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Learning About the Sea with Viva Shediac & Homarus Eco-Centre – NB Staycation Series

Viva Shediac with East Coast Mermaid

I have been creating memories in the coastal town of Shediac, New Brunswick since I was a baby. So many of our family members have beautiful homes and summer properties there that have brought me to the town time and time again as a little girl.

Now, as an adult, Shediac is one of my favourite places to escape for drives along the shore, beach yoga, fresh seafood, evening swims and more! But I’ll be honest, after 36 years of spending countless hours and days in Shediac, I kind of thought I knew everything there was to know about my summer escape.

Turns out, I still had a lot to learn. Thanks to Francois and Karine, Founders of Viva Shediac, I now have a ton of great Shediac knowledge and trivia to share with my friends on beach days.

MEET VIVA SHEDIAC

Viva Shediac is an authentic tourist experience company that offers the opportunity to discover all the best Shediac has to offer through all-inclusive, authentic & unique experiences in the summer. Their motto? You shouldn’t have to organize fun activities in the summer—that’s their job! And take it from someone who spent a few hours with them last week, they LOVE what they do!

#NBstaycation Viva Shediac & Homarus Eco-Centre

This summer, Viva Shediac is offering FOUR exclusive tours to choose from with a mix of walking and driving. We participated in their Sea Discoveries experience—but they also offer a Strolling & Tasting walking tour, Bar Hop, and Sunday Drive experience that takes you along the Acadian Coastal Drive with local experiences at each stop.

THE SEA DISCOVERIES EXPERIENCE IN SHEDIAC

I’m a mermaid, so naturally, I like to think I know pretty much everything there is to know about the seafood I eat on the regular. I was excited to take part in the Viva Shediac Sea Discoveries experience to not only learn a bit more but indulge in some local seafood dishes right on the ocean as part of our tour.

#NBstaycation Viva Shediac & Homarus Eco-Centre

The Sea Discoveries experience invites you to come spend time on Shediac’s coast. In this 2.5-hour long walking tour, you’ll become a lobster specialist, eat some delicious food and walk in the sand. You’ll learn exactly what made Shediac one of the most famous coastal towns in Atlantic Canada—including the history surrounding Parlee Beach and the Pointe-du-Chêne Wharf. We even talked about PIRATES! (So you know I was loving it!)

Homarus Eco-Centre

Shediac is the Lobster Capital of the World, so it’s no surprise you’ll kick off this tour by learning more about Shediac’s most famous culinary offering: the lobster! Your tour begins at the Homarus Eco-centre on the Pointe-du-Chêne Wharf and note, you’ll want to have $3 on hand to access the wharf and parking for your tour!

#NBstaycation Viva Shediac & Homarus Eco-Centre

On your private tour, you’ll learn everything there is to know about lobsters, their lifestyle, and oh yes—even their sex life! Which believe me when I say, is WILDLY fascinating! (The female lobster was totally the first feminist. Just saying.)

We had such a great time at Homarus. We learned how lobster traps work—something I thought I knew but apparently did not—and we also learned exactly how long the female lobster carries her fertilized eggs around for underneath her body before releasing them to become super cute baby lobsters. The answer will surprise you!

#NBstaycation Viva Shediac & Homarus Eco-Centre
#NBstaycation Viva Shediac & Homarus Eco-Centre

And of course, perhaps the highlight of your VIP experience, you’ll get to hold a baby lobster of your own. I also spent some time with their older friends for the perfect photo op. (Needless to say, this mermaid was pretty giddy about the whole thing!)

#NBstaycation Viva Shediac & Homarus Eco-Centre

Lastly, before leaving the centre you and yours will get to personally NAME a baby lobster. So if you ever meet a Homer or Jimmy Buffet the Lobster out there in the New Brunswick waters—Dan and I are totally responsible for naming them!

History of Pointe-du-Chêne

Once you have fulfilled your lifelong dream of snapping photos with cute baby lobsters, your tour will continue with a walk along the Pointe-du-Chêne Wharf road where you will get stunning views of Parlee Beach, Shediac Island, and Skull Island.

#NBstaycation Viva Shediac & Homarus Eco-Centre

You’ll also get to see the old train station where city folk would arrive on the “Picnic Train” from the city back in the day to spend the day at the beach for the price of a dime! This was especially cool for me to hear about as my Dad and his siblings still remember taking the train to the beach when they were kids.

We also learned about the famous Flying Boat Planes which would land in the Shediac Bay during trans-Atlantic flights in the 1930s and 40s! How cool is that? It was totally something I had never heard about, even after living here all my life and now that I know about it, I can’t stop imagining how neat it would have been to see these huge seaplanes land while sunbathing on Parlee Beach.

Lastly, before continuing through the beach marsh to the restaurant, I made sure to ask a few questions about the famous legend that pirates once sailed through these waters to Skull and Shediac Island. Francois and Karine confirmed what I had suspected—there are rumours that the famous pirate Captain William Kidd’s ship ran aground on the sandbar between Shediac Island and Skull Island and his treasure remains buried there.

Anyone got plans next weekend if I get a boat and some shovels? 😉

Euston Park, Shediac

A coastal experience such as this would not be complete without indulging in some local, fresh seafood! So after you’ve learned everything you need to know about lobsters and the history of the area, your tour will take you to Euston Park’s Parlee Beach location for a delicious lunch or supper (depending on the time of your tour) on their beautiful outdoor patio with stunning beach and ocean views.

Euston Park Parlee Beach is easily one of my favourite restaurants in Shediac and a popular summer haunt, so this part of the tour was such an added treat! Especially because, no matter how many times I’ve gone to the restaurant, I’ve never tried the Seafood Poutine.

Until now.

And let me tell you. It’s what dreams are made of and the only way I ever want to eat poutine ever again. With a warm seafood casserole like cream sauce filled with fresh seafood in lieu of gravy, crunchy fries, cheese curds and diced clams on top—you’re going to be talking about this dish for a while.

#NBstaycation Viva Shediac & Homarus Eco-Centre

Of course, it’s not the only item to choose from so if you’re a landlubber or looking for something a little lighter, there are a few options for you to choose from during your visit! I promise you, you will love whatever you decide on!

Beachcombing on Parlee Beach

The last part of your Sea Discoveries tour takes place as you walk back to the Pointe-du-Chêne Wharf along Parlee Beach. Your tour guides will provide you with a little pamphlet featuring six different types of shells and creatures you might be able to find on the beach. You’re invited to try and find and identify each one along the way.

Fun Fact: I may or may not be one of the few that has actually eaten every shellfish on the list, including our infamous razor clams, which have been wreaking terror on the bottoms of our feet for decades.

And pro tip: you may want to pack a beach bag in the car! After our tour, we headed back to the beach we’d just walked along to spend the evening relaxing and going for a refreshing swim! You’re already there, why not make the most of it!

#NBstaycation Viva Shediac & Homarus Eco-Centre

I can’t say enough good things about our Viva Shediac experience! After years of planning to visit Homarus Eco-centre to learn more about my favourite seafood, it was so great to finally get a private tour and learn a thing or two. (And again, I’m telling you. You’ll be sharing the lobster hanky-panky facts you learn at summer BBQs for years to come. I promise!)

Whether you’re a local, tourist or you’ve lived here your entire life—I encourage you to book an experience with Viva Shediac this summer. The best part? You get to support two awesome, young and ambitious entrepreneurs who could not be any sweeter! We want to book another tour just to hang out with them again! :)

Tours range from $38 to $44 dollars (including food) and last between 2.5 to 3 hours in length. Most are offered daily, while the Sea Discoveries tour is offered Tuesday through Sunday. To learn more about tours, pricing and booking click here.

Have fun exploring our local waters this summer! And if you book a tour, make sure to tell them the mermaid sent you! 🐚

Disclaimer: This experience was sponsored by Viva Shediac and Homarus Eco-centre. While we were compensated for this post, all opinions are our own. And we LOVED what we experience!

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