Campobello Island / Seaglass

The 2021 Campobello Island Seaglass Festival

Every year, I fall a little more in love with September in New Brunswick and the annual Campobello Island Seaglass Festival has a lot to do with it.

When the days get shorter and the seasonal businesses start to close or reduce their hours, it’s easy to sink into the end of summer blues. But not when you have a weekend of seaglassing on beloved Campobello Island to look forward to!

It’s one of the top highlights of my year, every year, and it’s become a treasured tradition for my mother and I each September.

Seaglass peeking out from the stones along the beach on Campobello Island

Just like last year, the Campobello Island Seaglass Festival runs all September long giving beachcombers and seaglass lovers plenty of opportunity to island hop over to Campobello and seaglass from sunup to sunset.

Here are a few highlights from our visit this September!

Ferries are my Preferred Method of Transportation

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; One of the best parts of traveling to Campobello Island’s Seaglass Festival is island hopping via ferry. This year, we caught the 10:00 am ferry from L’Étete to Deer Island. The Deer Island ferries leave every half hour during the day, so they’re easy to catch.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve taken this ferry, but it was the first time we got to see seals basking in the sun on the sail over! It was a beautiful crossing!

Seals basking in the sun on some rocks in the ocean viewed from the ferry to Campbello Island

Once on Deer Island, we parked to be in line to catch the 11:30 am ferry to Campobello Island (this private ferry leaves every hour on the half-hour until 6:30 pm) and explored Deer Island Point Campground, the lighthouse, and said hello to Old Sow (the second largest whirlpool in the world!)

First Stop – the Ferry Landing

The minute we arrive on Campobello Island, we’re ready to seaglass. I mean, literally.

We drive off the ferry, park in the lot to the right of the ramp and start our beachcombing on the ferry landing beach! Not only have I found some incredible purples, turquoises, and pirate glass on this beach, it’s also where I found my turquoise seaglass stopper at last year’s festival.

This year, I found a purple within minutes of getting off the ferry as well as some beautiful turquoises, pottery and greens!

Purple seaglass on the beach off the ferry landing nestled in some rocks.
Crystal Richard holding a handful of seaglass in front of the water.

Lunch at the Prince Cafe

The Prince Cafe is located at the Roosevelt Campobello International Park, home to the summer retreat of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt and their family. I love strolling the grounds every time we’re on the island and romanticizing any piece of pottery I find on the island by telling myself stories about how it might have once belonged to the Roosevelts.

The house in  Roosevelt Campobello International Park

This year the Prince Cafe, my favourite lunch spot on the island, was open again after being closed last year as a result of the pandemic. And now they offer table service and a delicious new menu. If you’re looking for a lighter lunch of sandwiches, soups, and salads then this is the place to be!

Lunch at the Prince cafe featuring seafood tacos and soup served on a patio table overlooking the waters.

This time I had the fish tacos with locally caught halibut and the soup of the day—taco soup! And it came with a fresh, hot cornbread. It was DELICIOUS and you can’t beat this lunch view!

Pollock Cove Cottages, Our Home Away From Home

This year, after hearing rave reviews from other mermaid and beachcombers, we booked a cottage at Pollock Cove Seaside Retreat and oh em gee—we fell absolutely in love.

Views from cottage #4 of Pollock Cove Cottages

We stayed in Cottage #4 and I would highly recommend this one for the views! You open your door and the beach, pier, and giggling seagulls are right in front of you. Which means you can keep an eye on the tides and be the first down there when the tides turn in your favour.

And trust me, the seagulls and terns will keep you well entertained at high tide. We loved watching them dive bomb for dinner!

Seagulls diving for dinner in the ocean off Campobello Island

There’s a beautiful fire pit with Adirondack chairs where you can sit and watch the whales swim right by—We saw minkes and a finback! Plus, it’s the most magical place to watch the sunset OR sunrise!

Crystal Richard sitting in a chair overlooking the ocean
Sunrise over Campobello Island with birds soaring across the waves.
Sunset on the beach at Campobello Island with a seagull standing on the beach.
Dramatic sunset viewed from Campobello island

But perhaps the best part about staying at Pollock Cove Seaside Retreat, is that Pollock Cove beach is a FANTASTIC seaglass beach. Especially if you’re on the hunt for perfectly frosted and tumbled pastels.

Crystal Richard walking up the beach from the water on Campobello Island looking for seaglass
Tumbled seaglass on a beach in Campobello Island during the seaglass festival

Dinner at Herring Cove Restaurant

In September, there are only a handful of places to eat and the number dwindles as the the month goes on. Herring Cove Restaurant is my favourite dinner spot as it’s open all month long and it offers beautiful views of Herring Cove’s crescent beach.

Crystal Richard standing on a boardwalk across a sand dune on Campbello Island with the ocean in the distance

And they have, hands down, one of the best lasagna dinners around. I have it every year and I swear look forward to it every time!

Crystal Richard enjoying the lasagna at Herring Cove Restaurant

But pasta aside, if you visit Herring Cove, make sure to pop down to the beach and catch the waves. It’s beautiful all day long but it’s especially gorgeous in the evening!

Always Be Exploring Beaches

The great thing about traveling to an island? It’s surrounded by beaches to explore, duh 😉

Look, I can’t tell you that you will find seaglass on every beach but there are so many other magical things to discover on the beaches from watching playful seals to discovering star fish to finding whozits and whatzits.

Small starfish sitting on Crystal Richard's hand with the beach in the background

I definitely recommend visiting Mulholland Lighthouse in the evening to wave hello to Lubec, Maine across the way, say hello to the very entertaining seals that will no doubt pop up to say hello, and spot eagles who might be flying over patrolling the Canada-US border.

Decaying bridge across the water

And most importantly, never say never on any beach! We heard magical stories of fellow beachcombers finding their first stopper on beaches otherwise not known for great seaglass. So keep your eyes on the prize but be open to all of the other magical pieces just waiting to be found!

White tumbled seaglass on a bed of beach rock.

To plan your next visit to Campobello Island, make sure to check out my guide to planning your trip to Seaglass Festival! And of course, make sure to follow Campobello Island Seaglass Festival on Facebook here for updates, 2022 events, seaglass maps and more!

Happy Seaglassing!

PS: NOT sponsored, just madly obsessed with New Brunswick experiences and here to help you develop a coastal crush on this magical province we call home ❤️

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