Set behind the banks of the wide, dramatic St John River, the relatively affluent capital city of Fredericton is the administrative center of New Brunswick. Here are some of the top things to do in Fredericton for your next trip to the far East Coast.
Though small by design, the modest red-bricked downtown core is exceptionally pleasant, its tree-lined streets perfect for an urban stroll. A historic city home to two of the province’s biggest universities – the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University – and a flourishing brewery scene. Don’t skip this stop on your visit to Atlantic Canada.
Things to Do and See
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is a must-see Fredericton attraction and boasts an impressive permanent collection with several paintings by Salvador Dalí, including his breathtaking 1957 masterwork, Santiago El Grande. Head over to King’s Landing (no, not the one from Game of Thrones) to see a living history museum with buildings dating back to the early 1800s. On Saturday mornings, hit up the long-running Boyce Farmers Market for fresh cheese, meat, baked goods, and hot snacks. The biggest annual event in Fredericton is the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival during the month of September, held in the city’s downtown Garrison district. Throughout the year, the Garrison District National Historic Site also offers performances and historic re-enactments that are perfect for family fun.
Eats and Drinks
Because this is Atlantic Canada, you’re guaranteed to find some of the best seafood on the entire continent. Amongst the delicious oysters and lobsters available, there are also a lot of restaurants that serve comfort food and more international options as well. Stop for a drink and a treat in one of the many coffee shops, craft breweries, and bars, including the world-famous Lunar Rogue pub, which has more than 700 varieties of whisky. Unofficially dubbed the brewing capital of Atlantic Canada, you can find many top quality choices for both beer and coffee. The East Coast as a whole has had a boom in craft breweries over the past decade, but Fredericton has the highest concentration of craft producers in the entire region. Take one of the many brewery tours, or just hit up some of the local bars to try the goods. There are also many beer festivals to check out, so make a note to look up what’s in town during your visit. Check out our Fredericton Food and Drinks Recommendations if you need more inspiration.
If you’ve got kids you need to keep entertained throughout your trip, there are tons of things to do in Fredericton that the entire family can enjoy. Rent bikes for everyone and have a pleasant ride through one of the many biking trails around town. If your children are animal fanatics, Fredericton is home to Hyla Park Nature Preserve, an amphibian sanctuary, and the Mactaquac Beaver Pond for a day of outdoors fun. For the curious-minded, head over to Science East, New Brunswick’s one and only science centre with over a hundred unique exhibits kids can experience hands on. During winter, you’ve got an endless number of options from snowboarding, skiing, skating, snowshoeing, or riding in a horse-drawn sleigh. For the brave ones, there is TreeGo, an obstacle course in Mactaquac Provincial Park where you can soar tree to tree.