From visiting beaches and taking in the views at the Bay of Fundy to exploring the many parks and trails, New Brunswick is a prime destination for nature lovers and families alike.
If you’re planning to visit New Brunswick in the summer or fall, check out this complete list of the 19 best things to do in New Brunswick this year.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in New Brunswick
With so many fun things to do in New Brunswick, here’s our list of the top ones.
Take in Hopewell Rocks
Going to Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park is one of the best things to do in New Brunswick. Buy a pass and get two days to explore this natural wonder.
Hopewell Rocks has over 20 free-standing sea stacks along 2 km of shoreline, all with imaginative names like Elephant, Bear, and ET. There is a spacious viewing platform where you can view the ocean floor and a network of trails.
It is a self-directed park, but staff are around to answer any questions. You can walk on the ocean floor and see both high and low tides. Within just six hours, the ocean floor will transform before your eyes.
Visit the Bay of Fundy
Visiting the Bay of Fundy is one of the top things to do in New Brunswick in the summer. As one of the seven wonders of North America, here you can find the world’s highest tides, the rarest whales, and dinosaur fossils and minerals.
It is a unique coastal environment. You can walk, bike, or drive along the Fundy Trail, camp at Fundy National Park, or swim at New River Beach Provincial Park or Herring Cove Provincial Park.
Plus, you can enjoy the vibrant city life at Saint John, the only city in the center of the Bay. Explore the historic downtown core while shopping, dining, and being entertained.
Spend a Few Hours Whale Watching
If you’re a nature lover, whale watching is a must on your next visit to New Brunswick. The province has many great spots for watching these creatures, but here are a few of the best:
St. Andrews – this is the most accessible and easy option for whale watching, especially for families. Located within less than a few hours of Moncton, Fredericton, and Saint John, you can leave any of these cities and go whale watching during the morning or afternoon.
Bay of Fundy – you can spot some of the world’s rarest whales here, including the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
Grand Manan Island – accessible by a 1.5-hour ferry not far from Saint John, this whale-watching spot is perfect for longer cruises and overnight stays.
Our whale watching tour was cancelled last minute due to bad weather. Fortunately, we had a chance to go on another tour while in Nova Scotia.
Go Back In Time At the Village Historique Acadien
The Village Historique Acadien is one of the best places to visit in New Brunswick if you like history. It is an authentic historical site and a living museum where you can learn about the lives of Acadians from the late 1700s to the early 1900s.
It isn’t just one museum; it comprises over 40 buildings, each with staff in period costumes who will help you understand the history.
Take about three hours to walk around and fully absorb everything.
Explore the Town of Shediac
The town of Shediac is a must-visit on your next New Brunswick road trip. It is a small town, but there are many things to do.
Nestled along the eastern seashore, Shediac is known as the Lobster Capital of the World. After checking out the world’s largest lobster, go for a seafood dinner at one of the many restaurants along the main road.
Swim in the saltwater by the beaches, which are some of the warmest water north of Virginia. Here, you can go windsurfing, boating, hiking, play golf, and more.
On Sundays, take a stroll through the Sunday Market and see local artisans and the Artist Village.
Visit Animals at the Magnetic Hill Zoo
One of the best things to do in Moncton, especially for families, is the Magnetic Hill Zoo. It is Atlantic Canada’s largest and top zoo that aims to educate and inspire conservation action.
Here, you can see almost 600 different animals, with 73 exotic and indigenous species. A few animals you can visit include Madagascar lemurs, Gibbon apes, zebras, lions, and cotton-top tamarins.
What makes this zoo different from many others is that they help fight climate change and raise awareness for the plight of tigers worldwide.
While you’re there, visit Magnetic Hill, a tourist icon and optical illusion.
Sail Across the Bay of Fundy on a Ferry
On bay ferries, you can cross the Bay of Fundy and go between Digby, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick. Enjoy a variety of onboard amenities while relaxing and taking in the views of the Bay of Fundy.
You can bring your car, motorcycle, RV, or four-legged friend on this 2.5-hour journey. Keep an eye out for whales and marine life.
Explore Kingsbrae Garden
Located in St. Andrews by the sea, Kingsbrae Garden is one of the most fun things to do in New Brunswick if you love nature. This multi-award-winning 27-acre horticultural feat celebrates St. Andrews’ heritage of fine gardens.
It has over 50,000 flowers and plants in themed gardens, streams, ponds, and an Acadian forest.
Other than perennials, Kingsbrae Garden has dozens of sculptures, an art studio, and art classes. If you’re hungry, stop by the garden cafe for fresh food.
Take in the Views at Cape Enrage
A tiny lighthouse sits on top of Cape Enrage, which offers stunning views of the Bay of Fundy. With its tides rising twice a day, you’ll want to see it for yourself.
Try family-friendly adventures like ziplining across the 600-foot zip line, rappelling down the wall, or competing against your friends in an obstacle course.
Eat at the Cape House Restaurant and enjoy the views. Before you head out, be sure to check out the Gallery at the Cape, with a large selection of works by local artisans.
View the Phenomenal Reversing Falls
Located in Saint John, seeing the Reversing Falls is one of the most unique things to do in New Brunswick. The Reversing Falls are created where the river runs through a narrow gorge, then empties into the Bay of Fundy, causing rapids and whirlpools to form.
