Updated: September 14, 2022
Underrated and yet incredibly beautiful, New Brunswick surprised us in so many ways. It’s one of the four Atlantic Provinces of Canada, and the only province in the country with both English and French as official languages. While the province covers a land area the size of Ireland, there are only 750,000 inhabitants, leaving tons of room for visitors to explore the vast natural landscapes of the province, including quaint seaside towns, small historical cities, gorgeous natural scenery, delicious seafood, and fun activities like rappelling and zip-lining.
To learn more about New Brunswick, including what to do, where to go, and how to get there, this travel guide is for you!
Fun facts about New Brunswick:
- New Brunswick is the birthplace of the Canadian Military
- New Brunswick is officially the only bilingual province in Canada
- The province’s name comes from a city in Northern Germany
- The Mi’kmaq is the dominant First Nation Peoples in New Brunswick
Road to 150 – New Brunswick
Back in 2017, we did a 150-day road trip across Canada to make a 12-part travel video series about each and every province. New Brunswick was the fourth province we visited, after Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. We kicked off our adventure by kayaking Hopewell Rocks, rappelling down Cape Enrage, and witnessing the largest tides in the world. We then drove through Fundy National Park and headed to Fredericton to learn about Canada’s history and spend some time at the wonderful King’s Landing. We also visited the charming seaside community of St. Andrews before travelling up to Grand Falls for a beautiful zip-lining experience in front of the waterfall. We then drove to the border of Quebec where we jumped on a ferry to start our Quebec adventure with some whale watching in Tadoussac. All in all, it was an awesome experience, inspiring us to re-visit with more time.
Things to Do in New Brunswick
Although New Brunswick is one of the smallest provinces in Canada, it’s still the size of Ireland. In this travel guide, we’ll separate out the activities by city and by areas closest to those cities.
Moncton & Area
Although Moncton doesn’t seem to be high on the tourist radar, it is actually the biggest city in New Brunswick. It’s also very close to Hopewell Rocks, taking only 30 minutes or so by car. Its nickname is the “hub city” due to its location as the geographic centre of the Maritime Provinces and close to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. For those exploring the city, you’ll find the Moncton Museum, the Transportation Discovery Centre, and the resorted 1920s Capitol Theatre, which can be a great place to see a live concert. Other popular nearby attractions include Magnetic Hill, Parlee Beach Provincial Park, and the lobster town of Shediac.
Centennial Park is a small (0.93 km²) municipal park in Moncton, New Brunswick. Located in the city’s west end, it features a static display of a CF-100 Canuck fighter jet, an M4A3 Sherman Tank, the anchor from HMCS Magnificent and CNR locomotive 5270.
It doesn’t look like much but its been baffling visitors for more than 80 years. As automobiles became more common in Moncton in the 1930s, drivers discovered a mysterious phenomenon that would occur on this small hill. If a driver takes their foot off the car brake at the bottom of the hill, they will be shocked to find their vehicle rolled backwards—uphill.
Some say it’s because of aliens or ghosts, but the reality is that its an optical illusion, also known as “gravity hill”. In these “mystery spots,” what appears to be an uphill incline is actually part of a larger downhill incline, misinterpreted by our brains because of the way the slopes are situated and mixed with little or no view of the horizon line. Water, balls, and tires appear to be rolling uphill when really they’re rolling downhill just as they should be.
Magnetic hill is a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can find it by looking for their massive magnet sign. At peak season, there is a minimal charge of around $6 CAN per vehicle, a small price for the fun of experiencing this optical illusion.
Magnetic Hill Zoo
Located about 15 minutes outside the city of Moncton, another attraction ins the Magnetic Hill area, is the Magnetic Hill Zoo and Magic Mountain Water Park. The zoo has over 400 animals, making it the largest zoo in Atlantic Canada, and in 2008 the zoo was rated fourth on a list of Canada’s top ten zoos. It’s not huge, but it’s home to black bears, zebra, cougars, a leopard, tigers, lions, black jaguars, reindeer, and lots of different lemurs, monkeys and farm animals.
