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Whether you’re connecting from Nova Scotia, or starting off your tour in New Brunswick, be sure to start your exploration in Moncton. From here, we’ll discover the massive seaside city of St. John, the capital city of Fredericton, and the always-scenic Woodstock.
Set in the Petitcodiac River Valley, Moncton is the geographic centre of Atlantic Canada – making it a heck of a town.
This is an adventure after all, so why not add some tricks – or better yet, illusions. Check out Magnetic Hill – a staple of Moncton folklore and something to definitely try at the intersection of Route 126 and Route 2. A small fee allows you to drive to the end of the hill, throw your car in neutral and be pulled “magically” uphill by magnetic force.
Plenty of tourist attractions surround Magnetic Hill – said to be Canada’s third most-visited natural attraction. Check out Wharf Village Shoppes & Restaurants, Magnetic Hill Zoo, Magic Mountain Water Park, Magnetic Hill Golf & Country Club, and much more.
The awe-inspiring Hopewell Rocks are a result of the world’s highest tides from the Bay of Fundy. About an hour from Moncton, the Rocks Provincial Park is open from mid-May to mid-October – and features beach combing, hiking and biking trails, and kayaking during high tide.
Saint John is New Brunswick’s largest city – and the third largest city in Atlantic Canada. Since Saint John is found on the north shore of the Bay of Fundy – hence Fundy City – visitors are encouraged to reach St. John from Moncton by way of Trans Canada Highway 1 and Route 111 west to St. Martins and the Fundy Trail Parkway.
Saint John was established in the early 1600s, and therefore features some incredible historic sites. Don’t miss the 1842 New Brunswick Museum – the oldest running museum in Canada.
Many National Historic Sites of Canada are found in Fundy City, including Imperial Theatre, Carleton Martello Tower, and the Saint John City Market.
For an entire day’s worth of adventure, head to the 890-hectare Rockwood Park – a Saint John city park and one of the largest of its kind in Canada. Here you’ll find lakes, trails, beaches, and picnic spots galore, plus attractions like the Cherry Brook Zoo and the 18-hole Rockwood Park Municipal Golf Course.
The 243-hectare Irving Nature Park is the second largest park in Saint John. Found on the Bay of Fundy shore along Saints' Rest Beach, visitors may trek through the Acadian forest, comb through tide pools and beach sand, bird watch, and much more.
As the capital and third largest city of New Brunswick, Fredericton features plenty to see and do. Fredericton is found 113 kilometres from St. John along Highway 7 – nestled snug against the Saint John River.
Named for Lord Beaverbrook, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery is the official provincial art gallery of New Brunswick. Established in 1959 and drawing 25,000 annual visitors, BAG features over 300 works from Lord Beaverbrook’s own collection, plus the TD Sculpture Garden and nearly 4,000-item permanent collection.
Known as New Brunswick's Hands-on Science Centre, Science East Science Centre is a great break from the car – especially if you’re traveling with children. The centre features more than 100 exhibits, plus special events and the Science East Shop.
Neighbouring Odell Park, the Fredericton Botanic Garden is free to the public, and is open throughout the year during sunlit hours. Highlights of this 22-hectare botanical garden include the Harold Hinds Memorial Garden, the Rhododendron and Azalea Collection, and the Memorial Grove – all overlooking the Saint John River.
Known as New Brunswick’s First Town, Woodstock sits less than 100 kilometres from Fredericton along the Trans-Canada Highway – passing and (encouraged by us) stopping at the Kings Landing Historical Settlement.
Woodstock is known wide for its Victorian architecture. Be sure to see these impressive structures along the semi-loop walking tour – established by the Carleton County Historical Society and Greater Woodstock Tourism Partnership. The tour starts at the L.P. Fisher Public Library (where you can pick up the map), and ends at the 1839 Connell House.
Known informally as the New Brunswick Potato World, Potato World lies about 50 kilometres north of Woodstock. A quirky attraction if ever there was one, this spud-centered attraction features tours, interactive displays, and the Harvest Café.
Set on two acres of the St. John River Valley, the site is located appropriately in Florenceville-Bristol – better known as the French Fry Capital of the World.
The 120-hectare Meduxnekeag River Nature Preserve stars the Appalachian Hardwood Forest – unique to Atlantic Canada. Enjoy 10 kilometres of walking trails, four kilometres of shoreline, and plenty of nature viewing in the Meduxnekeag Valley.