You’ll have private access to the entire walk-out basement of this stunning home which can accommodate up to 9 guests. Enjoy roasting marshmallows by the fire, sitting poolside and enjoy fresh eggs from the host’s chickens!

Whether you’re visiting family, attending an event or getting away for a weekend, any of these Airbnb options will be sure to please! Have you visited a great, local Airbnb? I’d love to hear your experience. Share with me on Facebook or Instagram.

Best Local Parks

One of the great things about family living in Mississippi Mills is that we are surrounded by a variety of wonderful parks! Our beautiful community parks offer splash pads, play structures, bike/walking trails and even a Geoheritage park. Visiting one of these locations is a great activity for you and your family to enjoy on a warm, sunny day. Here are some of the park options available to your family locally:

Gemmill Park (Almonte): One of the larger parks around, Gemmill Park offers a brand-new splash pad, multiple play structures, a skateboard park, baseball diamonds, a basketball court, tennis courts, a disc golf course, horseshoe pits and a natural amphitheater. The newly upgraded children’s play area has a great, recycled rubber surface. The forested area surrounding the park offers beautiful, peaceful, safe walking trails. This is a spot the whole family can enjoy!

Metcalfe Geoheritage Park (Almonte): Located on the picturesque waterfront at the bottom of Bay Hilil, steps from downtown Almonte, this unique park is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic. The Geoheritage portion of the park offers 22 samples of sedimentary rocks ranging from 490 – 440 billion years old! All of which are native to our area.

Riverside Park (Carleton Place): This park is situated just outside of downtown Carleton Place on the Mississippi River. It includes 2 public boat launches, a beautiful beach, large picnic area, play structures and a splash pad. Watch the kayaks and canoes go by as you enjoy the weather at this exceptional waterfront park.

Town Square (Carleton Place): Another incredible waterfront park, Town Square is located just behind the Carleton Place Town Hall directly on the Mississippi River just off of the main downtown core. It includes a new patio area complete with washrooms and unique life-sized chess, checkers and domino courts.

Fred Millar Park (Pakenham): You don’t have to go far to visit a great beach! Located behind the Community Centre in Pakenham, Fred Millar Park offers a fully operational beach. They even offer supervised swims on Mondays & Wednesdays from 12:00pm – 4:00pm, during the summer months. The park area has lit ball diamonds, horseshoe pits and a canteen.

The warmer weather is upon us (or at least will be soon) and you’ll be wanting to cool off at the nearest waterfront or splash pad. We are fortunate to have such a variety of fantastic parks at our fingertips. Visit one of these local gems and share your visit with me on Facebook or Instagram.

Local Farmer’s Markets

One of the best things to do on a Saturday morning in the Ottawa Valley is to visit one of the many, local farmer’s markets. Each unique market is filled with local farmers, artisans and makers. It is a wonderful way to support your local small businesses as well as an opportunity to meet the faces behind those businesses. Here are some of farmer’s markets available in your area:

Carleton Place Farmer’s Market: Located at “Market Square” which is on the corner of Beckwith and Lake Avenue in Carleton Place, the farmer’s market runs every Saturday, in the warmer months, from 8:30-12:30pm.This is one of the very few fully covered market’s around! So, you can visit it even when it’s raining!

Perth Farmer’s Market: The Perth Farmer’s Market has been in operation since 1992. It runs, rain or shine, from the Mother’s Day weekend until Thanksgiving weekend. The scenic location includes the beautiful “Crystal Palace” where many of the vendors set up their goods. There is always free parking available and wonderful live music to serenade you as you wander.

Almonte Farmer’s Market: Opening Saturday May 18th, the Almonte Farmer’s Market has been in operation since 1990. It has remained in the same location, at the Almonte Public Library parking lot, since opening. Bakers, woodworkers, potters and soap makers are among some of the vendors you’ll find at the Almonte market. Just steps from downtown Almonte, the market is the perfect place to start your Saturday!

Carp Farmer’s Market: The Carp farmer’s market is in it’s 29th season of operation! It is open every Saturday from 8:00am – 1:00pm from May until October. This market is the largest producer-based Farmer’s Market in Eastern Ontario. They are home to over 90 vendors and have thousands of people in attendance each weekend.

