Canada is one diverse country and nowhere is that more apparent than in our Maritime provinces. Visually stunning, riddled with friendly folk and abundant seafood, it’s any budget traveller’s dream destination.
8 reasons to love the Maritimes:
Hotels, Lobster, Maritime portion sizes are generous, Free Family Activities, Beaches, Pop Culture, Save on Energy Bills, Rent or Buy a Home.
Kitchen parties are a way of life on the east coast. After all, it’s not really a party until someone pulls out their fiddle, guitar or harmonica, now is it? Ceilidhs and square dances can be found any time of year all over Cape Breton and fall’s Celtic Colours Festival is a celebration like no other. Even the posh Algonquin Resort gets into the groove, pulling their Passamaquoddy Piano onto the front lawn, encouraging guests to play it at random.
They love their lobster rolls, lobster bisque and especially, getting an entire two-pounder all to ourselves, dipped in melted butter. Visitors will want to keep an eye out for church lobster suppers, where locals and tourists break claws together. For a sure thing, hit up New Glasgow Lobster Suppers in P.E.I., where you’ll be treated to unlimited mussels, salad, hefty lobsters, plus their infamous pies.
There’s no better place to soak up your summer than at a seaside resort. Charming resorts towns like St. Andrews-by-the-Sea and Lunenburg, a pretty port town on Nova Scotia’s southern shore, tempt tourists with their impossible quaintness. Or, get away from it all at refurbished summer mansions such as Dalvay-by-the-Sea and White Point Beach Resort. And if you’re a fan of cozier accommodations, there’s an abundance of gabled Victorian mansions turned into affordable B&Bs.
’Tis a slower way of life here, and one that requires a pocketful of change at all times. Payphones are everywhere and coin operated parking meters (that take nickels and dimes!) still anchor the avenues in downtown centres. Much of the time you’re not able to pay for your gas at the pump. Nope, after filling up you’ll have to trot inside and pay the cashier yourself. But that just gives you the opportunity to catch up on the local gossip.
Sure, Canadians have a reputation for being polite, but Maritimers put the rest of Canada to shame. Folks here have pride, yet remain unabashedly unpretentious. They’ll chat you up on the street, buy you a drink in the pub and seem genuinely interested in where you’re from and why you’re here. Perhaps it’s because these descendants of fishermen and farmers are all hard-working, small town folks at heart.
Highest tides in the world
The Bay of Fundy is one of the world’s most fascinating coastlines. Head to Hopewell Rocks, AKA the flowerpot rocks, and walk the ocean floor when the tide is out to explore the dramatic rock formations. Then you can hike, bike or drive along the Fundy Trail, an eco-experience brimming with gushing waterfalls, towering cliffs and those infamous high tides.
The price is right
Tight wad travellers make a beeline for the east coast. They know it may cost a pretty penny in airfare, but once there, it’s bargain city. The average glass of wine is under $6 and, god bless ’em, they fill it right to the brim. The price of lobster is at an all-time low, meaning: full lobster dinners can be had sub $20. Best: hotels in high season are still affordably priced compared to most other resort destinations in Canada.
Who cares if she’s a fictitious character? Anne of Green Gables is one of Canada’s most iconic heroines. Abundant Anne attractions are found all over PEI. At Green Gables Heritage Place, stroll through Lovers Lane and the original green gabled house that inspired the famed books.
Wee-ones will be wowed with the roving characters and old fashioned fun at Avonlea Village and theatre buffs will love Anne of Green Gables – The Musical. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the popular production, dubbed the world’s longest running annual musical by Guinness.
White, brown or red, the choice of sand is yours on Canada’s eastern seaboard.
New Brunswick’s Parlee Beach is a wide expanse of powder fine sand and boasts the warmest salt water in all of Canada. Art you can really dig is found at Brackley Beach in P.E.I. Here, kids of all ages can learn the finer points of sandcastle building from master sculptor Maurice Bernard.
Reverence for culture
Canada’s rich cultural heritage is vibrantly displayed throughout this entire region. Kilts and family tartans are worn with pride in Nova Scotia, which translates to new Scotland, after all. Cape Breton keeps its Irish past close to the heart with a lively Irish-influenced music scene and Gaelic college. New Brunswick is Canada’s only official bilingual province (it is the only province officially recognized in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for having English and French as official languages) and you can easily tell where the Acadians live, by the large, singular star affixed to their home or barn.