Canada’s Atlantic coastline is a mix of sheltered coves, dramatic ocean views and storybook towns and villages. Every visit to Canada is a grand adventure, but its smaller, more intimate side is just as appealing. The eastern provinces, Newfoundland & Labrador and New Brunswick, cover a huge geographical space and hide cultures and communities which reveal impressive diversity.
Newfoundland & Labrador has a reputation as one of the friendliest places in the world. Coastal settlements, like the capital, St John’s Harbour, have a fishing tradition dating back to the birth of the country – and represent a mix of English, Irish, French and native heritage. The Miawpukek First Nations people are well represented in Newfoundland: visitors can learn about their history in coastal settlements across north and south Labrador.
The province’s cultural background contributes to a thriving music scene, involving numerous traditional influences. Firsthand samples are widely available – as live bands break out the fiddles, accordions and bodhran drums, and belt out foot-stomping jigs in cosy, crowded pubs and bars.
New Brunswick shares many similarities with its northern provincial cousin. Quiet sandstone settlements, scenic bays and picturesque cliffs create a striking coastline, which draws visitors all year round. Fundy National Park, in the south east, spans a spectacular, rugged coastline where 25 waterfalls rush directly into the Atlantic. At low tide, visitors can explore the ocean floor itself – and discover a wealth of aquatic flora and fauna. Fredericton, New Brunswick’s capital, contains dozens of museums and galleries which showcase the province’s heritage and character. That same eastern Canadian seafaring history is also well-represented: visitors can get involved in a number of maritime activities – including explorations of authentic ‘tall ships’, kayak tours of the coastline and even whale watching expeditions.
Eastern Canada’s weather can be unpredictable – but the marine climate is temperate and tends not to reach extremes. Summers in the provinces are generally bright and warm and allow visitors to hike idyllic trails or tour quaint village streets. Trips to sandy beaches or rural lakes are always on the cards during summer – along with a number of music festivals and cultural events. While summer temperatures push the 20s, things are brisker during Autumn and Spring, where hikes and sightseeing trips through golden-leafed forests are a popular diversion. In Winter, skiing and snowboarding make for exciting holidays options, while other activities, like snowmobiling and snowshoe trekking ensure trips never get boring.
Striking natural beauty and a look back at Canada’s cultural and geographic heritage are all reasons to head out to the eastern provinces – their welcoming atmosphere and thriving community spirit mean you’ll find plenty of reasons to return!
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