New Brunswick Road Trip: Top Destinations and Attractions

New Brunswick offers many outdoor activities and history for those seeking adventure. This destination should be at the top of your Canadian list, from hiking trails to lighthouses and stunning coastal views. After spending a few summers exploring this province, I have listed my favourite spots and activities to include in a New Brunswick Road Trip. 

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Épingle Road trip au Nouveau-Brunswick

New Brunswick Road Trip – Acadian drive

This route follows the east coast of New Brunswick. It is filled with wonderful beaches, amazing views of the coast, and a rich history of the Acadian people. 

Bathurst 

Bathurst Waterfront Boardwalk has a beautiful picnic area by the water with an Acadian lighthouse. There are also shops and restaurants with amazing views of the water. A watch tower brings you up a few stories for a better view. 

red white and blue lighthouse with the yellow star representing the acadian flag set by the water

Pokeshaw Rock is a beautiful park by the water with a picnic area and boardwalk. If you are there during low tide, you can walk on the sea floor. Rocks are pocking out of the water for an unusual sight.

Spot the impressive Grande Anse Lighthouse with the Acadian colours in Grande Anse. 

Caraquet

Foley Beach and Bas-Caraquet Municipal Beach are both sandy beaches perfect for a sunny day with the family.

Village historique de l’Acadie is a must if you are interested in the region and its people’s history

Carrefour de la Mer is a boardwalk and wharf with art shops by local artists called Le Quai des artistes. Enjoy the view and different art exhibitions. 

wharf with the Acadian flag floting in the wind
bordwalk on the water in Shediac, New Brunswick

Tracadie

Tracadie Beach and the Boardwalk are perfect spots for relaxation and recreation. The boardwalk offers scenic coastline views, ideal for leisurely walks and enjoying the maritime atmosphere.

Musée Historique de Tracadie showcases the rich history of Tracadie, particularly focusing on the community’s past as a leprosy quarantine site. It offers fascinating exhibits on local history, culture, and the impact of the leprosy hospital on the town.

Sentier NB Trail is a multi-use trail that runs through Tracadie. It provides excellent opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring the region’s natural landscapes. It’s also a great way to experience the area’s scenic views.

#vanlife: We spent the night on a sandy beach in Pointe aux Pruches. It is a busy spot for locals and tourists. Everyone was friendly, and we spent a quiet night. 

Kouchibouguac National Park

Kouchibouguac National Park, located on New Brunswick’s east coast, is renowned for its stunning coastal beauty and diverse ecosystems. The park features sandy beaches, salt marshes, and dense forests, providing habitats for a wide array of wildlife, including the endangered piping plover. 

Visitors can enjoy various activities, such as hiking, biking, kayaking, and bird watching, making it a year-round destination for nature enthusiasts. The area’s rich Mi’kmaq cultural heritage adds insights into its indigenous history and traditions.

Boardwalk over marshes in Kouchibouguac National Park
sandy beach in Kouchibouguac National Park

Pays de la Sagouine

La Sagouine is a fictional character who has become an iconic figure for the Acadian people. Portrayed as an elderly, illiterate washerwoman, she offers insights into the Acadian community’s lives, struggles, and resilience. 

Experience the rich Acadian culture through captivating live performances and theatrical productions, including plays featuring the iconic character La Sagouine. These shows provide entertaining and insightful looks into Acadian life and folklore.

Shediac

Shediac boasts sandy beaches, such as Parlee Beach, renowned for its warm waters and perfect spots for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Don’t miss the iconic World’s Largest Lobster sculpture, a perfect spot for photos and a celebration of Shediac’s reputation as the “Lobster Capital of the World.”

Giant Lobster in Shediac with the three flags flying in the wind behind it; New Brunswick, Canada and Acadie.

Explore a variety of local shops offering unique crafts, souvenirs, and maritime-themed items, perfect for finding a special memento of your visit.

Visit the Shediac Market for fresh local produce, artisanal goods, and delicious food, capturing the vibrant community spirit.

Stroll through downtown Shediac, where charming streets are lined with cafes, restaurants, and boutiques, offering a mix of local culture and hospitality.

Discover Shediac’s history at the old train station museum and historic house, where exhibits highlight the town’s rich heritage and cultural evolution.

Moncton and surroundings

Moncton is one of the larger cities in New Brunswick. You are still in the Acadian region, and the town is bilingual (English and French). 

My favourite stops in Moncton:

Magnetic Hill is both impressive and intriguing. You have to press on the gas to go downhill, but you can keep your foot off the gas pedal and still speed up as you go uphill. I drove up and down it for a while, trying to figure out the mystery. Magnetic Hill also includes an amusement park for children.

Fort Beauséjour, located near the New Brunswick-Nova Scotia border, is a historic site that played a pivotal role in the 18th-century conflicts between the French and British. Visitors can explore the well-preserved ruins and underground tunnels and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. 

Parks Canada red chairs and the Canadian flag seen from high above on the grounds of the Fort Beauséjour in New Brunswick

Latitude 46 Estate Winery is a small family-owned winery. The wine is good, the vintner is friendly, and the place is charming. Stop for a tasting and a tour of the winery. Leave with a bottle (or two).

Crooked River Distillery has a country feel and a fun atmosphere. The outside bar offers drinks and snacks while you wait for the distillery tour to begin. On the tour, the owner explains how he got into making spirits and the process of making his most popular products. Here, too, you can leave with a bottle or three!

bottle and glass of red wine from the Latitude 46 winery in New Brunswick
Latitude 46 Estate Winery
a bloody ceaser flight at the Crooked River Distillery
Crooked River Distillery

New Brunswick Road Trip – Fundy Coastal Drive

This route follows the southern coast of the province along the Bay of Fundy. It is a paradise of outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking, biking, or wildlife watching in incredible landscapes. This route is for you if you enjoy coastal views with infinite blue seas and high cliffs.

