New Brunswick, the largest Atlantic province in Maritime Canada, is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. Renowned for its succulent lobsters, the awe-inspiring Bay of Fundy, and an untamed wilderness that leaves you breathless, New Brunswick is a destination that never fails to impress. But did you know it also boasts the warmest saltwater beaches in Canada and is home to 12 national parks? Whether you're drawn by the allure of fresh seafood or the thrill of outdoor sports, New Brunswick has a plethora of attractions to keep you entertained. Here are some ideas to spark your wanderlust and inspire your journey.
The Bay of Fundy, known for having the world's highest tides, has sculpted the unique shapes of the Hopewell Rocks through centuries of erosion. These towering structures, often referred to as the Flower Pot Rocks due to the trees crowning their summits, are a magnet for photography and geology enthusiasts. At low tide, you can wander the ocean floor, gazing up at the rocks that become barely visible during high tides. The visitor center at Hopewell Rocks offers intriguing insights into the local geology and tidal features. Remember to check the tide times before you plan your visit to Hopewell Rocks.
Fundy National Park is a thrilling destination where you can witness the ocean floor at low tide and venture inland through lush Acadian forests. The park boasts a myriad of trails, some offering breathtaking coastal views while others lead you to cascading waterfalls and inviting freshwater pools. Whether you fancy kayaking in the summer, tobogganing, or fat biking in the winter, Fundy National Park has something for every season. The park also features campgrounds and rustic cabins for those wishing to extend their stay.
Whale watching in the Bay of Fundy is an experience like no other. The ocean area of the Bay of Fundy is home to some of the world's rarest whale species, including the North Atlantic right whale, finbacks, and humpbacks. The world's highest tides bring a bounty of food for the whales, making this one of the best places to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. The abundant food supply also attracts other marine life, including porpoises, seals, and seabirds. Boat tours depart from Grand Manan Island, Campobello Island, and Saint Andrews.
Kayaking in the Bay of Fundy offers the unique opportunity to paddle on the world's highest tides. You can navigate between the colossal rock formations and through small tunnels at the Hopewell Rocks. A mid-tide coastal tour includes exploring Demoiselle Creek and the mud flats beneath Shepody Mountain. An after-dark tour of the Bay of Fundy presents a different perspective, including a view of the magnificent night sky. Given the complexities of the tidal patterns, guided tours with experts are highly recommended.
The Reversing Falls are a series of rapids on the St John River that discharge into the Bay of Fundy. During high tide, the tides in the Bay of Fundy force water to flow in the opposite direction to the current in the river, creating an intriguing phenomenon for visitors to witness. At low tide, a series of rapids and whirlpools form as the river flows into the bay. The best place to observe the Reversing Falls is from the observation point in Fallsview Park.
Spread over 600 acres of land, the Irving Nature Park in Saint John is a serene spot to spend a few hours. The park offers groomed trails for hiking, walking, and cycling, or you may prefer to simply admire the stunning view of the Bay of Fundy coastline. Children will delight in the life-size mazes, child-friendly forest, and playground. Pack a picnic or use the park's barbecues for an alfresco meal.
The Kingsbrae Garden is an award-winning horticultural delight. Whether you have a green thumb or simply enjoy open spaces, Kingsbrae offers displays of over 50,000 perennials set in themed areas. The gardens have been designed to celebrate New Brunswick's gardening heritage and feature sculptures and other artworks on the grounds. The garden also houses a popular cafe serving regional produce.
Franklin D Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor had a Canadian summer home in New Brunswick. Today, guided tours of Roosevelt Cottage offer a glimpse into the life of the former president. The house is filled with memorabilia, and the grounds are a delightful parkland where visitors can stroll along the coast or through forested areas. There are nine interesting hikes to choose from, such as the area around Mulholland Point Lighthouse.
The Village Historique Acadien is a fascinating bilingual museum where visitors can delve into the history of the Acadian people from 1770 to 1949 and gain insights into their daily lives. As you explore the village, you'll encounter characters that bring the history and culture of the Acadians to life. The Cafe-Bistro serves Acadian specialties, and there is also a hotel, the Chateau Albert Hotel, for overnight stays.
The Fundy Trail traces the coastline and is a 6323-acre park. The Parkway stretches 19 miles along the shoreline, offering spectacular views. Driving or cycling the Fundy Trail Parkway is a popular activity, and there are plenty of spots to stop along the way. The trail features beaches, interesting geological formations, and remnants of a historic lumber industry. Guided tours of the area are available, including a food-focused tour and one on tides.
Nature lovers will be in their element on Grand Manan Island. Located in the Bay of Fundy, this beautiful island is home to puffins, migrating seabirds, whales, and other marine wildlife. The island offers birding and wildlife-guided tours, boat trips, beautiful hiking trails, and a nine-hole golf course. The island is also known for its artisan crafts, which can be found in gift stores, including woodcrafts and sea glass jewelry. The Grand Manan Art Gallery showcases some eclectic artworks.
Downtown Fredericton is home to the Garrison District, a heritage site featuring beautiful historic buildings and vibrant culture. Take a guided tour of the area or watch a historical reenactment. The Thursday Garrison Night Market is a treasure trove of gifts, local foods, and other items. The district also boasts great places to eat, live music, and other cultural activities. The Garrison District hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival.
Established in 1951, the Boyce Farmers Market in Fredericton is one of the best in Canada. Every Saturday, the market comes alive with over 200 producers offering a wide range of locally produced seasonal food. Engage with the producers to learn more about sweet dishes, seafood, honey, and beers. Don't miss out on Dumfries Maples for their wonderful maple syrup, Springbrook Cranberry for cranberry-based items, and Homemade Goodness for their poutine. The market also sells pottery and other crafts.
A visit to Magnetic Hill is an experience you won't forget. As you drive downhill and take your foot off the brake, your car will roll uphill. This natural phenomenon is sure to amaze you. Magnetic Hill is also known for its picturesque covered bridge nearby. Families will love the Magnetic Hill Zoo, which houses a variety of animals, including lemurs, black jaguars, and amur tigers.