Explore the best places to visit in New Brunswick. From charming coastal towns to pristine national parks, our guide unveils the must-visit places for an unforgettable adventure in this beautiful Canadian province.
Blessed with some of the most amazing landscapes in Canada connected by a scenic network of road trips dotted with idyllic fishing villages and small cities packed with incredible museums and food experiences, New Brunswick is one of Canada’s truly underrated gems.
Bordered by Quebec to the north and Nova Scotia to the east, New Brunswick has one of the highest percentages of forested land of any province in Canada. In fact, a stunning 83% of the province is forested land.
The province may be one of the least populated per capita in the country, but what it lacks in people, New Brunswick more than makes up for in natural beauty. It’s home to the highest tides on the planet and some of the best whale watching anywhere in the world.
Among the list of the best places to visit in New Brunswick, you’ll find a range of attractions that vary from the naturally beautiful to the mind-bending. You’ll discover amazing cities packed with craft breweries and amazing local art and you’ll find quaint towns that look like they have been snatched right out of a romance novel.
So from Miramichi to Moncton, here are the top attractions to explore in New Brunswick this year.
Bay of Fundy
New Brunswick’s crowning attraction, the Bay of Fundy is one of Canada’s greatest natural wonders. The Bay of Fundy is a long, narrow channel between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick where a natural bottleneck paired with a shallow sea bed has made it home to the highest tides in the world.
Twice a day, 160 billion tonnes of seawater rush into the Bay of Fundy causing the water to rise and fall up to an astounding 16 metres in height, the height of a five-story building. The massive change in tides has helped to shape the magnificent landscapes along the Bay as well as allowing it to become one of the top places in the world for whale watching.
The powerful tides draw huge amounts of plankton to the Bay of Fundy, creating a feeding fest for 12 unique species of whale.
The Bay of Fundy covers a massive area, but it can be appreciated along the clifftops of Cape Enrage, by walking along the sea floor at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park, or on the water through kayak tours or whale watching expeditions.
One of the top places to experience the Bay of Fundy is none other than Fundy National Park. This epic New Brunswick natural area borders a large section of the Bay of Fundy. It features coastal hiking and cross-country ski trails as well as many spots to witness the park’s amazing bird migrations in the spring and autumn.
One of Canada’s most iconic landscapes lies on the Bay of Fundy coastline in Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park. The towering flowerpots (rocks shaped into arches and pillars by the coastal tides) are sandwiched between crashing waves and towering cliffs.
The experience that visitors have at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park depends upon the time of day that they visit. Those visiting at high tide will experience the highest tides in the world. The waves of the Bay of Fundy lapping at the rich vegetation at the top of these magnificent stone monoliths. Those who visit at low tide will see the Hopewell Rocks in all of their glory, and will even be able to stroll along the muddy ocean shore among scores of Kingfishers searching for shrimp and clams.
Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park has a fantastic interpretive center where you can learn all about the tides, the rock formations, the wildlife across the province, and more fun facts about New Brunswick helping this become one of the top places to visit in NB.
Whale watching is big business in New Brunswick. Up to 12 unique species of whales gather along the coast of the province during the summer to feed on the clouds of krill and small fish that gather to feed.
Along with Fin Whales, Minke Whales, North Atlantic Right Whales, and Humpback Whales, porpoises, seals, and countless bird species can be found along the shores of St. Andrews-by-the-Sea. This small fishing village on the shores of Passamaquoddy Bay has several companies that run whale-watching tours that offer an excellent chance to see these amazing marine mammals.
You can read all about St. Andrews-by-the-Sea right here.
With a population of just 276 residents, St. Martins might not stand out as one of the best places to visit in New Brunswick, that is until you’ve stepped foot inside the town.
Located 45 minutes from Saint John, St. Martins is one of the most gorgeous small towns in Canada. With two historic covered bridges, sea caves that can be explored on foot or by paddle, and a great selection of small restaurants and artisan shops, spending a day in St. Martins is an absolute delight.
The St. Martins sea caves are one of the biggest draws of this small coastal community. At high tides, these mammoth caves are completely filled by the ocean. But at low tide, you can stroll right inside them for a truly unique view of the Bay of Fundy.
Roosevelt Campobello International Park
One of the coolest places to visit in New Brunswick is a small island that’s actually co-managed by the State of Maine in the United States.
The visitors center for Roosevelt Campobello International Park is located just outside Herring Cove Provincial Park. Here you can take a ferry out to Campobello Island where former US President Franklin Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor spent many of their summers.
The park features a historic home, four lighthouses, and more than 2,800 acres of bogs, forests, and shoreline and is a popular stop on local whale-watching tours.
Stretching along the banks of the Saint John River in the centre of the province lies the capital of New Brunswick, Fredericton.
This laid-back city of 100,000 residents may seem unassuming, but what makes Fredericton one of the top destinations in New Brunswick is more than just its location. This city has a thriving culture packed with arts, food, and one of the best museums in New Brunswick.
Historic downtown Fredericton offers up a mix of historic buildings dating back to the late 18th century when Fredericton was a crucial point for the British army.
The modern designs of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery invite visitors to dip their toes into the world of international and local New Brunswick art. And the St. Mary’s First Nation, which lies on the northeastern banks of the Saint John River is home to one of Fredericton’s best restaurants.
Whether you’re looking to paddle the St. John River, take a science journey through the Science East museum, or join the battle at the Garrison District, there are plenty of things to do in Fredericton for visitors.
Fundy Trail Parkway
Winding for 30 km along the coastal shore of the Bay of Fundy between St. Martins and Fundy National Park, the Fundy Trail Parkway is one of the best road trips in Canada.
