Sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, fresh seafood, and classic Eastern hospitality await on a Maritimes road trip. Touring Eastern Canada by car is a great opportunity to explore sights like the lighthouses of Nova Scotia, the rolling hills of Prince Edward Island, and the sheer cliffs of Newfoundland. 

Simply driving down the Trans-Canada Highway is a recipe for a great Atlantic Canada road trip, but here are some great spots you need to stop at if you want the classic Maritime experience without the big crowds.

Magic Mountain Water Park Moncton New Brunswick Eastern Canada Road Trip

Eastern Canada Road Trip: New Brunswick Stops

No Atlantic Canada road trip is complete without a stop at Moncton’s famous Magnetic Hill. For almost a century, drivers have flocked to experience this rare optical illusion that makes neutral cars appear to drift uphill. The popularity of the Magnetic Hill spawned a host of associated attractions, including the Magnetic Hill Zoo and Magic Mountain Fun Zone, the largest water park in the Maritimes. 

If you’re touring Eastern Canada by car, you can also drop by Edmundston, a scenic town on the Quebec border, home to the New Brunswick Botanical Gardens. Spanning 17 acres along the Madawaska River, the gardens feature a stunning array of plant life as well as a number of herbalism workshops and art pieces. There are several themed gardens, including an alpine garden with a waterfall and Khronos, a stone circle where visitors are invited to contemplate the vastness of time and space.

Joseph Howe Falls Truro Nova Scotia Eastern Canada Road Trip

Atlantic Canada Road Trip: Nova Scotia Stops

Located right by the border of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the quaint town of Amherst is a great spot to stop and admire the Bay of Fundy. There are a number of beautiful beaches nearby, and for a truly unique experience, you can visit the Joggins Fossil Cliffs. A former coal mine, the fierce tides of the Bay of Fundy revealed inlaid fossil deposits, showcasing the prehistoric wildlife that lived in the primordial marsh. 

Truro in central Nova Scotia is another great spot on a Maritimes road trip, featuring beautiful hiking trails in Victoria Park as well as the rushing Joseph Howe Falls. The nearby Tidal Bore Viewing Visitor Centre offers the chance to see the full force of the Bay of Fundy’s famous tides in action.

Point Prim Prince Edward Island Eastern Canada Road Trip

Maritimes Road Trip: PEI Stops

Prince Edward Island is famous for its towering lighthouses; however, one stands apart from the rest. Peering out over the Northumberland Strait at the mouth of the Charlottetown Harbour, the Point Prim Lighthouse is the oldest in PEI. Originally built in 1845 – nearly 30 years before Prince Edward Island joined the Canadian Confederation – Point Prim featured a unique design for that period, as well as striking colours that make it a frequent centerpiece for postcards to this day.

If you’re willing to make a detour from the Trans-Canada highway on your Eastern Canada road trip, you can visit the home of PEI’s most famous resident: Anne of Green Gables author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Montgomery lived her life in the humble town of Cavendish on the island’s northern shore, and it was that landscape that inspired the town of Avonlea in her Anne stories. Visitors today can visit a number of landmarks, including Montgomery’s birthplace and Green Gables Heritage Place.

Gros Morne National Park Corner Brook Newfoundland Eastern Canada Road Trip

Atlantic Canada Road Trip: Newfoundland Stops

Adventurous travellers on a Maritimes road trip will love spending a day exploring Gros Morne National Park, famous for its steep-sided cliffs and glacier-marked terrain. The nearby town of Corner Brook is a great stop, featuring a gorgeous waterfront and great views from the Captain James Cook Historic site at the top of Crow Hill.

If you follow the Trans-Canada highway all the way to its easternmost point, you’ll be able to take in the sights and sounds of St. John’s. Newfoundland’s capital and largest city, St. John’s has lots to do, including climbing to the top of Signal Hill to see the famous Cabot Tower and get the best possible view of the city.

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