This story was created in partnership with: Tourism New Brunswick and Tourism Nova Scotia
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are two out of the three Maritime provinces that can be found in Atlantic Canada. Whether you’re exploring vibrant cities and charming small towns, learning about the French Acadian way of life or in the great outdoors, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are abundant with memorable experiences in nature, food, history and culture.
While both provinces have their distinct qualities, one of the greatest wonders they share is the Bay of Fundy – a place where the ebb and flow of tides becomes a world-renowned phenomenon.
Our hot tip for 2020: get yourself to this neck of Atlantic Canada to discover one of the most captivating vacations before word gets out! Here’s our pick of how you can enjoy the very best of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Travel to: New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
Located between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy is your gateway to some of the most exquisite experiences found in both Maritime provinces. Spanning 170 miles and home to unique wonders, the Bay of Fundy is raw, real and untamed nature at its best. You’ll find the world’s most powerful tides here. The water can rise to 48 feet – and a colossal 160 billion tons of seawater crashes in and out of the bay every day, twice a day.
Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick
While the sheer force of the tide coming into the Bay of Fundy is something to witness, once the tide returns to the horizon, the seawater drains to reveal a different landscape. At Hopewell Rocks, you’ll find a walkable bare ocean bed with soaring reddish cliffs and rock formations that have been shaped over time by tidal erosion.
National Geographic suggests taking advantage of the low tide at the Hopewell Rocks with a gentle hike in the shadow of these ecological formations and indulging in a picnic of fresh lobster and wine. Make the most of your time at the Bay of Fundy by spending the whole day at Hopewell Rocks to observe both cycles of the tide.
Read the article: How to Travel Sustainably in Canada in 2020
Fundy National Park of Canada, New Brunswick
Canada’s national parks are famed for their awe-inspiring experiences, and in New Brunswick, over 50,000 acres of pristine wilderness is waiting for you at Fundy National Park. Over 260 species of birds, various amphibians and reptiles nearly forty species of mammals call this forested haven their home, and travellers with a green thumb will be keen to learn that several unique plants can also be found here. The park is also home to a 400-year-old red spruce tree – the world’s oldest.
The best way to explore the Fundy National Park’s Acadian forest is on foot, and with trails that suit all skill levels, there’s no excuse for leaving your walking shoes behind. The real treat in Fundy National Park is that many of these trails will you lead to cascading waterfalls.
Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia
Another one of Canada’s famous parks, Cape Breton Highland National Park, is a must-see for anyone visiting Atlantic Canada. While you’ll be stepping a little further afield of the Bay of Fundy region, many tours to these two Maritime provinces include a visit to Cape Breton.
This provincial park channels everything that’s great about Canadian nature: mountains, moose, and views that leave you with wide-eyed wonder. Walk along the world-famous Cabot Trail, or hike the Skyline Trail which winds its way around the coast.
Get on the lobster trail
Nova Scotia believes that if you haven’t eaten freshly-caught lobster in this part of the world, you simply haven’t tasted good lobster. They wouldn’t be wrong – this region is renowned for serving up tasty morsels of lobster in all sorts of ways. Whether you want to eat your weight in lobster or catch it for yourself, Nova Scotia takes lobster very seriously, so it’s the perfect place to tuck into a plate of this delicacy from the sea.
There are lots of renowned spots dotted along the Bay of Fundy where you can sink your teeth into the catch of the day. One of the top places is the famed Hall’s Harbour Lobster Pound and Restaurant. Hall’s Harbour is a quaint fishing village which dates back to 1779, and this working lobster pound is a great place for delicious seafood, views, picking up souvenirs and learning more about the tradition of lobster fishing in Nova Scotia.
Read the article: Canada off the Beaten Track
If seeing one of these majestic creatures leaping out of the sea is on your bucket list – there’s no better place to live this dream than on the Bay of Fundy. Thanks to the tremendous tidal forces found here, the bay becomes a haven and feeding ground for whales. During the summer and early fall, humpbacks, finbacks and minke migrate to the bay for some serious feasting, and it makes for some of the best whale-watching opportunities on earth.
Saint John, New Brunswick
As the only city on the Bay of Fundy and Canada’s oldest incorporated city, it’s essential that you visit Saint John. Museums, pubs and 19-century sandstone architecture already make for an enjoyable city escape, but it gets better.
In Saint John, you’ll find the Reversing Falls Rapids – a series of whirlpools caused by the colliding waters of the St. John River and the Bay of Fundy which causes the river to reverse its direction. You can witness this powerful display of nature from Saint John’s SKYWALK.
Foodies can explore the Saint John City Market – located in a building from 1876, it’s Canada’s oldest public market – and you’ll find food and craft stalls packed with goods from in and around the area. If that wasn’t enough, nearby Irving Nature Park’s salt marshes and forest make for some different nature pursuits. If you want to be welcomed to Atlantic Canada with open arms, this city is the place to begin.
Fredericton, New Brunswick
New Brunswick’s capital city is great for travellers that love art and music. Fredericton’s parks and riverbanks have become a hub for artists, writers and poets that want to create prose and blank verse. One of the best ways to spend an evening in Fredericton is by taking a stroll along the waterfront and grabbing a table at one of the local craft brewpubs.
You can enjoy the city’s street culture all year round, but it’s worth coordinating your trip around the annual Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival – the largest festival of its kind east of Montreal. The celebratory atmosphere during this time will enhance any trip.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Blessed with more pubs per capita than any other city in Canada, Halifax knows how to enjoy life! You’ll find tasty cuisine made from fresh local produce, award-winning breweries, distilleries and even vineyards. Along with plenty to eat and drink, you’ll find that Nova Scotia’s capital is the perfect spot from where to explore many of the province’s local attractions – from the Insta-famous Peggy’s Cove to the charming small town of Lunenberg.
St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick
If you love nothing more than kicking back in a captivating destination, picture-perfect St. Andrews by-the-sea is tailor-made for you. Over half of the town’s 550 buildings were built before 1880, which gives this city a whimsical quality. When the weather is warm, roam the marina and feast on lobster rolls alfresco. Travellers that are interested in a whale-watching excursion (so almost everyone), can book a tour from here and it’s also a great place from where to start exploring the Bay of Fundy.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
With its colourful and charming buildings – some of which date back to the late 1700s and early 1800s – the historic fishing town of Lunenberg is among Nova Scotia’s top attractions. Lunenburg’s Old Town is one of two urban communities in North America that have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. The narrow street passages and picturesque architecture will give you a taste of days gone by. After exploring the historic centre, you can drive out to the Blue Rocks for the seascape and a spot of hiking.
After reading this article, you may find it hard to believe that New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have managed to stay under the radar for so long.
There’s a lot of ground to cover in these two intriguing Canadian Maritime provinces, but make the most of your trip by exploring them on an itinerary that will show you the best of both. Browse through our selection of tours to this region, and you’ll have your most captivating vacation yet.