Our Canadian East Eats road trip kept its pace eastward into the province of New Brunswick. Nestled between Quebec and the maritime island provinces, this beautiful part of Canada often falls victim to being a drive-through province. What a mistake! I highly recommend you take the time to explore all this picturesque and historic province has to offer.
Our first stop was just over the border from Quebec in Grand Falls. Located on the Saint John River, the town gets its name from a 23 foot waterfall. During the peak season of the spring run-off, almost as much water pours down the gorge per minute as at Niagara Falls.
Moving down from Grand Falls, the west side of New Brunswick is potato country. Home to the McCain french fry empire, we headed to Florenceville to explore Potato World. You’d be amazed how many fascinating things you can learn about potato farming and french fry production from this hands-on museum. The kids had a ball making their own fries from start to finish, and learning what farming was like when settlers were first harvesting potatoes in Canada.
We then traveled down the road to Hartland and drove across the world’s longest covered bridge. For my kids this was quickly overshadowed by Hartland’s other famous tourist attraction: The Covered Bridge Potato Chip factory. We learned what goes into making a bag of potato chips, and after receiving a bagful of fresh chips off the line we came to the ‘seasoning table’. Here you can mix and match from dozens of flavours such as S’mores, Grandma’s Hot Apple Pie, and Tickle Me-Blue Raspberry. I loved the Loaded Stuffed Potato flavour, but was definitely outvoted by the rest of the crew.
Our first stop the next day was at the Chocolate Museum in St Stephen. Located in the old Ganong chocolate factory this interactive museum was a ton of fun, and of course a chocolate mecca for the kids. They ran around the place completing a scavenger hunt and spoiling themselves on the copious platefuls of samples available for the taking.
We then made our way east along the coast to the Atlantic Salmon Interpretive Centre in St. Andrews to learn how the Atlantic Salmon Federation works to conserve and protect Wild Atlantic salmon. Salmon numbers have been severely declining for the last 40 years. The kids were a bit upset there was no sushi tasting… but learned a ton about one of their favourite fish and also got to see salmon up close in the viewing tanks.
As we journeyed on towards Saint John we stopped at two famous institutions by the side of the road. Ossie’s Lunch serves up some of the best seafood in the country, and they’re not afraid to tell you. The place was buzzing with customers, and for good reason. In business for over 50 years, they’ve built up quite a loyal following. We tried some of their incredible fish and chips which left me realizing my own homemade version has some catching up to do…
We also stopped down the block at Oven Head Salmon Smokers. A family owned and operated business that makes some of the freshest, and most delicious smoked fish you will ever taste. Despite having just learned why we must protect the salmon, the kids had no problem polishing off a quarter pound of it in record time.
We stayed overnight in Saint John before catching a 3 hour morning ferry to Nova Scotia.
We had such a good time in New Brunswick, I was really glad we’d be making one more stop to see Moncton on our way home.
For a New Brunswick inspired recipe check out my Whisky Smoked Salmon.