Where to go in New Brunswick | Top cities and destinations

by W. Andrew Powell
St. Andrews By-The-Sea

What do you most want to see and do in New Brunswick? The great outdoors is calling, and so are the province’s charming cities and towns.

Starting with the three main cities, Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton offer hotels, art galleries, top restaurants, bars, and much more. They’re cultural hubs for the province, with everything you need for a great road trip, or a relaxing stop on your way.

Smaller towns and villages offer quiet and relaxing spaces, east coast hospitality, and gateways into the great outdoors.

Here are suggestions on where to explore and what to do. To get more travel ideas for New Brunswick, read the full road trip guide.

Fredericton City Hall
Fredericton City Hall


The capital region of New Brunswick is filled with culture and history, including the recently updated Beaverbrook Art Gallery, and the historic downtown area includes the iconic Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, and the Old Burial Ground with records and tombstones dating back to the late 1700s.

Other highlights include the Taproom Trail, with 11 breweries, the Boyce Farmers Market, bicycle tours, or you can go paddling on the Wolastoq/Saint John River.

Saint John

Saint John is the province’s port city, and it has lots of parks, activities, history and culture.

The Saint John City Market is the oldest continuing farmer’s market in Canada, and dates back to the 1870s, with food and gifts. Across the river you can also see the Reversing Falls, or head to Rockwood Park and take a hike, bike, or boat.

Uptown Saint John and the Container Village offers shopping, or you can walk ocean-side at the Irving Nature Park. The city also has excellent restaurants and bars, and it’s close to rural highlights like St. Martins caves.


Try your luck at Casino New Brunswick and enjoy the hotel, shows, spa, and dining. For the kids and families, go to Magnetic Hill Zoo and then get wet at Magic Mountain SplashZone.

For outdoor lovers, visit Centennial Park, or see the Tidal Bore in action when the tide changes twice every day. And explore some of the local Acadian history at Musee Acadian.

Towns and rural highlights

Fundy Trail Parkway
Fundy Trail Parkway

New Brunswick has a number of quaint, beautiful, and very charming towns as well, from Hartland, where you can drive across the world’s largest covered bridge, to St. Andrews By-The-Sea, an idyllic sea-side town with outstanding restaurants, and the Algonquin Resort.

Close to Saint John, the St. Martins sea caves offer a rugged beach with large caves, as well as inns and B&Bs, plus excellent seafood and views.

From there, it’s a short drive to the Fundy Trail Parkway, and on to campers’ and hikers’ paradise, Fundy National Park. The national park is over 200 square kilometres with numerous trails for all types of outdoor enthusiasts. You can stay at the park or in the nearby town of Alma for a couple of days, and then explore zip lining or rappelling at Cape Enrage.

Up the coast from Fundy you’ll find Hopewell Cape, with the flowerpot islands, and then it’s less than an hour to Shediac, one of New Brunswick’s coastal towns, with Parlee Beach for a nice day of sun and sand.

Aside from the coast, the province has lots of scenic woodlands to explore. You can go glamping at a number of log cabins and domed accommodations, like Ridgeback Lodge, and the drive beside the Saint John River, along the Trans Canada Highway, goes through scenic villages.

Near Fredericton, you can also step back into history at Kings Landing, a 19th century village with costumed characters, animals, exhibits, events, and meals.

Off the beaten path you’ll find towns like Hampton, Kingston Peninsula, and the quiet town of Sussex with their annual hot air balloon festival, as well as art, murals, car shows, outdoor activities, and cycling.

Or go explore islands, like Grand Manan, Campobello Island, and Deer Island, a short drive from Saint John.

More information

Learn more about New Brunswick’s cities, towns, and regions at Tourism New Brunswick.

For more information on planning your trip you should also visit Fredericton Tourism, Discover Saint John, and Experience Moncton.

Want to get a look at one of my trips? Watch my New Brunswick road trip video.

Looking for more travel stories? Visit our Canadian Travel Guide for ideas across the country.

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