Top 10 Things to Do in Atlantic Canada: The Maritimes & Beyond

Atlantic Canada offers a spectacle of nature viewing and expansive vistas, from lush rolling hills to dramatic coastlines. This fascinating region is home to warm welcoming folk, Atlantic Puffins, breaching humpback whales and the highest tides in the world! Colorful fishing villages are alive with history, and picturesque lighthouses stand watch over the ocean. All this and so much more awaits you in Atlantic Canada! Are you curious about the best things to do in Atlantic Canada Provinces? Or what to do in the Maritimes of Canada? 

We collected insider tips from top experts in educational travel to assemble the top list of place to see and things to do in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island!

Top Things to Do in New Brunswick, Canada

Hopewell Rocks & the Bay of Fundy

The Bay of Fundy is one of the top things to do in New Brunswick. This iconic bay is home to the highest tides in the world — making it one of the seven wonders of North America! The power of these mighty tides can be witnessed with a visit to the Hopewell Rocks at the Bay of Fundy. These red sandstone giants stand 40-70 feet tall and were formed as the mighty tides of the Bay of Fundy eroded a mountain range once larger than the Canadian Rockies. Walk among the Hopewell Rocks at low tide or kayak around them at high tide.

Road Scholar Recommends: The Best of the Canadian Maritimes →

Bay of Fundy Whale Watching

Board a catamaran boat in the Bay of Fundy to learn about the tidal ecosystem with marine biologists from the Huntsman Marine Science Centre. Whale watch on the Bay of Fundy for humpback, minke and finbacks, along with seals, porpoises, bald eagles and seabirds! If you’re lucky, you may also spot the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale!

Road Scholar Recommends: Best of New Brunswick: Three Cultures, Three Shores →

Exclusive Lodging on Campobello Island

Situated in the Bay of Fundy and less than half a mile across the Narrows from Lubec, Maine, Campobello Island became a summer resort for wealthy American and Canadian families alike in the late 19th century. The most famous of those summer residents were Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Get to know FDR’s summer getaway as you stay in exclusive lodging on Campobello Island in a beachfront cottage or at the charming inn.

Road Scholar Recommends: The Roosevelts on Campobello Island: Life at the Glorious Edge →

Top Things to Do in Newfoundland & Labrador

Gros Morne in Newfoundland & Labrador

Words alone cannot describe the stunning beauty of the diverse landscapes of Gros Morne in Newfoundland & Labrador, where you can see barren cliffs, fjords, bogs and beaches alongside mountains and forests. This National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit to learn how the plate tectonics and glacial formations shaped the Tablelands of Gros Morne, and hike in Gros Morne National Park to discover one of the few places where earth’s mantle is exposed. Plus, while catch a performance of the Gros Morne Theatre Festival troupe!

Road Scholar Recommends: Coastal and Mountain Hiking in Gros Morne National Park →

Puffins in Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is known as the “Seabird Capital of North America” and is also home to the largest concentration of humpback whales in the world! Learn about these giants of the sea, and observe the puffins of Newfoundland and Labrador and other marine life as you ride the waters surrounding the infamous Witless Bay Ecological Reserve.

Road Scholar Recommends: The Best of Spectacular Newfoundland Coast to Coast →

Top Things to Do in Nova Scotia 

Cabot Trail Cape Breton

The Cabot Trail is a scenic roadway that skirts around the rugged cliffsides of Cape Breton Island. Drive the 186-mile loop through Cape Breton Highlands National Park to take in the stunning coastal and verdant mountain landscapes, or stop to hike Cape Breton Island through Acadian hardwood forests and see waterfalls. Learn about the Gaelic influences in the region, and visit the Alexander Graham Bell National historic Site!

Road Scholar Recommends: Hiking Nova Scotia: Cape Breton Highlands National Park →

Downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia

Head to downtown Halifax in Nova Scotia to explore this bustling harbor town and the province’s capital city. Pop into the shops and restaurants in the historic red brick buildings on Argyle Street, or stroll along the seaside boardwalk. Head up to Citadel Hill to learn about the history of Fort George or stop by Fairview Law Cemetery to pay respects to victims of the sinking of the Titanic. Then stop at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to learn about the Royal Canadian Navy and more!

Road Scholar Recommends: The Best of Nova Scotia: Highlands, History and Halifax →

Bay of Fundy Kayaking

With the highest tides in the world, the shore views along the Bay of Fundy are constantly changing, which makes the bay one of the best places in the world for sea kayaking! Head to Horseshoe Cove, a sheltered area, for some calm Bay of Fundy kayaking through stone archways and along rugged cliffs. Learn about the unique marine life that surrounds you, and catch a glimpse of the Cape D’or Lighthouse. 

Road Scholar Recommends: Ancient Fossils and Towering Tides: Nova Scotia with your Grandchild →

Top Things to Do in Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island’s Anne of Gables

Decades before the creation of the Prince Edward Island National Park, Lucy Maud Montgomery was born in the village of Clifton (now called New London), located on the north shore of the island. The pastures and verdant bluffs of PEI would inspire her to write her most famous novel: “Anne of Green Gables.” Visit the island where Montgomery dreamed up the beloved stories of Anne Shirley, and learn about its literary significance at Green Gables Heritage Place.

Road Scholar Recommends: Best of Prince Edward Island →

Charlottetown, PEI

Charlottetown, PEI, the capital of the province, is a charming little port city filled with Victorian beauties like the Beaconsfield Historic House. Also home to the Culinary Institute of Canada, the city is a center for gourmet cuisine and craft-beer. Explore the restaurants and shops along Richmond Street and pop into the galleries at the Confederation Centre for the Arts. Learn about all the people who have made this island their home over the centuries, from the Mi’kmaq natives to French explorers and Acadian farmers. 

Road Scholar Recommends: Best of Prince Edward Island →

Have we convinced you to embark on an adventure to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador or Prince Edward Island?

Explore our entire collection of learning adventures in Atlantic Canada →


About the Author
JoAnn Bell, Senior Vice President of Program Development, develops and manages more than 5,500 learning adventures in 150 countries and 50 states. JoAnn’s extensive travel industry experience informs her expert insight on everything from where to find the world’s most charming streets to must-see hidden gems across the globe.

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