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Welcome to
New Brunswick,
your next summer getaway

With award-winning breweries and restaurants, vibrant music festivals, ocean-fresh food, stunning natural beauty and countless friendly communities, New Brunswick is a province inviting the world to come on over.

Here, we introduce you to five proud New Brunswickers who embody the welcoming spirit of the province. They run some of New Brunswick’s most exciting attractions and share a passion for connection and creativity. Though their expertise lies in wildly different areas, from adventure sports to cuisine to luxury glamping, they all have the same advice for visitors: Take your time. Talk to the locals. Find the little-known beach. Sample the local food. Step off the beaten path.

As famed local chef Gene Cormier says, New Brunswick is the perfect sort of destination for travellers looking to escape the daily grind and enjoy a more relaxed pace of life.

“The type of travel that people are doing now really lends itself to stopping and staying a while in New Brunswick,” he says. “If you’re a foodie, if you’re a nature lover, if you travel with your pets, if you’re looking for authenticity, if you’re craving peace – this is the place.”

Meet the locals

A stunning spectacle by land or sea

Mike Carpenter and Jordan Jamison
Bay of Fundy Adventures  

Perhaps the province’s most well-known attraction, the Bay of Fundy boasts the world’s highest tides, which can rise an incredible 16 metres. At low tide, you can stroll along the ocean floor gazing up at towering sea stacks. After the tides have come rushing back in just a few hours later, you can paddle past those same rock formations by kayak for a whole new perspective.

But it’s not just the striking tides that makes the Bay of Fundy worth a visit – it’s everything that the extraordinary natural phenomenon has created: dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, flowerpot rocks, salt marshes and abundant ecosystems that attract a diversity of birds, fish, whales and more.

St. Martin’s, a 20-minute drive from Saint John, is a gateway to these natural wonders. It’s also the home of Bay of Fundy Adventures, an adventure travel company that offers visitors a wealth of ways to enjoy the area by water, footpath or culinary experience. (That might include a succulent, buttery lobster boil or a beach BBQ featuring fresh Atlantic salmon over an open fire.)

“We’re adventure guides and storytellers, whether about flora and fauna, tides, biology or our history of shipbuilding and logging,” says Mike Carpenter, co-owner and lead guide.

“It’s our job to get people out to see the marvellous places we’ve explored – to take people to places they’re not as comfortable going on their own, whether because they don’t know the area or they don’t have the gear.”

One of Carpenter’s favourite tours is a small-group, 2.5-hour kayak trip, suitable for all skill levels.

“The Fundy Trail Parkway, which is our neighbourhood park, has the best views of the Bay of Fundy you’ll get from land,” he says. This “neighbourhood park” just happens to be an astounding 30-km stretch of protected coastal land with over 20 scenic lookout points, five beaches, a suspension footbridge and several hiking trails.

“The views from the water are so different at every turn,” says Carpenter. “[There are] caves and rock formations and beaches, all along one of the longest stretches of wilderness coastline on the eastern seaboard.”

Carpenter and his colleagues also offer longer kayak tours of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve, the Stonehammer Global Geopark – which is one of two UNESCO designated sites in the area – and the Fundy Isles Archipelago. Great areas for spotting birds and marine life, paddlers can encounter seals, bald eagles, osprey and peregrine falcons as they drift past soaring cliffs and forests of red spruce.

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“[In the Biosphere Reserve], we have pristine cliffs and rugged coastline,” Carpenter says. “The Fundy Isles offer more marine life and islands to explore.”

The Bay of Fundy region is a paradise for hikers, with miles of quiet, lush trails to be explored. For those seeking to explore the region on their own, Carpenter has this suggestion: “Get off the main roads.”

“There are so many little gems – trails, harbours, waterfalls, communities. Here, you can experience the tides and the wilderness in places where you can be by yourself,” he says. “People need a little bit of that on vacation.”

‘Spicing up’ outdoor adventures

Sam Bosence
BeRad Adventure Co. 

In the words of outdoors enthusiast Sam Bosence, New Brunswick’s thriving adventure tourism sector is adding “spice” to what many know about spending time in the province.

“Everyone has probably seen the drone flyover shot of the coastline and the beaches. Now we’re letting people know what you can do when you get to that beach, when you arrive at the coast,” says Bosence. “Did you know you can go rock climbing? Paddleboarding? Skateboarding? Mountain biking through the woods?”

