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Note: New Brunswick Tourism hosted me for the week in exchange for coverage on my travel blog. As always, all opinions are my own, and it is my main priority to truthfully write about my experiences.
Are you an adventurous spirit who loves kayaking and hiking on a sunny afternoon?
Are you fascinated by prehistoric history and would move into a natural history museum if you had the option?
What about eating fresh seafood on a scenic patio near the coast?
Do you love these activities even more when you’re alone and able to commune with nature without any interruptions from a friend or partner?
Then you’ve come to the right place by clicking on this guide about solo travel to New Brunswick Canada. I even recommend it as one of the best places to go on a first time solo trip in Canada.
In general, any solo traveler, especially someone who wants epic nature adventures as part of their itinerary, ought to plan a trip to Canada, especially in the summer.
Canada is great. Period. End of story.
As a country, though, Canada is also massive (just like the United States), so to truly explore all of it would take a ton of time, money, and effort. I wouldn’t be able to see the whole country with a year of free time, let alone a week or two.
Readers of this blog already know that I’m a slow traveler at heart. I highly prefer to focus on a region or small area on each of my trips rather than drive or fly loooong distances in between stops. I’m not traveling to see the inside of planes and trains multiple times, after all, haha.
As a solo traveler, exploring the province of New Brunswick was the perfect trip for me. I’m so excited to recommend it to everyone.
In particular, driving the beautiful route between Moncton and St. Andrews offered everything that the independent traveler could ever want in an itinerary: amazing nature, adventure activities, accessible hikes, delicious local food, strong tourist infrastructure, and so much more.
Solo Travel in New Brunswick: My Experience
Before offering specific suggestions, I want to share my own experiences in New Brunswick. Yes, this trip was sponsored, but I had a wonderful time and wouldn’t hesitate to spend my own money on a visit here.
Like I said, Canada is a large country, and while I’ve visited a lot of cities on my own, I never really had a chance to dive into Canada’s natural wonders. So, without a doubt, I was deeply appreciative for the a chance to travel alone to New Brunswick.
During my years as a travel blogger, I’ve always had wonderful adventures traveling alone in Canada, so I was very excited to experience Atlantic Canada, where New Brunswick is located, for the first time.
Additionally, coming to New Brunswick was also my first time taking a solo road trip, which was just … so, so, so cool. I loved playing my favorite songs, while driving through the pristine scenery of the Fundy Trail Parkway.
Furthermore, I loved that New Brunswick wasn’t overrun with tourists in the summer season. For instance, I never struggled to find parking, even at Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park and Fundy National Park, nor did I ever have to wait to eat at any of the restaurants, even trendier options in St. John.
I had room to breathe and relax and simply enjoy New Brunswick without the aggravation of tourist hordes.
Lastly, on my solo trip to New Brunswick, I truly felt like I could push beyond my comfort zone. Since I never did a solo road trip, navigating the parks alone made me feel confident, especially because I can be a bit of an awkward driver in New Jersey!
Not to mention, kayaking several times and even going ziplining over New Brunswick’s coastline showed that I’m more than capable of adventurous sports.
All in all, I adored New Brunswick as a solo traveler, and hope to convince you to visit the province on your next trip to Canada.
Solo Travel in New Brunswick: Practical Tips
Unsurprisingly I really want this guide to encourage you to travel solo to New Brunswick Canada too.
I can’t empathize enough that New Brunswick is a fairly easy place to visit on your own. It’s not challenging logistically or anything. However, it’s still a smart idea to be prepared in advance. Better safe than sorry, right?
Below, I’ve written a few basic travel tips to make your Bay of Fundy adventure a “solo travel success”.
Solo Travel Safety in New Brunswick
Over all, I felt super safe traveling alone in New Brunswick, including the cities of Moncton and Saint John. Violent crime is low.
Really, your biggest safety issues have to do with respecting nature, especially the Bay of Fundy. Just … don’t underestimate the Bay of Fundy, okay? It’s powerful.
For example, when visiting St. Martins Sea Caves or exploring the sea floor at Hopewell Rocks, stay aware of the tides, so you don’t lose track of the time and get stranded. At Hopewell Rocks, there is actually an emergency platform if you get “stuck” at high tide, but you won’t be able to get off for six hours. Doesn’t sound very fun to me, haha.
On kayaking tours and other excursions listen to your guides. They will keep you safe.
Furthermore, take advantage of physical maps in places like Fundy National Park and Fundy Trail Parkway.
Both areas are absolutely beautiful and easy to explore as a solo traveler, but sometimes cellphone service is spotty, and you don’t want to rely on GPS alone. My cell service dropped a few times in Fundy National Park, but this wasn’t an issue with a good map. I also suggest leaving your itinerary with trusted friends and family members, but this is a good idea no matter where you travel in the world.
