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New Brunswick, Canada

New-Brunswick

Great Destination:

4.5

Value for Money:

4.5

Total Stars:

9.0

Personality Types that Like it Best

Those with more Venturesome personalities like it best

Did You Know…?

  • Most early New Brunswick settlers were American colonists who remained loyal to England.
  • More than 12 whale species are attracted to the nutrient-rich Bay of Fundy.
  • The U.S. and New Brunswick nearly warred over the Maine border in 1839.
  • French is the first language for about one-third of New Brunswick’s people.
  • Kings County, the covered bridge capital of Atlantic Canada, has 16 of the bridges.

New England north

A description of New Brunswick, the largest of Canada’s maritime provinces, sounds like much of New England, with its rural atmosphere, picturesque small towns, offshore islands and covered bridges. Except that it is New England with a French accent. The French settled this part of Canada first, and they continue to flavor the culture with their language and traditions.

The province also is noted for seafood, lively festivals and its natural beauty, particularly its seascapes and its woods. Visitors generally see more of the water than inland scenics, but more than four-fifths of the province is covered by forest.

The French ceded this part of Canada to Great Britain in the mid-18th century. Not long after, the province became a magnet for about 14,000 American colonists loyal to England; they founded the capital, Fredericton. By driving southwest along the Bay of Fundy coast, visitors will encounter small French towns founded by the Acadians, each more charming than the last. Eventually, this drive winds up at St. John, New Brunswick’s largest city, at the mouth of the St. John River on the Bay of Fundy. This active port boasts a restored waterfront linked with a bustling central business district.

Venturers and centrics have discovered New Brunswick’s natural beauty, but authentics hesitate to visit in large numbers. The advantage for those who do visit is fewer crowds when strolling the waterfronts, the hospitality of small hotels and inns, the isolation of the forests and the recreational facilities — as well as a friendly welcome from locals.

For visitors, fishing opportunities abound. Hunters can track deer and black bear in the deep forests, camping is popular and experienced sailors welcome the challenge of the tides and currents in the bays. The Bay of Fundy boasts the highest tides in the world, draining to mud at low tide and rising up to 50 feet at high tide.

With its mixture of French and British cultures, the gorgeous blues and greens of its forest-to-ocean scenery and the laid-back attitude of residents, the province is an ideal place to forget one’s daily troubles and relax.

Things to do for Venturers

  • Take a canoe and camping trip on the Kedgwick, Restigouche or Upsalquitch river.
  • Drive an all-terrain vehicle through New Brunswick’s outback, involving water hazards, mud bogs, rough terrain plus groomed trails.
  • Stay in the new Metepenagiag Outdoor Adventure Lodge, an aboriginal lodge built of native cedar, and dine on authentic Mi’kmaq recipes like bannock and fiddlehead chowder.
  • At St. John, take a jetboat ride in and around the so-called Reversing Falls, a phenomenon produced in the Bay of Fundy when the high incoming tide collides with the outbound low tide. You will climb and cross the rising “falls.”
  • The largest annual celebration of Acadian culture is the August Festival Acadien de Caraquet. On the closing day, you can join more than 20,000 participants in making the event’s traditional deafening noise during the Tintamarre (noisy parade).
  • At Cape Enrage on the Bay of Fundy, you have a choice of adventures: Among them are rappelling down 140-foot cliffs overlooking the bay’s giant tides and climbing on 60-foot cliffs adjacent to the rappel face.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Sign on for a lobster-fishing experience. You will help lobstermen haul in lobster traps, learn about the proper way to cook and crack lobster — then feast on a lobster dinner.
  • For nature and art lovers, see the Tantramar Marshes, whose golden grasses and extraordinary light have attracted artists who are happy to entertain visitors (and buyers) in their workshops. Also, bird-watchers can spot rare waterfowl in Tantramar Marshes.
  • Book a stay in a charming bed-and-breakfast accommodation in one of the province’s small towns.
  • Visit the Village Historique Acadien which uses costumed interpreters to help portray for visitors the lives of Acadians between 1770 and 1939.
  • Spend time at the Broadleaf Guest Ranch 45 minutes south of Moncton. Activity choices, depending on season, include cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, skating, sleigh rides, tobogganing — plus penning cattle and fortune telling.
  • Seafood (including lobster, mollusks, oysters, salmon, scallops and trout) is celebrated enthusiastically in a large number of annual festivals. Important examples are the Shediac Lobster Festival in July and Moncton’s August Atlantic Seafood Festival. There are lots of good eats.

Things to do for Authentics

  • St. Andrews by-the-Sea near the Maine border will return you to the mellow days of yesteryear with its 18th and 19th century buildings on Passamaquoddy Bay. Stay at a Victorian-era hotel and play the games the Victorians enjoyed — golf and tennis.
  • See the recently created Metepenagiag Heritage Park. It is built around New Brunswick’s oldest village, Metepenagiag, which has been occupied by the Mi’kmaq people for more than 3,000 years. Visitors can see important archaeological sites here: the Augustine Mound (circa 400 B.C.) and the Oxbow National Historic Site (about 800 B.C.).
  • Drive through the countryside enjoying the colors during leaf-peeping season. Or, check out the Kedgwick Fall Festival which celebrates New Brunswick’s fall colors and harvest with music, dance, fireworks, sports competitions and a parade.
  • St. John is old by American standards, founded about 1635, and it offers much in the way of North American historic sites. Explore the waterfront area on a historical walk led by a costumed guide.
  • See, and drive across, one of the world’s longest covered bridges in Hartland. It carries Highway103 across the St. John River.
  • Magnetic Hill in Moncton creates an optical illusion that will make the whole family chuckle. At a certain point, with gears in neutral, your car will appear to move backward up the hill.

Additional Resources

For more information, consult Tourism New Brunswick at www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca