Stunning scenery, vast forests, and world-class attractions characterize New Brunswick. Topping the list is the Bay of Fundy, with the highest tides in the world, marine life that includes several species of whales, stretches of wilderness coastline, and charming harbor villages.
Add to this national and international historic sites, national parks teeming with wildlife, great beaches with the warmest seawater in Canada, vibrant towns and cities, and a thriving diversity of cultures, and you might wonder how the population can remain so utterly laid-back, but that's just another facet of New Brunswick's charm. The province is an old place in New World terms, and the remains of a turbulent past are still evident in some of its quiet nooks.
Near Moncton, for instance, wild strawberries perfume the air of the grassy slopes of Fort Beausejour, where, in 1755, one of the last battles for possession of Acadia took place, with the English finally overcoming the French. Other areas of the province were settled by the British; by Loyalists, American colonists who chose to live under British rule after the American Revolution; and by Irish immigrants, many seeking to avoid the famine in their home country. If you stay in both Acadian and Loyalist regions, a trip to New Brunswick can seem like two vacations in one.
For every gesture in the provincial landscape as grand as the giant rock formations carved by the Bay of Fundy tides at Hopewell Cape, there is one as subtle as the gifted touch of a sculptor in a studio. For every experience as colorful as the mountains of lobster served at Shediac's annual Lobster Festival, there is another as low-key as the gentle waves of the Baie des Chaleurs. New Brunswick is the luxury of an inn with five stars and the tranquility of camping under a million.
At the heart of New Brunswick is the forest, which covers 85% of the province—nearly all its interior. The forest contributes to the economy, defines the landscape, and delights hikers, anglers, campers, and bird-watchers, but New Brunswick's soul is the sea. The biggest of Canada's three Maritime provinces, New Brunswick is largely surrounded by coastline. The warm waters of the Baie des Chaleurs, Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Northumberland Strait lure swimmers to their sandy beaches, and the chilly Bay of Fundy, with its monumental tides, draws breaching whales, whale-watchers, and kayakers.