Planning The Best East Coast Canada Trip: Where to Go & What to See

An indigo sky at the scenic Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

Posted by on 14 Jun 2023

Travellers heading to Canada for a holiday almost always opt to see the West Coast. From the urban centre and culinary hub that is Vancouver to the majestic, breathtaking Canadian Rockies of British Columbia that you can travel by bike or by boat, the most popular attractions in the country are found on that side of Canada.

While an East Coast Canada trip is off the beaten path, it offers something unique and arguably more charming than the crowds and huge mountains of the West. There are lots to see in the countryside, from charming villages to the waves of the Atlantic crashing into beautiful lighthouses.

The East Coast is the perfect corner of Canada to explore if you want to see some of the most serene and scenic sights. Not sure where to go in the area? Here are the five best places to visit on the East Coast of Canada.

Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador

Cape Spear is known as the easternmost point not just in Canada, but in all of North America. The 19th-century lighthouses in the area make for terrific viewpoints of the North Atlantic Ocean.

The waters of the Atlantic surrounding Cape Spear are known as Iceberg Alley, Canada. In the springtime, it’s not uncommon to see massive glaciers and icebergs floating in these waters. These icebergs likely break off from the glaciers in Greenland and travel south to the coast of Canada.

Cape Spear is just a few minutes away from St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador. One highlight in this area is the Irish Loop—a 300 km coastal loop where you’ll see everything from the countryside’s mountains to the colourful row houses in the city. These sights make this scenic route one of the best road trips in Canada.

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

The next stop of your East Coast Canada trip should be Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. This island is home to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, which is known for its quiet beaches, majestic cliffs and beautiful views of the ocean. This makes it one of the best national parks in Canada.

The best way to enjoy the views in this park is by driving the Cabot Trail—a scenic loop that leads you to Cape Breton’s breathtaking mountains, lush foliage, and views of the Atlantic from the cliffside. If you’re lucky, you may even see some whales in the waters!

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island is known for its unique red-sand beaches and cliffs. The red soil isn’t just intriguing to see, but it also brings out the blue of the ocean beside it. This unique sight makes the trip to the island worth it.

The island is also a must-see for lovers of the children’s novel Anne of Green Gables. The book’s setting is inspired by a real farmhouse that belonged to the author’s grandparents in Cavendish, a township on the island. This easily makes the island one of the best places to see in Canada for kids at heart.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Next, we have Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia. This area is known for its rich maritime history. It’s home to Pier 21, where many immigrants in the early 20th century alighted to enter Canada for the first time.

It’s also where you’ll find the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, which tells the story of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Fun fact: Halifax was the closest port to the area where the famous ship had sunk.

Halifax also has a fascinating star-shaped Citadel. Here, you can go on nighttime ghost tours to hear wartime stories from its days as a fort and keep an eye out for spooky sightings.

Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

Your last stop can be the Bay of Fundy, which sits between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This bay boasts the highest tides in the world, making it the perfect place for people who find peace and serenity in watching big waves crash over rocks and cliffs.

One natural wonder these huge waves have created is the famous Hopewell Rocks—a group of stunning, huge pillar-like rocks that line the shores and cliffsides of the bay. If the weather permits, take a kayak ride to explore these enormous rocks up close.

Magnetic Hill, New Brunswick

While you’re in the New Brunswick area, pay a quick visit to what is known as Magnetic Hill, a hill in the northern area of Moncton. This hill is a spooky tourist attraction that seems to defy gravity.

If you drive here and put your car in neutral, the roads are said to pull your car uphill! This stop is a must for conspiracy theory lovers and science geeks.

Don’t Miss These Stops During Your East Coast Canada Trip

The East Coast of Canada has lots to offer, from red, rugged cliffs to charming lighthouses and the most scenic coastal roads you’ll ever see.

The best part is that it’s not as crowded as the big cities on the West Coast. If you want to experience the Canadian countryside firsthand, consider planning an East Coast Canada trip today, and don’t sleep on any of the places above.

Explore more of Canada by booking one of our Canadian holiday packages today!

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