Located on Canada’s east coast, Southern New Brunswick is a hidden gem that offers an abundance of natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture. With its charming small towns, vibrant cities, and stunning coastal vistas, this region is a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking an authentic Canadian experience. From outdoor activities to culinary experiences and cultural attractions, there is something for everyone in this picturesque part of the country. Don’t forget to check out our post on the best things to do in New Brunswick.
The Attractions of Southern New Brunswick
Southern New Brunswick boasts an impressive array of attractions that are sure to captivate visitors’ hearts and minds. Whether it’s exploring historic sites or engaging in outdoor activities, there is no shortage of things to do in this region. Visitors can hike along the rugged coastline or through lush forests in Fundy National Park or Cape Enrage.
They can also take a whale watching tour off the coast of St. Andrews or Grand Manan Island and witness these majestic creatures up close. The region also has several heritage sites that showcase its rich history.
One such site is Kings Landing Historical Settlement located just outside Fredericton – where visitors can step back in time and experience life as it was in the 19th century. Saint John’s historic port city has several attractions worth visiting such as Fort Howe – which played an important role during the American Revolution – and the Reversing Falls Rapids – where visitors can watch tidal shifts that lead to rapids reversing direction.
The Importance of Exploring Southern New Brunswick
While many travelers opt for more popular destinations like Toronto or Vancouver when they visit Canada, exploring lesser-known regions like Southern New Brunswick can be just as rewarding if not more so. The region offers a more intimate look at Canadian culture with its friendly locals who take pride in their heritage and traditions.
By experiencing the area’s unique attractions, visitors can gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Canadian history, culture, and way of life. In addition to cultural experiences, the region offers an opportunity for visitors to connect with nature.
With its unspoiled natural beauty – from lush forests to breathtaking coastlines – Southern New Brunswick is a perfect destination for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city living. The region’s laid-back pace of life also provides an ideal environment for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Overall, exploring Southern New Brunswick is a worthwhile experience that should not be missed by any traveler seeking adventure, history, or culture. The region offers something for everyone – whether it’s outdoor activities, culinary experiences or cultural attractions – making it a perfect destination for families, couples or solo travelers alike.
Hiking Trails in Fundy National Park and Cape Enrage
Southern New Brunswick is home to some of the best hiking trails in Canada, with Fundy National Park and Cape Enrage being two of the most popular destinations for nature lovers. Fundy National Park boasts over 100 kilometers of trails that range from easy strolls to challenging hikes.
The park is known for its breathtaking vistas, deep gorges, and rugged coastline. Hikers can explore the lush Acadian forest or enjoy panoramic views of the Bay of Fundy from Mount Carleton.
Cape Enrage is another must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts in Southern New Brunswick. Located on a rocky headland overlooking the Bay of Fundy, Cape Enrage offers stunning views and thrilling experiences for visitors.
The area is home to several hiking trails that lead through forests, marshes, and along rocky beaches. The highlight of a visit to Cape Enrage is undoubtedly its famous lighthouse which has been guiding ships through these treacherous waters since 1838.
Whale Watching Tours in St. Andrews and Grand Manan Island
The Bay of Fundy is one of the best places in the world to see whales up close in their natural habitat, making Southern New Brunswick a top destination for whale watching tours. St. Andrews is a charming coastal town that offers several whale watching tour options departing from its harbor throughout the summer season.
Visitors are almost guaranteed sightings of humpback whales, minke whales, finback whales and sometimes even rare North Atlantic right whales! For those looking for an even more unique experience with marine life on their trip to Southern New Brunswick; taking a ferry to Grand Manan Island will provide just that!
Known as “Whale Watching Capital Of The East Coast”, this island boasts one-of-a-kind whale watching experiences with over 12 species of whales and dolphins in the area. Visitors can also see seals, puffins, and other sea life while on these tours.
Kayaking and Paddleboarding in the Bay of Fundy
Kayaking or paddleboarding through the Bay of Fundy is an unforgettable experience for adventure seekers. The area is famous for its massive tides, which create a unique environment with ever-changing scenery.
Kayakers can explore hidden coves, rugged coastlines, and tidal caves that are inaccessible by land. Several local tour companies offer guided kayak tours so visitors can safely explore these unique waterways with experienced guides leading the way.
Paddleboarding is another popular water activity in Southern New Brunswick that allows visitors to get up close and personal with nature while getting a great workout! With calm bays on one side of the province and more challenging ocean swells on the other, there’s always an opportunity to find your perfect paddleboarding experience here!
