October 6, 2020
This time of year, we’re definitely feeling thankful. And in 2020, we mean it more than ever! This year, we’ve been lucky to explore our provinces and get to know some of the beauty in our own backyards. And as we’ve made our way around our three provinces, we’ve had the chance to see a few of our favourite landmarks. Now, we want to share them with you! Here are a few of the Maritime landmarks we’re most thankful for.
Breathtaking views? Check. Serene scenery? Check. The highest tides in the world? Check. The Bay of Fundy perfectly sums up the blend of rugged wonder and laid-back lifestyle the Maritimes are known for. Every day, twice a day, 160 billion tonnes of seawater makes its way in and out of the Bay of Fundy. This process completely transforms the Bay, with the tides rising 50-feet in some areas! You can visit a location like Hopewell Rocks at one point during the day and walk along the ocean floor. Then, come back a little while later with the kayaks and paddle your way across the same spot. It’s truly incredible, and we love having this truly natural wonder right here in the Maritimes.
And, of course, our favourite way to see the Bay of Fundy is by setting sail across it aboard Fundy Rose. You’ll get incredible views (keep your eyes peeled for whales!), delicious food, and the opportunity to see two provinces in one day. We might be biased, but we’re certainly thankful for that convenience as well!
One of the most famous road trips on the planet, the Cabot Trail has earned its reputation. Whether you cruise through in a single day, a weekend, or even an entire week, there’s something for everybody — from world-class dining to out-of-this-world views! There are plenty of amazing hikes (including our personal favourite, the Skyline Trail), The Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and seemingly endless kilometres of open road. Rev your engines — you’re going to thrive on this unforgettable drive.
Oh, and if you visit in the fall, you’re in for quite a treat. When the colours of the leaves start to change, and the rolling hills are awash in a sea of red and gold, it’s truly something to behold. Don’t forget your camera. You’re going to want to capture these moments for a lifetime.
Step foot on the beaches of PEI and you’ll quickly notice something different underfoot. No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. The sand here is a beautiful shade of red! The reason is because of the iron-rich soil we have here on the Island. When the soil and sand are exposed to air, the iron oxidizes — changing its colour to the rusty red it’s famous for.
Of course, while the colour is beautiful, it’s not the only reason to make a trip to the beaches of Prince Edward Island. Welcoming and wonderful, PEI beaches are the perfect place to go for a stroll, to spot some lighthouses, and explore the coastline. Best of all, you’re never too far from the beach when you’re on the Island. There are 23 National and Provincial Park beaches here — not a bad number for Canada’s smallest province — and we sure are thankful for every one of them.
An iconic symbol of Nova Scotia’s Yarmouth and Acadian Shores, the Cape Forchu Lighthouse has been guiding visitors into Canada for close to 200 years. Constructed in 1839, the lighthouse sits within Leif Erikson Park, a 19-acre destination complete with walking paths, benches and tables for an outdoor lunch, and plenty of rugged grounds that are begging to be explored. It’s a fantastic spot for stargazers and sunset chasers to get the perfect view of the skies above, as well as a great place to catch a glimpse of the hustle and bustle at the Yarmouth port. And geo-cachers, you won’t want to miss the area surrounding the lighthouse — it’s full of treasures waiting to be found.
Did you know that the world’s longest covered bridge is right here in the Maritimes? Crossing the Saint John River from Hartland to Somerville, the Hartland Covered Bridge is 1,282 feet long and home to quite a history. The bridge began operating in 1901 and was mostly crossed by horse and wagon. During this time, it was known as “The Kissing Bridge”, as couples would stop in the middle and sneak a kiss under the privacy of the bridge’s roof. These days, most folks cross the bridge by car, and it’s considered good luck to hold your breath the entire way across.
So, just how famous is the Hartland Covered Bridge? Well, it’s got its own brand of potato chips (Covered Bridge Chips) named after it. In fact, you can tour their factory, learn their story, and, yes, sample some of your favourite flavours when you’re in the area.
One of the coolest rock formations on Prince Edward Island can be found along Thunder Cove Beach on the Island’s north shore. This sandstone rock formation is shaped just like a — you guessed it — teacup. While it’s a little off the beaten path (or beach, in this case), making your way to this landmark is definitely worth the reward. This unique formation has been delighting locals and visitors for generations, and while it’s fun to look at, like all sandstone, it’s quite fragile — so it’s best not to climb. If you’re looking to snap a cool photo of Tea Cup Rock, we recommend visiting in the early morning when the sun is still low in the sky — the lighting makes for epic photos!
The Maritimes has so much to be thankful for, and we’re lucky to be able to explore our provinces aboard Fundy Rose and Northumberland Ferries. But what we want to know is, what are you thankful for? Share a little Maritime magic with us on Instagram, and let us know your favourite East Coast landmarks. We can’t wait to see your photos and hear your stories.