It’s hard to believe that three years ago, I was completely oblivious to the existence of Campobello Island. Despite hopping to Grand Manan Island frequently since I was in highschool, Campobello was completely off my radar.
Wow, how things have changed.
Campobello Island (population 850) is a Bay of Fundy island accessible by a ferry from Deer Island during the summer months and by bridge year-round. A bridge connected to the United States via Lubec, Maine.
Yes. To get to Campobello Island, you have to leave the country and re-enter the country. It’s just extra exclusive like that!
In August, I had the exciting opportunity to take my partner Dan to Campobello to make a VERY special donation to the Campobello Whale Rescue Team on behalf of Sandy Toes Shop and East Coast Mermaid.
It was his first time and I had a blast showing him all of my favourite haunts, beaches, coves, and lighthouses.
Here are just a few of my island musts when visiting!
WHERE TO STAY
If you’re planning to visit Campobello Island, make sure to book your accommodations in advance. It’s a small island, with only so many places to stay! Our current favourite is the Friar’s Bay Inn & Cottages.
Its newly renovated motel is gorgeous (I’m obsessed with the decor) and you have an ocean view from each motel room thanks to the design of the motel. You can easily walk across the street to stroll Friar’s Bay Beach and look for seaglass!
Book your stay here.
What many people are surprised to learn about Campobello Island is that the late U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt spent his summers on the island in the most gorgeous waterfront property. Today, it’s the Roosevelt Campobello International Park.
STROLL THE ROOSEVELT HOUSE & GROUNDS
A visit to the historic 34 room house and a tour is a must – even if you’re not a history buff. You’ll hear some amazing stories about Franklin and one of history’s most influential women, Eleanor Roosevelt.
Make sure to plan your trip around lunch time, so that you can swing by the Prince Cottage and have the most delicious, fresh lunch on their porch. The salad boats and chicken salad are a must!
PICK UP SOME GIFTS AT THE CAMPOBELLO GIFT HOUSE
You absolutely can’t leave Campobello Island without a keepsake and I promise you that the Campobello Island Gift House has you covered. When you visit, you’ll be greeted by the two sweetest dogs – Juno and Jersey – which just add to the already awesome visit you will have. In the store, browse a variety of gift items from Atlantic Canadian makers and get plenty of seaglass treasures. Make sure to say hello to Angela, the owner!
BOOK A WHALE WATCHING TOUR
You’re in the Bay of Fundy, so whale watching is a must! Book your tour with Mackie Greene and his crew at Island Cruises Whale Watching and set sail on the Mister Matthew to have an up close and personal experience with the whales that call the shores of Campobello Island home.
On your tour, you’ll see whales like minkes and finbacks, and if you’re lucky, in the later summer months, you may get a humpback whale treat!
Mackie is the Director of Whale Rescue Operations for the Campobello Whale Rescue Team so believe me when I say, the whales are extra friendly when they see his boat coming.
VISIT HEAD HARBOUR LIGHTHOUSE
Head Harbour Lighthouse or East Quoddy Lighthouse as its more officially known is my favourite spot on the island. It’s also on its very own island, accessible only at low tide.
Now, don’t let that deter you from visiting at high tide, as it’s beautiful to see it surrounded by water and it will truly give you a new perspective compared to when it’s accessible at low tide. This is also a GREAT spot to watch for whales, porpoises, bald eagles, and my new favourite little creature – minks that go from land to sea!
At low tide, the fun begins! For two hours before and after low tide, you can walk on the ocean floor, trek up a few sets of stairs and ladders and make your way to the famous lighthouse. The views are gorgeous and you may get an even better look at whales swimming by!
Just remember to wear proper footwear if you’re planning to cross over at low tide. The rocks and stairs can be slippery. Traveling with your dog or little ones? This lighthouse may be better viewed safely from land!
SPOIL YOURSELF WITH DELICIOUS, FRESH, SEAFOOD
Campobello is an island, so naturally, it’s got some GREAT seafood. If you successfully try every restaurant on the island and have a passport, you can then hop over to Lubec, Maine and sample some of their coastal cuisine.
A few of our favorite spots, in addition to the Prince Cottage that I mentioned earlier:
The Porch at Friar’s Bay
The Porch at Friar’s Bay is located next door to our favourite motel – Friars Bay Motel – and serves the most DELICIOUS breakfast items! If you love fish cakes, you’ve simply got to try their fish cakes and eggs! It’s also the best place on the island to get your coffee, especially if you love an espresso drink.
The Pier Waterfront
The Pier is a great spot to eat if you’re looking to sit on a waterfront patio and have some drinks and good food. Their caesars are DELICIOUS! And it’s arguably my favourite place to catch the sunset on the island, so why not do so with a drink in your hand?
If you make the trip over to Maine, you absolutely MUST check out Becky’s Seafood! This little roadside takeout stand was Dan’s pick and it was one of the best meals we had on the trip! Their lobster roll lives up to your dream of Maine lobster rolls and their fries are delicious! It’s well worth crossing the border!
So – when are you planning your visit to Campobello Island?
Visit Campobello is a great place to start!