The Magic Mountain Water Park is a big waterpark and would be fun for kids and adults alike. It features about 10 slides and attractions, including a 400-foot enclosed tube slide, a lazy river, twister slides, the Kamikaze slide that reaches speeds of 60 km/h, a sky-box capsule slide, a wave pool, and much more.
If you’re looking for more to do in the area, there’s also a go-kart track, mini-golf, butterfly gardens, paddle boats, bumper boats, batting cages, and more.
Lobster cruise in Shediac
Without a doubt, when travelling in Atlantic Canada, seafood is the food of choice. Well, one of the most popular dishes is lobster, and eating it out at sea is a fantastic way to enjoy the experience. While lobster is famous all over the region, the most famous of them all is the seaside town of Shediac, which is known as the “Lobster Capital of the World”.
This 3-hour tour departs from the wharf in Pointe-du-Chêne and circles around Shediac Bay. It’s a fun tour that educates guests about the history of the lobster industry in New Brunswick and how to properly cook and eat lobster the Acadian way. If anyone in the group isn’t into seafood, they also offer BBQ chicken.
Visit the World’s Largest Lobster
Speaking of lobsters, if you’re into quirky roadside attractions, you’re in luck! Located in Shediac, this massive concrete, steel, and fibreglass lobster acts as the town’s mascot. The statue was created in 1989 to solidify its place as the crustacean-capturing capital. It is a whopping 35 feet long and is positioned right at the entrance to town. People are welcome to climb the giant lobster’s rocky perch and get a picture within reach of its massive claws.
Bay of Fundy & Area
The Bay of Fundy is perhaps the star natural attraction in New Brunswick. With popular stops such as Hopewell Rocks, this natural wonder is home to the highest tides in the world. These giant tides, formed by over 100 billion tonnes of seawater, rise up to 12 metres twice every single day, a phenomenon that has shaped the unique landscape of the coastline and entire region.
There are many ways to experience the Bay of Fundy, including kayaking around Hopewell Rocks, rappelling down Cape Enrage, or whale watching from St. Andrews.
If there’s one place you simply should not miss when in New Brunswick, it’s the world-famous Hopewell Rocks. It’s the most popular place to witness the changing of the tides due to the “flowerpot” rock formations that jet out of the sea bottom. These flower pots act like markers, allowing you to better see just how drastic the changing tides are. In fact, you could kayak around the rocks in the morning and walk in the very same spot just a few hours later.
Walking on the ocean floor is a truly unique experience and makes for some wonderful photo opportunities. It’s also a great place to get a guided tour so you can learn about the geology you’re witnessing. It’s also very cool to see the muddy bottom and the shorebirds that like to hang out there.
Where to stay:
The Maplegrove Inn Bed and Breakfast
One of the things we loved about the Maritimes is all the lovely bed and breakfasts and the Maplegrove Inn was one of the best. Located just 10 minutes from Hopewell Rocks and 20 minutes from Cape Enrage, this heritage home is right in the middle of all the action. The owners are great, the breakfast is gourmet, the area is beautiful, and they even make their own maple syrup, which you get to eat with homemade French toast. We also did a short walk behind their house and stumbled upon an old graveyard (as old as the 1700s!) and an outstanding view of the Bay of Fundy!
One of the most beautiful areas of New Brunswick and less than an hour from Hopewell Rocks is Cape Enrage, a rugged cape that extends out into the Bay of Fundy, nearly halfway to Nova Scotia. It’s now home to the charming little Cape House Restaurant, a beautiful lighthouse, as well as the chance to go rock climbing, rappelling, kayaking, and enjoying a 182-metre zipline. There are viewing platforms overlooking the towering cliffs and light station, as well as a staircase that leads to the beach, which is strewn with fossils from the soaring cliffs, revealing layers of 320-million-year-old sedimentary rock. However, please talk to the guides before going down as the changing tides can make the area quite dangerous.
Cool fact: Cape Enrage derives its name from the large reef that extends south into Chignecto Bay, which causes the water off the point to become extremely violent, particularly at half tide when the reef is partially exposed and the water is moving quickly.
