Authored by The Dime Travelers
When most people think of visiting Canada, they rarely think of the east coast unless they know someone from that region.
But as east coasters, we have long been proud of our little piece of paradise and believe that its small town charm, welcoming atmosphere and beautiful landscapes will make you fall in love!
From seafood to vegetarian and gastro pubs, friendly locals and affordable stays, there are a thousand reasons to visit the Atlantic Provinces. The following are four places you need to visit along the Canadian east coast.
4 Places You Need to Visit in Atlantic Canada
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Moncton, New Brunswick
Dubbed “Hub City” due to its convenient location in the middle of the Maritime Provinces, Moncton is an ideal place to start. Within reasonable driving distance, you will find National Parks, beaches and hiking trails to your heart’s content!
Kilometers of beaches line up the east coast and Shediac’s Parlee Beach is a popular one. For quieter areas try the beaches in Cocagne, Bouctouche or Cap Pelé. “Le Pays de la Saguine” offers an authentic Acadian experience with music, theatre, sketches and activities.
Kouchibouguac and Fundy National Parks are perfect for hiking, camping, biking, canoeing and more. In Fundy, experience walking on the ocean floor and check out the tide of the Bay of Fundy. It goes up and down an impressive 10 to 14 meters!
Back in Moncton, make your way downtown for the phenomenon of the Tidal Bore, a wave of 60 cm that travels kilometers through the Petitcodiac River. If you’re lucky you can even see surfers riding it!
Head to Magnetic Hill, where your car will defy gravity, Magic Mountain Water Park to cool down, and Centennial Park for hiking, biking trails, campgrounds, a playground with a Splash pad, and an aerial obstacle course (Tree Go).
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia and a significant economic center due to its shipyard, port, multiple universities and military bases. Known for its appealing variety of watering holes, it is said to have the most bars per capita in Canada. To top it off, you can find delicious fresh seafood served in almost every restaurant.
You can explore the Ocean with swimming, boat tours or other expeditions. Halifax also offers wonderful historical sites. The Citadel Hill National Historic Site, dating from 1749, is located in the downtown area of the city near the waterfront and is a must see for locals and visitors alike.
Another well-known attraction that should be highlighted is the Harbor Hopper. This green floating vehicle provides both entertainment and information during a drive through the city’s streets and its plunge into the waters of the harbor.
Prince Edward Island (PEI)
So PEI is not a city, but this tiny island is only 244 km long and 6 to 64 km wide, therefore easy to explore in one trip! From potato fields, to distinctly red dirt and breathtaking ocean views, PEI is a perfect destination for relaxing or to enjoy time with your family!
Attractions include Cavendish Beach, Cabot Beach Provincial Park and at least one of the multiple boardwalks. Take a trip to the water park, have a few games of golf or be adventurous and enjoy a deep sea fishing excursion. Additionally, the Green Gables farmhouse is a beloved attraction located in Cavendish. It is internationally renowned thanks to the fictional character and 1908 novel ”Anne of Green Gables”.
You can reach PEI by taking a ferry from Nova Scotia, driving the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick or flying to Charlottetown. The Confederation Bridge is an attraction in itself as the longest in the world to cross ice-covered water at 12.9 km!
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
This little gem is close to the most eastern point of Canada. A wonderfully friendly city with an Irish flair, it is filled with history and traditions. Striking rows of colorful houses, mountainous terrain and a beautiful harbor makes this a postcard worthy sight.
Visit Signal Hill, a historic site with a perfect position for your photos, and great for hiking and picnics. You can spend your days on the golf courses, hiking nearby or visiting the town, then finish it off in one of the many pubs for an ultimate end to your day.
Fresh seafood, craft beers and great talks with friendly locals are easy to find here. Lastly, don’t forget to get “Screeched-in”! A Newfoundland tradition involving cod, rum and an oath to which you will become an honorary Newfie! Trust us, it’s a must do!
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Photo credits: Featured image by Dennis Jarvis. Moncton, New Brunswick by Tony Webster. Mary’s Point new Brunswick by James Mann. Halifax Waterfront by Janayna Velozo. Long Lake by Dennis Jarvis. Prince Edward Island photos by Dennis Jarvis.