August 24, 2020
There’s nothing quite like a summer road trip through Canada’s Maritimes. Our ferries set sail out of some of the most convenient ports for exploring the area. Here are some of our favourite ways to spend our daycations in the Maritimes.
If you’re a seafood lover with a soft spot for scallops, then Digby is a must-visit Maritime destination. But there’s more to this beautiful port than amazing seafood — including wildlife sightseeing, museums, and a rather famous house.
A short 10-minute drive from where the Fundy Rose sets sail is the world-famous Maud Lewis replica house. Maud has always been adored by Maritimers for her brilliant works of art, and you can visit the real area where her and her husband’s small fishing shack home once stood. A to-scale replica stands there today, featuring artwork in Lewis’s distinctive style.
The Lewis replica house is not far from a beautiful park for an afternoon picnic, the Annapolis Royal Basin Lookoff Provincial Park. The park offers beautiful views of the basin — and if you’re lucky — you may even be able to spot some of the surrounding sea life. Whales have been spotted near the mouth of the basin on occasion. The scenic views make this park the perfect place to park your car and have your lunch. Best of all, park access is free!
Right off the Fundy Rose at the West Side Docks is Saint John West. Local to the area is the Reversing Falls Bridge. If you want to observe some amazing tidal power, the Reversing Falls Bridge is a great place to watch some of the highest tides in the world — from the Bay of Fundy — become some of the lowest.
Tides aren’t the only amazing natural phenomena in the area. Did you know that Saint John is home to a UNESCO global geopark? There are only 127 in the whole world! Stonehammer Global Geopark is believed to be the site where, thousands of years ago, South America and Africa collided, creating the new continent of North America as we know it today. You can paddle along Ice Age waterways, climb up 554 million year old lava rocks, and investigate 13 thousand year old marine creatures.
Looking for even more adventure? Saint John is home to two zipline parks for thrillseekers. TimberTop Adventures offers kid-friendly fun with easy obstacles for the whole family, while Saint John Adventures has daring zipline tours over the rushing Reversing Falls rapids. Whichever adventure you choose, it will be a day trip to remember!
There is nothing quite like the open sea air. The allure of sea travel has inspired people for hundreds of years. Which is why while in Pictou you want to trade one boat for another and hop on the Hector at the Hector Heritage Quay. Do you know a person with the last name MacDonald in Nova Scotia? Their family likely landed in the province after a voyage on this famous ship! The Hector carried largely Scottish settlers across the Atlantic to Nova Scotia in 1773. Today, you can step aboard a life-size replica of this ship and watch history come to life all around you.
If you’ve had your fill of seafaring, you can relax along the sandy shores of Caribou and Munroe’s Island Provincial Park. The park has trails for casual strollers and avid hikers. If hiking isn’t your thing, then you can unwind on the beach. The beach is one of Nova Scotia’s sand beaches (no rocky shores to pinch your feet here!) and you’ll be swimming in the Northumberland Strait, so you can expect the water to be a few degrees warmer than a dip in the Atlantic.
You’ll know you’re pulling into port at Wood Islands when you see the iconic Wood Islands Lighthouse. The classic red and white lighthouse is still keeping ships safe at night and in fog, and during the day it offers an interactive exhibit for visitors to learn about the history of Prince Edward Island.
The local area of Wood Islands has some food and entertainment options, but you may want to make the drive into Charlottetown to have your supper at Peakes Quay. Charlottetown is a popular summertime destination for friends and families, as the area offers a great mix of nightlife and kid-friendly activities.
While downtown Charlottetown can be a blast, no trip to PEI would be complete without a day spent relaxing on the famous red mud. For a look at a local favourite, make your way to Panmure Island. This sunny destination along the eastern shore is known for having the warmest waters on PEI. At Panmure Island Provincial Park you can lay out your beach blankets on the sand, and take a relaxing dip in warm refreshing waters.
Why not plan a new route for your daycation with us? You don’t need to travel far to have a memorable Maritime getaway. Daycations are a fun way to see more of our beautiful region — and find some new favourite spots. The Maritimes are an amazing vacation spot any time of year, but in the summertime we are extra spoiled with beautiful beaches, water sports, outdoor activities, and enough history to fill a book — or several!
We’re looking forward to helping you explore the maritimes!