The Canadian Province of New Brunswick, while maintaining the charm and benefits that come with being on the North Atlantic coast, still offers travelers a diverse landscape. It almost goes without saying that the seafood in New Brunswick is fantastic. That such fare is available after a hike in the Appalachians, a swim in warm (yes warm) North Atlantic saltwater, a try at downhill mountain biking or a day of roller coasters at Crystal Palace amusement park is worth the visit.
The relatively massive inland region of New Brunswick (in comparison to the other Maritime Provinces) makes for some great hiking and river sport opportunities. Hikers will want to check out the northern Appalachian Mountains, where they extend into New Brunswick through its southern border with Maine. Kayakers, rafters and canoe paddlers should have no problem finding a destination in one of the many great parks the province has to offer.
Grand Falls Gorge Municipal Park might not be the place for paddling, but the waterfall, New Brunswick’s largest, is spectacular. Sugarloaf Provincial Park provides some breathtaking views year round as well as lift service for mountain bike trails in the summer and ski trails in the winter. For a different experience, walk the boardwalks of Irving Nature Park (which sits between a salt marsh and the beautiful Bay of Fundy near St. John) or swim in the warm saltwater off the coast of Kouchibouguac National Park.
Anglers will want to stop in the town of Miramichi and catch some salmon on the river of the same name. Shoppers and traveling urbanites will love the Old City Market in St. John or the shops in Dieppe; afterward they can ride the roller coasters of Crystal Palace. Walkers and hikers can find access to the Trans-Canadian Trail in Moncton, or eat and drink their way through city’s numerous bars and bistros.
Seafood is the go-to local food in New Brunswick and no trip to the province is complete without a stop at a country inn, bistro or oyster bar that serves fresh local scallops, mussels, clams, Atlantic salmon and world-class lobster. For adventurous eaters, try local specialties like Acadian fish pancakes (which could, I suppose, be covered in locally harvested maple syrup…for those of you with iron stomachs), fiddleheads and dulse, a reddish seaweed that’s said to be “an acquired taste.”
Getting to New Brunswick is easy. Roads and highways run into it from Quebec and Maine, and roads within the province make driving a reliable way to move around all year, though drivers should be cautious during the winters. Planes fly into Fredericton, Moncton, and St. John and trains roll in from Quebec. Alternatively some cruise itineraries include stops in New Brunswick.
Summers in New Brunswick are often the warmest in Canada with average temperatures generally in the high 60°s - 70°s. Winters are cold with average temperatures usually in the mid teens.