Canada was made for epic road trips, and the eastern province of New Brunswick is the perfect place to hit the highway for scenic sights and outdoor adventures. From quaint seaside villages to natural attractions that are considered among the world’s best, here are the five best places to see in New Brunswick along the southern coast.
Described by some as “nature’s artwork,” Hopewell Rocks is an iconic Canadian site and one of the top New Brunswick tourist attractions. Found on the Bay of Fundy which was shortlisted as one of the new wonders of the world, this spot sees some of the highest tides in the world, reaching heights of up to 14 metres twice a day. Each tidal flow contains a staggering 100 billion tonnes of water, and the constant churning has sculpted the Flowerpot Rocks around the coastline.
Most visitors start off at the interpretive centre which explains the phenomenon of the Bay of Fundy, then follow an easy pathway down to the steel observation decks overlooking the bay. Those who arrive when the tide is out can walk on the ocean floor, wandering under spots like Lovers Arch and down the rocky shore. During summer months, a popular activity is to hop in a bright yellow kayak and paddle around the same rocks, which become nearly submerged with water when the tide comes in. The area is also great for whale watching, as the mammals are drawn to the nutrient-rich ocean floor for feeding.
Alma, New Brunswick has an enviable location right on the Bay of Fundy, and is considered the gateway to Fundy National Park. The village is favoured by foodies, boasting a handful of great seafood restaurants, world-famous sticky buns found at Kelly’s Bake Shop, and the Holy Whale Brewery which was converted from an old church. It’s also a great spot to get your lobster fix, as boats come right to shore and bring their fresh catch to the Alma Lobster Shop.
There are a couple of charming B&Bs along the main strip which look out over the bay, making them the perfect place to watch the tide and sunset.
Fundy National Park
A must-see on any New Brunswick road trip is Fundy National Park, which is home to the world’s highest tides, Acadian forests, babbling brooks, beaches and unique accommodations to name a few highlights. Lookout points scattered throughout the park offer sweeping coastal views, while those who head inland to spots like the Dickson Falls Trail will find waterfalls tucked into a lush, shaded forest.
A popular summer spot, there are plenty of activities besides the classic hiking and biking to keep the whole family entertained. During the day visitors can hit the links at the golf course, swim in a heated saltwater pool fed by the Bay of Fundy, or snorkel with Atlantic salmon. Come nightfall, Fundy National Park is the perfect spot for stargazing, as it’s designated as a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
The village of St. Martins may be teeny-tiny, but it’s big on personality thanks to its colourful harbour. There, fishing boats bob in the water when the tide comes in, and the same vessels sit on the ocean floor when it recedes. The waterfront is framed by two wooden covered bridges, gardens, brightly-painted shops and a rustic white lighthouse, making it a favourite spot of photographers.
Fundy Trail Parkway
One of the best places to visit in New Brunswick for views is the Fundy Trail Parkway, which is a six-thousand acre park overlooking the Bay of Fundy. A 19-kilometre road winds though it, offering plenty of birds-eye vantage points of the steep red-rock cliffsides and pristine beaches that make up the dramatic coastline.
Backcountry trails are popular with cyclists and hikers, who stumble across hidden waterfalls like Fuller Falls which can be seen from an observation deck or by climbing down a cable ladder. There is also an interpretive centre, and popular Long Beach where visitors can walk on the ocean floor during low tide.
Globe Guide explored New Brunswick in collaboration with Tourism New Brunswick. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles.
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