New Brunswick is safe. All you need to do is respect nature.
What to Pack for a Trip to New Brunswick
You’ll spend a lot of time outdoors in New Brunswick. A lot, a lot.
Here are a few important items that you don’t want to leave at home. You can buy everything you need in New Brunswick, of course, especially bigger cities like Moncton or St. John, but you’re better off spending your time admiring coastline than spending money in shops.
Solo Travel New Brunswick Canada Essentials
- High Quality Day Pack: For longer hikes, it’s easier to keep all your supplies in a light hiking backpack, especially for places like Fundy National Park and the Fundy Trail Parkway.
- Hiking Boots: Don’t ever skimp on hiking shoes for outdoor activities. Your feet might also get muddy and slippery at Hopewell Rocks, so you need to have good traction on your shoes. I recommend a sturdy pair of hiking boots that can handle all sorts of terrain and is waterproof. Now’s not the time to look cute.
- Merino Wool Socks: Your feet will seriously hate you forever if you wear bad socks to New Brunswick. Blisters are the worst. So pack Merino wool socks to protect your feet.
- Moisture Wicking Clothing: Keep the humidity at bay with fast-drying clothing for the trails and kayaking. Moisture wicking clothing kept me comfortable and sane on my solo trip to New Brunswick Canada.
- Reusable Water Bottle: Cutting down on single use plastic is environmentally smart, but you also need to stay hydrated. New Brunswick (and Atlantic Canada) is rather humid, so prepare to sweat a lot. Bring a reusable water bottle with you to stay healthy and happy on the trails.
- Sun Protection in All Forms: Yes, you’re visiting Canada, but the sun is still strong in summer. You want to protect your skin when you’re constantly outside. So bring that high quality sunscreen and a flashy pair of sunglasses.
- Travel Insurance: You will need comprehensive travel insurance for visiting New Brunswick. I’d actually recommend adventure travel insurance if you’re going to do any extreme sports here (which, go for it, just be prepared ahead of time!). I like World Nomads, and have used their policy for a lot of solo trips.
4 Reasons to Travel Alone to New Brunswick Canada
Not sold on a trip just yet? I could write a book convincing you of all the reasons why your next solo road trip should be to New Brunswick.
However, I’ll just highlight the four main reasons why solo travel to this province is super special.
Casual and Laid Back Atmosphere
New Brunswick is very relaxed and casual. You don’t need to bring a ball gown, I promise. I personally loved how I could wear comfortable athletic clothing all the time, even at swanky bars in St. John, and still feel like I felt in. I never once felt “underdressed.”
As much as I love fashionable cities like New York and Milan, there’s something really freeing about throwing my hair into a ponytail and rocking a cosy pair of leggings.
All in all, New Brunswick is a destination where I could be myself, without the extra primping, and I honestly think the carefree attitude of the province makes it the perfect place for a solo traveler to explore with confidence!
Lots of Friendly People
As a solo traveler, I like striking up conversations with people. I blame being an extrovert at heart. In New Brunswick, I thought the locals and other visitors were very, very friendly and warm toward me.
For example, I had several people offer to take my picture, offer tasty recommendations for food and drinks, and share interesting facts and stories about life in New Brunswick. Seriously, everyone I met was so kind.
You won’t feel lonely on a solo trip to New Brunswick. Instead you’ll encounter friends who you never knew you had.
Solo Dining is Easy and Fun
Everyone knows that dining alone is still a bit of a struggle for me. Sure, deep down I know no one else is actually judging me, but ugh, sometimes your mind rebels, right? However, solo diners will have zero issues in New Brunswick.
In St. John, a lot of the restaurants have ample bar seating, so you’re easily able to strike up a conversation with the bartenders and other patrons. You’re also free to bring a book and unwind if you want some peace and quiet.
As for smaller villages, such as Alma and St. Martins, a lot of the restaurants have outdoor picnic tables available, so you never feel weird about requesting “a table for one.”
Stunning Natural Beauty
Last but not least, one of the best reasons to go on a solo trip to New Brunswick is to admire the province’s natural beauty. Seriously, while I saw pictures online before taking my car around the Bay of Fundy, nothing could’ve prepared me for seeing the spectacular seaside cliffs in person. Just amazing. Truly amazing.
Fundy National Park, Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park, and the Fundy Trail Parkway will astound you.
While it’s nice to share the scenery with someone, I still like the peace and quiet of finding my own lookout or waterfall, and using the time to think or practice my photography skills without interruption.
TopThings to Do on a Solo Trip to New Brunswick
New Brunswick is a large province with a lot to see and do. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, especially when you only have a week or so to travel.
So, if you’re not sure how write an itinerary for your solo trip to New Brunswick, then I have a bunch of possible activities to jump start the planning process.
