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New Brunswick's
Fundy Coast Drive

Lying east of Maine and south of the province of Quebec, New Brunswick is the scene of many natural wonders. It is the original home of the Acadians who migrated to Louisiana.

This is also the home of Moosehead Beer, and the famous Reversing Falls, where the tidal bore roars down the Bay of Fundy twice every day. At the north end of the bay is Acadia, from which many Acadians journeyed to their eventual home.


Two cities, St. John and Moncton. and a handful of scenic seaside towns are wonderful places to visit, with historic sites, museums, wildlife parks, and a serene atmosphere that makes you slow down -- something highly prized on a vacation.

Add to all this, the fascinating Magnetic Hill, covered bridges, Campobello and Grand Manan island - at the southern end of the Bay of Fundy and adjacent to the State of Maine — plus the summer resort at St. Andrews, and you have a journey that captures the imagination and provides a unique vacation experience.

Fundy Coast Drive

The drive is along Highway 2 from Aulac, through Moncton and south to Sussex. The rest of the route, from Sussex to St. Stephen, is Highway 1. Highway 2 runs inland, but many side roads lead to the water's edge, to several small towns including St. Martins, also to Fundy National Park.

From old Acadia to Grand Manan Island, the southern shore of New Brunswick offers quiet villages, great scenery, plus birding, parks, historic treasures, and the highest tides in the world.

Along the Drive

Aulac

Close to the Nova Scotia border, Aulac is part of the province that bears the legacy of the Acadians. Halfway between Aulac and Moncton. Acadian Odyssey National Historic Site (in St.-Joseph de Memramcook) offers a look into the lives of the Acadians, as well as providing an experience in the salt marshlands which have been reclaimed from the ocean by a system of dykes. In Aulac, Fort Beauséjour National Historic Site preserves the scene of a battle for Acadia between the French and British.

Sackville

Sackville is set in more marshland, and the Waterfowl Park offers birders a prime chance to see migratory birds, particularly during the Atlantic Waterfowl Celebration, held each August.

Moncton

This city operates in both English and French, and the bicultural ambiance adds greatly to a visit. Restaurants, museums, and festivals reflect the Acadian history of the area and the present-day residents. This is where most people watch the tidal bore, where -- twice each day -- the highest tides in the world come up the Bay of Fundy and the Petitcodiac River. The bore is up to two feet high through the downtown area. Magnetic Hill has been drawing tourists since the middle of the 19th Century. An optical illusion, the hill gives people in cars the sensation of going uphill -- backwards, as if pulled by a magnet. There's a busy restaurant and gift shop at the site, located along Highway 2, northwest of Moncton.

Fundy National Park

Located on the Bay of Fundy, about 20 miles southeast of Highway 2, this park offers camping, hiking, and seaside attractions. Take Route 114 to reach the northern entrance. The park's trails are both easy and challenging. Other features include a beautiful golf course and a heated saltwater pool. This is a fine place to cook your own lobster.

At the south end of the park is Alma, a small town where you can obtain that lobster, and where you can watch the tidal bore — as tall as a four-story building. Route 114 provides an excellent circle tour, through the park and returning northwest to Moncton, past Hopewell Cape on the shore of Shepody Bay and beside the Petitcodiac River.

Sussex

The town of Sussex is in the middle of King's County, where you'll see more covered bridges than anywhere in the country. Directional signs are seen along the highways and side roads. A good drive to take off the main highway is the Discovery Byway. Leave the highway at Sussex and head along Route 890 toward Petitcodiac, or Route 2 towards Youngs Cove. In a two-to-three-hour drive, you'll see eight covered bridges. The byway passes through forests, past lakes and rivers, and offers stops at a rose garden in Cornhill, and the Miramichi Atlantic Salmon Museum.

Saint John

The famous Reversing Falls is another phenomenon caused by the huge tides. A hundred billion gallons of water -- as much as the flow of all the rivers in the world -- passes Saint John, reversing the flow of the St. John River. Visitors gather at a cliff-side pavilion, on a suspension bridge over the falls, and from a riverside park. In some spots, the difference between high and low tide is 48 feet. Rockwood Park and Irving Nature Park are both good places to visit, especially Irving Nature Park, which is home to 240 species of birds, and harbour seals. Saint John's waterfront is a prime attraction, as are the many Victorian buildings in the downtown area. This is an historic fishing center, where many fast sailing ships (including the Marco Polo) were built. The city's farmer's market was constructed by shipbuilders.

St. George & Black's Harbour

St George, on Highway 1, lies beside Passamaquoddy Bay. Black's Harbour sits at the end of a nearby peninsula, and is the terminus for the ferry to Grand Manan Island.

St. Andrews By-the-Sea

The Algonquin Hotel is the famous summer resort hotel in this charming little town, located on the point where Passamoquody Bay meets the Bay of Fundy. In addition to the hotel, the town has golfing, swimming, historic sites to visit, and whale watching. Carriage rides are available, and knowledgeable shoppers come here for the English tweeds, fine china, art, and crafts.

St. Stephens

In 1910, the chocolate bar was invented by the Ganong family in their factory in St. Stephen (the first lollipops were made here in 1895). The Ganong factory is still in operation, with many varieties of chocolates to buy at the Chocolatier Shop on Milltown Blvd. Calais, Maine, is just across the U.S. border.

Campobello Island

This small island is a particularly strong attraction for Americans, who take the ferry ride from Eastport, Maine to visit the summer home of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The name of the island may be familiar from the title of the play about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, "Sunrise at Campobello."

Grand Manan Island

The largest of the south Bay of Fundy islands, Grand Manan is reached by taking a ferry from the town of Black's Harbour. This is a quiet, relaxing island, isolated enough from the mainland that it has retained its rural, 19th-Century character.

But there are more than 20 places to stay including bed and breakfast inns, including: The Compass Rose, Bird & Blooms Bed & Breakfast, Marathon Inn, Shorecrest Lodge, and Inn at Whale Cove Cottages. Accommodations are located in the communities of Grand Harbour, Castalia, Woodward's Cove, North Head, Seal Cove, and White Head. White Head Island is a ferry ride east from Grand Manan, with the ferry landing near the community of Grand Harbour.

Fraser Bridges

 

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