Bosence is the founder and owner of BeRad Adventure Co., which specializes in mountain biking skills training and meet-ups across the province. She’s also project manager with Mountain Bike Atlantic and collaborates with others in the adventure tourism sector to make New Brunswick’s great outdoors more accessible to all.

The varied terrain of the province – including the Miramichi and Saint John River valley, the Appalachian Mountain Range, the Bay of Fundy, the Acadian Coastline and all the wild expanses in between – create opportunities for equally varied adventures, from fly fishing to back-country hiking, canoeing to cycling.

As Bosence points out, trails for cyclists of all skill levels, from relatively flat scenic routes to clusters of cross-country single-track trails, are in every region of the province. Two lift-access bike parks, Poley Mountain and Sugarloaf Provincial Park, are a treat for downhill riders. In fact, Sugarloaf’s trail system was designed and built by renowned Whistler, B.C., bike trail developers Gravity Logic.

“This province is an absolute gem,” Bosence says. “Our bike trails will bring you into beautiful parks and rock outcrops, old-growth forests and coastlines. And some are right beside urban areas.”

The capital region, for example, has trails for riders of all levels, including Fredericton’s well-maintained city trail system which is a network of over 120 km. Or, you can get your tires a little muddier just 45 minutes outside of the city in the village of Minto. Here, a group of dedicated mountain bikers have transformed a former mine site – Minto has a 400-year history of open-pit coal mining – into 40 kilometres of single-track trails. Once perceived as a wasteland, the steep ravines, turquoise lakes, rock formations and lush forests have become a biking destination.

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"There are so many places where you can stop and explore for hours at a time,” she says. “Go, find the giant lobster [in Shediac], stop at the Hopewell Rocks – but look around for the extra experiences. That’s the fun part."

Getting back to nature, glamping-style

Pat Gauvin and Emilie LeBlanc
Cielo Maritime Glamping  

The luxurious four-season tent domes of Cielo Maritime Glamping – each with a private hot tub – are called Pearls, not just for their shape, but as a nod to the bustling oyster harvesting operations in the area.

Haut-Shippagan, the hometown of Cielo, is heaven for seafood lovers, says Pat Gauvin, co-owner of Cielo. In fact, New Brunswick’s entire Acadian Coastline is a must for those who have a taste for the sea.

It’s one of the best places in the world for snow crab, notes Gauvin. “Plus, there’s shrimp, lobster, rock crab, Arctic char,” he adds.

The incredible seafood is just one of the reasons Gauvin and co-owner Emilie LeBlanc decided to create their eco-tourism business. Gauvin, a photographer, filmmaker and surfing enthusiast, and LeBlanc, a registered dietician, wanted to showcase the beauty and bounty of the land they love and showcase the creativity of the people who live there.

“We’re mainly a French speaking community, and a tight-knit community, but very welcoming. People are helpful and will be happy to have you around,” says LeBlanc. “This is a great, warm place to live, and a great place to come for vacation too.”

The Pearls, which are located either beachside or nestled into trees nearby, celebrate the natural beauty and peace of the area. An onsite pub and marketplace known as The Hub sells almost exclusively local products.

“We wanted to elevate the pride of people who live here,” says LeBlanc. “We’ve had businesses start here at Cielo, like Café Munro [the on-site coffee roaster]; we have gardens to experiment with small-scale farming, and we sell value-added products from farmers in the area. The Hub is a place where people and businesses can connect.”

At the Hub, guests can sample a variety of local meats, seafood, cheeses and condiments to create a delicious custom charcuterie board. Because everything is community-sourced, visitors can really get a flavour of what the region has to offer, says Gauvin.

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“When you taste the snow crab, you know that it came from down the road; the oysters came from our neighbour. It’s a treat for people who enjoy discovering great products and great tastes and new experiences.”

Another experience: digging for clams on the expansive sandy beaches (Cielo will provide a bucket, shovel and advice). The area is suitable for kayaking, paddle-boarding and kite-surfing. A new 65-kilometre vélo-route is perfect for cyclists.

“We wanted to create a space where people can disconnect and reconnect with themselves and loved ones and discover our region,” says Gauvin.

“And we have the most beautiful beaches,” adds LeBlanc. “You can go to any one of them and really enjoy your space.”

