Visit New Brunswick
Located in eastern Canada, New Brunswick is known for its natural beauty. Sharing borders with Quebec to the north and Nova Scotia to the south, its rugged Atlantic coastline is dotted with sandstone cliffs and sandy beaches, with picturesque lighthouses and plenty of natural wonders to keep the whole family entertained. From whale and bird watching to (yes) surfing on the Bay of Fundy’s Tidal Bore, the possibilities are practically endless. Famous for Lobster and Oysters, gourmands will delight in the freshness of the ocean-caught seafood, and the cities of Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton offer plenty of entertainment value with world-class casinos, theatre, and live music venues galore. Its seacoast is sheltered from the harshest Atlantic influences by Prince Edward Island, and over three quarters of the province is covered in dense forest, which is broken up by several river valleys, along which you will find much of the province’s population. New Brunswick is Canada’s only officially bilingual (French and English) province, and you’ll find friendly people everywhere you go who are willing to share their hospitality and their unique culture, which is strongly aboriginal, followed by French in the 1700’s and British in the 1800’s. A four season destination, the beaches and parks of summer give way to breathtakingly colorful trees in the autumn, followed by snowmobiling and alpine skiing adventures in winter.
Things to do:
From the natural beauty of its seascapes, rivers and mountains, to the modern hustle and bustle of its cosmopolitan cities, New Brunswick offers plenty of things to do for travelers of all ilk: families can enjoy hiking, camping, whale watching and even ride on a historic tall ship, enjoying National Parks as well as theme parks and plenty of outdoor activities. Couples can find romance everywhere they look, with quaint lighthouses, serene island destinations or enjoy the beaches by day, and the vibrant city nightlife.
Enjoy some of New Brunswick’s most popular destinations:
- Moncton is easily the most popular urban destination, with many of the top tourist destinations within short driving distance: explore the wonder of the Magnetic Hill and its award-winning zoo, or take a short drive to the Bay of Fundy, or get some beach time and still be back in time to enjoy dinner at one of Moncton’s fine seafood restaurants.
- Fundy National Park boasts over one hundred and twenty kilometers of hiking trails, complete with waterfalls and crystal-clear glacial streams; explore by day or set camp to better discover the breathtaking Acadian forest and Fundy’s giant tides.
- Cape Enrage is a fabulous day destination for families and every kind of adventurer, offering a six hundred foot zip line, and a natural rock-climbing wall, and after you’ve worked up an appetite, you can enjoy lunch or dinner at the highly recommended Cape House Restaurant overlooking the bay.
- History lovers will enjoy Campobello Island, a resort destination just a short ferry ride from Deer Island that was a turn-of-the-century vacation spot for the Roosevelt family, while The Acadian Coastal Drive is a scenic and historic must-do, which can be done in a day but it is always suggested to take enough time to stop and explore the historic attractions, beaches, fishing villages and coastal towns along the way.
- Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy offers maritime sights galore: take a ferry from Saint John to enjoy whale watching tours, lighthouses, puffins, marine life and over three hundred species of migratory seabirds as well as sea kayaking and just enjoying island life. Camp out under the stars or enjoy one of the island’s quaint country inns, cottages or B&B’s.
- Saint John is New Brunswick’s largest city, located on the Bay of Fundy where twice daily you can witness for yourself the world’s highest tides, indulge your inner foodie with a walk through Canada’s oldest Farmer’s Market, or tour historic stone churches, heritage homes and historic forts dating to the war of 1812.
When visiting the province of New Brunswick for the first time, it is helpful to know what are considered to be the “must see” and “must do” activities and destinations. Here are some of our top tips, designed to help you plan your trip:
- Moncton: the largest city in New Brunswick, Moncton is the gateway to everything that you’d ever want to do in the province. From the urban nightlife, top restaurants and a beautiful Casino, it’s all here! Using Moncton as a hub, strike out and explore a new place every day, like Fundy National Park or the Acadian Coast, Magnetic Hill Zoo, or bring the family to Magic Mountain Water Park for some splashy summer fun. Beaches are just a short drive away, and if you stay in the city, a world of entertainment is at your fingertips. From the historic Capitol Theatre to concerts by international artists at Casino New Brunswick, Moncton truly has something for everyone.
- St. Andrews by the Sea: this is Canada’s oldest seaside resort town, a popular vacation destination with plenty to see and do: golf on the world-class Thomas McBroom designed golf course, explore original United Empire Loyalist and Revolutionary War buildings, stay at the century-old Algonquin Hotel Resort, shop the charming downtown shops for boutique and local artisan wares, explore Museums, Theatres and stroll down to the Public Wharf in the center of town for access to plenty of water adventures, whale watching tours and spectacular tall ship excursions leaving from Passamaquoddy Bay.
- Tidal Bore: Not nearly as boring as it sounds (pun intended), the Tidal Bore happens twice daily in the Bay of Fundy when the river flows against the rising Atlantic tide. This natural phenomenon creates a wave that crests for over twenty miles, with the water level in the Petitcodiac River rising up to seven or more meters above its average within minutes. You might just see some adventurous locals as well as tourists riding their surfboards or paddle boarding on the wave as it makes its way up the river. The Tidal Bore can be viewed from many points in Moncton, but best is from Tidal Bore Park, which features a clock that shows the time of the next bore.
- Dieppe: Just a few minutes’ drive from Moncton, Dieppe is a unique and picturesque town with a European-style downtown shopping area. Stroll the Saturday Farmer’s Market at Marche de Dieppe, or visit the annual Dieppe Kite International Festival: taking place in August, it is the most renowned kite festival in North America, and has been flying strong since 2001, bringing kite enthusiasts from all over the world to Dieppe’s Dover Park.
- Winter Fun: Sugarloaf Provincial Park features a groomed snowmobile trail system that connects to all provincial snowmobile trails, as well as great alpine and cross country skiing, with ski and snowboard rentals available and lessons for all ages. Put a little warmth in your chill with fun and unique winter festivals, like the Fredricton Frostival in January/February which features outdoor events over four jam-packed weekends including curling, a chill cook-off between the downtown restaurants, giant ice slides, dog sledding and more. The World Pond Hockey Championships in Plaster Rock is a hockey-lovers mecca, featuring teams from across Canada and around the globe.
- Fundy National Park: With camping on site, over a hundred kilometers of hiking trails complete with breathtaking waterfalls, mountains and valleys, Fundy National Park is a natural paradise. Plenty organised activities are available also, from lawn bowling to tennis and golf. You can camp in tents, under the stars, or in a deluxe Yurt beside the world’s highest tides, and marine enthusiasts can explore the rich mudflats at low tide to see the wonders of the ocean floor. The Sounds of Summer music concert series takes place in a beautiful outdoor ampitheatre, and for a more colloquial experience, plan to take in a show at the Historic Molly McCool Home, recreating the ambiance of an authentic 1930’s Kitchen Party, where you can join in, square dance and sing along with some classic Atlantic Canada music.