Best Things to Do in Eastern Canada: 12 Must-See Attractions

by Emil Backup
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Are you thinking about going for a vacation to Eastern Canada? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Eastern Canada. These amazing sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Eastern Canada: A mosaic of breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and bustling urban centers. This region, stretching from the rugged coastlines of Newfoundland to the cosmopolitan streets of Montreal, offers a unique blend of things to do in Eastern Canada that captivate the heart and soul of every traveler.

Imagine waking up to the gentle lull of the Atlantic, as the morning mist unveils the majestic cliffs and lighthouses that have stood the test of time. The scent of fresh seafood wafts through the air as you explore charming seaside towns, each with its own tale to tell. But Eastern Canada isn’t just about serene landscapes; it’s a hub of culture and innovation. Cities like Toronto and Quebec are brimming with art, music, and culinary delights that reflect the diverse tapestry of communities that call this region home.

For those with a penchant for adventure, the vast wilderness of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick beckons, offering hiking, kayaking, and wildlife encounters that are truly once-in-a-lifetime. And let’s not forget the rich tapestry of indigenous cultures, French colonial history, and British influences that have shaped the region’s unique identity.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey of discovery, wonder, and unparalleled beauty, this is the place to be. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Eastern Canada.

The best things to do in Eastern Canada right now.
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Best Places to Visit in Eastern Canada

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Eastern Canada? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this multifaceted vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Eastern Canada places to visit.

Are you looking to explore historic cities and natural landscapes? Or would you prefer outdoor adventures? Whatever you’re planning, these must sees in Eastern Canada can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Eastern Canada that you should know about.

1. Quebec City

Quebec City, with its cobbled streets and historic architecture, feels like stepping into a European fairy tale. Places in Eastern Canada rarely capture the imagination quite like this. As you wander through the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, you’ll be transported back in time. The iconic Château Frontenac stands tall, overlooking the St. Lawrence River, offering a picture-perfect backdrop for every memory you’ll create here.

The city’s French heritage is evident in every corner, from the mouth-watering patisseries to the lively street performances. Don’t miss the chance to savor authentic poutine or catch a traditional Québécois folk dance. As you explore, you’ll find that the coolest activities in Eastern Canada often revolve around embracing local traditions.

In the winter, Quebec City transforms into a snowy wonderland. The Winter Carnival is a must-see, with its ice sculptures, parades, and the famous Bonhomme Carnaval. But no matter the season, the city’s charm remains constant, making it one of the best places in Eastern Canada for a truly immersive cultural experience.

Elegant grandeur nestled in the heart of Quebec City - the iconic Château Frontenac overlooking the St. Lawrence River.
Elegant grandeur nestled in the heart of Quebec City – the iconic Château Frontenac overlooking the St. Lawrence River.

2. Halifax’s Historic Waterfront

Halifax, Nova Scotia’s vibrant capital, beckons with its rich maritime history and stunning coastal views. One of the best places to go in Eastern Canada, the city’s waterfront is a bustling hub of activity. Here, you can watch ships sail into the harbor, dine on fresh seafood, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere.

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic offers a deep dive into the region’s seafaring past, showcasing everything from small crafts to the Titanic story. Nearby, the bustling Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market tempts visitors with local delicacies and handcrafted goods. It’s a testament to the unique things to do in Eastern Canada that combine history with modern charm.

For those seeking a touch of adventure, take a ferry ride to Dartmouth or embark on a harbor cruise to witness the beauty of the coastline. As the sun sets, the waterfront comes alive with music, laughter, and the promise of a memorable night. It’s no wonder that when pondering where to go in Eastern Canada, Halifax often tops the list.

Explore the best things to do in Eastern Canada along the vibrant Halifax's historic waterfront.
Explore the best things to do in Eastern Canada along the vibrant Halifax’s historic waterfront.

3. Gros Morne National Park

If you’re searching for unique places in Eastern Canada, look no further than Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a testament to the raw, untouched beauty of nature. With its dramatic fjords, towering cliffs, and ancient landscapes, it’s a paradise for nature lovers and adventurers alike.

