New Brunswick

New Brunswick, largest of the Canadian provinces along the Atlantic Coast, stretches from the border of Maine to Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy. Canada's only official bilingual province has many stories to tell—tales of the Acadian people, authentic artisans who keep the old ways of life going, and welcoming people who are happy to share a smile with visitors.

Many roads will take you to New Brunswick Canada, literally and figuratively. The city of Saint John is a popular cruise ship destination, and the capital city of Fredericton is connected to the world by air service and much of Canada and New England by rail. A trip from Quebec or Maine on the train is a scenic wonder you won't soon forget, especially in the fall. You'll also find regular flights and rail trips from Toronto and Ottawa, both in Ontario.

Both of the major cities offer an array of interesting places to visit. Saint John is home to a mix of charming boutiques and restaurants along the scenic Bay of Fundy. You can soak up the scenery at the Irving Nature Park, a kayaking excursion on the bay, and a jetboat tour of the Reversing Falls, The New Brunswick Museum explores more than 350 million years of natural history. Over in Fredericton, history is on display among the capital city's riverside walking trails, Victorian architecture, and museums. Many artisans have settled in Fredericton, opening up their studios and galleries to visitors.

On cultural tours, you also can hear the tragic story of the Acadian people, who were forced to leave at several sites, including Le Pays de la Sagouine, a living history village, and Grand Pre National Park. The Acadians who settled in Louisiana became known as the Cajuns.

Back in Canada, whether in the city or the countryside, the history and heritage of New Brunswick Canada can be discovered in its cuisine. Many of the restaurants specialize in local favorites and seafood. Some of the other specialties may sound a little strange, but they're worth trying when you want to experience an authentic taste of the Maritime provinces.

Fiddleheads, which are ferns growing along the banks of streams and rivers, are a local favorite, appearing at farmers markets, grocery stores, and find restaurants. Acadian-style cooking is evident in pets de souer cinnamon rolls and poutine—a dish consisting of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy that can be found in many areas of Canada.

New Brunswick is proud of its potato-growing roots, which is especially evident in the community of Florenceville-Bristol, the self-proclaimed French Fry Capital of the World. The potato blossoms are lovely in the spring; all year, you can make a visit to the Potato World Museum, a hands-on experience that explains how potatoes make it from field to the table, and how they shaped the history of the province.

The town of Saint Stephen, just across the border from Calais, Maine, is also proud of its connection to a particular food—in this case it's chocolate. In this little town, you'll find charming boutiques as well as the Chocolate Museum. Outdoor recreational opportunities are in abundance here, too, including bird watching, hiking, and the Ganong Nature Park.

Outdoor adventurists and scenery buffs will find many places throughout New Brunswick Canada to experience nature's majesty. At Sugarloaf Mountain Bike Park, you can see where the north reaches of the Appalachian Mountains cross the scenic Restigouche River. Designated a Canadian Heritage River, the Restigouche is a favorite place for kayaking and fishing. At Mount Carleton Provincial Park, you'll find the tallest peak in this part of the country. As a Dark Sky Preserve, you're guaranteed an excellent view of the stars after the sun has set.

The Bay of Fundy, which separates New Brunswick Canada from the neighboring province of Nova Scotia, serves as a backdrop for many outdoor adventures. In the fall, thousands of shorebirds pass by on their way from the North Pole to South America. Hiker and cyclists can watch for wildlife and see some of the highest tides in the world from the Fundy Trail. The beaches and lookout spots along the way are worth a second or even third look.

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