Fundy National Park
Those looking for nature will want to visit Fundy National Park. This park features over 120 kilometres of walking and hiking trails that will bring you through mountains, into valleys and forests, and past waterfalls. There are also options for renting a canoe or kayak or you can just go for a swim in beautiful Bennett Lake before setting up your tent for a night in the park. In addition to the natural side of nature, there’s also a golf course, tennis courts, and a variety of festivals that happen throughout the year.
Saint John & Area
If you’re looking for cities, Saint John is really the only one on the Bay of Fundy, with a thriving food and drink scene, stunning architecture, a fascinating maritime history, and lots of natural beauty. There are a number of things to do here, which we’ll talk about below.
New Brunswick Museum
Located in Market Square in downtown Saint John, the New Brunswick museum educates on the cultural heritage and natural history of the province through exhibitions, life-sized models, and even an actual skeleton of a North Atlantic right whale hung from the ceiling. There are even Canadian art and military artifacts.
St John City Market
If you’re looking for some tasty food while exploring the oldest market in North America, you’ll want to head to the Saint John City Market. Built in 1876, the market is home to butchers, grocers, fishmongers, bakers, and delicious coffee.
One of the largest urban parks in Canada, Rockwood is part of the Stonehammer UNESCO Geopark and a great place to observe a billion years of history. It’s also a great place to go boating, swimming, fishing, and even skating during the winter months. Explore one of the many walking trails, relax in the spa, go kayaking or rock climbing, or play a round of golf – there is no end to the activities to enjoy in this beautiful, tranquil park within the city.
One of the most popular natural attractions in the city is Reversing Falls. The Bay of Fundy is home to some of the highest tides in the world and can have variations from high to low tide of up to 16 meters, almost the equivalent of a five-story building. Due to these drastic surges as the powerful tides rise, the river and waterfalls change direction in the region of the Reversing Falls thanks to the unique underwater geography. The tides of the bay are semidiurnal, which means that they rise and fall about once every 12 hours. If you want to best be able to observe the shift, you’ll want to see the waters at both high and low tide.
Saint John Adventures Zipline
If you’re looking for some adrenaline around the Reversing Rapids, why not strap yourself to a zipline suspended above the river? Saint John Adventures operates a series of five adrenalin-inducing zip lines with the fifth one taking you over the river itself. Thanks to the extreme nature of the tides in the Bay of Fundy, during the lowest tides the zip line is about 100 feet above the water while at the highest tides you’ll be only 50 feet above it. This is the most exciting way to see the Saint John River and the Reversing Rapids.
Irving Nature Park
This massive 600-acre park protects six fragile ecosystems, designed with preservation as a key component, but designed for the public to enjoy. Eight walking trails of varying lengths wind their way through the primordial forest with a circular road for the less mobile. There’s also a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk that goes over salt marshes and is a popular spot for birdwatchers. You can watch seals relaxing on the rocks, climb the Lookout Tower for 360° views over the treetops, enjoy a family picnic or barbecue, and visit the new Children’s Forest with its playground and two cedar-hedge mazes.
Fundy Trail Parkway & Sea Caves
Just an hour out of the city is the Fundy Trail Parkway, a 16 km drive along the coast of the Bay of Fundy. This is a beautiful drive with dozens of scenic lookouts and hiking trails, beaches, a suspension bridge, and an interpretive centre. You can organize a guided tour or explore at your leisure. You’ll want to have at least two hours in the park, but you can also easily spend the entire day walking the many trails and admiring the many scenic lookouts.
In addition, you’ll pass the infamous Sea Caves as you go through the village of St. Martins. There’s even a restaurant at the caves that serves up some delicious seafood chowder and lobster rolls. Whether you eat at the restaurant or not, make sure you check out the beach because it will look very different when you return in a few hours, thanks to the dramatically changing tides.
Note: There is a fee for entering the Fundy Trail Parkway.
St. Andrews By-the-Sea & Area
St. Andrews is an adorable and popular seaside town located on the coast of Passamaquoddy Bay. It’s just an hour drive west of Saint John and is right across the water from Maine, USA. It’s also a national historic site, bearing many characteristics of a typical 18th-century British colonial settlement, including the original grid layout with its market square and classical architecture. It’s a popular summer destination and is home to colourful heritage buildings, old churches, and lighthouses. It’s also a great destination for families and has a variety of activities, such as the Huntsman Fundy Discovery Aquarium, whale watching, the Kingsbrae Garden, and the famous Fairmont Algonquin Resort, all of which we’ll discuss below.