Hiking enthusiasts will be thrilled with the numerous trails that offer breathtaking views of the park’s diverse landscapes. From the Tablelands, where the earth’s mantle is exposed, to the serene Western Brook Pond, a landlocked fjord, every corner of this park is a visual treat. It’s one of those Eastern Canada attractions that you simply can’t miss.

For those who prefer a more relaxed experience, boat tours provide a unique perspective of the park’s stunning geology. As you glide through the waters, you’ll be surrounded by steep cliffs and cascading waterfalls. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a moose or two grazing by the water’s edge.

Embark on an unforgettable adventure in Eastern Canada at Gros Morne National Park.
Embark on an unforgettable adventure in Eastern Canada at Gros Morne National Park.

4. Bay of Fundy

Have you ever wondered where to visit in Eastern Canada for a truly unique natural phenomenon? The Bay of Fundy, located between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, is the answer. This natural wonder boasts the highest tides in the world, with water levels rising and falling by up to 56 feet twice a day!

Visitors can walk on the ocean floor during low tide, exploring fascinating rock formations, tidal pools, and even fossilized remains. As the tide rolls in, it’s a spectacle to behold. The water surges at a speed of a foot per minute, filling the vast bay and creating a dynamic and ever-changing landscape.

One of the must-visit in Eastern Canada is the Hopewell Rocks, also known as the Flowerpot Rocks. These peculiar rock formations, sculpted by the relentless tides, stand tall during low tide and become tiny islands when the water rises.

For the adventurous souls, kayaking during high tide offers a thrilling experience, navigating between the rocks and over areas that were walkable just hours before. Don’t forget to check the tide schedule before you go!

Discover some of the best things to do in Eastern Canada at the mesmerizing Bay of Fundy, where the world's highest tides create a playground for coastal exploration.
Discover some of the best things to do in Eastern Canada at the mesmerizing Bay of Fundy, where the world’s highest tides create a playground for coastal exploration.

5. Northern Lights in Labrador

A visit to Eastern Canada would be incomplete without a trip to Labrador. Imagine standing under a vast, starlit sky when suddenly, waves of green, pink, and purple lights start dancing overhead. It’s not a dream; it’s the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, one of nature’s most breathtaking spectacles. Labrador, in the easternmost part of Canada, offers some of the best seats in the house for this celestial show.

Eastern Canada places to visit often boast natural beauty, but the Northern Lights take it to a whole new level. The best time to catch this phenomenon is during the colder months, from late fall to early spring. The crisp, clear nights of Labrador provide the perfect backdrop for the lights, making it a must-see in Eastern Canada.

While the lights are undoubtedly the star attraction, Labrador itself is a gem waiting to be explored. Its vast wilderness, dotted with pristine lakes and ancient rock formations, offers countless adventures for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking and snowmobiling to ice fishing and dog sledding, there’s no shortage of things to do in Eastern Canada’s Labrador region.

So, pack your warmest clothes, bring a sense of wonder, and get ready to be mesmerized by both the Northern Lights and the untouched beauty of Labrador.

Eastern Canada's Labrador: Witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights, a top experience in the region.
Eastern Canada’s Labrador: Witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights, a top experience in the region.

6. Prince Edward Island’s Culinary Scene

When you think of Eastern Canada attractions, don’t just think of scenic views and historic sites. Think of the mouthwatering flavors waiting to tantalize your taste buds! Prince Edward Island (PEI) is not only known for its red sandy beaches and Anne of Green Gables but also for its vibrant culinary scene.

Best places in Eastern Canada for seafood? PEI tops the list! From succulent lobsters to fresh mussels, the island’s seafood is a treat for the senses. And it’s not just about seafood. The island’s fertile soil produces some of the finest organic vegetables, fruits, and cheeses. Join a culinary tour, and you’ll find yourself visiting local farms, meeting passionate producers, and of course, tasting the freshest produce.

For those with a sweet tooth, PEI’s artisanal ice creams and chocolates are a must-try. And let’s not forget the wineries and craft breweries that dot the island, offering unique blends and flavors that capture the essence of this beautiful region.

Make sure to put PEI’s culinary delights on your travel list. It’s a gastronomic journey you won’t forget!

