A-Z Travels: M is for The Maritimes: The Ultimate Canadian Destination

The Maritimes is the regional name for the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  The islands and peninsulas of the Maritimes are beautifully rugged, and its landscape is influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.  Despite its beauty, travellers often choose to visit Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal over places such as Halifax, Charlottetown or St. John’s.

Map of the Maritimes

Even though this section of Canada is comprised of three provinces, they are the smallest ones so in total it amounts to just over 1 per cent of the country’s land surface.  But, while it may be small in size, it sure packs a punch! In fact, Nova Scotia’s capital Halifax was voted fourth on TripAdvisors list of top ten tourists destinations ‘on the rise’.

Here are my top reasons for visiting the Maritimes!

Stunning Coastal Views

No matter where you visit in the Maritimes you are never far away from the coast and what a beautiful coast it is. Small fishing towns line the coastline providing many an Instagram worthy pic of lobster pots and buoys.  Many communities are kept afloat by shellfish and lobster exports.

 

Highlights include the famous lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove (Nova Scotia) one of the most photographed landmarks in Canada which sits on the rocks of a colourful fishing village. In New Brunswick, the Bay of Fundy hosts the highest tides in the world at 16 metres high. I’ll be visiting here in September and can not wait! On PEI the red cliffs provide a beautiful sight on a peaceful coastal drive.

Great Hikes

With fantastic coastal views comes fantastic hikes, what better way to take in the beautiful vista than on your own two feet!? There is something for everyone in the Maritimes from casual boardwalks along the seafront to scrambling across the rocks. Plus, you can spot all sorts of wildlife, including bears, moose, deer and bald eagles. Local highlights include Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Fundy National Park and PEI National Park.

Tip: if visiting in winter, don’t miss out on these wonderful hikes, grab the snowshoes

Yummy Food

After all that hiking you’ll want to refuel so it’s lucky there are loads of brilliant restaurants and cafes throughout the three provinces. Maritimes boast some fantastic local eateries for any budget and appetite. In fact, I had the best pizza of my life in Charlottetown (PEI) at Piatto Pizzeria! I would thoroughly recommend the Piccante e Affumicata, a creamy garlic ‘white’ pizza base topped with mozzarella, crispy prosciutto, finished with a drizzle of honey… it’s to die for! Plus, they have locations across the Maritimes. There is no picture as we ate it too fast!!

In Nova Scotia I would suggest heading to The Back Sheep, Hali Deli, Vandal Doughnuts and The Naked Crepe.

I’ll be visiting New Brunswick more thoroughly in September so check back for more recommendations.

If it’s burgers you’re interested in, check out my guide to Halifax Burgers here.

Top Notch Beer

To wash it all down sample some of the local beers. Craft breweries are booming across the whole of Canada and the Maritimes are no exception. I personally am still trying to find a beer I like so recommendations here are from Matt and his Dad.  In a host of ‘achingly trendy’ (actual quote from Matt’s Dad!) locations you can try some of Matt’s favourites:

Nova Scotia: Had good beers from Good Robot, Propeller, Unfiltered and Big Spruce Breweries but all-time favourite was Priority Pale Ale (North Brewing Company, Halifax)

PEI: Do Good-er APA (Upstreet Craft Brewing, Charlottetown)

New Brunswick: Maritime Pale Ale (Grimross, Fredericton)

If you are not a fan of beer, like me you could also try some of the local cideries or vineyards. Many open their doors for tastings, including Annapolis Cider Company in Wolfville (Nova Scotia) which was my personal favourite.

Cultural Heritage

Whilst Canada is a young country a lot of its history is in the Eastern provinces. For example, Prince Edward Island is the birthplace of Canada, you can explore the historic founding town of Charlottetown through a host of informative boards, statues and plaques dotted around. Or drop by the local legislature building, Province House.

Check out more reasons why you should visit Canadian legislative buildings here.

The cultural heritage of the area is also very varied. First Nations people such as the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet were present in the Maritimes long before any European settlers. Europeans came from France, Scotland, Ireland and Britain. Their influence can be seen throughout the provinces. For example, Nova Scotia means New Scotland. The history of the area can be complicated as many have tried to make it their home, sometimes in harmony and sometimes not. It is well worth taking the time to learn about it.