Huntsman Fundy Discovery Aquarium
For those looking to get up close and personal with sea life without stepping foot in the ocean, you’ll want to take the family to the Huntsman Fundy Discovery Aquarium, which has multiple touch pools with things such as sea urchins and Atlantic starfish, as well as the chance to watch the feeding of harbour seals, sea horses, and salmon.
For those looking to wander around an exquisite garden, you’ll love the 27-acre Kingsbrae Garden, which houses a collection of over 50,000 perennials. It’s ranked as one of the top 10 gardens in Canada and it really pays to take a tour of this massive collection of flowers and plants. There’s also a cedar maze, a Dutch windmill, a sculpture garden, and a few animals running amuck, such as peacocks and alpacas. Kids will also enjoy this place, due in part to the animals and to the miniature village with kid-sized houses and castles. Don’t worry about getting hungry either as you’ll also find the Garden Cafe as well.
One of the most famous attractions in St. Andrews is the Algonquin Resort, a Marriott-owned Autograph Collection and one of Canada’s most luxurious and spectacular resorts. Rich in history, but offering the latest in modern amenities, the Algonquin is the perfect holiday retreat for families or couples, with incredible dining, a wonderful spa, an award-winning golf course, and a stunning location. We didn’t spend the night personally, but we did stop by to see the architecture and grounds.
Visit Minister’s Island
Where else can you drive across the ocean floor at low tide and take a short boat tour at high tide? Only here at the largest tidal island in Canada! Explore the historic houses on this beautiful island and visit the working farm and racehorse sanctuary.
Take Your Kids to the St. Andrews Creative Playground
Known as one of the best playgrounds in Canada, you’ll find maze-like wooden structures to explore, an amphitheatre for impromptu performances, and lots of slides, swings and climbing tools that your kids will love. Designed and built by the community and renowned American playground architect Robert S. Leathers, this is usually a place that kids don’t want to leave.
Whale watching in the Bay of Fundy
As you might imagine, being next to the ocean makes for a wonderful whale-watching opportunity. Whale watching in Canada is world-class and New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy is no exception. There are a number of areas for whale watching, including St. Andrews, Grand Manan Island, and Deer Island, as well as a number of operators, including Jolly Breeze Whale Adventures, Island Quest Marine, and Quoddy Link Marine.
Up to 12 species of whales can be seen during the summer months, as they feed on the enormous amounts of krill, squid and schools of young herring, pollock and mackerel found in the bay as a result of the powerful Fundy tides. The Bay of Fundy is also a key location for whales to give birth, due to both the food and the protection that the Bay provides.
Some of the whale species you might find, depending on the time of the season, include Humpback whales, Minke whales, and Finback whales. There are other whales you may see as well, plus the chance to see Harbour Porpoises and White-sided Dolphins. The best month to go whale watching is in August, but the season does run from June to October.
Tip: Whether it’s warm on land or not, it’s always cooler out on the ocean. Always bring a sweater and/or coat or rain jacket, and consider other items such as long sleeves, pants, and possibly gloves and a hat.
Roosevelt Campobello International Park
Our American neighbours will appreciate the fact that this international park is named after former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt who spent his summers on the beautiful Campobello Island. The 2,800-acre park s home to bogs, forests, and shores. Some fun things to do include hiking to the park’s four lighthouses, enjoying a picnic, admiring one of the many gardens, or jumping on a whale-watching tour to spot some whales.
The Atlantic region of Canada is full of historic wooden lighthouses and the Swallowtail Lightstation is a highlight of Grand Manan Island. It’s likely the first thing you’ll see as you arrive via the ferry and is one of the most photographed lighthouses in New Brunswick. Although it was built in 1860, it was restored not long ago. An observation area gives you a picturesque view of the lighthouse from a distance, but you can also walk right up to the structure.
Fredericton & Area
Although it’s quite small in size, Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick and is one of the most scenic cities in the province, nestled alongside the St. John River. It’s known for its Historic Garrison District, an 18th-century British army base now home to a Changing of the Guard ceremony, artists’ studios and an outdoor theatre. It also has a charming downtown core that many tourists enjoy.
