From the beautiful spots in Alberta, the vibrant city of Vancouver and the beautiful spots in Ontario; there is so much to see across Canada. That being said, there’s one area of Canada that’s sometimes overlooked in lieu of its more-known spots, and that’s Atlantic Canada. You see, there is so much to do on the east coast of Canada, especially with all the things to do in Atlantic Canada.
This is exactly why I wanted to pop over some of our favourite spots to explore whilst you’re on the east coast of Canada. After all, it’s still a hugely vast area and you’d need months (if not years) to even dream of seeing it all.
With this in mind, I wanted to share some of the spots we explored during our recent trips to Canada.
Honestly, there are so many things to do in Atlantic Canada that you’ll be spoiled for choice. Take a look, below.
1.) Explore St John’s
For me, exploring St John’s (in Newfoundland and Labrador) is easily one of the best things to do in Atlantic Canada. This is especially true if you’re wanting to experience a different kind of Canadian city that’s a little slower-paced than places like Toronto.
Once here, make sure to visit; Signal Hill, Cape Spear and spot the Jellybean Row Houses. These are effectively colourful houses which line the street in St. John’s and a pretty lovely to see.
Afterwards, head over to Quidi Vidi and make sure to also stop off at the Mallard Cottage for a tasty lunch. Just make sure to book in advance, this spot fills up fast.
Finally, if you fancy working off pudding, pop onto the East Coast Trail which is stunning; especially around Witless Bay.
2.) See humpbacks
If you’re wanting to witness some of the wildlife off the east coast of Canada, then get yourself over to Gatherall’s Puffin & Whale Watch which departs on most days and is perched at Bay Bulls around an hour from St. John’s.
If you’re fortunate, you might get to see some of the half-a-million puffins and humpbacks that call this area home. In fact, it’s often said to be one of the best whale watching areas in all of North America.
Keep your eyes peeled, take your camera and even get ‘screeched’ whilst onboard the boat! It’s a Newfoundlander tradition!
3.) Hopewell Rocks
Nestled on the coast of New Brunswick (around Lower Cape), wandering around Hopewell Rocks is easily one of the best things to do in Atlantic Canada for something totally unique.
You see, the rocks are formed through tidal erosion from the Bay of Fundy. This all creates some pretty dramatic coastal formations that are pretty epic to see.
Just make sure to visit at low tide so you can hop onto the beach area itself. The whole east coast of Canada has a stunning coastline, with Hopewell Rocks being an iconic part of it.
4.) Kayak the Bay of Fundy
Just down the road from Hopewell Rocks is a few beaches where you can actually kayak your way through the Bay of Fundy and see the coastline from a totally different aspect.
We spent a few hours doing this, here, and totally loved it. Though, my arms were like jelly as soon as we left! You need some power behind you to get over some of those currents.
As always, if this is something you plan on doing, only go out with trained professionals and experts in the area.
5.) Explore Lunenburg
For me, finding Lunenburg was one of the best things to do in Atlantic Canada; and not just because of the foodie spots!
You see, the town is totally picturesque and almost looks like you’ve stepped back to the 1950s with all its colourful and historic houses the line the streets.
Once here, make sure to stop off for lunch at The Fish Shack and wander the little streets that are filled with independent shops and cafes. We both loved it so much!
6.) Peggy’s Cove
Probably the most famous little place across the east coast of Canada, Peggy’s Cove is well worth a visit.
Perched south of Halifax, it’s a stunning little place to visit for a few hours and a great little stopping point for lunch. Once here, check out the iconic Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, head to The Buoy Shop for a few gifts and stop off at Dee Dee’s Ice Cream for a tasty treat.
It’s easily one of the best things to do in Atlantic Canada and a proper little Canadian gem!
7.) Halls Harbour and the Grand Pré
On the Bay of Fundy side of Nova Scotia, is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites that is well worth visiting on your way to Halls Harbour for lobster.
You see, the Grand Pré was founded back in the 17th Century by the French colonists but was later an integral site to help Arcadians (descendants of the French) to resettle in French-controlled areas.
Nowadays, it’s a historic site that’s well worth visiting on the east coast of Canada and a great little stopping point before gorging at Halls Harbour Lobster Pound. Honestly, you’ll leave stuffed!
Once here, make sure to explore the boardwalk area (where you can grab some Poutine), visit the Halifax Citadel and visit the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia that’s based in the city, too.
Afterwards, pop into the Five Fishermen for a tasty bite to eat. Honestly, they have some of the best grub in the city and we loved it so much and their lobster is so good!
Perched in the south-eastern area of New Brunswick, Moncton might not be as well-known as places like Peggy’s Cove but it’s certainly a great little city to visit if you’re already in the area.
Once here, make sure to spot some of the artwork that’s spread across the city, hop on over to the Magnetic Hill Winery and Catch 22 for some tasty seafood.
It’s a perfect stopping point for a half-day trip whilst heading through New Brunswick.
10.) La Dune de Bouctouche
Just up the coast from Moncton is the La Dune de Bouctouche which is a stunning beach area that’s gorgeous on a sunny day.
The dunes themselves are some of the largest in the east coast of Canada, stretching around 12km. The whole area around the Bay of Bouctouche is just beautiful.
Being the capital of Prince Edward Island, exploring Charlottetown is one of the best things to do in Atlantic Canada if you want to visit an east coast city.
After arriving, pop into St. Dunstan’s Basilica that’s totally iconic in the city.
Also, make sure to see Beaconsfield Historic House and pop down to Victoria Row, too.
Finally, if hunger beckons pop into the Claddagh Oyster House; they have some of the tastiest local seafood from around the area.