It was the Tuesday before a long weekend and we still hadn’t settled on plans and so when a travel advertisement came on and an image of Hopewell Rocks flashed across the screen, it seemed like a sign. We were going to New Brunswick for the three-day long weekend. And we were going to drive.
We left after work on Friday night with a cooler full of snacks, our bags packed and our hatch full of pillows and blankets and set off through Quebec to make the 20 hour drive to the East coast of New Brunswick and see the Hopewell Rocks.
We had to be back to work on the following Tuesday and while we didn’t want to set too much of a plan, we had to identify some key places that we wanted to stop so that we could ensure we hit everything. Taking turns driving the first night, we made it to New Brunswick by Saturday morning and figured we could make it back by Monday night if we circled around the coast. We ended up cutting across instead, just to make sure we got home in time, but managed to see a lot of what we wanted. If you are planning a visit to New Brunswick, whether it be for a weekend or longer, there are a few places we think are worth a stop:
Hartland Covered Bridge
We were driving down the Western border and happened to see a sign for “The World’s Longest Covered Bridge” and decided, why not? We veered off course and went in search of this record holding bridge. Stopping to read a bit about the bridge, built in 1921, we embraced the picturesque surroundings and the history of this structure. It was a neat find and worth a detour. If you do decide to make this one of your stops, you may want to pay tribute to the past and give your significant other a kiss while passing through. Folklore has it that these “kissing bridges” were used by courting couples to sneak a hug or kiss.
Our first main stop was in St. Andrews. This quaint town has a variety of things to do in a very small area including whale watching tours, hiking trails, a golf course, a marine science centre, a museum and plenty of scenic areas. We stopped at a tourist centre and grabbed a map and a tour guide and these helped tremendously with our trip. We also grabbed lunch and had our first taste of East coast seafood that met our every expectation.
The Magnetic Hill
We ended up making it to the Hopewell rocks area too late on Saturday to make the low tides and decided we’d snap a few pictures of the rocks at high tide and head to Moncton for the night. On our way into Moncton, we saw yet another sign that peaked our interest – “Magnetic Hill”. We got there after hours and were the only ones which allowed us to try this attraction many times for free. If you’ve never heard of a magnetic hill the gist is that you park your vehicle facing up a hill at a marked location. You then put the car in neutral and sit back as the car is “pulled up the hill”. We tried this several times, facing up, facing down, and any number of variations in positioning and had a blast trying to figure it out. If you want to know the trick, you can search it, but I recommend trying it at least once before you do.
Breakfast at Homestead Restaurant
Checking out of our hotel on Sunday morning in Moncton, we asked the concierge if she could give us a recommendation for breakfast. She suggested Homestead Restaurant just outside the city and we are so glad we chose to take her advice. The interior is cozy and inviting with wooden décor and a display of baked goods. The menus are handwritten and, since they bake all their own bread daily, the aroma of freshly baked bread permeated the restaurant. Between the two of us we had an egg breakfast and pancakes which were both delicious and filling and exactly what we were looking for. The homemade bread brought it up another level and the only regret is not buying some baked goods to take with us. We would definitely recommend a stop here for breakfast if you are in Moncton.
What did we miss? Comment below and tell us what you think are other must-see places in New Brunswick.
Read more about our trip in “A Weekend in New Brunswick – Part Two“ or check out our post with some tips for long weekend trips. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page and subscribe to our mailing list!