New Brunswick Itineraries

One week in New Brunswick can take you from Saint John to Fundy National Park, and on to Fredericton, giving you the highlights of this Canadian province. You can get to Saint John by air or by bus, but once there, a car is an absolute necessity. Flights into Saint John Airport are somewhat limited, but the airport in Fredericton is just an hour away from Saint John via Highway 7, and Moncton International Airport is about 90 minutes' drive southwest of Saint John via Highway 1.

7 Days in New Brunswick

Day 1: Start in Saint John, steeped in English and Irish traditions and rich in history and art. Explore the characterful old streets of the city's historic downtown (called "uptown"), and take in the provincial museum; then visit the Reversing Falls Rapids just to the west. In the evening, there may be live entertainment on the waterfront Market Square or in nearby pubs, and there are several good places to eat.

Day 2: Explore the resort town of St. Andrews by-the-Sea, which is an hour's drive west on Highway 1, plus a turn onto Route 127 for the final stretch. This lovely little town, a designated National Historic District, has plenty of art, crafts, history, nature, and seafood, so take a leisurely stroll along picturesque Water Street to see what's on offer. Whale-watching tours leave from the wharf, off Water Street; kayaking and scuba diving are also available. Before walking or driving up King Street to the outstanding Kingsbrae Garden, check whether the excellent Savour in the Garden restaurant will be open for lunch that day; otherwise choose one of the Water Street eateries for some local seafood. After lunch take a stroll around the garden, then backtrack through Saint John, taking Route 1 then Route 111 to St. Martins and the Fundy Trail Parkway. Loop north then, via Route 111, rejoin Route 1 just east of Sussex, and take Route 114 to Fundy National Park, perhaps spending the night in Alma, another pleasant village on the Bay of Fundy.

Day 3: Hop on Route 915, east of the park, which hugs the coast for the 15-minute drive to Cape Enrage, where you can visit a working lighthouse, enjoy a cup of seafood chowder, and try out zip-lining or rock climbing. Another 30-minute drive will bring you to the unmissable Hopewell Cape, where the Fundy tides have sculpted gigantic rocks into flowerpot formations that turn into islands at high tide. Try to time your visit for low tide and you can stroll on the ocean floor among the rocks; otherwise view from above and perhaps see how quickly the tide rushes in or out.

Day 4: Head to Moncton, about a half-hour drive from Hopewell Cape, still on Route 114 as it follows the water to the northwest. This bustling city, a microcosm of New Brunswick culture, offers another place to experience the Fundy tides, in the form of the famous tidal bore, which pushes the river in a great surge (times are posted near the best viewing point). Another natural phenomenon awaits, at any time of day, at Magnetic Hill, on the edge of town, where, in addition to seemingly freewheeling uphill in your vehicle, there's also a zoo and various amusements for kids. Allow time for a visit to Resurgo Place for its engaging displays relating the city's history.

Day 5: After spending the night in Moncton, head northwest out of town via Highway 15 then Highway 11, about a 25-minute drive, to explore the area around Shediac, famous for its lobsters and the wide golden sands of Parlee Beach. The town of Shediac is attractive, with waterfront areas and a nice Main Street, but it can get clogged with traffic in high season (summer). Plan to stay overnight here, to allow plenty of time for the beach and to explore the town after the day-trippers have departed.

Day 6: Depart early in the morning for a two-hour drive back east to Kings Landing Historical Settlement, where a collection of old buildings is a faithful depiction of life in a loyalist settlement on the river in the 19th century. Then continue on Route 102 for the 20-minute drive to Fredericton, a great stopping place and the seat of the province's government. Dine at MOCO, then take an evening stroll along the riverside path and onto the old railroad bridge. If it's getting dark by this time, look back toward the rear of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery–-from the exact right spot, there's a partial view of the illuminated star exhibit, Salvador Dali's Santiago El Grande.

Day 7: On your final day, don't miss the Historic Garrison District in Fredericton. Be sure to do a bit of shopping on Queen and King streets too before making the hour drive back to Saint John's for your departure.

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