101 Things to Do in New Brunswick
Oh New Brunswick, with your pristine nature, your celebration of culture, and your love of seafood. Where you can walk on the ocean’s floor, swim in Canada’s warmest salt water, and scale heights at North America’s first UNESCO Global Geopark. Whether you like to explore small towns or dive into an urban core, relax and pamper yourself at a spa or push your limits outdoors, there’s something for you in New Brunswick.
The people are friendly and down to earth. You can practice your French. You can find the most Instagrammable spots around. You can watch the ocean rise 40 feet in six hours. And don’t even get me started on the fall colours.
Narrowing down this list was pretty tough. I’d love to call out by name all the cool shops, restaurants, bands, bars, and breweries, but I think that would be its own 101 list right there. Best thing for you to do, is to get yourself to New Brunswick and start exploring. If you’re a solo traveller, a couple, or bringing the whole family, you’re going to love it here.
- Hike the FUNDY FOOTPATH
New Brunswick has some of the best hiking trails around and the crown jewel is the Fundy Footpath in Fundy National Park.
- Visit HOLY WHALE, a brewery in a former church
They will even can anything that’s currently on tap while you wait so you can take some to go.
- Walk the ocean floor at HOPEWELL ROCKS
I recommend arranging your visit for both high and low tide so that you can experience both extremes of the site.
- Experience the HIGHEST TIDES in the world
You can witness the 50′ sea level change all along the Fundy coast from St. Martins too Hillsborough. Look for the boats sitting on the ocean floor at low tide for a cool photo.
- Try TOURTIERE in Bathurst
Tourtiere is a meat pie typically made with minced pork and potatoes, but may sometimes also contain chicken, hare, or beef. It’s good any time of year but is especially popular at Christmas.
- Sample a FIDDLEHEAD
Fiddlehead ferns are high in iron and fibre and are a popular side dish in southern New Brunswick. Always cook them thoroughly (boil for 15min) to be safe and to reduce the bitter taste.
- Eat DULSE from the Saint John City Market
Dulse is a healthy, dried seaweed that some Maritimers love to snack on. I like to toast mine for a few seconds in the broiler to make it crispy.
- Zipline over REVERSING RAPIDS
The incoming tide in the Bay of Fundy is so strong that it causes the river to reverse its flow, creating the Reversing Rapids. Get a bird’s eye view of the phenomenon and an adrenaline rush at the same time.
- Take a selfie with the GIANT LOBSTER in Shediac
Shediac is known as the lobster capital of the world and so it wouldn’t be right to visit without snapping a pic with the fitting 35′ monument.
- Swim in Canada’s warmest salt water at PARLEE BEACH
A beach vacation might not come to mind when thinking about New Brunswick but Parlee Beach is one of the finest beaches in the country. It’s especially magnificent during the annual sand sculpture competition.
- Get your Celtic on at the NEW BRUNSWICK HIGHLAND GAMES
Fredericton’s annual Celtic infusion of music, bagpipes, drumming, highland dance, traditional Scottish athletics, Scottish foods, whiskies, genealogy, crafts and more.
- Rock out at the AREA 506 festival
Saint John’s newest multi day music festival, celebrating all things New Brunswick for all ages takes place each August. Features music, vendors, food trucks, and more.
- Look for seals at the IRVING NATURE PARK
Just minutes outside Saint John sits 600 acres of preserved nature for you to enjoy. Stroll along the trails and boardwalk, go bird watching, or have a picnic.
- Go back in time at KINGS LANDING
Before there was Game of Thrones, there was Kings Landing, New Brunswick. It’s a living history museum with original buildings from the period of 1820-1920. Make friends with the “locals” and maybe even try your hand at the forge.
- Resist the pull of MAGNETIC HILL
Drive to the bottom of this world-famous hill, take your foot off the brake and be prepared to be amazed.
- Get wet at MAGIC MOUNTAIN SplashZone
Get your adrenaline going on the twister tube waterslides, dive-bomb on the Kamikaze, or just chill out in the giant wave pool.
Moncton MAGIC vs Saint John RIPTIDE
Catch a fun, family friendly, basketball game between the NBL Canada rivals.
- Press your luck at CASINO NEW BRUNSWICK
This entertainment resort near Moncton also features a concert hall, hotel, and Vegas style buffet.
- Tackle the high ropes at TIMBERTOP or TREEGO
Challenge your comfort zone at these aerial adventure parks. Fun for all ages!
- Get some culture at BEAVERBROOK ART GALLERY
Drop in to see the ever changing exhibitions at the officially designated art gallery of New Brunswick.
- Ski POLEY Mountain, Mount FARLANGE or CRABBE Mountain
Strap on your skis and go whooshing down one of New Brunswick’s three downhill ski resorts.
- Visit the GANONG CHOCOLATE MUSEUM in St. Stephen
Located in what used to be the original Ganong candy factory, The Chocolate Museum offers an interactive way to learn about candy making.
- Go WHALE WATCHING in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea
Whether you go out on a zodiac, tour boat, or tall ship, spotting humpbacks and dolphins is sure to make your trip highlight reel.
- Visit GRAND MANAN Island
Discover beaches, hiking trails, bird watching, whale-watching – voted by Reader’s Digest as one of the world’s Best Small Islands!
- Sleep in a geodome at RIDGEBACK LODGE
Sleep under the stars from the comfort of your bed. Soak in a wood-fired hot tub. Relax and recharge at this unique lodge.
- Fly high at the BALLOON FIESTA in Sussex
Join in Atlantic Canada’s most colourful fall festival where up to 30 balloons fly twice daily.
- FORT BEAUSEJOUR—Fort Cumberland National Historic Site
Visit this star-shaped fort built in 1751, and re-enforced for the war of 1812, and learn about the story of the tug of war for supremacy in Acadia.
- Climb MOUNT CARLETON
Summit the highest peak in New Brunswick and keep an eye out for some of the 100 types of birds and 30 types of mammals who call it home.
- VILLAGE HISTORIQUE ACADIEN
Visit this historical reconstruction that portrays the way of life of Acadians between 1770 and 1949, located in Bertrand, in northeastern New Brunswick.
- Explore the ST. MARTINS SEA CAVES
The impressive sandstone sea caves – submerged during high tide, and accessible to explorers during low tide – are a treat but keep an eye on the tides!
- Drive through the world’s longest covered bridge in HARTLAND
The 390m long bridge was constructed in 1901 and covered in 1921-22, against much objecting from the community. It was thought that a long covered bridge would destroy the morals of the town’s young folk since covered bridges were a known spot to steal a kiss.
- Catch a football game at MOUNT ALLISON
The Mount A Mounties play at Alumni Field in Sackville which can seat 2500 and what better way to spend a fall day than with a cup of hot chocolate cheering on the local team.
- Deck beers on the SAINT JOHN BOARDWALK
The boardwalk in Saint John is home to a couple beach volleyball courts, a permanent stage, and a handful of great decks where you can grab a meal and sample of local New Brunswick brews.
- Play 18 holes at FOX CREEK
Since opening its fairways in Dieppe to the world on July 1, 2005, Fox Creek Golf Club has consistently impressed golfers from around the world – perfect way to spend a summer’s day.
- Go sailing on the KENNEBECASIS RIVER
If you’ve got a friend with a sailboat (or maybe you’re good at making friends with locals), spending an after sailing on the Kennebecasis River just outside of Saint John is a great, relaxing way to enjoy some of the province’s natural beauty.
- Get fresh with the produce at BOYCE FARMER’S MARKET
Open every Saturday morning, the Boyce Farmer’s Market in Fredericton is a bright and lively spot where you can shop for local produce, crafts, sweets, and maybe catch a band.
- Rappel down a cliff at CAPE ENRAGE
Want to get your blood pumping? Strap on a harness and helmet and lower yourself down 142 feet of waterside rock cliffs. Climb the staircase from the beach and do it all over again.
- Stop and smell the roses at the FREDERICTON BOTANIC GARDEN
Since 1990 the Fredericton Botanic Garden has been a key place for plant lovers. Take a stroll through the Woodland Fern Trail or pause for quiet reflection in the Memorial Grove.
- Go apple picking at MACKAY APPLE ORCHARD
One of the best things to do in the fall in New Brunswick is to go apple picking. Set on the slopes of the Saint John River, McKay Orchard is also home to the Yip Cider distillery. Bonus!
- Roosevelt Campobello International Park
The 32nd president’s sprawling cottage sits on an island enclave jointly managed by the U.S. and Canada. You can visit the 34 room cottage during the summer and enjoy the surrounding gardens.
- Have dinner at ROSSMOUNT INN
The Rossmount Inn in St. Andrews is an 18-room guesthouse that’s also widely regarded as one of the best culinary destinations in the province. If you’re celebrating a special occaction, and even if you’re not, have a meal at the Rossmount.
- Tubing on the MIRAMICHI RIVER
Choose from either a 2 hour tidal run or spend 4 hours mixing between a lazy river and rushing rapids. Pack your lunch and rent a cooler tube to complete your perfect summer afternoon.
- Houseboating on the ST. JOHN RIVER
If you want to experience a New Brunswick in a whole new way, rent a houseboat for a laid back river vacation on the St. John River.
- Rest your body and mind at FUNDY FLOAT
Book a float with Fundy Float and discover all the mind and body benefits that come with sensory deprivation. Feel rejuvenated and energized in just an hour.
- HUNTSMAN FUNDY DISCOVERY AQUARIUM in St. Andrews
For an extra special visit, book a Behind the Scenes tour and get a chance to feed some of the animals who only live backstage.
- Relax at KINGSBRAE GARDEN
When in St. Andrews, stop by the multi-award winning 27 acre horticultural masterpiece that is Kingsbrae Garden, home to dozens of remarkable sculptures, a stunning art studio, and interactive art classes.
- Get jazzy at the HARVEST JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL
Visiting Fredericton in the fall? Get funky with some of the world’s best jazz, blues, and world music over six days in historic downtown.
Run the MARATHON BY THE SEA
Take part in one of New Brunswick’s premier road race events and the region’s most challenging Boston qualifier. If you’re not up for a full marathon you can also sign up for the 5k, 10k, or half-marathon.
- Get your STORM CHIPS from Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company
If there’s a winter storm a brewin’ there’s one thing you can count on New Brunswickers having in their pantry – storm chips! Should you be in town during a storm be sure to get your own potato chips and fit right in.
- Get a photo with the WORLD’S LARGEST AXE
Take seven tonnes of stainless steel and sink them into a giant concrete stump and what have you got? The World’s Largest Axe! Stop for an Instagram worthy photo when you’re in Nackawic.
- Partridge Island Quarantine Site
This gateway to the New World predates Ellis Island by almost a century. the site of the first pest house and quarantine station in North America now lies mostly in ruin but is still accessible by private boat for exploring.
- Try some POUTINE RAPEE
Poutine râpée is a traditional Acadian dish that in its most common form consists of a boiled potato dumpling with a pork filling; it is usually prepared with a mixture of grated and mashed potato.
- Drive across the ocean floor on MINISTERS ISLAND
Go back in time with a visit to the late 19th century summer estate of Sir William Van Horne, the president and driving force behind the Canadian Pacific Railway.
- LOYALIST BURIAL GROUNDS
This area was set aside in the original city plan and from 1783 until 1848 acted as a burial ground. Today it’s been revitalized as a city park.
- Learn the important of the THREE SISTERS LAMP
The Three Sisters Lamp were used by sea captains to navigate their way safely into Saint John Harbour at night. If the three red lamps appeared individually, sailors would know they were heading straight into the harbour.
- Look for ghosts at LOYALIST HOUSE
It was the home of the prosperous Merritt family, who occupied from its completion in 1817 until 1958 and is now the rumoured home of a few ghosts.
