New Brunswick is an RVer’s paradise with it’s beautiful scenic driving routes, funky festivals, cross-cultural heritage, endless beaches, world-class fishing, and authentic farmers markets. They have it all — including the Bay of Funday, where visitors can appreciate the world’s highest tides and a unique coastal experience.
Funday Coastal Drive
Just under 300 miles of jaw-dropping views will greet you on your journey along the Bay of Funday starting at the southern community of St. Stephen. Work your way gently north and east through Saint Andrews, St. George, the Provinces Capital Saint John, Sussex, Alma, Moncton and on to Sackville. With names like those, it’s bound to get very interesting.
Things to see & do along the way
- Whale Watching — Sailing on a replica of an early 19th century Tall Ship sailing vessel with a knowledgeable interpretation crew and scouting for giant whales is an experience never forgotten. Based along the shore of St Andrews the Jolly Roger takes its passengers back into the past when explorers roamed the seas in search of new lands and adventures.
- Hopewell Rocks — This is the site of the world’s highest tides and when the tide is out it’s possible to walk amongst the unique flower-pot rocks whose unique formations were caused by the tidal waters over thousands of years. Picture a building four stories high because that’s how high the tide is when it rushes in twice a day and then becomes a beautiful place to kayak or paddle. The Interpretive Center offers outstanding views of the Bay of Funday with fabulous multi-media exhibits.
- Sackville Waterfowl Park — Get a close-up view of the wildlife as you wander along two miles of winding boardwalks and trails in this wetland of managed freshwater marsh. Once part of an immense salt marsh, dykes were built during the 1700s by the locals to use as farmland because of it’s rich soil. Entrance to the park is free and there’s guided tours available during the spring and summer months.
- Funday National Park — This family friendly park is a destination popular every summer with visitors who enjoy the solar-heated saltwater swimming pool, hiking and biking trails, an onsite nine-hole golf course and the well equipped campgrounds. Every Saturday night during the summer months the sounds of maritime music can be enjoyed at the Outdoor Theatre during the Sounds of Summer Concert Series.
Spend a few days in the park and take the time to spend a day geocaching, bird watching, golfing, fishing or just relaxing by a crackling campfire.
View the phenomena of the reversing rapids from Bridge Road or Fallsview Park. The Saint John River is 450 miles long and runs through the province before emptying into the Bay through a very narrow gorge causing rapids.
Near Fallsview Park there’s an underwater ledge that’s 36 feet below the surface and right here the tidal waters are 14.5 feet lower than the river’s level. The bay tides start to rise and it slows the river’s current down to a stop and for 20 minutes the waters are at a rest called a slack tide. As the Bay’s tides continue to rise, the force gradually reverses the river’s flow and the rapids form again. The water rises 14 ½ feet higher than the river.
Sussex Flea Market
During a weekend in August, the New Brunswick Antique Auto Club puts on an annual flea market with more than 900 vendors. This is the largest and oldest flea markets in the Atlantic provinces, and is the best place to be if searching for antiques, collectibles, auto parts or a unique treasure. You may surprise yourself with what you find that you can’t live without.
This is the oldest incorporated city in Canada and the capital of New Brunswick with a tumultuous past that dates back hundreds of years. A day spent browsing some of the museums, galleries or going on The Three Historic Walking Tours will encourage you to stay a bit longer in this very interesting maritime city.
Dinner could be a rustic outdoor lobster boil, a delicious seafood chowder, a tender steak, a salmon dinner or even sushi.
Enjoy Uptown Saint John with it’s narrow alleyways, old fashioned pubs, tiny art galleries, restaurants and quaint shops. Don’t miss the Saint John City Market, a National Historic Site and the place to go for the best fish and chips, fresh meats, fresh seafood, crafts or even just a cup of coffee.
If you’re staying at Funday National Park, Alma is the village to visit for restocking your pantry, searching for fossils, arranging a fishing expedition, shopping for fresh lobster or finding a trinket to take home.
Side Trip to Grand Manan Island
Watch for porpoises and whales as you ride the ferry from the mainland to Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Funday. Of course the scenery is spectacular but the you’ll really enjoy and appreciate the Living Reflection of Island History display.
Seafood is definitely a must and a treat if you pick up a lobster dinner from one of the many small cafes or restaurants and have a picnic at one of the many pullouts along the scenic drive on the island. Visit the Grand Manan Island Farmers Market for fresh vegetables, baked goods, crafts and locally made jewelry.
It’s obvious that RVers are made very welcome in New Brunswick by the number of fabulous private campgrounds, RV parks, and both provincial and national parks available for every type of camping you wish to experience.
There’s rustic for those who want to get away from it all and there’s luxury if you wish to be a bit more pampered and everything in between.
A driving tour through New Brunswick is not only scenic, entertaining and exciting it can be educational as well. The Bay of Funday Coastal Tour is just one of five beautiful scenic routes RVers can enjoy when visiting New Brunswick.The rich history, natural beauty, unique culture and outstanding attractions entice RVers to return often.
- Tourism New Brunswick — http://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca
- Map of Funday Coastal Drive — click here.
- Whale Watching — http://www.jollybreeze.com
- Funday National Park — http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/nb/fundy/visit.aspx
- Grand Manan Museum — http://www.grandmananmuseum.ca
- Scenic Drives of New Brunswick — http://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca/TravelInfo/ScenicDrives.aspx