Guide to Planning Your New Brunswick Seaglass Weekend

Whether you’re like me and you have been collecting seaglass since you were a little girl or it’s a new hobby and you’re absolutely obsessed— there is no better place to call home than New Brunswick to have ample options for seaglass adventures. 

This summer, if you’re looking to plan the perfect seaglass weekend escape, you have more than a handful of options here in New Brunswick. 

And while you certainly don’t have to go far, as you can find seaglass on many of the beaches along the coast of the province; if you’re looking for a weekend away and plenty of seaglass possibilities, it’s time to book your summer vacay to one of my two favourite islands for seaglass hunting.

Grand Manan Island

It’s no secret that Grand Manan is a seaglass lover’s dream. With numerous beaches to choose from and beautiful accommodations right on the water aplenty, if you’re itching to spend your weekend head down on the beach hunting but also have never visited the island, this should be your first stop.

While you can visit Grand Manan any time of the year, to enjoy it to the fullest and have plenty of dining options, I recommend visiting between June and September. If you want to wake up to seaglass (or look for seaglass in your sleep) I can’t recommend staying at the Surfside Motel enough. 

Located right in North Head and minutes from the ferry, the Surfside is right on Stanley Beach which is arguably one of the most reliable seaglass beaches on the island. With the tide rolling in and out twice a day—and with a little help from the largest tides in the world thanks to the Bay of Fundy—you have two fresh batches of seaglass to choose from daily. You might even find the most perfect frosted stopper!

And when your neck and back start to get a little sore (if you seaglass, you know what I’m talking about) you have a whole island to explore as part of your downtime. From the otherworldly South Head Cliffs at the end of the island to the timeless Swallowtail lighthouse, there is so much to do when the tide’s up and you’re ready to play. Want to play alongside whales? Book a whale watching tour with the Lambert Family

Want to experience some of the most delicious food and treats? Make sure to stop by the Old Well House Cafe for one of their specialty coffees and fresh baking. I’m absolutely bananas for their carrot cake. And don’t hesitate to head back for their delicious soups and sandwiches for lunch.

Want an afternoon drink and unbelievable hot lobster dip? Stop by Trapped in Grand Harbour. For dinner, take a page from this beach bum’s playbook and pick up some Mexican takeout from Isla Cocina and head 2 minutes down the road to Seal Cove Beach for a beach picnic. 

What you need to know before you go: 

  • Grand Manan is only accessible by ferry and reservations are highly recommended during the peak travel season. You can book your trip here and don’t forget to arrive and check-in 45 minutes before your sailing. 
  • While there are plenty of Airbnbs and cottages to choose from in addition to the Surfside Motel, it is an island and so reservations book up fast every summer. To avoid disappointment, book your stay soon! 
  • There is only one gas station and one grocery store on the island. Both have varying hours so I recommend always having a full tank of gas (just in case) and planning ahead for what groceries or snacks you will want during your stay.

To plan your 2021 visit to Grand Manan, make sure to check out my Guide to Planning the Ultimate Grand Manan Staycation. Freshly updated for the 2021 season!

Campobello Island

Campobello Island has been featured twice in Beachcombing Magazine as home to some of the dreamiest seaglass, so it’s not surprising that the island hosts the Campobello Island Seaglass Festival—celebrating its third year this September!

If you’re heading to Campobello with seaglass on your mind, I definitely recommend staying at least two nights as you’ll find it pretty hard to leave after you start finding blues, purples, and maybe even red pieces of glass along the island’s shores. 

Campobello Island is home to the famous Roosevelt Cottage where Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt would spend their summers. It’s also an island known for its rich and grand history thanks to the Roosevelts, so you might even be lucky enough to find highly coveted seaglass stoppers, pipes, and other treasures from the mansions and hotels of the past on the island.

Want to seaglass all day, every day? I definitely recommend staying at the Pollock Cove Seaside Retreat located right on Pollock Cove, the perfect and most reliable spot on the island for finding more seaglass than you’ll know what to do with.

These cottages not only have a great view, but the whales often pass by in the bay and you can sip your morning coffee on your deck and watch them go by. How dreamy is that?

But here’s what I love about Campobello. There are MANY seaglass beaches around the island to choose from so you can book at our favourite spot, Friar’s Bay Motel or the Whale Watch Motel, and easily hop in your car to explore the various beaches. 

Just like Grand Manan, Campobello Island benefits from the powerful Bay of Fundy tides, so when the tide is up, you can explore all kinds of sights such as the two lighthouses on the island Head Harbour Lighthouse and Mulholland Point Lighthouse, walk the grounds of the Roosevelt estate, or hike in the Roosevelt Park. Want to go Whale Watching? Book a tour with Captain Mackie Green and Island Cruises Whale Watching. Tell Mackie the mermaid sent you! 

Feeling snacky? Head to The Porch at Friars Bay Inn and Cottages for delicious treats, coffee, and lunch items. And don’t forget to stop by the Scoop Shack for a delicious ice cream after popping into the Campobello Island Gift House to pick up some island gifts. 

Need help convincing your significant other? If they love to golf, the island is home to a beautiful none hole golf course so they can spend the day on the greens while you can spend the day on the beach! You can end your day with a delicious dinner right on the golf course at the Herring Cove Restaurant

What you need to know: 

  • Currently, Campobello Island is only accessible by ferry. You must first take one FREE ferry from L’Étete to Deer Island and one PAID ferry from Deer Island to Campobello Island. You can access the Campobello ferry schedule and updates here.
  • There is NO gas station on the island so make sure to gas up on the mainland or on Deer Island. While it only takes about 20 minutes to drive from one end of the island to the other, you’ll want plenty of gas for all of your beach combing adventures.
  • There is ONE grocery store on the island in Welshpool, minutes from the ferry landing, should you need snacks or an extra bottle of wine. 
  • Note: There is a bridge off the island to Maine but the Canada-US border is closed at this time. If you come to the bridge, turn around before crossing.

To plan your 2021 visit to Grand Manan, make sure to check out my Guide to Planning a Perfect Campobello Island Staycation. Freshly updated for the 2021 season!

Oh and don’t forget to check out the East Coast Mermaid’s Guide to Hunting Seaglass in New Brunswick! I share my mermaid secrets to finding the best seaglass wherever you’re hunting!


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