New Brunswick is one of the East Coast’s hidden gems, and is home to the Bay of Fundy. Those who want to discover new locations and seek out unique experiences, are left with memories to last a lifetime. From the ocean to the city, New Brunswick has so much to offer visitors. It is as unique a province as one can hope to find in Canada, and here are nineteen suggested unique things to do and see in this beautiful place.
- 20 Must-Visit Nature Spots in New Brunswick
- Off the Grid Getaways in New Brunswick
- 7 Day Road Trip Itinerary to New Brunswick – Fundy Coast: Moncton, Saint John, St Andrews and Fredericton
1. See the unique phenomenon of one New Brunswick’s most famous waterways!There are many reasons to visit Moncton, New Brunswick’s most populous city, but one of them has to be the city’s tidal bore. A unique phenomenon that happens once each day in the Petitcodiac River which traverses the outskirts of the city centre. The tidal bore in Moncton happens as the tides from the Bay of Fundy travel against the current of the Petitcodiac River. During the summer months, brave surfers from the city of Moncton can be seen surfing the tidal bore. When visiting Moncton, bring your camera and keep an eye on the time!
Address: 10 Bendview Crt., Moncton
2. Discover what the tides of Bay of Fundy Leave Behind When They Withdraw!
Located just thirty minutes from Moncton, Hopewell Rocks are one of New Brunswick’s most popular tourist attractions. The Hopewell Rocks have stood since the last ice age, constantly changing for centuries as the sometimes fifty-foot tides eat slowly away at the rocks. Though people are allowed to walk on the ocean floor, there is plenty of signage warning of high-tide times and cautioning people to be back on high ground. Hopewell Rocks is the perfect gateway to Fundy National Park, or a great way to spend a day in New Brunswick, if you capitalize on the many activities offered at the ocean floor.
Address: 131 ch. Discovery Road
3. Discover Acadien joie-de-vivre at the Acadian Historical Village!
The Acadian Historical Village showcases the lifestyle lived early Acadians in the area. The live-action reconstructions feature knowledgeable people living life as the Acadians would have done centuries before. For those lovers of the history of New Brunswick, the Acadian Historical Village provides a unique look into the past.
Address: 5 rue du Pont, Caraquet
4. Learn about life as an early British settler in New Brunswick at King’s Landing!
New Brunswick’s history would not be complete without also telling the story of the English who lived and farmed the land, in equal measure to the story told of the Acadians. King’s Landing fills that historical hole of the English in much the same way as the Acadian Historical Village. If you like, it tells the other side of a complicated story of two peoples attempting to occupy a piece of land and how they lived upon it in the past, not always in harmony with one another.
Address: 5804 Route 102, Prince William
5. See another of the Bay of Fundy’s waterway miracles at the Reversing Falls!
The Reversing Falls in Saint John is another of nature’s wonders that graces New Brunswick with its presence. The Falls is caused by a tidal collision of the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River. As the Saint John River empties into the Bay of Fundy,it causes rapids and whirlpools at low tide. As the tides rise once more, the river temporarily reverses for the 12-and-a-half hours of rising tide. The phenomenon draws many tourists to Saint John each year and you should be one of them!
Address: 200 Bridge Road, Saint John
6. Your Eyes Will Deceive You at Magnetic Hill!
Are you ready to not believe your eyes? Magnetic Hill in Moncton will have you doing just that. Take to the bottom of Magnetic Hill and then take your foot off the gas. Your eyes will deceive you as you roll uphill. That’s right, uphill. Gravity seems suspended for a period of time. The phenomenon draws thousands of visitors to Moncton every year, try it for yourself!
Address: Mountain Road, Moncton
7. Get thy geologist self to Stonehammer Geopark!
Stonehammer Geopark is the perfect place to go if you’re keen on geology! A UNESCO World Heritage Site located near Saint John, Stonehammer offers the opportunity for kids and adults alike to learn more about the rocks that make up the surroundings of the Bay of Fundy, including the geological history of the area. Kayak tours, alongside virtual interpretive presentations inside the visitor’s centre are also offered.
Address: 1 Market Square, Saint John
8. Watch Whales, Photograph Puffins on Grand Manan Island!Grand Manan Island is located off the coast of Saint John, not far from Campobello Island — another of New Brunswick’s island attractions. Grand Manan may be a relatively small island with a spread out population, but it has so many opportunities for exploration. Weekend excursions to the Island are popular, with the opportunity to circumnavigate it by car. Puffins are also present on the Island, so bring your camera and a long lens and get some shots of this unique bird.
Address: 130 Route 776, Grand Manan
9. Visit A Presidential Home at Campobello Island!
Campobello Island is famous for its bright white and red lighthouse and being the summer of the Roosevelt family — yes, those Roosevelts — the one that became the President of the United States. The Roosevelts enjoyed the island immensely and Franklin and Eleanor’s son was born on the Island in August of 1914. Also on the island are a number of galleries and gift shops, sightseeing tours are offered alongside whale watching. Campobello Island has a place in the history of New Brunswick and the United States and hopefully, it’ll have a place in your summer as well.
