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Exploring Atlantic Canada Travel Guide: Tips and Highlights

Updated: Jul 1

Each province on East Coast Canada is its own bucketlist-worthy destination. From the windswept shores of Nova Scotia to the quaint charm and laidback island vibe of Prince Edward Island, expect to eat the freshest oysters and most buttery lobster rolls, drink crisp ales and white wines, feel the salty spray of the ocean water, be charmed by the friendly locals and be blown away by the stunning landscapes. Keep reading for tips and highlights for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island travel (with a little bit of New Brunswick and Newfoundland sprinkled in)


lighthouse on the East Coast of Canada

When to visit:

July and August are the warmest months and the ones with the most festivals and events happening. If you’re looking to spend a lot of time outdoors and want warm temperatures, this is the time. This is also the time when cruises come through so expect the region to be busy. September and October see a drop in temperature but are less crowded and you have the opportunity to see Fall foliage.


How to get there:

Fly into a major airport like Halifax or Saint John. Rent a car to drive between provinces and there are ferry connections to help you get between provinces as well.



girl at lighthouse


What to eat:

Food is one of our favourite reasons to travel and the East Coast delivers when it comes to fresh and delicious eats.


PEI potatoes: as if you needed an excuse to order a side of fries, you can’t leave the island without trying their claim to fame (they grow the best potatoes in the world)

 

Oysters: they are the best in the world.

 

Garlic fingers: A cheesey and garlicy masterpiece, they’re baked in every corner pizza store of every Maritime town (and each one whole heartedly believes theirs is the best one)

 

Lobster rolls: a typical roll is drenched in butter and served in a hot dog bun. Different styles have emerged over the years and the lobster roll has gotten some fun variations you can try. Also, surf and turf (with scallops or lobster)

 

Wine: Nova Scotia has a long and rich tradition of growing grapes for wine, dating back to the 1600s. So it’s safe to say they’ve mastered the art and science of winemaking. The climate and soil conditions in Nova Scotia favour unique and distinctive grape varietals. Try the sparkling wine they’re known for!


Craving more? Check out our friend Chef Jillian's complete guide to eating on the East Coast for the ultimate foodie adventure.


scallop and steak surf and turf


What to do:


Get on the water: whether you go swimming or kayaking, seeing the coastal views from the water is a must

 

Hikes and nature walks: There is no shortage of spectacular hiking across these provinces. The Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Cape Breton follows the coast and treats you to spectacular views around every corner, with hikes ranging from easy to challenging.

 

Explore the cities: Halifax is a picturesque seaside city with heritage buildings and a beautiful boardwalk. Wander around the vibrant city and take a walk on the harbor before heading to one of the popular pubs for lobster rolls and a local ale. Charlottetown has your quintessential small town vibe with a unique touch of islander charm. See the streets where Canada as a country began (the Canadian Constitution was signed here).

 

Find the most stunning views: The landscape in Atlantic Canada will leave you breathless. From rolling farmland in PEI to rugged green mountains jutting out of the Atlantic Ocean on Cape Breton Island, the dramatic peaks, valleys, cliffs and rockscapes have sparked inspiration in countless writers, musicians and poets and is sure to have you pulling your camera out. All four provinces on Canada’s far east coast are all worth spending time in and exploring the different views.



girl in forest

 

Witness the World’s Highest and Lowest Tides: The Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick is home to the world’s highest and lowest tides and the best place to see this natural phenomenon is at Hopewell Rocks. Twice a day the highs and lows happen where you could be kayaking (at high) and walking along the ocean floor (at low). Tide tables are available to help you plan your visit.

 

See iconic landmarks: Walk into a real life storybook at the Anne of Green Gables house, wander the colourful Lunenburg (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and take a picture of one of the most photographed beacons at Peggy’s Cove.


Lunenburg


Conclusion:


The beauty of East Coast Canada is unparalleled and can’t be missed. Feeling inspired? Join our group trip in October!



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