Admire Reversing Falls in St. John
The Reversing Falls in St. John are rapids where the Bay of Fundy meets the Saint John River. If you’re in town awhile, you will want to check out the rapids at three different tidal stages: low, slack, and high. They’re all remarkably different.
St. John’s Reversing Falls are the only ones in North America. The other reversing falls is all the way in Norway, so you will definitely want to check out the rapids on a solo trip to New Brunswick.
The nearby Reversing Falls Rapids Tourist Centre shows an informative film about the falls, and afterwards, you’ll enjoy some fantastic views on the rooftop Skywalk. It’s great!
Adventure Sports at Cape Enrage
Wanna do something daring on your travels? Then you need to add Cape Enrage to your solo drive around the Bay of Fundy.
Cape Enrage is one of the most beautiful stops on the Bay of Fundy. The lighthouse at Cape Enrage is still operational, and offers a fantastic backdrop for photographs.
However, if you’re up for some thrills, then Cape Enrage also offers ziplining and rappelling. You’re welcome to do these activities separate, or book a combination ticket for both of them. On my own visit, I was convinced to try ziplining for the first time and loved it, haha. This 600 ft. long zipline definitely offers wild and fun views of the Bay of Fundy that are not to be missed!
These adventure sports will give you a lot of great memories and stories to share with friends and family.
Drive to Ministers Island
Have you ever driven on the ocean floor? Well, you can check that item off your bucket list with a visit to Ministers Island near St. Andrews.
Check the tide schedule is advance. Ministers Island is, unsurprisingly, only accessible during certain times of the day. Upon arrival, staff on the island even provide each car with a number to know who has safely left the island.
The drive over to Ministers Island is fairly easy. Just make sure to stick to the well-worn areas of the road, and avoid the soft sand so your wheels don’t get stuck.
On Ministers Island, tour the Van Horne Estate. Sir William Van Horne was the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and his creative touches are seen everywhere in his beautiful 50 room home. I also recommend walking down to the Bathroom for a stunning panoramic view.
Eat Until You’re Full in Saint John
Like I said, you won’t have any problems dining alone in New Brunswick and that includes Saint John.
As the only city on the Bay of Fundy, Saint John has a vibrant food scene, and unlike trendy restaurants in bigger cities, a solo traveler will have an easy time finding a comfortable seat at the bar. Fresh seafood and craft beer are available here in abundance. I mean, lobster risotto? Scallops with wrapped in bacon and drizzled with Maple Syrup? Be still my beating heart!
I definitely indulged drinking some new beers and chowing on delicious lobster at Saint John Ale House, as well as brilliantly crafted cocktails at Port City Royal. As for a killer brunch, Cask & Kettle Irish Pub was spot on!
If you want to try a variety of foods and treats, then I recommend going to St. John City Market and AREA 506 Waterfront Container Village. You can do a food tour going from vendor to vendor.
St. John City Market is a historic treasure that’s been open since the late 1800s. You’ll have plenty of food options, as well as checking out works by local artists. Slocum & Ferris is one of the most popular vendors in the market, and well worth checking out.
As for Container Village, you’ll want to visit here on a sunny (or at least, not rainy) day to try local and scrumptious sweets, and shop for souvenirs. All shops sell products from New Brunswick, so you’re keeping your money “on the ground,” so to speak.
Explore Fishing Villages
I love small villages as a solo traveler. They are quaint and manageable. Not to mention, smaller towns give me a valuable chance to connect with the community compared to larger cities. The coziness is worth it. You’ll experience those same feelings at the villages of Alma and St. Martins.
Alma and St. Martins are both on the Bay of Fundy, and are easy to link together in a single road trip. Both villages have delicious and local food, as well as a variety of accommodation to choose from. Not to mention, you’re on the water, which is refreshing in the summer months.
Spending time in Alma and St. Martins is especially ideal for a solo traveler who wants to temporarily escape the hustle and bustle of “real life” and unwind.
Hike in Fundy National Park
Fundy National Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit while traveling alone in New Brunswick. I adored Fundy National Park. Adored.
This park is huge, so you’ll have to plan what you want to see and do ahead of time, unless you intend to spend an entire day exploring the park at length.
For a simple hike, I suggest taking a walk to Dickson Falls. The entire hike should only take about forty-five minutes if you’re taking photos. Furthermore, if you’re even slightly active, this hike is completely doable.
If you have additional time, ask the park rangers for suggested hikes, scenic view points (such as the covered bridge at Point Wolfe), and more. The maps are comprehensive, and the service will help you plan a fun filled day without too much trouble.
Fundy National Park is under the Parks Canada system. Don’t forget to swing by the visitors center and pay for your permit to park your car without any issues.
Kayak at High Tide in Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park
Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park is one of the most popular attractions along the Bay of Fundy (and in all of New Brunswick). The Flower Pot Rocks are true works of art, and shouldn’t be missed whether it’s high or low tide. Preferably, you ought to make time for walking on the ocean floor, as well as kayaking between the rocks at high tide.
In particular, Baymount Outdoor Adventures offer incredible sea kayaking tours. Don’t worry if you’re an inexperienced kayaker. Solo travelers will be paired in a kayak with a tour guide, so you will do just FINE. I’m not athletic by any stretch of the imagination and had a great time.
Be sure to pack shoes that are well worn. You will need to clean off mud afterwards, but eh, who really cares. The kayaking is breathtaking, so it’s worth shooting your shoes with a hose.
Learn About History on a Fossil Tour
New Brunswick has so many incredible places to learn about fossils and even touch them. You truly feel like a tiny part of a much more epic historical story when you go on a fossil tour.
On my Bay of Fundy Road Trip, I experienced the wonders of prehistoric fossils in two separate locations, and you can do one or both on your own solo trip.
At Cape Enrage, book a fossil tour to the beach. You’ll learn about prehistoric plant life and even discover your own fossils on the beach. Ask a lot of questions! If you find a fossil with clear images, your guide will be able to identify the plants.
Additionally, St. John is park of the much larger (2500 km) Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark. In particular, Inside Out Nature Centre offers incredible guided tours of all sorts to help you learn more about the geopark.
These active tours give you a chance to learn about St. John’s history and make meaningful connections with a knowledgeable guide. Plus you’ll get some exercise!
If you love kayaking, check out the River Relics tour where you paddle down the St. John River, starting at Dominion Park Beach, and learn all about the region’s history. You’ll also see some amazing fossils from the water.
Road Trip Through Fundy Trail Parkway
Fundy Trail Parkway is one of New Brunswick’s newest tourist attractions. And, oh my god, this parkway is absolutely amazing. I truly think taking a drive here is one of the best activities available on a solo trip to New Brunswick.
You will want to allocate at least an entire afternoon to the beauty of Fundy Trail Parkway. Start with the breathtaking ravine, The Walton Glen Gorge, and then drive the entire length of the parkway with scenic viewpoints along the way. As a side note, I went on a gorgeous and sunny Saturday to the Fundy Trail Parkway, but always found a place to park my car and take pictures.
Keep in mind that there are no restaurants on the Fundy Trail Parkway. You will want to pack a picnic lunch. You can also visit The Cookhouse and request a lumberjack lunch in a pail. These lunches are so filling and delicious, and The Cookhouse will explain the lives of the lumberjacks who worked in this region. Apparently, they needed to eat 8,000 calories in a single day!
A visit to Fundy Trail Parkway is safe and enjoyable, even as a solo driver. I had no issues navigating, even when the GPS was spotty, because you’re only take one road from beginning to end. It’s actually pretty difficult to get lost here, which is a huge bonus! Just adhere to the speed limit, and carefully take the hairpin turns to the viewpoints.
See Wildlife at Huntsman Marine Science Centre
I love, love, love a good aquarium. They remind me of childhood field trips to the Baltimore Aquarium in Maryland. In St. Andrews, be sure to pop into Huntsman Marine Science Centre for a look around. This space is very welcome to solo travelers, and it’s nice to read through all the exhibits without interruption.
And stay for the seal feeding! You’ll love it and feel like a kid at heart!
Unwind in Kingsbrae Gardens
Kingsbrae Gardens in St. Andrews will make feel as if you’ve transported to a lovely English castle or fall into the pages of Alice in Wonderland.
As a solo traveler, Kingsbrae Gardens is a soothing place to unwind, and you could easily spend hours here exploring 27 acres of impeccable gardens. In particular, I love the sculptures here, because the artistic talent made me feel as if I was walking through an open air art museum (and we all know how much I love art museums).
Depending on the day, solo travelers can also enjoy a menu at the Garden Cafe. All ingredients are locally sourced, and some of them even come from the gardens themselves. You couldn’t ask for a fresher and more delicious meal!
Whale Watching in St. Andrews
Wanna get out on the water? Whale watching is an enjoyable solo activity, particularly in St. Andrews.
In St. Andrews, there are a lot of options to choose from, but I went with Island Quest Marine which was fun, informative, and safe. The captain and marine biologists put in a lot of time and effort to ensure opportunities for whale spotting. We actually went “over” on our tour by a half hour, which was nice.
Island Quest Marine is locally owned and operated, and as a solo traveler, I felt very welcome on board. Highly recommend.
I hope you all liked reading this guide to solo travel in New Brunswick Canada. Again, big THANK YOU to New Brunswick Tourism for hosting my visit, and letting me share my experiences with all of you. As always, feel free to reach out with any solo travel questions about Canada (and beyond!).