This scenic drive, northeast of Saint John. The drive winds sharply past scenic lookouts and cliffside picnic areas providing jaw-dropping views of isolated beaches and flowerpot rocks.
While most people drive the Fundy Trail Parkway, there’s also a 10-kilometre pedestrian and cycling trail that parallels a section of the route near Big Salmon River. One of the highlights of hiking and biking the Fundy Trail Parkway is the impressive 84-metre-long suspension bridge that spans Big Salmon River. Those driving, you’ll pass through two historic covered bridges near the town of St. Martins.
The city of Saint John is the only city in New Brunswick that lies on the shores of the Bay of Fundy. This historic hillside city is the oldest incorporated city in Canada and a visit here is one of the top things to do in New Brunswick.
Saint John is packed with great restaurants and some of the best microbreweries in Canada. The second largest city in New Brunswick mixes a historic center with a bohemian vibe where baristas steam art in tasty cappuccinos next to cutting-edge restaurants that are reclaiming a long-neglected waterfront.
The Saint John Market is the oldest continually-running market in Canada and the city’s iconic “Reversing Falls” showcases the power of the Bay of Fundy as the force of the tides reverses the flow of the St. John River twice per day.
You can read our complete guide to Saint John, New Brunswick right here.
Home to tidal bore surfing and the mysterious Magnetic Hill, Moncton New Brunswick is one of the most popular places to travel in New Brunswick. This city constantly defies expectations.
The city along the Petitcodiac River is home to one of the province’s largest French cultural scenes thanks to its rich Acadian history. The river, which connects directly to the Bay of Fundy, see’s such a surge of water during the switch from low to high tide that the city has garnered an epic reputation among surfers.
Moncton is also home to one of New Brunswick’s most famous attractions, Magnetic Hill. This formerly eerie road that seemed to magically pull cars backward up a hill is now a full-on entertainment complex that includes waterparks, amusement rides, and a scenic wharf village.
You can read about all the things to do in Moncton here.
Perched atop the rugged Bay of Fundy coastline, Cape Enrage is one of the coolest attractions in New Brunswick.
Offering a blend of natural beauty and thrilling attractions, Cape Enrage, centred by the Cape Enrage Lighthouse, the panoramic views from the clifftop are some of the best in the province and are one of the best places to watch the rise and fall of the Bay of Fundy tides.
For those looking for an adrenaline rush, Cape Enrage offers a wealth of outdoor experiences ranging from rock climbing to ziplining. There are also sea caves and fossil-hunting to round out your visit.
Kouchibouguac National Park
One of the province’s most incredible natural paradises is also one of the most beautiful places to visit in New Brunswick. Situated north of Moncton, are 238 square kilometres of marshland, lagoons, sand dunes, and beaches.
Often overshadowed by Fundy National Park and Hopewell Rocks, Kouchibouguac is one of the province’s must-visit spots for outdoor lovers. The park’s name, which translates to “River of Long Tides” in the Mi’kmaq language is popular among hikers, cyclists, and bird watchers.
Beyond its striking landscapes, Kouchibouguac National Park holds huge importance in the Acadian culture and interpretive programs that help visitors gain a better understanding of both Mi’kmaq and Acadian history and culture.
Saint George Gorge
Not all of the amazing places to go in New Brunswick are well-known. Saint George Gorge is one of the province’s hidden gems.
Carved out over millennia by the white water of the Magaguadavic River, Saint George Gorge features towering rock walls, cascading waterfalls, and lush greenery that you can experience through a collection of gorgeous hiking trails.
The gorge is a peaceful escape for both nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. A network of bridges crisscrosses the gorge and there’s a lovely photo spot by the park’s historic old mill.
Grand Manan Island
One of New Brunswick’s maritime gems is Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy. The largest island in the Bay is famous for its pristine natural beauty and cultural heritage in the fishing and boatbuilding industries. The island boasts a rugged coastline featuring stunning sea cliffs and sandy beaches
Grand Manan is a serene escape where the rhythm of the tides dictates daily life, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking tranquility, breathtaking landscapes, and a deep connection to the sea. It’s one of the best places in Canada for birdwatching. Visitors can see swallows, gulls, and adorable puffins zipping in and around the sea cliffs that plunge into the Bay of Fundy.
The undisputed “Lobster Capital of the World,” the town of Shediac is the perfect stop for foodies checking out the best culinary experiences in New Brunswick.
Shediac is the best place in the province for lobster tours. Whether it’s one on land where you’re tasting the wild range of lobster dishes or on the water where you’re learning all about how lobsters are trapped and farmed.
Beyond all of that, Shediac is also home to one of New Brunswick’s most iconic roadside attractions, a 10-metre long, 81-tonne crustacean considered to be the largest lobster statue in the world.
Are You Ready To Explore New Brunswick For Yourself?
New Brunswick, with its wild forests and jaw-dropping coastlines, is one of the place unforgettable places to visit in Canada. From towering Hopewell Rocks to unforgettable whale watching, these places to visit in New Brunswick will inspire even more travel to the province.
Read some of the fascinating New Brunswick facts before you go so you’ll have an even better understanding of the history, culture, and magic of one of the country’s maritime wonders.
Do you have a favourite attraction or restaurant in Canada? Head over to the We Explore Canada Facebook Community and join the conversation! You’ll find an amazing group of people passionate about travel in Canada who love to share their local secrets.
Kevin Wagar is a founder and editor of We Explore Canada. He has been working in the travel media industry since 2015 when he founded his family travel website Wandering Wagars – Adventure Family Travel.
Over the years Kevin has developed a deep love for his home country and aims to showcase the incredible experiences and amazing small businesses found within it.