Celebration, community and ‘urban cool’

Ray Gracewood
Area 506 Waterfront Container Village

“Saint John is a port city, but for a long time the port itself wasn’t something that people could be part of,” says Ray Gracewood, president and committee chair for Area 506. “We wanted to change that.”

Once a parking lot on an underdeveloped section along the Saint John harbour, Area 506 is now a vibrant, colourful summertime marketplace – a showcase for the city’s lively arts and culture scene and entrepreneurial spirit.

Gracewood, a long-time supporter of the Saint John community and former director of marketing for Moosehead Breweries, assembled a small group of volunteers to make his passion project a reality. They launched Area 506 as a weekend festival in 2016 as a “way to celebrate all things New Brunswick” with local vendors, food and three days of concerts. The venue was created out of 70 or so containers borrowed from the nearby shipyard and temporarily repurposed as shops.

Having grown up in the region and travelled across the province for work, Gracewood said he was determined to share what he loves about New Brunswick with the rest of the world.

“People aren’t always aware of the diversity of culture in the province,” Gracewood says, “and we wanted to showcase that vibrancy. We also wanted to be a soapbox for the amazing things that are being made in New Brunswick.

The weekend festivals were a great draw for locals and visitors alike, but “it was an awful lot of work to create something for three days,” Gracewood says. “So, we wondered, what if we designed something more permanent?”

In June 2022, Area 506 Waterfront Container Village officially opened. There are three distinct areas: Retail Row, with local craftspeople, artisans, and other vendors; Grafitti Alley, a made-for-Instagram strip of snack and sweets stores, and the Docks Container Lounge music venue, where a multi-level patio offers an expansive view of the harbour.

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It’s a place to meander, relax and chat, says Gracewood. Daytimes are family- and dog-friendly; nighttimes are built around live entertainment, including concerts by the east coast’s (and Canada’s) biggest names.

Gracewood says there’s an “urban coolness” to the area that people might not expect from Canada’s oldest incorporated city. “It might make you think differently about what the region is all about.”

Fresh food and fine brews

Gene Cormier
Euston Park Social 

For years, Chef Gene Cormier worked in high-profile, high-end establishments around the world, from New York to Qatar to Singapore. He gained insights into global cuisine – and learned just how special the bounty his home province has to offer really is.

“I saw that many of those other places don’t have the quality of products we do in New Brunswick. We’d be bringing in products from elsewhere to try and reach a certain level,” he says. “But New Brunswick is the source; the products from our sea, our orchards, our farms, they’re known around the world and they’re freshest here.”

When talking to customers in far-flung restaurants, Cormier would share his pride in his homeland.

“I’d tell people that the lobster capital of the word was 20 minutes from the house where I grew up, that I used to play on those beaches,” he says.

So, when Cormier moved back to Canada, it wasn’t just because it was home. He was also excited to work with local producers, local products and be part of a burgeoning food scene.

“Coming back and forth and seeing the New Brunswick food scene grow and develop and innovate over the past few years has been a thrill. It’s evolved into something that represents us, and that is also exciting and fun,” he says.

Cormier, along with his wife Susan, currently owns and operates Euston Park Social, a seasonal beer garden-style operation with locations in Moncton and at Parlee Beach Provincial Park (located 20 minutes from Moncton on the Northumberland Strait).

“We celebrate the best and the freshest of the season, and the best of what’s around us,” says Cormier. They partner with local farmers, fishers, bakers and microbreweries to offer mouth-watering dishes in a cool and casual atmosphere (think a lobster roll with tarragon and lemon butter or a sumptuous clam dip, paired with a chilled craft beer).

The Cormiers also own Halo Donuts, a donut shop with two Moncton locations. It’s the kind of old-school place that fits into the province’s diverse food ecosystem, says Cormier.

“We have classic diners and take-outs [in New Brunswick], time capsules where you still radio in your orders,” says Cormier. “And we also have fine dining restaurants on best-of lists. We are not missing anything here.”

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The province’s microbreweries are gathering attention too. Moncton’s Tire Shack Brewing Co. was named 2022 Canadian Brewery of the Year, for example, and Fredericton’s booming Taproom Trail is a must for bike and beer enthusiasts visiting the riverside capital city.

“Watch for the microbrewery icon on road signs,” says Cormier. “Breweries may be tucked into villages that weren’t on your radar. Slow down, take the exit, follow the back road, go see passionate people working on great products.”

This content was produced by The Globe and Mail’s Globe Content Studio on behalf of Tourism New Brunswick. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.