- Sip a smoked apple old fashioned at PORT CITY ROYAL
The dimly lit basement bar and restaurant with exposed beams and brick is the perfect place for a romantic cocktail.
- Become a pinball wizard at EIGHTY THREE BAR ARCADE
Relive the 80s and 90s with a never ending video dance party and arcade games along with a good selection of local beers.
- Experience First Nations culture at ST. MARY’S POWWOW
A dynamic Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) cultural program is the focal point of the festivities, along with a traditional craft and artisan marketplace and food vendors. Other highlights include the Grand Entry, Sweat lodge, teepee teachings, feast and hand-held drum competition.
- Discover BRAYON CULTURE in Edmundston
Brayons are a francophone people inhabiting the area in and around Edmundston who are descended from Acadians who wanted to start over after the Great Deportation.
- Explore the diverse ecosystems of KOUCHIBOUGUAC NATIONAL PARK
Discover a national park on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast where lush mixed- wood forests lead to colorful salt marshes and warm ocean.
- See a show at the IMPERIAL THEATRE
Once described as the “finest theatre in Eastern Canada”, the 1913 building was restored to it’s former glory in 1994 and regularly hosts a combination of local and touring productions.
- Do a BREWERY BIKE-CRAWL in Fredericton
Get some fresh air and exercise while you visit TrailWay Brewing, Picaroons, and Graystone Brewing.
- Walk the boardwalk at LA DUNE DE BOUCTOUCHE
Visit one of the few remaining great sand dunes on the northeastern coastline of North America. Stroll the boardwalk stretching along the dune to explore both the dune’s wilderness and its salt marsh without endangering the sensitive ecosystems.
- Celebrate National Acadian Day at LE PAYS DE LA SAGOUINE
Visit this theatrical village and meet character’s from the rich imagination of the great Acadian author Antonine Maillet.
- Try the chicken strips at BIG D drive-in diner in Bathurst
Order up a Danny burger at the last drive-in restaurant in New Brunswick.
- Visit NB’s only authentic BLACKSMITH SHOP in Saint-François
The Joseph B. Michaud Blacksmith Shop is now a museum where tools and equipment formerly used by the blacksmiths are on display after nearly 100 years of operation.
- Go ICE FISHING on the Kennebecasis River
Put up your own shanty or visit a friend’s and try your hand at jigging a fish in the middle of winter.
Have a SLED DOG ADVENTURE in Allardville
- Compete for the WORLD POND HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP in Plaster Rock
In the 20 years that the championships have been running, it’s grown from 40, mostly Maritime, teams to over 120 teams from around the world. Cheer on your favourite team each February.
- Adrenaline rush at SKYWALK SAINT JOHN
See the Reversing Rapids from a whole new angle on the glass floor observation deck that extends over the St. John River.
- Explore the shops at RITCHIE WHARF
Situated on the water front of the former town of Newcastle, in the city of Miramichi, Ritchie Wharf has been a favourite attraction for both locals and tourists since 1991.
Experience thermal therapy at CHANCE HARBOUR NATURE SPA
Get caffeinated at ROGUE COFFEE in the most Instagrammable alley
This just might be the most beautiful alley in all of Eastern Canada. Get your snap taken while you sip your latte.
- Wonder at ODELL PARK, Eastern Canada’s best old growth forest
Get lost in the hemlocks in Fredericton’s 2nd largest park. Explore over 16km of trails throughout the park.
- Be amazed at SCIENCE EAST
Play with more than 150 hands-on science exhibits, and Atlantic Canada’s only outdoor science playground – featuring a climbing wall, human gyroscope and more!
- Be a big kid at KINGSWOOD PARK
80,000 square feet of fun including 30 lanes of bowling, lazer tag, an indoor play zone featuring a 45 foot long inflatable obstacle course, a 21 foot high playclimber, arcade games, and more.
- Go SALMON FISHING on the Miramichi River
Between April and October try your luck at the world’s largest salmon run. Over half of the Atlantic Salmon caught in North America come from the Miramichi River – will you be among the lucky fishers?
