New Brunswick has deservedly earned a reputation as Canada’s Picture Province and, at the same time, it’s remained a place where travellers may enjoy beauty without the crowds and hustle that have become characteristic of many popular vacation destinations. New Brunswick is an oldfashioned place. Where 20th-century influences have blended with the old, they’ve done so discreetly.
New Brunswick is a comfortable place. It is like going home to visit family and old friends.
Bordered by Maine in the west, and Quebec in the north, New Brunswick has five tourist regions, each with its own distinctive history and natural features. Tourism officials call them the “Five Faces of New Brunswick.” They are the Saint John River Valley Region, Fundy Tidal Region, Acadian Coastal Region and the Miramichi and Restigouche Regions.
Many visitors come to the province each year simply to enjoy its scenic beauty, its comforting rural countryside, its long stretches of beach and its dense green forests. Others, however, come to witness the natural wonders of the province. To mention a few...the entire Fundy Coast with its “flowerpot” rocks, intriguing caves at St. Martins, the Tidal Bore in Moncton, and the Reversing Falls Rapids in the loyalist seaport of Saint John, all created by the tides of the Bay of Fundy, the highest in the world.
History is everywhere. Every community has played an historic role. Each has a story to tell. In Tracadie, a museum pays tribute to those who gave their lives in service at a leper colony that existed many years ago. The fascinating story of the Mythical “République du Madawaska” and Madawaska County is retold at a museum in Edmundston. Acadian heritage survives at museums in Caraquet and Moncton. In Dalhousie, the Battle of the Restigouche is depicted at the Chaleur Area History Museum, and in the seaside resort town of St. Andrews there are over 300 historic homes, a national historic site, and an interesting museum. The MacDonald Farm, a meticulous restoration of an 1830’s working farm, portrays life in the Miramichi area. In the border town of St. Stephen, the James Meurchie Memorial Building features the history of Charlotte County. Keillor House and the historic Bell Inn in Dorchester provide insight into days of old in the southwestern corner of the province.
In Saint John, Canada’s oldest city, history abounds along the Loyalist trail, a walking tour of the city’s many historic attractions, including Canada’s first museum (founded in 1842).
Travellers journey to New Brunswick for the variety of activities available to an individual, families, or groups. They experience nature through extensive interpretation programs at New River Beach and Mactaquac Provincial parks, and at the province’s two national parks. Sunbury shores Arts and Nature Centre, St. Andrews, teaches about nature in a seaside environment.
For the fishermen, there is a summer bass-fishing tournament in the Mactaquac headpond area; deep-sea fishing excursions for giant bluefin tuna out of Caraquet; angling for salmon along myriad lakes and rivers. Many lakes and rivers are also ideal for canoeing and sailing. In recent years, windsurfing has also become popular in New Brunswick.
Grand Manan is a favorite destination for bird watchers, while other areas of the province are also becoming well known for the variety and number of bird sightings. This year, whalewatching expeditions by the day or the week will be available on Grand Manan Island.
Over 2,000 kilometres of coastline feature excellent salt-water swimming with many unexploited beach areas found along the northeast coast. Inland lakes offer swimming for those who prefer fresh water. If lady luck accompanies you on your travels, take in an afternoon or evening of harness racing at one of the province’s three raceways.
An extensive network of trails gives hikers ample room to stretch their legs, and golfers can test their skill on the greens and fairways of the province’s courses.
In Cocagne, the International Hydroplane Regatta draws spectators who enjoy the thrills of high speed competition. Each summer swimmers challenge the waters across Chaleur Bay in an international competition from Grande-Anse to Paspébiac.
The five tourist regions of New Brunswick, in short, offer vacation destinations to suit every interest. Route 11 in the Acadian Coastal Region traverses the Bay of Chaleur and Northumberland Strait. It is a land rich in Acadian heritage and “joie de vivre” and each August, Caraquet, “the heart of Acadie” is the location of the fun-filled Acadian Festival.
Bathurst, located where the Nepisiquit River empties into the Bay of Chaleur, and Moncton, in the southwestern corner of the province on the Petitcodiac River, are the major urban centres in this region. Kouchibouguac National Park, with its 26 km beach, is the leading recreation area.
The Trans-Canada Highway follows the Saint John River Valley to the Bay of Fundy. In Edmundston the Foire Brayonne Festival features lumberjack competitions and “les ployes,” which are crumpet-like pancakes. Sidetrips from the main highway take you to New Denmark, Canada’s largest Danish colony, and into the central uplands of the province, noted for fine fishing and recreational opportunities. Not far from the beautiful capital city of Fredericton, with its renowned Beaverbrook Art Gallery, professional theatre and historic attractions, New Brunswick’s “super park,” Mactaquac, is also a favorite vacation destination.
The Miramichi Region offers dense forests and fast-flowing rivers. It’s a paradise for the outdoor sport enthusiast. In Boiestown, the Central New Brunwick Woodsmen Museum pays tribute to the early days of lumbering in the area, and each June the Miramichi Folksong Festival features a lusty sample of ballads and come-allye’s from the old lumber camps and river drives.
Sugarloaf Provincial Park and the city of Campbellton are the focal points of the Restigouche Region. Organizers of the Campbellton Salmon Festival and Dalhousie Bon Ami Festival eagerly welcome visitors to participate in their summer celebrations.
Grand Manan, Campobello and Deer Islands combine to form the Fundy Isles where a truly relaxing vacation experience awaits the traveller. These tranquil islands located in the Bay of Fundy—along with the resort town of St. Andrews-by-theSea, the old Loyalist seaport of Saint John and Fundy National Park—are the essence of this seaside region.
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