Fredericton Boyce Farmer’s Market
Known as one of the top community markets in Canada, more than 250 local suppliers bring fresh produce, meats, cheeses, breads, wines, and much more to the market, making it popular with both locals and with tourists. Arrive on a Saturday morning to get everything you need for a picnic lunch or fill your belly with ethnic foods such as samosas or Chinese buns before browsing local art, pottery, jewellery and other unique souvenir options.
Home to the visitor centre, this is a great place to visit to learn about what to do in the area as well as take their free tapestry walking tour, which brings you into the room where all the “decisions” are made. You’ll see fantastic tapestry artwork and learn about the history of the city. You’ll also get to see a really cool old Victorian clock. Highly recommended!
Where to stay?
Fredericton Inn: This massive hotel is located right next to the biggest mall in the city, making it a really convenient place to stay. You’ll also find a pool, numerous meeting rooms, and a breakfast that serves up a hearty breakfast.
We love living history museums and Kings Landing is one of the best in the country. With original buildings from the period of 1820-1920, this living history museum is a representation of rural New Brunswick during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is not a replica of an actual village, but a collection of salvaged or recreated buildings from around the Mactaquac headpond and other locations around New Brunswick. With few exceptions, all the historical buildings on the site have been moved and remodelled to specific years in their history. The project was originally started in the late 1960s and continues to the present day.
Where to eat?
The Schnitzel Parlour: This really good German restaurant is a must-visit when in Fredericton. Not only are the owners very friendly but they infuse almost everything with chocolate! The salad, the dressing, the schnitzels, the dessert, and the German beer are all incredibly delicious! Almost everything is made in-house and they don’t add any preservatives. They’re also famous for their chocolate truffles and cakes! If you’re in Fredericton, you really should eat here. If you do, say hi to Uwe and Beate for us!
Things to Do Around Grand Falls
We didn’t have time to truly explore the area around Grand Falls but since we had to pass through to visit Quebec, we made sure to try out some zip-lining, which was incredible.
If there’s one thing you do in Grand Falls, make sure it’s zip-lining with ZigZag! We had so much fun here and the scenery is gorgeous. You’ll get to zip-line over a waterfall and a canyon. You can even go “Superman” style and lay on your stomach for added speed!
World Pond Hockey Tournament
If you love hockey and happen to be in February, you’ll find the largest pond hockey tournament in the world in nearby Plaster Rock. With more than 100 teams competing from around the world, it’s quite the event and quite the party.
More Things to Do in New Brunswick
With so many things to do over such a large area, it’s hard to break them out into regions, especially when there’s no major centre nearby. So, for the other things that are cool to do in New Brunswick, we’ll list them below.
Kouchibouguac National Park
Located on the east coast of New Brunswick, the 238 km² Kouchibouguac National Park features barrier islands, sand dunes, lagoons, salt marshes and forests. It provides habitat for seabirds, including the endangered piping plover, and the second largest tern colony in North America. Colonies of harbour seals and grey seals also inhabit the park’s 25 kilometres of sand dunes and it is also home to the extremely rare and fragile Gulf of St. Lawrence aster.
Visitors can go swimming, cycling and hiking, as well as partake in river adventure in a voyageur-style canoe, go seal watching, and learn about Mi’kmaq band governments.
If you’re at all interested in fishing, you need to spend a day on the Miramichi River. The waterway is famous for fly-fishing, having one of the largest Atlantic salmon runs on the east coast. But what if you’re not particularly interested in landing the big one? Well, you can still hop in a canoe or kayak and explore the river at your own pace, or slow it down even more and go for a lazy float along the river in an inflatable tube. Learn about the waterway and region in a riverboat, go on a nature walk on the shoreline, or even go bear-watching. There’s no shortage of ways to experience the Miramichi.
