Stunning views, magical landscapes, charming towns, dramatic cliffs and even enormous icebergs make up the maritime provinces of Canada. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island with Newfoundland and Labrador being the most easterly province make up the maritime provinces of Canada. You'll discover amazing adventures while making your way through each province and marvellous views you won't see anywhere else.
Canada's maritime provinces are an extremely unique part of our world. The East Coast of Canada boasts breathtaking view of lush mountains, sandy beaches, harbors and seaside cliffs. Take a hike in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland, where you'll see The Tablelands, a mountain of flat-topped rock usually found only in earth's deep mantle. Take a coastal car ride through Nova Scotia's Cabot Trail for scenic views of mountains along the Atlantic, charming lighthouses and even picnic above amazing cliffs. Or head to Fundy National Park where you can see the highest tides in the world and even walk on the ocean floor when it is at low tide. There are endless things to do on a road trip across the maritime provinces of Canada.
So if you're looking for adventure, you must add Canada's four maritime provinces on your bucket list. Check out these 20 must see spots in the four provinces of Canada's far-east coast and make them your next ultimate road trip.
20 Nova Scotia's Cabot Trail
For stunning mountain and ocean views, drive along the 185-mile, Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island. It is by far one of Canada's most epic scenic highways and it might even take you a few days to see it all. The trail loops around the island where you'll see beautiful parks and maritime communities. Start your trip at Baddeck to take in amazing views of the Bras d'Or Lakes, get a free National Park pass and hike through one of Nova Scotia's most famous parks, take a pit stop at Ingonish and visit Main Street for some delicious lobster and spend a couple of days making your way to the northern tip of Cape Breton, an area where very few people have traveled too and you'll see an untouched landscape that is simple breathtaking.
19 Whale Watching
In Nova Scotia, the best times to go whale watching are in the summer and fall. Get on a tour with friends and listen to local tales as you watch for any of the 12 species of whales that visit the province. It is truly an amazing experience if you get lucky and get to see these massive underwater creatures breach the ocean surface, lunge out of the waves and reenter the water with a loud smack. You can even watch for other sea creatures making an appearance including dolphins, seals and porpoises. If you are around the Bay of Fundy, catch a tour and you might spot the right whale, a rare species of whale that is extremely endangered.
18 Walk On The Ocean's Floor
Burncoat Head Park on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia is home to the world's highest tides, however, when there is low tide, you can actually walk along the ocean floor. The ocean floor is accessible for exploring three hours before and three hours after low tide. You can find a bunch of treasures while literally walking on the ocean floor like fossils, sea glass and semi-precious stones. You do need to be careful when you do explore the ocean floor because the water can rush back at over 10 meters per minute. You can even enjoy dinner with family and friends on the ocean floor! However, there is already a waitlist for this year, so keep an eye out on 2019's dates!
17 Enjoy The Views On Halifax Harbor
Halifax harbor in Nova Scotia offers stunning views of the ocean, whether you are dining near the water or walking along the waterfront. Around the waterfront you can shop, visit galleries, have a coffee at one of the many outdoor cafes and grab dinner. The waterfront is a great place to relax, grab a beer and look out into the ocean as boats sail by. If you are a history buff, you can visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which offers a look inside Halifax's shipping and boating history. You can also take a short trip to two charming towns like Peggy Grove, which is known for their lighthouses and Lunenburg, a picturesque town with 18th and 19th colonial buildings.
16 Sample Wine At The Many Wineries
Sample sweet wine and take a tour at one of Nova Scotia's 16 vineyards. Between May and October, take a tour in the Annapolis Valley, where the costal landscape of this region provides soil with the nutrients to grow grapes that create some of the best wine in Canada. Domain de Grand Pre offers unique wines and amazing views of the Bay of Fundy where you'll see high tides and cliffs as you tour through the vineyard. If you don't feel like driving, since you are consuming alcohol, there is a Magic Winery Bus, which operates four days a week from June to October.
