January 14, 2022
We don’t know about you, but we’re feeling 2022! This year, we’re all about exciting experiences right here in the Maritimes. We’re exploring our neck of the woods and enjoying everything it has to offer — and we want you to do the same! That’s why we’ve put together a list of 22 must-do Maritime activities while you’re here this year! Whether it’s your first visit, you’re returning after a few years away, or you’re a local looking for something new, we’ve got you covered. Get ready for a year full of fun right here in the Maritimes.
Every summer, the Halifax waterfront transforms into a stage for performers from all over the world to share their magic with you. The Halifax Busker Festival runs from July 27 to August 1 this year. It features hundreds of shows — ranging from delightful to death-defying! There are magicians, musicians, fire breathers, carnival rides, international foodie flavours, and more. This festival is not to be missed!
Looking to pair an outdoor adventure with breathtaking views? A hike through Cape Split Provincial Park is just the thing for you. Hikers of all skill levels will be rewarded here with an up-close look at Nova Scotia’s natural beauty. Cape Split features a 13.2 km looped trail that will take you through old-growth and coastal conifer forests and offers beautiful views of Scots Bay and the Minas Basin.
A Maritime tradition, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo has been charming the world since 1979. Initially, the Tattoo was meant to be a one-time show, but the mix of music, pageantry, pomp, and acrobatics proved to be a hit with audiences. Now, more than 40 years later, the Tattoo continues to delight, and no summer visit is complete without experiencing this two-and-a-half-hour celebration of culture, history, and traditions.
Have you ever wanted to take a trip back in time? You can at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic site. Here, you’ll be transported back to the 1700s to experience life in a French fort full of local villagers, sailors, fishermen, and soldiers. While you’re here, be sure to visit the Mi’kmaw Interpretive Centre for a fascinating look at Mi’kmaw history through artifacts, imagery, storytelling, and more.
Joggins Fossil Cliffs are home to the most complete fossil record of life in the “coal age” some 300 million years ago. These cliffs are full of rare fossils, and, interestingly enough, there’s always an opportunity to discover something new. That’s because the constant erosion caused by tides from the Bay of Fundy creates opportunities for new fossils to be found twice daily!
Did you know Nova Scotia is home to one of only two North American communities to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage site? It’s true! Lunenburg is an authentic beauty on the South Shore, full of picturesque views, historic homes, and award-winning restaurants. Quaint and authentic, Lunenburg is like a living museum waiting to be discovered.
People from around the world make their way to Nova Scotia every year to drive the Cabot Trail — Cape Breton’s sensational scenic route. And it’s easy to see why! This 298 km journey weaves its way through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, showcasing a different visually stunning feast at every turn. Plus, there are plenty of hamlets, restaurants, local shops, and attractions to take in along the way, making this a drive to remember.
If you want to see everything the Island has to offer, Confederation Trail is the spot for you. Once PEI’s rail line, this trail spans from tip to tip across the province — 273 km from Tignish to Elmire. The trail itself runs 449 km, with nearly 250 interpretive panels along the route to tell the Islands history, from geographical facts to architectural evolution. Accessible all year round, the trail is a perfect spot for a walk or bike ride.
Anne of Green Gables is synonymous with Prince Edward Island. It’s impossible to separate Anne Shirley, everyone’s favourite red-headed orphan, from the Island she calls home. You can learn all about her, as well as the author who brought her to life, when you visit Green Gables Heritage Place. A part of L.M. Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site, you can immerse yourself in the 19th-century gardens and farmyard or take a stroll through the Haunted Wood and Lovers Lane. Or, simply explore the Visitor Centre. This is a must for Anne fans!
Whether you’re seeing a show or strolling through the gallery, the Confederation Centre is a must-visit for art lovers exploring the Maritimes. There are more than 17,000 pieces of art in the gallery’s permanent collection, along with a rotating assortment of travelling exhibitions on display throughout the year. No matter when you visit, you’re sure to find something that captivates you.