If you like admiring world records, the Hartland Bridge should be on your Maritime bucket list because it’s the world’s longest covered bridge at 1,282 feet in length! It’s also a National Historic Site. This wooden bridge is beautiful and was built in 1901. the history of the bridge is quite funny as well, as it drew quite a criticism back in the day, as some locals thought it would become a spot for sex-crazed deviants by providing them with a place to privately carry out their hormonal fantasies. Some even gave sermons to stop the covering. But the opposition ultimately lost, and the cover went on. It’s hard to believe anyone would think such a thing, but I guess this was a century ago.
Today, there is also a pedestrian walkway that runs along one side of the bridge so that admirers can take a leisurely stroll over the river. The road through the covered span is only one lane, so cars must wait while others pass, but that just means all the more time to appreciate this long rustic bridge.
Village Historique Acadien
As you may know by now, New Brunswick has a large French-speaking population and is actually the only officially bilingual province in the country. It was in the 17th century that French settlers made their home in New Brunswick and the Village Historique Acadien makes it feel like it was just yesterday as it portrays the life of Acadians between 1770 and 1949.
This village makes history come alive as you walk among the costumed guides and over 40 historic buildings, with one of the most famous being the Hôtel Château Albert, a replica of a turn-of-the-century hotel that once existed in Caraquet. It’s also quite intriguing to learn how a family survived extremely harsh Canadian winters in a small log home and the songs and dances that helped them to persevere. You can also sample some molasses cake at an Acadian table and truly leave with a real appreciation for the Acadian people.
There are also overnight accommodations and a dining room.
Mount Carleton Provincial Park
Outdoor adventurers will really appreciate the 42,000 acres of Mount Carleton Provincial Park, which is famous for hiking. You can also try to reach the top of Mount Carleton, which at 820 metres above sea level is the highest peak in the Maritimes. The entire area is heavily wooded, and you can see 10 million trees from that peak. Try to count them! We only made it to 8,876,450 before we gave up (just kidding). There are also opportunities for swimming and camping, as well as mountain biking, stargazing, wildlife viewing, canoeing, and ice fishing during the winter months.
Enjoy the Beaches
Considering New Brunswick is a seaside province, it has its fair share of beaches. Some options include the famously mosquito-free Inch Arran Park beach, the warmest saltwater in Canada at Parlee Beach Provincial Park, or the gorgeous views over the mighty Northumberland Strait at Murray Beach Provincial Park.
Getting to New Brunswick
There’s a variety of ways for getting to New Brunswick, including driving across the Confederation Bridge from Prince Edward Island, flying into one of the airports, arriving by train in Moncton, or entering from Quebec, Nova Scotia, or Maine, USA.
Getting to New Brunswick by Plane
There are a number of airports in New Brunswick, with the two largest ones being the Moncton International Airport, which serves approximately 650,000 passengers each year, and the Fredericton International Airport, which serves around 300,000 each year. The two biggest airlines in Canada are Air Canada and Westjet, but many others serve this destination as well.
Other airports include the Saint John Airport (YSJ IATA), Bathurst Airport (ZBF IATA), Charlo Airport (YCL IATA), and the Miramichi (Chatham) Airport (YCH IATA).
Getting to New Brunswick by Car
New Brunswick has road links with Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Maine, USA.
From Maine: There are two major routes linking Maine to New Brunswick, including route 95 linking Woodstock and Houlton, and route 1, which links St. Stephen in New Brunswick and Calais in Maine. Route 95 is the larger of the two connections, but the other route is much more scenic.
From Nova Scotia: There are three routes coming from Nova Scotia with the most popular option being the Trans-Canada Highway, which enters Nova Scotia just after passing through Aulac. Other options include Route 970 out of Port Elgin, which becomes Route 366 on the Nova Scotia side. This route offers a better view of rural life in the Maritimes and can be a beautiful drive if you don’t mind the slower and lesser maintained roads. There’s also Mount Whatley Road, which connects the communities of Whatley and Fort Lawrence, passing through sparsely populated rural farmland.
From Prince Edward Island: The Confederation Bridge links New Brunswick with Prince Edward Island, and is an attraction in itself, at least for bridge aficionados and those fond of large amounts of concrete. It crosses the Northumberland Strait between New Brunswick and PEI and stretches 13 km across open water to the island. The $47 toll (2-axle vehicle) is collected on the PEI side when returning to the mainland.