15 Hopewell Rocks In New Brunswick
The Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick formed millions of years ago as a gigantic mountain range, older than the Appalachians and larger than the Canadian Rockies, and slowly eroded overtime. Mud, pebbles and rocks washed down the mountains and over the years, they compressed into solid rock and created these unique flowerpot formations. Located at the Bay of Fundy, when it is low tide, visitors can walk along the Hopewell Rocks and see how much these cliffs have eroded and also explore several coves. When the tide is just right, travelers are welcomed to kayak or ride the swells with a guide.
14 "St. Andrews By-The-Sea"
New Brunswick's St. Andrew's community is bustling with exciting experiences. The maritime town is known for its famous Algonquin Resort established in 1889, which will make you feel like you walked into the past when you take a look at it. At St. Andrew's pier you can go whale watching or walk through Kingsbrae Gardens on a warm summer day. If you're a foodie, than you'll really enjoy the fresh seafood, like delicious lobster rolls, and make sure to make a pit stop in the little town of Bethel where you'll find the famous Ossie's Fried Clams diner/truck stop. You'll get the features of a wonderful modern resort, but still get that old town feel.
13 Kingsbrae Gardens
The gorgeous Kingsbrae Gardens are located in St. Andrew's by-the-sea in New Brunswick and is a masterpiece when it comes to gardens with over 50,000 perennials in themed gardens, pounds, and streams, using old and new gardening styles. The garden is 27 acres and has become a major tourist attraction in New Brunswick. The garden includes a collection of rhododendrons, roses and lilies, and themed gardens such as White, Knot and Bird and Butterfly to name a few. Other special features of Kingsbrae Gardens are a labyrinth, cedar maze and a wooded trail through rare old-growth forest. You'll even find a number of animals including, peacock, alpacas and pygmy goats.
12 Fundy National Park
Fundy National Park is a maritime treasure. If you love the outdoors, you'll be blown away by how charming this park is. Walk along trails, kayak during high tide, explore the ocean's floor and hike through the park to explore this Canadian wonder. You can see the stunning Bay of Fundy in multiple ways at the park, star gaze when it gets dark, visit an authentic Fundy coastal village, and hike to see the beautiful waterfalls. There are an endless number of things to do at this park and see if you enjoy being outside and hitting trails of gorgeous unspoiled nature.
11 Kouchibouguac Park
One of Canada's most beautiful parks is Kouchibouguac Park, which is known for its pristine sandy beaches and outdoor adventures. It's like multiple parks in one since it has forests, marshes, rivers and beaches. The park offers a variety of camping options; you explore a number of hiking trails, take a long walk on its boardwalk to Kelly's beach, and take a guided tour of this stunning park. Kouchibouguac Park is still considered one of Canada's "best kept secret" parks because it is known to be underappreciated, however, there are a ton of amazing outdoor activities to do here.
10 Prince Edward Island's Green Gables House
Prince Edward Island is known for its red-sand beaches, lighthouses and farmland. If you're a seafood fan, the island is also renowned for their lobster and mussels. However, the island is also best known for being the location of Lucy Maud Montgomery's, Anne of Green Gables, a classic children's novel. Millions of people have read L.M. Montgomery's children's book and would only dream about the magical setting, now people are welcomed to visit the preserved gable house and stroll the grounds in Cavendish. The site is beautiful, with picturesque farmland and its red woodland pathways; you'll feel like you back in time.
9 Prince Edward Island National Park
Prince Edward Island National Park offers stunning views of the ocean with over 50 km of hiking and cycling trails. With the park located on the island's north shore, the views are endless and it's where you'll find Canada's best sand dunes, sand pits, barrier islands, sandstone cliffs, beaches, forest and wetlands. Along the north shore, the park includes the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the world's oldest estuary. One of the most special features of the park is also the large sugar maple trees, which are a rarity on Prince Edward Island.