 

Fun fact: New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province in Canada (English and French)

Easy to get to

As I mentioned at the start these are the three smallest provinces in Canada this makes it great for road tripping. Its super easy to hire a car and cruise around all three. Driving from Halifax to PEI is easily do-able in one day for example, although you can take more time. Driving to PEI also means you get to cross the Confederation Bridge, the longest bridge in the world over ice covered waters.

 

So, what’s stopping you visit the Maritimes now, eh?

Thanks for joining me again for A-Z Travels, if you enjoyed it please give it a like and if you loved it give it a share! Next week I will be exploring the Maritimes more with N for Nova Scotia. Happy Travels 😊

44 thoughts on “A-Z Travels: M is for The Maritimes: The Ultimate Canadian Destination

  1. lahale1915 says:

    I have always wanted to visit the Maritime Provinces, but have not yet had the opportunity. I live the coastal towns and the beautiful buildings. Also, I would love to visit the national parks to see moose. When I was in Newfoundland I was unable to see moose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • airmailadventures says:

      We were so lucky to see the moose. If you do get to go definitely do the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton National Park, not only are moose frequent there but the views are also stunning! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Like

    • airmailadventures says:

      Its a great place to visit, the people are great and views are stunning! Naked Crepe was amazing, I had a roast beef dinner one as well which was the best I’ve ever eaten! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Like

  2. Simply Rasha says:

    Not really read much on the Maritimes before, there is so much out there to discover! A casual boardwalk sounds pretty good right now. Also, that doughnut looks so good!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Team Uy says:

    this is really the ultimate Canadian destination because you cover well all the places that we must visit in this great country. I really appreciate the beautiful shots you put in this article.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hayley says:

    This does sound like a fab place to visit, but as with most international tourists, not a part of Canada I’d ever thought about. How would you recommend getting there by plane? Which airports are closest?

    Liked by 1 person

    • airmailadventures says:

      Halifax has an international airport just 30 minutes from downtown and is a great starting point for a Maritime trip. Alternatively you could fly into another airport such as Vancouver or Toronto and have a transfer flight depending on where you are coming from. Another way would be to fly into Boston or New York and travel up through the states as there are many beautiful spots along that route too. Hope that helps any future travel plans, thanks for reading 🙂

      Like

  5. Meg Will Run the World says:

    I fell in love with Nova Scotia. A few years ago, my grandmother said she wanted to go there and I jumped at the chance to explore a new place. The whole area completely surprised me! I was shocked at how much there is do, no matter what your interests are. We spent plenty of time in nature, hiking or running (me, not my grandmother!), but also enjoyed following the Good Cheer Trail and trying all the local craft beer, cider, and wine. I actually wrote about my trip recently at http://www.megwillruntheworld.com/nova-scotia-itinerary

    Liked by 1 person

    • airmailadventures says:

      I 100% agree, it’s such a beautiful place, full of wonderful people! It has a afar more rustic look than other provinces and is much more laid back. Plus I love being by the sea! Glad you had such a great time their with your Grandmother! Will check out your blog 🙂

      Like

  6. betweenthetread says:

    Looking to visit Canada next fall so researching where to visit. Will definitely be adding Nova Scotia to the list and checking off New Brunswick too. The food looks amazing and the landscape is stunning. Thanks is for the education!

    Like

  7. parttimetourists says:

    How cool is this! I especially love all the yummy food recommendations 🙂 Thanks for sharing! I will need to plan a trip out there soon.

    Like

  8. Simone says:

    We are planning to do a roadtrip in Canada in the next couple of years and this article, once more, confirmed that will be amazing! Thanks for sharing

    Like

  9. Inna says:

    I haven’t had a chance to visit Canada yet, and I didn’t know about Nova Scotia, so your article was really eye-opening. Now I know which place in Canada to visit, if I wanna do hikes that come along with coastal views. And those crepes too..my favorite ❤

    Like

  10. alison says:

    This would be a great road trip for us. The food looks amazing and I love craft breweries.My daughter would go nuts for the seafood. Looks like an amazing trip for you. Thank you for the recommendations.

    Like

    • airmailadventures says:

      It is beautiful out there! I think it would be a push to do all 3 provinces in a weekend, but there are plenty of places within the Maritimes that would be fine for a weekend, Halifax and Charlottetown would be my suggestions:)

      Like

  11. pinarhassan says:

    This is a lovely post. It really seems like you had a great time there, and your photos look amazing! Will definitely be going through the others on your list (already have half of the alphabet to catch up on, whoops!)

    Like

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