East Coast Summer Bucket List: Sights, Hikes & Festivals

The East Coast is known for its warm hospitality, fresh seafood and breathtaking views of cliffs, coves, and lighthouses. If you have this destination on your summer bucket list, there has never been a better time to visit. Whether you are looking for a leisurely holiday filled with culinary experiences and sweeping views, or want to dive into a land to sea adventure or be thrown into a festival frenzy, the East Coast graciously boasts of having all that and more. Here are a few things you will want to include on your travel itinerary.

New Brunswick

If you aren’t planning on making New Brunswick a destination, I highly suggest you reconsider or at least stop in to experience the Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy. In just one day you can experience sinking your toes into the sandy ocean floor and see the Hopewell rocks that have been artfully carved out by the rolling tides. Only six hours later you can watch in awe as the tide rolls in as high as 16 meters - the highest tide in the world. Although it is a tourist destination, this one is worthwhile checking out because it is an incredibly unique experience. And while in New Brunswick, why not do some whale watching? The whales are in abundance and especially active during the summer months. It is a sight to marvel over.

Nova Scotia

If you are a history buff, Nova Scotia will surely be on your hit list as this is home of Fort Anne, Canada’s first national historic site. Or check out the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, where geologists first discovered any evidence of creatures predating the dinosaurs. Now a historical destination, the tides still unveil new fossils in today.

Nova Scotia also reveals over 7500 km of seacoast and includes some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. But be warned, they take sandcastle building very seriously here. While visiting this part of the East Coast, it’s worthwhile to tour Cape Breton Island, where beautiful hiking trails that wind through the highlands will likely ware your camera battery out. This island is a scenic resting place where you will find friendly faces, live music and delicious food.

Newfoundland and Labrador

In Newfoundland, they say, ‘there’s no shortage of reasons to celebrate, perhaps just a shortage of time’. While here you are almost guaranteed to stumble across a festival. With more than 25 festivals and events taking place this summer in Newfoundland, it can be difficult to decide, so here are a few of my favourites.

Bonavista Days, July 27-29: This three-day festival will have you up on your feet dancing and singing in no time. It’s a celebration of the energetic historical town Bonavist, and they know how to have fun. Stop by for some food, drinks, games, and enjoy the best fireworks show in the province.

The 42nd Annual Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, August 3-5: A three-day musical extravaganza that attracts people from all over the world. It is a tradition that is held close to the hearts of the locals, with top-notch musical talent that spans both young and old. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance for this one.

Roots, Rants & Roar Festival, September 14-15: This festival sets out to show off all the very best that Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer. Taking place right on the water in Elliston, here you will find the provinces best entertainers, traditional “Newfie” food, and much much more.

Alongside the variety of festivals and events happening in Newfoundland and Labrador this summer, there is also plenty to see! The quintessential lighthouses in this area are just as charming as you would imagine. Since the first lighthouse was built in 1813 to guide ships safely to shore, there has been an array of uniquely painted lighthouses along the winding coast.

When visiting the East Coast, you come as a guest, and leave feeling like family. The perfect summer escape within Canadian borders offers hiking, dining, coastal experiences, bird and whale watching, history and live music. Canada’s Ocean Playground comes alive in the summer months and embraces the many traditions that make the East Coast so unique.

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O 416-925-9191 | C 416-561-3309josh@chestnutpark.com

1300 Yonge St Suite 100, Toronto