A Glimpse into 19th-Century Life: Kings Landing Historical Settlement
One of the most fascinating historical sites in Southern New Brunswick is Kings Landing Historical Settlement. Located on the Saint John River, this living history museum invites visitors to step back in time and experience life in rural New Brunswick during the 19th century. Interpreters dressed in period costumes bring the settlement to life, demonstrating daily tasks such as blacksmithing, farming, and cooking.
You can also tour historic buildings such as a schoolhouse, church, and general store. With over 70 acres of land to explore, Kings Landing Historical Settlement is a must-visit attraction for history buffs.
Discovering Saint John’s Fascinating Past
Saint John is a historic port city – check out our post on things to do in Saint John – that played a significant role in Canada’s development. A visit to this charming city offers numerous opportunities to discover its fascinating past. One of the most exciting experiences in Saint John is witnessing the Reversing Falls Rapids where you can see two rivers converge and battle against each other, creating swirling rapids and whirlpools – it’s an incredible sight!
Another must-visit site for history lovers is Fort Howe; built-in 1777 by British troops during the American Revolution as defense against potential French invasion. The fort never saw any action but has been restored and today stands as an excellent example of British military architecture.
Iconic Lighthouses along Coastal Towns
Southern New Brunswick’s coast is dotted with historic lighthouses that have guided mariners for centuries through treacherous waters along this rugged coastline. Each lighthouse has its unique story and character. For instance, Swallowtail Lighthouse on Grand Manan Island was built-in 1860 and stands at 34 meters tall offering fantastic panoramic views from its top.
The lighthouse has guided mariners through the treacherous waters around the island for over 150 years, making it a beloved icon of Grand Manan. Other historic lighthouses you must visit include Cape Enrage Lighthouse, which was built-in 1838 and is known for its spectacular views of the Bay of Fundy and Fundy National Park.
Sample Fresh Seafood
When visiting Southern New Brunswick, you simply can’t leave without indulging in some of the freshest seafood in Canada. The region is known for its lobster, scallops, and oysters, which are available at local restaurants or seafood markets.
One such market is the Fisherman’s Wharf Lobster Shop in Saint John, where you can watch fishing boats unload their catches and then buy the seafood right off the boat. For a fine dining experience, head to Port City Royal in Saint John for dishes like Digby Scallops with miso butter or Pan-Seared Atlantic Halibut with a smoked tomato broth.
Visit Wineries and Breweries for Tastings
Southern New Brunswick has a booming wine and beer scene that’s waiting to be explored. Hammond River Brewing Company in Quispamsis offers an extensive selection of craft beers on tap, including their award-winning Red Coat India Pale Ale.
You can also take a tour of Gillis of Belleisle Winery near Hampton, where you’ll learn about their unique winemaking techniques while tasting delicious wines like their L’Acadie Blanc or Foch Noir. If cider is more your thing, be sure to visit York County Cider in Fredericton for handcrafted ciders made from local apples.
Attend a Farmers’ Market or Food Festival
For those looking to try local produce or artisanal foods, attending one of Southern New Brunswick’s many farmers’ markets or food festivals is a must-do activity. Every Saturday from May to October, the Saint John City Market comes alive with vendors selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to artisanal cheeses and meats.
There’s also the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market operating year-round on Saturdays where you’ll find organic produce and handmade crafts. Food festivals like the Shediac Lobster Festival and the New Brunswick Fall Fair also offer a great opportunity to try local specialties while enjoying live music and other entertainment.
Watch live performances at Imperial Theatre or The Playhouse Fredericton
Southern New Brunswick offers a rich cultural experience, with many world-class theaters and performance venues. One of the notable venues is the iconic Imperial Theatre in Saint John. It has been an integral part of the city’s arts scene since 1913 and hosts a variety of performances, from musicals to comedies.
The theater boasts state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, making it an ideal venue for large-scale productions. Another must-see venue is The Playhouse Fredericton, located in the heart of downtown Fredericton.
It offers a diverse range of performing arts events such as dance, music, theater performances and much more that cater to a wide range of audiences. The cozy auditorium seats approximately 709 guests which makes it feel intimate despite its larger size.
Learn about Indigenous history at the Wabanaki Cultural Centre in Fredericton or Kingsclear First Nation Heritage Park
Southern New Brunswick has a rich Indigenous heritage, and visitors can learn more about it by visiting several cultural centers around the region. One such center is the Wabanaki Cultural Centre located in downtown Fredericton which aims to educate people about Indigenous history through art exhibitions and workshops. Visitors can also attend traditional drumming performances and learn about various aspects of Indigenous cultures.