- Zip New Brunswick’s LONGEST ZIPLINE over French Fort Cove
Zip 1200 feet over the trees and water by the Miramichi River and feel like you’re flying and at only $20/adult, $15/youth/senior it’s incredible value.
- Cheer on your favourite at the LUMBERJACK CHAMPIONSHIPS
Every August professional lumberjacks descend on Boisetown to compete in the spring-board chop, vertical chop, crosscut, boom run and much more.
- Do a Bay of Fundy SEAFOOD TASTING with Uncorked
Aample lobster rolls, oysters, seafood chowder and smoked salmon, while you learn the natural history of the Bay of Fundy and why they have the highest tides in the World.
- Photograph the AUTUMN LEAVES in Hampton
Revel in the astounding beauty of the Kennebecasis River Valley in the fall. Colours blaze along the shorelines so be sure to capture a souvenir.
- Learn how to make a LOBSTER ROLL in Shediac
- Pamper yourself at the ALGONQUIN RESORT
Indulge your sweet tooth at UPTOWN DONUTS
- Stay in a TREEHOUSE
- Put on a plaid shirt and down an ALPINE
- Snap the perfect pic at ST. GEORGE GORGE
- Go horseback riding at BROADLEAF RANCH
- Shop for souvenirs at the ARTISAN VILLAGE in Hillsborough
- Get the blood pumping with PAINTBALL at Atlantica
- Sample some brews at the MOOSEHEAD SMALL BATCH BREWERY
Do you fancy a Peppermint IPA? Maybe a small batch stock ale? The new small batch brewery can give you craft vibes with big brewer consistency.
- SNOWMOBILE the Acadian Peninsula
- Get a sugar rush at the RIVERVIEW MAPLE SUGAR FESTIVAL
- Indulge your book loving heart at Moncton’s FRYE FESTIVAL
- Go rock climbing at North America’s first UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK
- Grab your cowboy hat for the rodeo at FESTIVAL WESTERN DE SAINT-QUENTIN
- Find your new favourite book at the ARM BOOK NOOK
- Go chase waterfalls at FALLS BROOK FALLS
- Visit the waterfowl and songbirds that live on the TANTRAMAR MARSHES
- Check out Saint John’s Container Village
What’s the first thing you’re going to check off your New Brunswick bucket list?
When is the best time to visit New Brunswick?
The best time to visit New Brunswick is in early summer and early-mid fall. Increasingly, the middle of summer can be hot and a bit sticky. This is also peak tourism season so hotel rates will be a bit higher and crowds a bit denser. During the early summer weeks of late May and June you can enjoy outdoor adventures while being a bit more comfortable. Most tourism operators are still open in September but crowds are a bit thinner. There’s always a bit of a hurricane risk in September but by October that passes and the fall foliage comes out in a stunning display. Though honestly, there’s no wrong time to visit New Brunswick.
How many days should you spend in New Brunswick?
If it’s your first visit to New Brunswick I’d recommend spending at least a week, though two weeks would be better to get to explore both northern and southern New Brunswick. With a few days you can explore a single city or small region but one of the things about New Brunswick is its diversity, in landscape and in people so I hope you get enough time to explore further.
Do you need a car in New Brunswick?
Unless your visit is only to the core of one city, you will need a car to visit New Brunswick. There is very little in the way of inter-city public transit so to get outside of the downtown (or uptown in the case of Saint John) you’ll want your own vehicle. When you’re in charge of our own transportation you can explore all the small towns that make the province so special. You can drive the Fundy Trail Parkway and eat sticky buns in Alma or hit the beaches on the Northumberland coast.
Is New Brunswick worth visiting?
Visiting New Brunswick is 100% worth visiting. Nowhere else in the country will you get that unique blend of cultures that make up New Brunswick. You get the power of the Bay of Fundy, the beauty of the forests in the fall, the joie de vivre of Acadien culture, and the quirky nature of Hopewell Rocks, all wrapped up in one province. It’s small enough to explore in a few weeks but big enough to keep you busy. It just might be the most underrated province for visitors.