Explore Prince Edward Island
Explore Prince Edward Island, an Eastern Canadian gem of picturesque beauty and rich heritage.

7. Fortress of Louisbourg

History lovers will love this top thing to do in Eastern Canada. Stepping into the Fortress of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia is like taking a leap back in time. This historic site, one of the coolest things to do in Eastern Canada, offers a vivid glimpse into the 18th-century French colonial era. As you wander through the cobbled streets, you’ll encounter costumed interpreters who bring the past to life with tales of battles, daily routines, and the vibrant culture of the time.

The fortress, once a bustling town and a key naval base, has been meticulously reconstructed to its former glory. From the grand King’s Bastion to the humble fishermen’s huts, every corner tells a story. Don’t miss the chance to dine in an authentic period tavern, where traditional recipes are served by candlelight, offering a taste of history.

For history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike, the Fortress of Louisbourg is more than just a site; it’s an immersive experience. Eastern Canada places to visit often boast rich histories, but few can match the depth and detail of this living museum. So, lace up your walking shoes and get ready for a journey that transcends time!

Uncover some of the best things to do in Eastern Canada by immersing yourself in the past at the meticulously preserved Fortress of Louisbourg.
Uncover some of the best things to do in Eastern Canada by immersing yourself in the past at the meticulously preserved Fortress of Louisbourg.

8. St. John’s, Newfoundland

Ah, St. John’s! This colorful city is the easternmost point in North America and is a true gem among the best places in Eastern Canada. With its vibrant row houses, known as “Jellybean Row”, and the iconic Cabot Tower standing tall on Signal Hill, there’s no shortage of sights to see.

Start your day with a brisk morning walk up to Signal Hill. The panoramic views of the city and the vast Atlantic Ocean are breathtaking. If you’re lucky, you might even spot an iceberg or two in the distance. Next, head to the bustling Water Street, where local boutiques, cafes, and art galleries await. Things to do in Eastern Canada often revolve around nature, but St. John’s offers a delightful mix of urban charm and scenic beauty.

For those interested in history, the city’s rich maritime past is evident in its museums and historic sites. And as the day winds down, the lively George Street comes alive with music, dance, and the infectious spirit of Newfoundland. It’s no wonder that when people ponder where to go in Eastern Canada, St. John’s often tops the list!

Experience the vibrant culture and coastal beauty of St. John's, Newfoundland
Experience the vibrant culture and coastal beauty of St. John’s, Newfoundland, one of the best things to explore in Eastern Canada.

9. Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a postcard-perfect town that captures the essence of Eastern Canada’s maritime charm. With its well-preserved wooden architecture and vibrant waterfront, no wonder it’s one of the best places to visit in Eastern Canada.

As you meander through the town’s narrow streets, you’ll be greeted by the sight of historic homes painted in a palette of cheerful colors. The Lunenburg Academy, standing tall and proud, is a testament to the town’s rich educational history. For those keen on Eastern Canada attractions, the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic offers a deep dive into the region’s seafaring past.

Coolest activities in Eastern Canada? Well, hopping aboard the Bluenose II, a replica of the famous racing schooner, is undoubtedly one of them. Feel the breeze on your face as you sail through the azure waters, taking in the town’s beauty from a different perspective.

As evening descends, indulge in some fresh seafood at a local eatery. From lobster to scallops, the flavors are as authentic as they come. Lunenburg is not just a town; it’s an experience that encapsulates the heart and soul of Eastern Canada.

Immerse yourself in some of the best things to do in Eastern Canada by wandering through the captivating streets of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
Immerse yourself in some of the best things to do in Eastern Canada by wandering through the captivating streets of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

10. New Brunswick

New Brunswick is a treasure trove of cultural experiences, and diving into its Acadian heritage is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Eastern Canada. The Acadians, descendants of the French colonists, have a rich history that’s deeply intertwined with the maritime provinces.

Start your journey in the Village Historique Acadien, where history comes alive. Here, you’ll meet costumed interpreters who’ll transport you back to the 18th century, sharing tales of the Acadian way of life. From traditional crafts to folk music, every corner of this village offers a glimpse into a bygone era.