Renfrew Farmer’s Market: Entering their 49th season in operation at the Renfrew Fairgrounds, this market is bursting with wonderful vendors. They offer a variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey, maple syrup, meats, baking and much more! Opening at 9:00 and running until 12:00pm every Saturday from May to Thanksgiving, this market is perfect for a Saturday morning trip into the Ottawa Valley.

All of these markets offer exceptional, local products. You’ll find something a bit different at each one. Share your Farmer’s Market purchases with me on Facebook and Instagram! I’d love to see what you were able to find.

Best Ice Cream Stops

Finally, spring seems to have arrived! And with the warm weather, comes Ice Cream stands! We are lucky in our area to have some wonderful, local, ice cream shops. From Pakenham to Carp over to Carleton Place, wherever you are located, there is ice cream waiting for you just around the corner!

The Almonte Ice Cream Shop: Located in the heart of downtown Almonte, the Almonte Ice Cream shop offers hard and soft serve cones, milkshakes and sundaes. The perfect location is central to the downtown shopping area and just steps from the picturesque Almonte falls! It’s located on the former Peterson’s Ice Cream lot, which many people will remember from days gone by. Check out their Instagram for some photos of their delicious offerings.

Scoops Ice Cream: This small, traditional, ice cream stand is located right around the corner from the main street in Pakenham. They offer a variety of sundaes, smoothies, and frozen yogurt as well as hard & soft serve options with an array of toppings to choose from!

Carp Custom Creamery: The Carp Custom Creamery is worth the drive out to Carp. Not only do they offer amazing hard ice cream in every flavour imaginable, but they have the most beautiful ice cream cakes! They truly have the most amazing flavour selection, and they offer their ice cream in 1L tubs so that you can stock your home freezer full.

The Cheddar Stop: This wonderful little store located in Carleton Place has a great selection of hard serve ice cream, delicious milkshakes and fudge! Yes, fudge! This is a great spot to pick-up an ice cream cone as well as do your gift shopping. They are also fully stocked with Balderson and Maple Dale cheeses, baked goods and a selection of spices, sauces and unique treats!

The Daily Scoop: A local favourite in Almonte! The Daily Scoop makes amazing (and huge!) hard serve ice cream cones. They also have chocolate and vanilla soft serve, 32 flavours of milkshakes, frozen yogurt and sundaes. The Daily Scoop not only serves ice cream but is known for their homestyle breakfasts!

There is nothing better than a delicious, ice cream treat, on those warm spring days. If you get a chance to try out any of our local spots, make sure to share your choice with me on Instagram and Facebook!

Mother’s Day Gifts

Are you prepared for Mother’s Day? It’s just around the corner! Make sure your Mom is feeling loved and appreciated this year on her special day. If you haven’t purchased that perfect gift yet, I’ve put together a great list of ideas that will be sure to please.

Personalized Gift Basket: Gift baskets are a wonderful idea. An even better idea is getting together all sorts of your Mom’s favourite goodies to put together in one basket! Gift baskets allow you to add your personal touches, making them extra special. You could even create a theme: Mom’s favourite snack foods, favourite make-up/personal care items, favourite seeds & gardening accessories, the ideas are endless!

Spa Gift Certificate: I’m not a huge fan of giving out gift certificates as they can seem impersonal. But, a gift certificate to the spa is a totally different story! Moms always need some time to decompress, and what better way to allow her to do this, than to send her off for a day at the spa! You could look in to a traditional spa or opt for something unique like Le Nordik near Chelsea!

A Homemade Gift: There are some great homemade gift ideas out there, ones that actually produce practical gifts! Log onto Pinterest and search “DIY Mother’s Day gifts” and you’ll be flooded with a wide range of tutorials on how to create that one-of-a-kind gift. This type of gift is also a great way to get the kids involved.

Take Mom out for a Meal: Material gifts are nice but taking Mom out for a meal and spending some quality time with her can be just as appreciated! Choose one of her favourite restaurants or try something new! Brunch is always a great idea on Mother’s Day. Add some flowers to her day and you’ll be all set!

Make her a Homemade Brunch: Invite mom over for a homemade meal! It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, a simple pancake breakfast (with real maple syrup! will be sure to tell your mom how much she means to you. Add a fresh bouquet to the table and a personalized Mother’s Day card to top it all off!

How ever you choose to pamper your mom this Mother’s Day, she will surely to know how much she is appreciated. Visit my Facebook page next Sunday to share “how you celebrated Mom” this year!