There’s something wonderful about quirky roadside attractions on vacation, and they may not get much quirkier than PEI’s Canadian Potato Museum. Make no mistake about it, Islanders know their potatoes, and this attraction pays homage to an iconic dinnertime staple. You’ll find the largest exhibit of potato-related artifacts and farm machinery here, as well as the world’s-largest potato sculpture! After your visit, grab a bite to eat at the PEI Potato Country Kitchen — you already know what’s on the menu!
Over the years, Cavendish Beach has earned its reputation as a country music mecca on the East Coast of Canada. The Cavendish Beach Music Festival is back this year and better than ever, with performers that will make you want to saddle up for the Island (in your finest cowboy boots and hat, of course!). This year, headliners include Luke Combs, Darius Rucker, and Cole Swindle, with many more acts to be announced for this three-day summer festival of fun. Yeehaw!
Did you know you can find the highest concentration of lighthouses in North America on PEI? It’s true! There are 63 lighthouses and range lights here — that works out to be about one lighthouse every 55 km. And eight of these lighthouses are open as community museums. They include:
The Wood Islands Lighthouse Museum is mere minutes from the Ferry — sounds like the perfect way to start a PEI adventure!
Seafood, sunny skies, Summerside — they all go hand in hand during the annual Summerside Lobster Carnival! This is the perfect opportunity to get a taste of PEI, literally! In addition to the namesake lobster, you’ll find plenty of other seafood to try, as well as harness racing, midway games, nightly entertainment, and more!
The Hopewell Rocks are a New Brunswick icon. Located along Hopewell Cape, these free-standing sea stacks have been shaped by the tides of the Bay of Fundy over thousands of years, resulting in the unique structures you’ll see when you visit. Make your way here from mid-May until mid-October, and you can walk beneath the rocks at low tide, then return a few hours later at high tide and kayak around them.
Located along New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, Kouchibouguac National Park is ideal for water lovers. After all, it boasts the warmest saltwater beaches north of Virginia! Take a dip at Kellys Beach or Callanders Beach in the summer, enjoy skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, or head out on a hike or bike ride any time of year. Then, when the sun goes down, camp out in one of the darkest places in North America and see the stars in a whole new light Dark Sky Preserve.
King’s Landing is New Brunswick’s living museum, allowing you to experience what life was like in the province some 200 years ago! Set across 300 acres and home to more than 70,000 artifacts and 70 historic buildings, there’s no time like the present to dive into the past at King’s Landing.
Splish! Splash! You’ll be having a blast when you visit Magic Mountain this summer. Relax in the lazy river or put your bravery to the test on one of their awesome waterslides, including the Torpedo, which will make you feel weightless, or the Kamikaze, where you can reach sliding speeds of over 60 km/h!
The home of the highest tides in the world is also the perfect place to find an amazing assortment of marine life. Head out on the water on a whale watching adventure and keep your eyes peeled for playful humpbacks, enormous finbacks, rare right whales, seals, porpoises, and more. There’s no doubt about it — you’re sure to have a whale of a time!
Have you ever wanted to learn more about Acadian culture? You can at Village Historique Acadien! This open-air museum features approximately 40 historic buildings spread across a 2.2 km path, all featuring costumed, bilingual interpreters bringing the daily life of Acadians from 1770 to 1949 to life. From June to September, you can also check out a wealth of daily cultural activities, cooking workshops, traditional restaurants, and more.
Looking for an unforgettable evening in Saint John? Attend a performance or at the Imperial Theatre. Built in 1913, this is one of the most spectacular buildings in all of Saint John. Originally built as a vaudeville house, today the theatre hosts everything from stage plays to concerts, burlesque revivals to classic films. You can even learn about the history of the theatre on a guided tour.
We saved the best for last! No trip to the Maritimes is complete without a journey by Ferry! Not only is it convenient, it’s also a right of passage for anybody visiting our region! Take MV Confederation or MV Holiday Island to PEI as the kickoff to your Island adventure, or conveniently cross between Digby and Saint John aboard MV Fundy Rose. Going international in 2022? There’s no better way to travel than aboard The CAT, which will once again be sailing across the Gulf of Maine between its new port in Bar Harbor, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
We hope your 2022 is full of fun, friends, and ferries! We look forward to welcoming you aboard MV Confederation, MV Holiday Island, MV Fundy Rose, and The CAT this year.