Where to visit in Eastern Canada for a lively experience? The Acadian Festival in Caraquet is the answer. Held every August, this festival is a vibrant celebration of Acadian culture, complete with colorful parades, traditional music, and dance.

Don’t forget to indulge in some Acadian delicacies. Poutines râpées, a potato dumpling dish, and tarte au sucre, a sweet sugar pie, are must-tries. As you immerse yourself in the Acadian world, you’ll not only learn about their history but also appreciate the resilience and spirit of a community that has preserved its unique identity against all odds.

Explore the captivating beauty and adventures of New Brunswick, an Eastern Canadian gem.
Explore the captivating beauty and adventures of New Brunswick, an Eastern Canadian gem.

11. Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Cape Breton Highlands National Park is a haven for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. With its dramatic cliffs, lush forests, and the vast Atlantic Ocean as its backdrop, this park offers some of the coolest activities in Eastern Canada.

One of the must-see in Eastern Canada is the Cabot Trail, a scenic drive that winds through the park, offering panoramic views of the rugged coastline and the deep blue sea. Along the way, you’ll find numerous lookout points, each more breathtaking than the last.

For those looking to stretch their legs, the park boasts a plethora of hiking trails. From the easy-going Bog Trail to the challenging Skyline Trail, there’s something for everyone. As you hike, keep an eye out for moose, bald eagles, and other wildlife that call the park home.

Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending a ceilidh, a traditional Gaelic gathering with music, dance, and storytelling. It’s a heartwarming experience that captures the essence of the Cape Breton community.

Discover untamed beauty at Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Discover untamed beauty at Cape Breton Highlands National Park, a must-visit destination in Eastern Canada.

12. Fundy National Park

If you’re pondering where to visit in Eastern Canada for a tranquil escape, look no further than Fundy National Park in New Brunswick. This gem offers a harmonious blend of dense forests, freshwater lakes, and the world’s highest tides.

If you feel like hiking, Fundy is the place to be! It boasts over 100 kilometers of trails. Each path offers a unique perspective of the park’s diverse landscape. From the coastal viewpoints of the Shiphaven Trail to the cascading Dickson Falls, there’s a trail for every adventurer.

For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, the park’s golf course offers a serene setting to play a round amidst nature. And after a day of exploring, the park’s campgrounds and chalets provide the perfect spot to unwind under the starry skies.

Eastern Canada places to visit often boast about their seafood, and Fundy is no exception. Nearby Alma, a quaint fishing village, serves up some of the freshest lobster you’ll ever taste.

In Fundy National Park, every moment feels like a postcard come to life. It’s truly one of the unique places in Eastern Canada where nature’s wonders are on full display.

Embark on some of the best things to do in Eastern Canada by exploring the breathtaking landscapes of Fundy National Park.
Embark on some of the best things to do in Eastern Canada by exploring the breathtaking landscapes of Fundy National Park.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Best Things to Do in Eastern Canada

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Eastern Canada? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Eastern Canada:

What’s the best time to visit Eastern Canada?

The ideal time to visit largely depends on your preferences. Summer (June to August) offers warm weather and is great for outdoor activities. Fall (September to November) is famous for its vibrant foliage, especially in areas like Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

What is there to see on the east coast of Canada?

The East Coast of Canada, encompassing the Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, offers a rich array of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and unique experiences. Here’s a look at some of the highlights:

Newfoundland and Labrador:

  • St. John’s: Visit Signal Hill, Cape Spear, and enjoy the colorful row houses known as “Jellybean Row.”
  • Gros Morne National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning landscapes, hiking trails, and boat tours.
  • L’Anse aux Meadows: The site of a Viking settlement and another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nova Scotia:

  • Halifax: Explore the historic waterfront, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and the Citadel.
  • Cape Breton Island: Drive the Cabot Trail. This is one of the most scenic drives in North America. Also, visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site.
  • Lunenburg: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well-preserved British colonial architecture.

New Brunswick:

  • Bay of Fundy: Famous for having the highest tides in the world, offering opportunities for whale watching, kayaking, and exploring Hopewell Rocks.
  • Fredericton: Visit the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and enjoy the city’s rich cultural scene.
  • St. Andrews: A charming seaside town with whale watching and the beautiful Kingsbrae Garden.

Prince Edward Island (PEI):

  • Charlottetown: Known as the “Birthplace of Confederation,” explore the historic downtown and waterfront.
  • Green Gables: Visit the site that inspired L.M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables.”
  • PEI National Park: Enjoy the stunning beaches, coastal dunes, and hiking trails.

Do I need to speak French to travel in Eastern Canada?

While French is predominantly spoken in Quebec, most areas in Eastern Canada primarily use English. However, knowing basic French phrases can be helpful, especially in more remote areas of Quebec.

How do I get around Eastern Canada?

Eastern Canada is vast, so renting a car is often the best way to explore at your own pace. Major cities like Halifax and Quebec City also have public transportation options.

Summer to early fall offers ideal weather and stunning foliage for memorable experiences.
Summer to early fall offers ideal weather and stunning foliage for memorable experiences.

Why visit Eastern Canada?

Eastern Canada offers a diverse and unique travel experience that appeals to various interests. Here’s why you might consider visiting this region:

  1. Stunning Landscapes: From the rugged cliffs of Newfoundland and Labrador to the rolling hills of Prince Edward Island, Eastern Canada is home to some of the country’s most breathtaking natural scenery. The Cabot Trail, Gros Morne National Park, and the Bay of Fundy are just a few examples.
  2. Rich History and Culture: Eastern Canada is steeped in history. This includes everything from the Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows to the French heritage in Quebec City. The region’s Celtic, Acadian, and Indigenous cultures are celebrated through music, festivals, and museums.
  3. Maritime Experience: With its extensive coastline, Eastern Canada offers a quintessential maritime experience. Enjoy fresh seafood, explore historic lighthouses, and take part in whale-watching or iceberg-spotting tours.
  4. Vibrant Cities: Cities like Halifax, St. John’s, Quebec City, and Montreal offer old-world charm and modern urban life. Explore historic sites, enjoy world-class dining, and take in the lively arts and music scenes.
  5. Unique Culinary Delights: Eastern Canada is famous for its seafood, including lobster, mussels, and clams. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy a traditional lobster boil or sample poutine in Quebec.
  6. Outdoor Activities: Are you interested in hiking, kayaking, skiing, or simply relaxing on a beautiful beach? Eastern Canada offers a wide range of outdoor adventures for all skill levels.

Eastern Canada’s blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, culinary delights, and outdoor activities makes it a compelling destination for travelers seeking a multifaceted and authentic Canadian experience. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, food enthusiast, or simply looking to explore a new region, Eastern Canada has something to offer.

Is Eastern Canada expensive to visit?

Like many destinations, it depends on your travel style. Major cities can be pricier, but there are always budget-friendly options available, from accommodations to dining.

Is Eastern Canada worth visiting?

Absolutely! Eastern Canada boasts a unique blend of rich history, diverse cultures, and stunning natural landscapes, from the rugged coastlines of Newfoundland to the charming streets of Quebec City. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, culinary delights, or historical explorations, Eastern Canada offers experiences that cater to every kind of traveler.

What is Eastern Canada famous for?

Eastern Canada is renowned for its breathtaking natural wonders like the Bay of Fundy with its extreme tidal ranges, the rugged beauty of Gros Morne National Park, and the scenic Cabot Trail. It’s also celebrated for its rich history and culture, evident in the cobblestone streets of Quebec City, the Acadian traditions of New Brunswick, and the vibrant music scene of Nova Scotia. Additionally, the region is a culinary delight, offering fresh seafood, especially its world-famous lobsters and Prince Edward Island mussels.

Closing Thoughts on Visiting Eastern Canada

Eastern Canada is a tapestry of breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant cultures. From the rhythmic tides of the Bay of Fundy to the lively streets of St. John’s, there’s a myriad of coolest things to do in Eastern Canada waiting for every traveler. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or a foodie, this region promises an unforgettable journey. So pack your bags, set your sights on the east, and get ready to be enchanted by all the wonders Eastern Canada has to offer.

Best Things to Do in Eastern Canada.
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