10. Hike one of New Brunswick’s best-kept secrets at Mount Carleton Provincial Park!
Mount Carleton Provincial Park is the largest provincial park in New Brunswick and is home to the highest peak in the Maritimes — Mount Carleton itself, standing at a huge 2,690ft. It’s also home to three other peaks: Mount Sagamook, Mount Head and Mount Bailey. Aside from the four peaks, there are eleven other hiking trails in the park, which sprawls a massive 17,000 hectares. For those visiting New Brunswick who love to hike, Mount Carleton Provincial Park is the place for you to be!
11. Take in the Horticultural Hub of New Brunswick at Kingsbrae Gardens!
In terms of horticulture in New Brunswick, our next two entries take the proverbial cake. Kingsbrae is located in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea and is home to more than thirty different gardens, each featuring it’s own unique set of flora. It is also home to rabbits, peacocks, ducks, pygmy goats, alpacas, chickens and Jasper the dog! For those who appreciate flowers and nature in general, Kingsbrae is a perfect day out in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea.
Address: 220 King Street, Saint Andrews
12. Walk the World’s Longest Covered Bridge!
Hartland is a small town in Carleton County, New Brunswick. It’s main attraction is the Hartland Covered Bridge, the longest covered bridge in the world. Constructed originally as an open-topped bridge, the structure was officially opened in 1901. It was covered in 1921, becoming the world’s longest covered bridge at 1,282ft. It continues to be a reliable travel route despite it being for loose ice on the Saint John River, and a popular tourist attraction.
Address: 31 Orser Street, Unit 1
13. Love Chocolate? Visit the Ganong Factory in St. Stephen!
St. Stephen in New Brunswick is home to one of Canada’s, and indeed, the world’s most beloved chocolatiers — Ganong chocolates. Home of the Canadian staple, “chicken bones” and Ganong chocolate mints. Established in 1873 by James and Gilbert Ganong, it wasn’t long before “Chicken Bones” invented in 1885 would become a national and world-renowned staple. A visit to the Ganong factory today will include a tour through the facility and a lesson on the history of this infamous New Brunswick export.
Address: 1 Chocolate Drive, Saint Stephen
14. Explore the grim history of Partridge Island Quarantine Site!Partridge Island is a Canadian National Historic Site, for perhaps all the wrong reasons. It was here, in 1785, that the British established a quarantine station and a pest house (a location for individuals with communicable diseases), though not in use properly until 1816, and then again in the 1830s and 1840s at the height of the Irish Potato Famine, to which Irish immigrants flocked. The famine and Typhus epidemic in 1847 claimed the lives of almost 1200 people at Partridge Island and tens of thousands back home in Ireland. A memorial for the dead lies solemnly. If you wish to visit a darker side of the history of New Brunswick, then Partridge Island is the place to go.
15. Got Wood? Go see the World’s Largest Axe in Nackawic!
Axes can be useful for cutting wood. Not this one, though. This one’s usefulness is in its place in the Guiness World Record books. It’s an homage to the town of Nackawic and also to the important part that the forestry industry has played in the lives of New Brunswickers for centuries. Taking a selfie with the world’s largest axe is a must-do as you drive by!
Address: 115 Otis Drive
16. Take a Stroll Around Shediac!
Ah, Shediac. The paradisiacal seaside town on the Acadian Coast. Home to beaches and boats and swimmable waters and full-on Acadien joie-de-vivre during the summer months. It’s also home to a gigantic lobster, which is always a popular spot among visitors to the area. If you love the coast, great seafood and giant lobsters, Shediac should be your Acadian-vacation destination this summer.
Address: 290 Main Street, Unit 300
17. Walk And Drive Upon the Ocean’s Floor at Minister’s Island!
St. Andrews-by-the-Sea has already been mentioned in this article, but what we haven’t touched on yet is the unique place called Minister’s Island. The island is only accessible at low tide by foot or car — a one kilometre walk or drive on the seafloor. Once there, you’ll travel back in time to the 19th and 20th centuries as you visit the summer estate of William Van Horne, a Canadian icon and father of the Canadian Pacific Railway. His stately home has been transformed into a walk-through tourist attraction and his legacy lives on through Minister’s Island.
18. Zipline, Rappel, or just watch the sun come down at Cape Enrage!
New Brunswick is home to many coastal areas, but perhaps none are as popular or as well-known as Cape Enrage. It’s the place where many take picnics and go for day-hikes to watch the sun go down on a summer’s eve. It is home to a lighthouse dating back to 1838. Cape Enrage also offers thrill-seekers the opportunity to zipline, rappel, rock climb and kayak in the waters of the Bay. If you’re looking to experience the Bay of Fundy, either for it’s serenity or it’s excitement, Cape Enrage is the place to go.
Address: 650 Cape Enrage Road, Waterside
19. Explore Nature’s Beauty at the St. Martins Sea Caves
St. Martins Sea Caves are the perfect day-trip destination for your family as you visit the Saint John region. Located right on the coast of the Bay of Fundy, the caves themselves provide a unique insight into the geological history of millions of years of erosion on the shores of St. Martins as the tides from the Bay (sometimes reaching 38ft high) roll in and out every six hours. Those visiting the area are encouraged to explore these caves at low tide and stay for a sunset over the Bay.