Hillsborough 

Hillsborough is a small town with a charming little café that includes baked goods. 

We stopped at the Railway Museum. Where you can walk through old passenger cars, a snowblowing locomotive, and much more. 

#vanlife: We spent the night in the park next to the old train exhibits in Hillsborough. 
black camper van parked by a picnic table with a gazebo in a wooded area on a New Brunswick road trip

Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park

Where you can kayak among interesting flowerpot rocks and walk through them a few hours later. 

kayakers paddling around Sea stacks at high tide in Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park
at high tide
visitors walking on the ocean floor among the sea stacks at low tide in Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park
at low tide

See the park at high tide for stunning coastal views. Rent a kayak and paddle along the shoreline and the unusual sea stacks. 

At low tide, walk on the ocean floor among the same sea stacks. This is an experience like no other. You can purchase your access ticket online or at the park’s main entrance. It will be valid for two consecutive days to ensure you don’t miss both tides.

Cape Enrage 

Plan on spending half a day here with the splendid view from the Cape Enrage Lighthouse. 

The ziplining plateform and the lighthouse of Fundy's Cape Enrage

The high cliffs over the Bay of Fundy are perfect for photography or just enjoying the coastline views and watching the famous highest tides in the world. 

If you feel a little adventurous, Cape Enrage has ziplining and rappelling. 

#vanlife: We spent the night in a small parking of a pebble beach on Cape Enrage Rd. Very windy but the view was stunning.

Alma 

Alma is a small town just outside the Fundy National Park. During our stop here, we did a bit of shopping in the boutiques on Main Street and enjoyed a meal at the Muddy Rudder Bar and Grill. The Tipsy Trail is also highly recommended for its seafood meals. 

boats lying on the sea floor at low tide in Alma Harbour

After our meal, we walked by the water in Alma Harbour. The boats lie on the sea floor at low tides, waiting for the tide to come in. 

#vanlife: We spent the night in a small sandy parking by Dennis Beach on Dennis Beach Rd. Again, the views of the sea and cliffs are astounding.
waves hitting the sandy beach with the green hills in the distance

Fundy National Park

No New Brunswick road trip can be complete without exploring Fundy National Park. Whether you are camping, hiking or red chair hunting, this park has many attractions and opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. 

Trees and boulders lining the shore of the Bay of Fundy in Fundy National Park

Fundy Trail Parkway

This drive is also a must-do on a New Brunswick road trip. The Fundy Trail Parkway follows the Bay of Fundy coastline and offers fantastic views of this stunning region. From high cliffs, waterfalls and ocean views, this park must be on your list. 

view of a pink pebble beach with the rolling hills and high cliffs following the shore of the Bay of Fundy

Saint John

We spend one day exploring Saint John on our New Brunswick road trip. Plan on including these attractions on your way through Saint John:

Carleton Martello Tower National Historic Site: Explore this historic fortification dating back to the War of 1812. It offers panoramic views of the city and harbour and exhibits detailing its military history. We always enjoy the history of a place we visit, and this place is filled with history. 

the tower and Parks Canada red chairs

Irving Nature Park: Enjoy the natural beauty of this coastal park, featuring scenic trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for wildlife viewing in a pristine environment. The park’s trails are easy and short and offer stunning views. 

You might enjoy: Essential Hiking Gear

observation platform with wooded bench  by the water in Irving Nature Park near Saint John, New Brunswick

Reversing Falls Rapids and Skywalk: Witness the unique tidal phenomenon where the Saint John River reverses direction, and get a thrilling perspective from the skywalk with stunning views of the rapids below. It is quite impressive to see the current change course with the tides. 

Reversing Falls Rapids surounded by rocky and green hills in Saint John

New Brunswick Museum: Explore New Brunswick’s rich cultural and natural history through exhibits on regional history, marine life, and fine arts.

Take a walking or bus tour of the city, learn about its history, and experience the attractions of Saint John, New Brunswick.

#vanlife: We spent the night by the water at a fishing spot called Spar Cove in Saint John.
rocky shore of St John River with the green hills on the far shore

St Andrews

St. Andrews is a charming coastal town with many attractions, full of history, culture, and, of course, amazing scenery.

Blockhouse Historic Site: Visit this well-preserved military structure from the War of 1812, which offers historical insights and scenic views of the bay. You can walk pretty far out at low tide and explore the tidal flats. 

Wharf: Stroll along the wharf to enjoy the bustling maritime atmosphere, which includes boutiques, shops, restaurants, and local fishing boats.

boardwalk at low tide with shops and restaurants in St Andrews New Brunswick

Whale Watching Tours: Embark on a thrilling whale-watching tour to see majestic whales, seals, and other marine wildlife in their natural habitat.

Pendlebury Lighthouse: Visit this historic lighthouse for stunning coastal views and a glimpse into the town’s maritime heritage.

white lighthouse surrounded by boardwalk and view of the sea

Ministers Island: Take a short drive or walk across the ocean floor during low tide to reach Ministers Island, where you can explore the historic estate of Sir William Van Horne.

Saint Croix Island National Historic Site: Learn about the early French settlement of 1604 and its historical significance at this Parks Canada site, offering interpretive displays and beautiful views.

Hartland

The main attraction in Hartland is the longest covered bridge in the world. Drive across the bridge over the St. John River and stop at the information center on the east bank. The center is a souvenir shop with interesting exhibits and a picnic area by the river and bridge.

Hartland's covered bridge over St John River in New Brunswick

We made a quick stop at the Moonshine Creek Distillery, about 25 minutes from Hartland, to sample some of its products.

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