Discover the Delights of New Brunswick
Story and photos by Elaine and Henry Levy
This past summer we discovered the many attractions of New Brunswick along with over one million other visitors. This Canadian province is adjacent to Nova Scotia and shares a border with Maine. We began our journey in Saint Andrews by the Sea, a quaint seaside resort town. Saint Andrews offers a marvelous selection of lodging ranging from the imposing Algonquin Resort and Hotel, with its all new 18 hole signature golf course, to the Kingsbrae Arms, one of only several hundred Relais and Chateau properties around the world, to a selection of less expensive hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Golfers have been coming to the Algonquin for over one hundred years, but this completely renovated 7000 yard par 71, designed by Canadian Thomas McBroom in 1998, is spectacular. The back nine holes all feature breathtaking views of Passamaquoddy Bay. Each hole features five tee-off areas to accommodate every level of expertise. Rates vary from $55 to $100 for 18 holes depending on season and there is a golf school where private lessons are $35 per 1/2 hour. Call Lindon Garron, Director, to inquire about special golf packages and tie in rates with local accommodations at (800) 441-1414 or (506) 529-8823.
The Kingbrae Arms is an elegant inn which offers gourmet meals and luxurious accommodations. If you are used to treating yourself to the best, this five star inn is not to be missed. Harry Chancey, a New Yorker, who also owns the famous Centennial House in East Hampton, discovered this inn in 1995. It has received rave reviews for its cuisine, ambiance and friendly service, which is richly deserved. The menu changes daily, and the ability to socialize with a variety of interesting guests at the dinner table adds a wonderful dimension to the dining experience. The conversations are easily continued while enjoying after dinner drinks complemented with coffee and dessert.
The Kingsbrae Gardens, one of the town's main attractions, abuts the property of the Kingsbrae Arms, and can be seen from many of the terraces of the Kingsbrae Arms. The idea of renovating the original 100 year old, 27 acre garden was Adreas Haan's vision in 1995. There is a cider hedge maze and fiddle head maze for children, a butterfly garden, a sense and sensitivity garden for the visually impaired, a new secret garden, and much more. The gardens are open from May through October.
Whale watching is a popular activity in Saint Andrews. Boats depart several times each day so long as visibility is good. Our three hour trip on the 50 foot Quoddy Link catamaran, included an attentive captain, two knowledgeable marine specialists who provided interesting details of the land and sea life we were observing, as well as binoculars for all. We sighted Minke whales, gray seals, bald eagles and an assortment of birds. Quoddy Link Marine can be reached at (506) 529-2600. The cost is $45.00 per adult and $25.00 per child under 14.
Other water experiences in the area include sailing with an experienced skipper, deep sea fishing, fly fis hing, salmon fishing, canoeing and kayaking.
After two days in Saint Andrews, we were off to Moncton. Moncton is a centrally located city in the region being easily accessible by road, rail and air. It has become a hub for convention business with a refurbished 100,000 square foot tradeshow and exposition center. Call 800-363-4558 for more details or look up their website at www.moncton.org.
Moncton also offers a new championship caliber 18 hole golf course, Royal Oaks, that was designed by Rees Jones and is now open to the public (506) 384-3330. Additional attractions include beaches, Irving Eco-Centre, Kouchibouguac National Park, forts and the longest multi-span bridge connecting to Prince Edward Island.One of the most fascinating sights in Moncton is Magnetic Hill, a mystery of modern science, where cars actually roll uphill. It is Canada's third most visited natural attraction. It is also adjacent to a family theme park featuring water slides.
The newest hotel, Chateau Moncton, is an excellent place to stay. The suites are spacious, comfortable, and tastefully decorated with Jacuzzi and fireplace. For those on business, rooms are furnished with desks, and there is Internet capability.
One of the finer restaurants in the area is Le Chateau a Pape, 2 Steadman South (506) 855-7273. This romantic Victorian building has a light and airy dining room offering many tables with views of the tidal river.
From Moncton, we were off to one of the highlights of the trip, a visit to Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy just one-half hour from Moncton. From 9 AM until noon one can walk on the floor of the tidal basin of the Bay hundreds of feet from stupendous rock formations, usually topped by trees, hence their name "flower pot" rocks. The one and one-half mile length of these rocks is quite a sight all by itself. Shortly after Noon until 2:45 PM there is kayaking around these natural wonders as water fills in the area where earlier you walked. The Bay of Fundy is known for having the highest tides in the world averaging 38 feet (but recorded as high as 57 feet). The kayaking can be arranged through Baymount Outdoor Adventures (506) 734-2660: www.baymount.nb.ca., and each trip is geared for beginners, lead by experts and usually contain three guides. It is safe, it is fun and it is a definite highlight of travel to the area. The cost is $40 per adult, and $120 for a family of four. There are two people per kayak.
Among the five famous scenic trails in New Brunswick is the Fundy Trail Parkway. Creating the concept, and being the driving force behind completion of the Fundy Trail Parkway, has been a fifty year dream of one of New Brunswick's most colorful and respected citizens, Mitchell Franklin. The beauty of the area following the expanse of the Bay of Fundy has always been evident; however, only with recent government unding and the planning of Mr. Franklin and the board of the non-profit Fundy Trail Development Authority, has it become a reality.
The Parkway is currently a 6-1/2 mile low speed road sprinkled with fabulous scenic lookouts and a longer, multi-use trail for hiking and biking which will be extended to link up with Fundy National Park for almost thirty miles of trails, including campsite development. Information on the Fundy Trail Parkway is available by 506-833-2019 or www.fundytrailparkway.com.
We had an unexpected treat when Mr. Franklin, his daughter Beverly, and Brian Clark, Manager of the Fundy Trail Parkway, hosted us to a home cooked meal at the Hearst Lodge on the Big Salmon River. Mr. Franklin reminisced about the Lodge's early history when personalities such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Bob Hope, and Prime Minister Difenbaker would arrive by helicopter and enjoy the excellent salmon fishing available at that time. Plans to improve the rough paths along the river to the Lodge and increase the number of guest cabins are currently underway to make this a popular site for day and overnight trips.
New Brunswick has a well deserved reputation for featuring a wide selection of heritage inns which provide all the comforts of home in authentic settings and complete with gourmet dining. One such marvelous dining experience was made possible by the culinary talents of Chef Axel Begner at the Dufferin Inn and San Martello Dining Room in Saint John (506) 635-5968.
Your hostess is the charming Margret Begner who will happily describe the mouth watering choices for dinner along with the perfect wine to complement each dish. Being in a comfortable historic home with a personal chef at your service is certainly a wonderful way to enjoy an evening meal. For toll free information about these heritage inns, you can phone: (800) 561-0123.
For those of you who prefer staying at a full service luxury hotel in Saint John, the Saint John Hilton is an excellent choice. It is located at One Market Square at the Wharf in a very popular and busy area. The rooms are clean, well appointed with comfortable beds and friendly staff. For reservations call: (800) 561-8282.
New Brunswick Tourism has developed an excellent strategy to introduce visitors to its many attractions. It centers around making available over 100 day adventures. These programs include participating in an Indian Micmac feast, riding adventures, caving and zoo night safaris, to deep sea fishing, sailing, ancient history and modern fun adventures. For further information about tourism in New Brunswick, call (800) 561-0123, or visit the New Brunswick website at: www.tourismnbcanada.com
New Brunswick Facts
Area: 28,354 square miles
Language: French and English
Capital: Fredericton (46,000)
Largest City: Saint John (75,000)
Tourism: Over 1.2 million visitors (1996)
Visitor Information (800) 561-0123
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