Making a list of New Brunswick vacation ideas is easy. In a province that’s 85 per cent forested with 5,500 kilometers of coastal shoreline, there are great outdoor adventures around every turn.
When you live here, it’s easy to overlook that we are a fascinating destination known for huge untouched wilderness, seafood and many amazing natural phenomena such as the highest tides in the world.
We have beautiful beaches, the warmest saltwater in Canada and endless opportunities for activities such as kayaking, canoeing, hiking, cycling, hunting, fishing and camping. Whether your interests are outdoor adventures, history and culture, food and drink, or scenic drives, New Brunswick has you covered.
What are the best things to do in our province? The most unique places? The most interesting attractions? The most beautiful places? The best restaurants? The coolest accommodations?
These are all great topics for debate. In the meantime, here are 10 ideas for things to do on your spring or summer vacation in New Brunswick.
Indigenous Tourism Experiences
Get disconnected from everyday life, become one with nature and learn about the Mi’kmaq culture while enjoying various experiences at Elsipogtog (www.heritagepathtour.com) and Metepenagiag Heritage Park (www.metpark.ca).
Participate in a smudging ceremony, see how Mother Nature’s gifts are used for medicine, stay overnight in a teepee with storytelling by the campfire, and visit a wigwam, longhouse and sweat lodge. Guide Stephen Paul (www.spfirstnationsoutdoortours.com) offers crafts workshops, food experiences, salmon fishing, kayak tours and more at Metepenagiag.
Acadian Peninsula Veloroute
This picturesque cycling route is 610 kilometers of happiness as visitors enjoy the maritime coastline while passing through 14 communities. This route is a unique experience that’s suitable for recreational and sports cycling. https://veloroutepa.ca/en
Waterfront Container Village
The new Waterfront Container Village at the cruise ship terminal in Saint John will have shipping containers converted into retail shops that showcase New Brunswick goods. From early June to mid fall, there will be food trucks, a graffiti alley for local and international artists, a stage for live entertainment and a beer garden. The three-level patio will provide great views of the stage and Bay of Fundy. www.area506.ca/village
Paddling the Fundy Isles
The Fundy Isles Sea Kayaking Expedition is a three-day trip that allows you to discover the wild and have chance meetings with seals, whales, porpoises and eagles. Paddle through the scenic Fundy Isles Archipelago, experience the highest tides in the world and enjoy peaceful wilderness camping on private islands.
This trip features guides, kayaking equipment, accommodations and all meals, including a beachside lobster dinner. At night, soak in the stargazing show. www.bayoffundyadventures.ca
Night Kayaking at the Hopewell Rocks
This guided two-hour tour starts at dusk and every kayak is equipped with a headlamp and glow sticks. Paddle around the famous “flowerpot rocks’’ with the starry night as a backdrop. This unique experience is suitable for all levels of kayakers and runs from early June to early September. https://www.baymountadventures.com/after-dark
Fundy Trail Parkway
This coastal drive provides many beautiful views of the Bay of Fundy and its rocky coastline. The parkway allows you to enjoy nature with its five beaches, four waterfalls, rivers, countless picnic areas, hiking and cycling trails, and plenty more.
Visit Walton Glen Gorge – the Grand Canyon of New Brunswick. This picturesque natural phenomenon is 550 million years old and it was created by volcanic eruptions. The new connector road takes you from the parkway through Fundy National Park to Alma. www.fundytrailparkway.com
Drive across the ocean floor at low tide to Canada’s largest tidal island and tour the former summer home of Sir William Van Horne, the president of Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 1800’s. Immerse yourself in history in this impressive 50-room mansion and then enjoy the island’s network of hiking trails. This is a five-minute drive from St. Andrews. www.ministersisland.net
Ballet by the Ocean
Watch a professional ballet performance on the beach in Grand-Digue with the breeze coming off the ocean and waves crashing on the shore. The beautiful setting is in a protected wetland that’s a natural habit for many species of birds.
Also, New Brunswick chefs prepare a five-course meal for the guests to eat while watching the ballet and there’s a wine pairing. There are two performances per week in this summer and fall series. www.atlanticballet.ca
Tour the beautiful former summer home of ex U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt, participate in “Tea with Eleanor’’ in the afternoon and visit Roosevelt Campobello International Park. Play golf, check out the historic East Quoddy Lighthouse and enjoy nature while roaming this scenic island. www.campobello.com
Mount Carleton Provincial Park
The biggest and most remote provincial park in New Brunswick has a wide variety of wildlife with 100 types of birds and 30 species of mammals. It also has thick forest, rare plants and various accommodations from tents and trailers to rustic cabins. The top of the mountain is the highest point in the Maritimes and from there you can see 10 million trees. The park is a dark sky preserve, a terrific place for stargazing along with other activities such as hiking, canoeing and fishing. www.parcsnbparks.info
Neil Hodge – Neil Hodge is a former journalist who spent 31 years writing sports, business and travel stories for New Brunswick newspapers. He’s now the Travel Media Representative for Tourism New Brunswick. He’s an avid traveller who’s always up for visiting new destinations and learning about various cultures.