When trying to combine all of the beautiful shots I took while spending three days on Grand Manan Island (selected from over 500 photos in total) it dawned on me that it was impossible for me to simply do one Grand Manan post.
It is without a doubt, one of my favorite places on the East Coast and quite arguably in the world, and so it only felt right to divide the love into two posts. This is the first.
If you’ve never heard of Grand Manan, it’s a small, remote island in New Brunswick, Canada near the American border and the state of Maine. In fact, it’s so close to the USA that when I was on the southern tip of the island, I lost cell service and was quickly picked up my American cell towers and my time was automaticallyset back by an hour to Eastern time.
Accessible only by air or ferry, you can drive from one end of the island to the other in about 30 minutes. Home to beautiful coves, steep cliffs, and one of the most picturesque lighthouses in Canada, Swallowtail, it doesn’t take much for visitors to see why so many of its residents moved from the mainland to embrace island life.
Here are just a few of the many moments from our first day in Grand Manan.
One of my favorite parts about visiting Grand Manan is that you still have to take a ferry. The 1.5 ride over is always a treat and if you have a good eye, you can often spot playful porpoises and even whales putting on a show on the sail over!
When trying to explain to friends or fellow canadians how remote Grand Manan truly is, I always use the example “It’s so small – there’s no Tim Hortons or Starbucks.” That said, they do have the island cafe which is home to one of the best hazelnut iced lattes I’ve ever had.
We had a wonderful time chatting with the french owner of this cafe and sampling some of the most delicious crepes! If you stop by the Bleu Marie, make sure to check out their bakery and treats!
As I mentioned above, Grand Manan is home to one of Canada’s most famous lighthouses – Swallowtail. Nestled on a northern point of the island, it’s one of the first sights you see from sea when approaching by ferry and it’s well worth the hair raising walk over an old bridge crossing a ravine (after descending a steep set of stairs) to get to the lighthouse. But “fortune favours the brave” and you’re rewarded with the most picturesque panoramic views and if you’re lucky, some pretty epic whale sightings.
Grand Manan is home to a number of picture perfect coves around the island. Pettes cove offers a fantastic view of Swallowtail (the bridge over the ravine) and the chance to catch some friendly seals swimming close to shore or sunning on the beach!
Make sure to come back Thursday for Grand Manan Part Two to see more ocean views and whales, whales, whales!