Travelers to Canada tend to gravitate toward the country’s major cities when planning vacations, but eastern Canada’s Maritime Provinces, offer up many interesting and unique opportunities for family adventures as well. Here are a handful of suggestions you won’t want to miss down east!
Halifax boasts the unique combination of an urban destination coupled with the feel of a small maritime town. Families can indulge their cultural sides with museums, galleries, or by walking the harbor front to admire historical architecture, and within twenty minutes be in a fisherman’s cove or on the beach. Attractions you may want to check out in Halifax are the Maritime Museum, the public gardens, Halifax Harbor (sail on a tall ship), and the many walking tours, festivals, and special events on offer!
An astounding scenic drive, the Cabot Trail is about six hours from Halifax, and winds through ancient highlands alongside the coast. Along the way, families will enjoy the wildlife on display, such as moose, eagles, and seals, and may choose to indulge in salmon fishing, whale-watching, hiking the highland trails, kayaking, listening to Celtic music, or even playing a round of golf!
Imagine the experience of getting up close and personal with the magnificence of a whale in its natural habitat! At the Bay of Fundy, families can venture out on their choice of a variety of vessels, but the zodiac is the fastest and allows for optimum interaction with nature. There are a number of different types of whales that may be encountered, but the most commonly seen are Fin, Minke, Humpback and Northern Right whales. Other wildlife, such as migratory birds and puffins may be observed on the small islands in the water. Tours run from mid-June to the end of September.
Discovered over 100 years ago, Magnetic Hill is a phenomenon that families will marvel at! Imagine putting the family car in neutral and watching it go up the hill with no power – even the water alongside the road runs uphill! Magnetic Hill Park is a top attraction, which now boasts shops and restaurants in the guise of a traditional maritime village called Wharf Village. Fudge, ice cream, and beavertail pastries are offered along with five unique gift shops, and a duck pond to relax by. Also in the park are the Magnetic Hill Zoo and Magic Mountain Waterpark!
Part of the Lucy Maud Montgomery Cavendish National Historic Site, Green Gables is world famous for being the site in her fictional literary work, ‘Anne of Green Gables’. Guided tours are offered, or families can wander the Balsam Hollow Trail, watch a puppet show, play old-time games at a Green Gables picnic, and make an old-fashioned treat! Gables is open year-round, but organized activities are only available from July 1 to end of August. There is a nominal admission fee, which changes depending on the time of year.