Kingsclear First Nation Heritage Park offer visitors another opportunity to learn about the region’s Indigenous history in an authentic way. Visitors can take guided tours that showcase traditional practices such as basket weaving or fishing techniques while also exploring nature trails where they can observe wildlife up close.
Visit art galleries and museums, such as Beaverbrook Art Gallery or New Brunswick Museum
Southern New Brunswick is also home to world-renowned museums that offer unique experiences for visitors keen on exploring art galleries and museum exhibitions. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is an important cultural institution that has been around since the early 1950s.
The gallery showcases works by key artists in Canadian art history as well as international artists, featuring many contemporary pieces. Visitors can also participate in guided tours or attend art classes to learn more about the exhibits.
The New Brunswick Museum is another world-class museum located in Saint John that offers different collections showcasing the region’s natural history and culture over time. The marine collection showcases a variety of sea creatures that can be found in the Bay of Fundy, while other exhibits highlight the region’s rich cultural heritage from prehistoric times until now.
Visiting museums and art galleries is an excellent way to explore Southern New Brunswick’s rich history and vibrant arts scene. It provides an opportunity for visitors to learn, appreciate and understand a range of cultures both locally and abroad.
Hidden Gems in Southern New Brunswick
While Southern New Brunswick has plenty of popular tourist destinations, there are also countless hidden gems waiting to be discovered. From secluded beaches to quirky attractions, exploring these lesser-known spots can make for an unforgettable trip.
Explore hidden beaches like New River Beach Provincial Park or Mispec Beach
For those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy some tranquility, a trip to one of Southern New Brunswick’s hidden beaches is a must. Located just 40 minutes from Saint John, New River Beach Provincial Park features a long stretch of sand backed by forested bluffs.
The beach is great for swimming and picnicking during the summer months and is also popular with birdwatchers in the fall when migratory birds pass through. Mispec Beach, located just south of Saint John, offers a more rugged coastal experience.
Tucked between rocky cliffs and the Bay of Fundy, this beach features stunning scenery that’s perfect for photography enthusiasts. Visitors can explore tidal pools or take a walk along the rocky shore.
Discover unique attractions like Chocolate Museum & Gift Shop in St Stephen
A visit to the Chocolate Museum & Gift Shop in St Stephen is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. This quirky attraction features exhibits on the history of chocolate and its production, as well as interactive displays where visitors can make their own chocolate creations. Be sure to stock up on handmade truffles and fudge at the gift shop before leaving!
Another unique attraction to check out is The Old North Head Post Office on Grand Manan Island. This historic building was once Canada’s easternmost post office and now serves as a museum featuring exhibits on local history and culture.
Take a scenic drive along Route 1 to see stunning views of coastal towns
Southern New Brunswick’s Route 1 offers a scenic drive that takes visitors through charming coastal towns and past breathtaking views of the Bay of Fundy. Some highlights include the picturesque fishing village of St. Andrews, with its historic architecture and whale watching tours, and the town of St. Stephen, known for its delicious seafood and Chocolate Museum.
Another must-see part of the drive is Head Harbour Lightstation on Campobello Island. This iconic lighthouse features stunning views of Passamaquoddy Bay and is accessible via a short hike through the woods.
Southern New Brunswick’s hidden gems offer something for every type of traveler, from nature enthusiasts to history buffs to foodies. While it’s always fun to check out popular tourist destinations, exploring some off-the-beaten-path spots can make for an even more memorable trip. So pack your sense of adventure and get ready to discover all that this beautiful region has to offer!
Making the Most of a Trip to Southern New Brunswick
Southern New Brunswick is an incredibly diverse region with a variety of attractions for travelers. The area boasts numerous outdoor activities, such as hiking in Fundy National Park or kayaking in the Bay of Fundy. Visitors can also delve into the region’s rich history by exploring historic sites like Kings Landing Historical Settlement, Fort Howe, and Swallowtail Lighthouse.
The culinary scene is another highlight, with fresh seafood and local wineries and breweries offering a taste of the area’s unique flavors. Cultural experiences range from live performances at theatres to Indigenous historical centers and art galleries.
If you’re looking for a vacation destination that offers diverse attractions, look no further than Southern New Brunswick. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, history buff, foodie or culture lover, there’s something for everyone here. With its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, Southern New Brunswick is a hidden gem waiting to be explored.
So why not plan your next adventure here? Take the time to immerse yourself in this beautiful part of Canada that has so much to offer.
Whether it’s a weekend getaway or an extended trip, you won’t be disappointed by what this region has to offer. Come experience the magic of Southern New Brunswick – we promise it will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired!