New Brunswick / Travel

East Coast Mermaid’s 25 Favourite Summer Haunts in New Brunswick

Unless you’re new around these waters, you know I’m pretty obsessed with my endless list of summer haunts in New Brunswick.

From our sandy beaches, otherworldly islands, majestic whales, seaglass for days, and the freshest seafood, what’s not to love about New Brunswick during the summer months?

I’m often asked what some of my favourite destinations, islands, restaurants, beaches, fried clam and lobster roll takeouts in the province are—and the answer is easy! I have a lot of favourite summer haunts. Certainly more than I could ever compile into a single list.

But it definitely got this mermaid thinking: ‘maybe it’s time I share a list of some of my go-to spots for easy reference, vacation planning purposes, and summer bucket list inspiration.’

Because we’ve got a whole lot of summer to enjoy this year.

So here are 25 of my favourite destinations in New Brunswick.

You’re welcome 😉

Crystal Richard enjoying the ferry on her way to enjoy one of 25 favourite Summer Haunts in New Brunswick

1. Grand Manan Island

Yes, the whole island. Don’t skip any part of this wonderful destination.

Travel to the most southern part of the island and explore the majestic Southern Head cliffs. Play with whales along the Bay of Fundy with the Lambert Family. Stop at every little café—but especially the Old Well House Café and Newtons Mercantile. Experience Dark Harbour. Enjoy authentic Mexican food from Isla Cocina Food Truck.

Just book a ferry and let your dreamy island adventure take hold. Trust me on this one. For my guide to planning the perfect trip, click here.

2. Quai Aboiteau Seafood Paradise, Cap-Pelé

I have a lot of favourite seafood restaurants, but sitting on the top deck at Quai Aboiteau Seafood Paradise with a plate of fried clams, a lobster roll and one of their epic seafood caesars is pretty unbeatable during the summer months.

3. Parlee Beach, Shediac

Whenever anyone asks me for the best sandy beach around, I’m quick to reply with ‘Parlee Beach‘ because it’s a classic and I have great memories of it from my entire life. It’s the best summer haunt for catching the sunset and for doing beach yoga at sunrise or sunset! Just don’t forget the beach bag and the sunscreen—you’re in for a dreamy day in the Maritimes.

4. The Algonquin Hotel & Resort, St. Andrews

What is my favourite place to stay in New Brunswick? Ahem, let’s actually go with the entire East Coast?

The Algonquin Hotel & Resort in St. Andrews by the Sea.

It’s pure magic and that’s exactly why we’re getting married there. Want to plan the perfect visit? Check out my guide to St. Andrews here.

Explore an island only available at low tide, one of Crystal Richard's favourite Summer Haunts in Campobello Island, New Brunswick

5. Campobello Island

Yup, this is another one of those destinations that you’ve just got to experience in its entirety. When asked the best place in New Brunswick to visit if you have seaglass on the brain, Campobello Island is always my answer.

Seriously, there is so much seaglass.

You can also stroll the grounds of the famous summer estate of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, play 9 holes of golf on the Herring Cove Golf Course, or have a drink and watch the whales swim by at the Pier Waterfront Restaurant. Want to start planning your trip? I have a guide for you right here.

6. Ossie’s Lunch, St. George

Ossie’s Lunch is hands down my favourite fried clams in New Brunswick. It’s a must-stop if you’re in Charlotte County.

And since it’s just a quick stop off the highway, you really have no excuse to skip it. Just make sure to ask for their homemade tartar sauce!

7. Quoddy Link Marine, St. Andrews

If whale watching is on your summer bucket list, look no further than Quoddy Link Marine in St. Andrews.

While I have more than one favourite whale tour company in my list of summer haunts—it’s really hard to pick a fave!—we always have a whale of a time when sailing with the Quoddy team. I recommend booking in August or September for an opportunity to see the humpback whales when they swim into town!

8. Bouctouche Dunes, Bouctouche

One of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the province, the Bouctouche Dune is located about 45 minutes from Moncton and offers an AMAZING saltwater beach, an interpretive center, a gorgeous boardwalk. The whole experience? Totally free. Plan your trip here.

9. Deer Island

You guessed it! You’ve just got to visit this island in its entirety. From its beautiful rocky beaches and coves to the super cute Deer Island Point Park and Campground where you can get a look at the world’s second-largest whirlpool, the Old Sow – Deer Island is an awesome day trip.

Plus, the ferry is free! Here’s a post about visiting the island here.

Crystal Richard enjoying some delicious clam dip from Trapped in Grand Manan, one of her favourite Summer Haunts in New Brunswick

10. Trapped, Grand Manan

Hands down the best lobster dip on the planet, if you’re on Grand Manan in the summer, you’ve simply got to stop by Trapped in Grand Harbour for this delicious spread.

A patio only dining experience, Trapped offers only three food items: hot lobster dip, hot spinach dip and homemade salsa. But all three are delicious and pair nicely with a cold drink on a hot summer’s day.

11. Minister’s Island, St. Andrews

Minister’s Island is a small (but magical) island in St. Andrews that is only accessible at low tide. That’s right, to get to the island you have to drive across the ocean floor.

On the island, you can explore the summer home of Sir William Van Horne, the former president of the Canadian Pacific Railway as well as the stunning Bath House where it’s rumored Frank Sinatra himself partied back in the day. But don’t get caught on the island, plan your trip around the tides here.

12. Red Rock Adventure, St. Martins

Want to have a real adventure in the Bay of Fundy? Book an excursion or kayaking trip with Red Rock Adventures. Dan and I did their sea kayaking experience in the sea caves years ago and we still talk about how much fun we had. This summer, we’ll be experiencing their unique Sea Caves dining experience!

13. Fundy National Park, Alma

And speaking of the Bay of Fundy, no trip to New Brunswick is complete without visiting one of our two National Parks. Better yet—experience both! But if you have to pick, I’m in love with beautiful Fundy National Park. It’s got stunning coastal views and epic hikes.

Just make sure to pick up some sticky buns at Kelly’s Bake Shop when in Alma for a post-hike snack!

14. The Pointe du Chene Wharf, Shediac

Where can you easily find this mermaid in the summertime? Hanging out on the PDC Wharf, of course!

The wharf is a bit of a staple in Pointe du Chene and includes one of my favourite summer restaurants, the Sandbar as well as an ice cream shop, jet ski rentals, and it’s the perfect spot to jump off the wharf on a hot summer day to cool off.

Crystal Richard enjoying the views at the Fundy Trail in New Brunswick, one of her favourite Summer Haunts for road trips.

15. The Fundy Trail, St. Martins

No trip to New Brunswick is complete without experiencing the Fundy Trail Parkway. This 30km coastal parkway offers stunning views of Bay of Fundy that rivals Nova Scotia’s famous Cabot Trail. Start planning your trip here.

16. Chez Leo, Shediac Bridge

If Ossie’s Lunch in St. George is my favourite fried clams in the province, Chez Leo is the one that brings on that childhood nostalgia. It’s my first memory of fried clams and a must every summer. Whether you’re visiting Shediac, Cocagne, Bouctouche, or just passing through—there’s a reason Canadian foodies and chefs all stop at Chez Leo.

17. Hopewell Rocks, Hillsborough

People come from all over the world to see our famous flowerpot rocks and we’re so incredibly lucky to have them right here in our backyard!

A visit to New Brunswick and especially to the Moncton area is not complete without a quick trip out to the Hopewell Rocks. Just make sure to check the tide schedule —you can only access the ocean floor at low tide and it’s truly the best way to experience the Rocks.

18. Atelier Tony, Dieppe

Is there anything better than showering after a day at the pool or by the beach, getting dressed up, and going out to dinner with your sweetheart? I think not. Dan and I don’t spend much time in the city during the summer, but when we do, you can bet we’ll be enjoying dinners in our neighborhood at Atelier Tony.

19. Euston Park, Parlee Beach

Easily one of my most regular summer haunts. Home to my favourite lobster roll, the most delicious bar clam dip, and perfect beach views – if you’re visiting Shediac, make sure to stop into Euston Park for drinks and food!

Want a unique Summer Haunts? Check out Llamazing Adventures and walk with a Llama like Crystal Richard is doing in this photo on the beach.

20. Llama-zing Adventures, Haute Aboujagane

Walk llamas on the beach at sunset? Love that journey for you. Llama-zing launched in 2020 and has been the talk of the province (and the rest of Canada) ever since.

Check out my post about our experience last summer right here. Plus, you’ll want to book a farm visit to meet Shamy the camels, and all of the other Llama-zing animals.

21. Head Harbour Lighthouse, Campobello Island

If visiting islands or attractions only accessible at low tide is your jam (how could it not be?) then you’ve got to make sure to make the trek out to Head Harbour Lighthouse at low tide while visiting Campobello Island.

While you can see the lighthouse from the land, if you’re up for a little adventure, walk over to it at low tide. You might even find some seaglass on the beach along the way.

22. Uptown Saint John

It often feels like I’m always passing through Saint John, but when I do get a chance to visit the city, strolling around Uptown Saint John is my top priority.

Explore the waterfront, do a little shopping at In Pursuit Boutique, dine on the most decadent pasta at Italian by Night, and try a tasty in-house Caesar at Port City Royal.

23. Huntsman Marine Aquarium

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve visited the aquarium, but if you love sea creatures, it’s a must. From the two playful seals that call Huntsman Marine Aquarium to the touch tank with all kinds of species to befriend, the aquarium is perfect for all ages. (And of course, the perfect spot for a mermaid!)

24. Magnetic Hill Winery, Moncton

A new addition to my regular summer haunts, the stunning Magnetic Hill Winery. With its gorgeous views of the entire city, sit and sip award-winning wines and enjoy charcuterie with your friends on the patio or inside if it’s a cloudy day.

Just make sure to try their Pet Nat, Lodestone and Osceola—they are this mermaid’s favourite wines.

25. Swallowtail Lighthouse, Grand Manan

Did I save the best for last? Well, if we’re talking about my favourite lighthouses, then yes, absolutely.

Swallowtail can’t be missed if you’re visiting Grand Manan. It’s literally the first landmark you see in addition to the island’s cliffs as you approach on the ferry.

As one of my favourite summer haunts on the island, it’s an excellent place to watch for whales, and even more magical in the fog.

Crystal Richard's ultimate favourite Summer Haunts - the Swallowtail lighthouse in Grand Manan.

I guess my only question is – which of these mermaid haunts will you visit first this summer?

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