8 The Confederation Bridge
To make traveling along the provinces easier, tourist can take the Confederation Bridge, which joins Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. The bridge is 8 miles longs and is the longest in the world, crossing ice-covered water during the winter months. Here is a fun fact about the bridge: it features a hollow corridor through which some utility services are carried from the mainland to Prince Edward Island. Also, with the bridge being so long, engineer’s incorporated a number of graceful curves to ensure drivers pay attention while driving on it. The bridge makes it extremely convenient from travelers to go from different Canadian provinces while taking in the amazing views.
7 Take A Coastal Drive
Take in the incredible views with a coastal drive along Prince Edward Island. It's one of the best ways to see the rolling farmland, beaches and the many lighthouses. You'll want to pack a camera, or just use your phone to take numerous photos of this gorgeous island and its red sand beaches, amazing ocean views and unique landmarks. You can also make your way to Charlottetown, a vibrant seaside city with plenty of farm-to-table restaurants, ensuring that your meal is fresh and delicious and plenty of shops We also recommend taking in the sights on bike, where you’ll probably want to pack a lunch because there is just so much to see.
6 Red Sandy Beaches
Of course, we have to mention the beaches on Prince Edward Island. With eleven hundred kilometers of shoreline, much of it in the form of beaches, it is where visitors love to go to first when exploring the island. The red sand is stunning and the beaches natural wonders receive amazing reviews around the world. Picnic on the beach, watch the sunset and take a stroll along the waters on this island. The islands beaches are among some of the best in the country with the warmest ocean waters north of Virginia. If you just want to relax, soak in the sun or enjoy a fun game of volleyball, there is a beach for everyone here.
5 Newfoundland & Labrador Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park is unlike any other place you've seen before. You can hike along the earth's mantle, or climb to summits for some of the most spectacular views you've ever seen. You can walk along the waters through fjords carved by glaciers millions of years ago and see massive cliffs and stunning waterfalls. If you are a hiker, trek nine miles up to Gros Morne Mountain, ascending 2,600 feet and just take in the sweeping views. You can also hike the Tablelands, where the theory of plate tectonics was confirmed, and walk over ancient sea floor and preserved ocean avalanches.
4 Signal Hill, St. John's
Signal Hill, a hill that overlooks the city of St. John's in Newfoundland and Labrador, is a popular landmark, which holds the town's historic past. Due to its strategic placement over looking the city and harbor, reinforcements were built on the hill starting in the mid 17th century. In fact, the final battle of the Seven Year War was fought in 1762 at the Battle of Signal Hill. Signal Hill was then called "The LookOut" because of the signaling taking place from its flag mast. Today, the site features exhibits and a film about the site's military history. Also, we can't forget to mention the stunning views while standing on top of the hill.
3 Cape Spear Lighthouse
Cape Spear Lighthouse sits on a rugged cliff at Canada's most easterly point and is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labradaor. When it was constructed, the lighthouse acted as a beacon of safe passage and the generations of family that lived here worked day and night to maintain a light that was extremely vital for mariners. Standing on top of the park you'll get a view of a never-ending ocean and even icebergs. You literally have your back to the rest of the world when standing near the cliffs edge. Get here when the sun is rising and you will be in awe.
2 East Coast Trail Hiking
If you enjoy a good hike, than you must check out the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland and Labrador. 190 miles of developed trail that is made up of 26 wilderness paths and intersect more than 30 communities makes up this striking trail along North America's easternmost coastline. While on the path, you'll see tall cliffs, sea stacks, deep fjords, settlements, lighthouses, historic sites, whales and even icebergs. The East Coast trail was even ranked the world's top coastal destination in 2016 by National Geographic. So, if you love hiking, you need to add this trail to your bucket list.
1 Discover The Torngat Mountains
The Torngat Mountains are located on the tip of Newfoundland and Labrador and is simply one of the most spectacular views you'll ever see if you ever get a chance to visit the Canadian province. It is literally one of the few untamed; an unspoiled place left on earth and is a land of mountains, polar bears and small glaciers. Because the area is so remote, a traveler needs to plan carefully and have the right equipment. There are no roads or campgrounds here, just a staggering landscape that will take anyone’s breath away. The journey through the Torngat Mountains is not one that many people can say they have hiked through.