Canada North America Prince Edward Island

The Best Road Trip in the Maritimes

1 August, 2019

Cavendish road sign in PEI, Canada
On the road in Prince Edward Island. Photo credit: © thetravellingsociologist

 

The best road trip in the Maritimes in Eastern Canada is definitely the route between New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island (PEI), and Nova Scotia – Canada’s Maritime provinces. All three provinces are surrounded by water and connected by the Trans-Canada Highway, ensuring that the majority of your trip is in full view of the breathtaking blue waters of the Northumberland Strait, Bay of Fundy, and wide-open Atlantic Ocean.

I recommend starting in the province of New Brunswick. From the beautiful, laid-back capital of Fredericton, make your way to St John to visit that fun city as well, and then drive to Moncton, the biggest city in New Brunswick. Here, steady your nerves for the best part (in my opinion) of the drive: the Confederation Bridge. The Confederation Bridge is the world’s largest bridge over icy water and spans 12,900 metres between New Brunswick and PEI. Driving across it is impressive and perhaps a little nerve-wracking for some, but definitely a thrill and a treat to the eyes.

Arrive in PEI, the land of Anne of Green Gables, to find yourself in a wonderland of rolling farmland, cute cottages, and red-sand beaches stretching for miles and miles and miles. Though the island-province is small, it’ll take you a while to explore it all, especially if you plan to do some R&R by the ocean. So I suggest being very selective and choosing just 3 or 4 major towns to stop in. Go east – a natural progression towards your next province – stopping by Cavendish, Charlottetown the capital, and Point Prim. Leave the province by ferry from the town of Wood Islands to arrive in Caribou, Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia is wonderful to explore. Drive east to Cape Breton Island to enjoy that playground first, perhaps even doing some camping there. Next, drive west along the southern coast, stopping in cities like Halifax the capital, Peggy’s Cove, and Lunenberg. Driving along the coast of Nova Scotia will bring you full circle to a slice of heaven called the Bay of Fundy, one of the 7 Wonders of North America, famous for the face-like sculptures of Hopewell Rocks, whale watching, and dinosaur fossils.

End your glorious road trip by following the highway through Truro, Nova Scotia, back to New Brunswick, and rewarding yourself in the town of Shediac with purportedly the best lobster in the Maritimes! If you’ve still got a case of restless feet after your feast, you can extend your road trip by continuing up the east coast of New Brunswick to visit all the historic, French-speaking Acadian towns there, and instead end your francophone experience in Shiphead, the easternmost point of the Gaspé peninsula in Québec, a unique region with its own dialect and culture.

Allez! On y va!

 

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