From Quebec: There are two routes from Quebec, with the main one being the Trans-Canada Highway between Edmunston and Riviere Du Loup or the pass between Campbellton and Amqui, which goes west to Riviere Du Loup or east to the Gaspe peninsula.
Getting to New Brunswick by Bus
There are a number of options for those wanting to arrive in New Brunswick via bus.
One of the most popular options for bus transportation is with Maritimebus, which offers affordable fares for all ages and abilities with over 50 bus stops throughout various Maritime Communities, including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. They also connect to Quebec and points in Ontario.
It’s also possible to take the bus from major USA destinations such as New York.
Since bus travel can change depending on where you’re coming from, as well as dates, we always recommend using Busbud as your first point of research, as they are the best booking platform for buses. Think of it like Expedia but only for buses.
Getting to New Brunswick by Train
Thanks to the Moncton Train Station, it is actually possible to travel to New Brunswick with Via Rail from many destinations all across Canada. From there, you can take the Maritimebus to a variety of Maritime locations or rent a car and travel at your own pace.
Getting around New Brunswick
Due to a low population, you won’t find an incredible provincial network of transportation like you would in major centres, but there’s still a variety of options to get you where you might need to go.
Public Transportation: When in cities, you’ll find public transportation, taxis, and ride-sharing.
Rental Cars: Most tourists rent vehicles for maximum flexibility. For rental cars, we recommend searching for a booking platform such as Priceline. From there, you could always dig deeper, call locally, or just book on the internet. One of the great things about Canada is the lack of hassle when it comes to rental cars. You will pay what you are told to pay and do not need to worry about hidden charges. We just recommend clarifying in advance whether your credit card insurance is enough or if you should buy additional insurance at the rental car agency.
Bus: The Maritimebus, as mentioned above, is another option for reaching select towns and cities, but there are also private shuttles from select areas as well.
Flying: Another option would be to fly regionally, utilizing smaller airlines such as Air St-Pierre, Porter Airlines, and Provincial Airlines.
Bicycle: For those set on adventure, the Maritime provinces can be great for bicycling. Please keep in mind that you must follow the same rules of the road as vehicles and wear an approved helmet. The Better World Club (www.betterworldclub.com) offers emergency roadside assistance for cyclists with membership costing $39.95 per year.
Hitchhiking: Hitchhiking is illegal in New Brunswick and on some highways in Canada. However, Many backpackers hitchhike around Canada, but it’s something we can’t recommend due to potential safety issues. Canada is likely one of the safest countries in the world for doing so, but still, it is not without its risks. Remember that it’s safer to travel in pairs and let someone know where you are planning to go.
Ride-Sharing: With new apps popping up all the time, ride-sharing is another possibility in New Brunswick, but it’s good to check back when COVID is no longer an issue. Many hostels have ride-share boards that can help if you’re on your own.
Best Time to Visit New Brunswick
Without a doubt, the best time to visit New Brunswick is during the summer months between June and September. Other potential visits could occur in the late spring or early fall but during the winter, many things close down. However, for those seeking outdoor adventure, there are also many things to do in the winter months, including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and playing hockey at the largest pond hockey tournament in the world!
As mentioned, however, the warmer months are best for general visitors. This is the most comfortable time to visit, as well as the best time to enjoy the historical sites, the stunning coastline, the beautiful hiking opportunities, and many other activities such as zip-lining, kayaking, canoeing, whale watching, and more!
Where to Go Next?
In 2017, we spent a week in New Brunswick and it wasn’t nearly enough time to fully experience the province. We also returned in the winter to play hockey at the world’s largest pond hockey tournament. So, we’ve had a good taste of this bilingual province and can’t wait to return. From the rugged shorelines and dramatic tides of the Bay of Fundy to the beautiful seaside towns and natural beauty, New Brunswick is a great province to explore a wonderful way to see a stunning part of Canada with much fewer crowds.
Wondering what to do next? There’s lots to do around New Brunswick, so here are some articles to get you started!
- Things to Do in Quebec
- Things to Do in Ontario
- Things to Do in Nova Scotia
- Things to Do in Halifax
- Things to Do in Prince Edward Island
- Things to Do in Newfoundland
LIKE THE ARTICLE? PIN IT!