As the tides rise, the river current slows for a brief moment, then the flow of the river is gradually reversed.
You can see the Reversing Falls from the lookout point near the bridge in Fallsview Park or look down on it from Wolastoq Park.
Drive or Walk the Fundy Trail Parkway
The Fundy Trail Parkway is one of the top things to do in New Brunswick if you like hiking, biking, or driving with a view.
This trail has stunning views. It is a 2,559-hectare park with a 30 km drive on the Bay of Fundy coastline. You can access four beaches, over 20 lookout points, many hiking and biking trails, a waterfall, a suspension bridge, rock formations, and more.
You can take a guided walk or learn about the history of it all at the Interpretive Centre.
Visit Fundy National Park
According to Trip Advisor, visiting the Fundy National Park is one of the top 10 things to do in New Brunswick. It is one of Canada’s smallest national parks, but there is much to do.
Hike the trails through the Acadian forest, view the spectacular waterfalls, and climb up to the high lookout points where you’ll see the Bay of Fundy.
Cross-country skiing on the park’s 40km of trails is one of the best things to do in New Brunswick in winter. In the park, there is a golf course and campground.
Visit Kouchibouguac National Park
The Kouchibouguac National Park is home to colourful salt marshes, mixed-wood forests, and warm ocean beaches. It is a prime destination and one of the best hidden gems in New Brunswick.
Stretching along the Acadian coastal drive, this park is an all-season destination. In the summer, enjoy some of the warmest waters north of Virginia at the beaches. In the winter, enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing along its trails.
It is also a great location for camping. At night, get breathtaking views of the stars.
Support Local Vendors at the Saint John City Market
Open from Monday to Saturday, the city market is a unique shopping experience for locals and visitors. Vendors sell a variety of local and international foods and products, including baked goods, fruit, vegetables, meats, fish, cheese, and more.
You can get a great cup of coffee and the best fish and chips at Canada’s oldest continuing farmers market.
Saint John also hosts a night market, an open-air market open every Thursday night during the summer and fall seasons.
Stroll Through the New Brunswick Museum
The New Brunswick Museum is Canada’s oldest continuing museum. It is open year-round, and visitors can discover the province’s history, art, and nature with two floors of accessible galleries.
You can hear whale songs, view full-sized whale skeletons and models on display, view the Tidal Tower, and more at this museum. No matter what you enjoy, there’s something for everyone.
Staff also offer outdoor walking tours, and you can take a look at the boutique. It was closed when we visited in 2022.
Take in the Views at Irving Nature Park
Irving Nature Park has had over 5 million visitors since it opened in 1992. It’s one of the best free things to do in New Brunswick – for a reason.
This park is part of the Bay of Fundy coastline and provides beautiful views. Both visitors and locals alike enjoy the outdoors by hiking, biking, and walking. There are lookouts, barbeques, a playground, a children’s forest, and life-size mazes to get lost in.
Just minutes from downtown Saint John, the Irving Nature Park is a central place to experience the ecosystems of the southern New Brunswick coastline.
Spend the Day at One of Many Beaches
With over 50 freshwater and saltwater beaches to discover in New Brunswick, it can be difficult to plan where to go. Visiting at least one beach is a must, so here are our top picks:
Dennis Beach – located in the sheltered Bay of Fundy and within sight of Hopewell Rocks, this beach is popular for walking along the edge of the rolling surf.
Hopewell Rocks – we already mentioned this at the top of the list, but it truly is one of the best destinations in New Brunswick. Enjoy these formations from a 2km beach appearing at low tide, where you can see the ocean floor.
Parlee Beach – many people call this the best beach in New Brunswick because it has everything you could ever want. There are daily activities like football and beach volleyball, a campground, and clean golden sand.
Explore Mount Carleton Provincial Park
Mount Carleton Provincial Park is the perfect destination in New Brunswick, Canada, for those who love to explore.
With a mix of Acadian woods and mountain peaks, there are over 42,000 acres of wilderness to explore. You’ll see over 100 different types of birds and 30 species of mammals, along with rare plants.
Mount Carleton Provincial Park has 11 hiking trails, ranging from wheelchair-accessible to challenging mountain hikes.
Visit One of the Many Lighthouses
There are lighthouses to see everywhere.
Visit Resurgo Place
Visit Resurgo Place to view the Moncton Museum and the Transportation Discovery Centre. It also houses the main Moncton Visitor Information Centre.
This museum is great for kids!
Learn About the Roosevelts at Campobello International Park
Located on Campobello Island in New Brunswick, the Roosevelt Campobello International Park is jointly staffed, administered, and funded by both Canada and the US. Though it is in Canada, it is connected to the mainland by a memorial bridge at Lubec, Maine, in the US.
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s summer home is preserved on this island in this combination of an outdoor nature park and an indoor museum.
Visiting this park will truly be a unique experience, where you can take a guided tour of the summer cottage with an impressive 34 rooms. You’ll learn about the Roosevelts and Campobello island history.
Visit the historic Hubbard Cottage gardens, where you can walk around, have tea and cookies, and listen to a one-hour talk about Eleanor’s life and accomplishments.