New Brunswick: Don’t Miss Canada's 'Drive-by' Province

From the Bay of Fundy to l’Acadie, you can hike, kayak, and dance your way through New Brunswick’s diverse geology and culture.


Photo © iStock/franckreporter

The uninitiated refer to New Brunswick as a ‘drive-by’ province, but those in the know come for the hyper-local eats, mix of diverse cultures, and all the adventure you can pack into 50,000mi2 (130,000km2) of mountains, marshes, and warm salt-water beaches.

Gas up your car and plan your epic road trip with our local expert, Keph.

Road Tripping New Brunswick

As you whizz around the Bay of Fundy, plan to stop twice at the iconic formations of the Hopewell Rocks – once at low tide to chase sandpipers through the squishy mud flats, and again around 6 hours later for the astonishing sight of the world’s highest tides.

In between, stop for chowder in St. Martin’s before you don your boots at the gateway to the Fundy Trail. 

Discover the joie de vivre (exuberant enjoyment of life) of the Acadiens on the northeast coast of the province. Lobster shacks dot the roadways, selling by the pound.

Eat like a local, and crack open the shell using nothing but your hands. Keep your eyes open for France’s tricolore with a yellow star – the Acadien flag flies gaily in the region.

Slow-travel through some of the world’s oldest mountains in Mount Carleton Provincial Park. Go by canoe or foot, and forget you’re in the 21st century. Keep your eyes open when the sun goes down, in this Dark Sky Preserve you’ll marvel at the light of the moon and stars.

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Must Do in New Brunswick

Spy whales and a glimpse of the state of Maine from a boat in the Bay of Fundy. Touring outfits line the dock off the main street in Saint Andrews-by-the-Bay, where you can choose a small boat for your best chance at a close-up.

You won’t believe you’re in Canada when you wade at Parlee Beach near Shediac. With powdery sugar-sand and the warmest saltwater in the country, check in here for the ultimate beach day.

Pick up a jug or a washboard and join the kitchen party at the Alma childhood home of Molly Kool, North America’s first female sea captain.

Must See in New Brunswick

Just try not to laugh as “magic” pulls your car up Moncton’s Magnetic Hill, where an optical illusion is caused by the rising and descending terrain.

Magnetic Hill. Photo credit: iStock

In Saint John, where the river meets the bay, you can watch the baffling phenomenon of the reversing rapids, where the river reverses its flow.

Take a selfie at the “World’s Largest Lobster” in Shediac, and commemorate the moment with a fresh-from-the-ocean seaside feast.

The world’s largest lobster in Shediac. Photo credit: iStock

Adventure in New Brunswick

Saint John’s Go Fundy Tours runs guided kayaking excursions to the Stonehammer Geopark where you can see geological impressions dating back to the Precambrian Age.

Kayaks at Stonehammer Geopark. Photo credit: iStock

On a clear day at Cape Enrage, you can see Nova Scotia across the water before you rappel 43 meters down the craggy rock-face to the fossil beach below.

Cape Enrage on a clear day. Photo credit: iStock

Head to Miramichi with your hip-waders and try your hand at catching bass or fresh Atlantic salmon for dinner.

A Foodie’s Guide to New Brunswick

New Brunswick’s known for its seafood, but for fresh flavors from the land, try savory sautéed fiddleheads with a tart blueberry wine.

The tender curds sold as squeaky cheese make a rich road snack.

You may be familiar with the concoction known as poutine, but for an authentic Acadian dish, order the poutine râpée ­(a boiled potato dumpling stuffed with salt pork and served bathed in stew).

Want to know more about Canada? Check out our podcast. We discuss when a traveler becomes a snack; the perils of wilderness adventure, a culinary tour of the provinces for foodies, and we speak to World Nomads photography scholarship mentor Richard I'Anson.

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