Take a Road Trip Alongside the World’s Highest Tides.
Photos by Sharon Kurtz.
Easily one of Canada’s most underrated destinations, New Brunswick is well-known for its picturesque fishing villages, unspoiled nature, and famous Bay of Fundy coastline — one of the most scenic in the world.
An excellent destination to escape the Texas heat and surround yourself with cooling coastal waters, New Brunswick is accessible via Montreal or Toronto Pearson airports and connecting to a regional flight to Moncton or Saint John. From either, you’re close to Hopewell Rocks, Fundy National Park, and the Fundy Trail Parkway.
Family, Fundy, Fun!
The Bay of Fundy is a great family vacation destination with an abundance of national and provincial parks for camping, fishing, and picnicking. Small inns and hotels dot the coastline, providing a respite to relax and enjoy nature.
Walking on the exposed sea floor, spotting minke whales, and fossil hunting are all thrilling, but the stars of the show are the highest tides in the world.
More than 160 billion tons of water rush in and out of the deep, funnel-shaped bay twice a day in sync with the tides of the Atlantic. Thanks to its long, narrow shape, the water that comes into the Bay of Fundy for one tide change is enough to fill the Grand Canyon twice!
Walk on the Ocean Floor at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park
Visit Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park when the tides are low to walk on the sea floor between the towering flowerpot formations. Then, later in the day, return at high tide to paddle a sea kayak 40 feet above the ocean floor to view those same formations. The park is home to more than 20 sea stacks carved through time by the famous tides. Nicknamed the Flowerpot Rocks, the trees that grow at the top of the stacks resemble plants in a clay pot. The face of the towers takes on shapes that remind us of people and animals dotting across a mile of coastline.
Drive the Fundy Trail Parkway
The Fundy Trail is simply one of the most fantastic drives in the world. The coastal drive has views of the long, rugged coastline, with many honey-stop-the-car moments. There are 21 scenic lookouts on the 19-mile drive where you can park the car and enjoy the fresh air, breathtaking scenery, and sensational views of deep river valleys and waterfalls.
Stop at Alma for Lobster
The picturesque fishing village of Alma is the gateway to Fundy National Park, with cute shops and family-run small hotels and eateries. I was amazed to see lobster boats sitting on the ocean floor at low tide, trapped until the tide comes back in, with only a three-hour window to set sail and return. And the lobster doesn’t get fresher than in Alma. I recommend the Alma Lobster Shop, family-owned, with third-generation sons trapping the lobsters.
Explore Nature Along the Coast
St. Martin is a quaint village with twin covered bridges spanning a tidal river. The town is known for its caves, historic homes, and time-etched sea cliffs. Explore the sea caves at low tide; they almost disappear at high tide. The romantic Cape Enrage lighthouse overlooks the bay like a cliff-top fortress. Below the cliffs, explore the beach for fossils — those of fossils of animal footprints from 320 million years ago have been discovered.
Take in the Cities
The historic seaport of Saint John is the only city on the shores of the Bay of Fundy. It’s the oldest incorporated city in Canada, blending historic charm with a vibrant art and food scene.
Sitting on the inlet of Passamaquoddy Bay, St. Andrews is a good starting point for fabulous whale watching.
And New Brunswick is blanketed with forests and has 3,400 miles of coastline. If you value nature, peace, and tranquility, New Brunswick is your stop!