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Top 10 Can’t-Miss Attractions in Canada and New England

If you’re headed north, make sure these top spots make your list!

New England and Canada are well-known for fall foliage, but heading north to Maine and eastern Canadian provinces is a great trip option during the summer too! 

For many, traveling to the Northeast isn’t that far away, making it an easy getaway for families to get together before school starts again. There’s a lot to see and do—and eat! If you’re taking a trip north, add these to your activity itinerary:

Acadia National Park offers water views throughout its many mountains.

1. Acadia National Park: One of the jewels of America’s national parks and certainly a crowd-pleaser on the east coast. Acadia National Park sits just off the mainland coast of Maine and is jam-packed with hiking trails, lakes, ocean views, and perfect spots for watching the sunset. Try the 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain overlook!

2. Boston’s Freedom Trail: Ever wanted to travel back in time? Boston is one of the oldest cities in the country and was instrumental in the Revolutionary War. See the actual house of patriot Paul Revere, as well as the taverns where the American Revolution brewed, all led by guides in historical garb!

Peggy’s Cove lighthouse is just one of many throughout the region.

3. Lighthouses everywhere: You can’t go to the Northeast or coastal Canada without seeing lighthouses! From Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse in Nova Scotia to Portland Head Lighthouse in Maine, these picturesque, important structures are part of the history and beauty of the east coast.

The incredible Hopewell Rocks were eroded by the ocean’s waves.

4. Bay of Fundy: Want to spend a fun day by the water? The Bay of Fundy is the answer! The massive ocean bay with extreme tides is ripe for exploration: go see the other-worldly Hopewell rocks that have been eroded into twisted shapes, and the famous “reversing falls” of churning whitewater in the St. John’s River.

5. Breweries and Eateries: It wasn’t long ago that Portland, Maine was named Bon Appetit’s “Restaurant City of the Year”—and for more than the seafood! With fabulous bakeries (you’ve gotta try the “cruffin” at Belleville), fantastic pho at Cong Tu Bot, and unique breweries like Oxbow (specializing in sours), you’ll leave Portland full and happy.

Humpback whales breaching the water’s surface is a sight unlike any other.

6. Whale watching: The waters off the coasts of New England and Canada share some local inhabitants—humpback whales. Local boat tours can get you up close to these mammoth sea creatures as they breach for air. Bring a rain jacket because they make quite the splash on the way down. Humpbacks can weigh up to 30 tons!

7. Craggy coastline: Sure, tranquil sandy beaches are beautiful. But towering jagged cliffs that jut out of the water with waves crashing against the rocks below? Now that’s dramatic! Take a moment to marvel at the ocean’s power almost anywhere from Rockport Massachusetts to Saint John’s, New Brunswick.

You can’t go to Maine without getting a lobster roll. So don’t even try.

8. Seafoooooood: Ok, you can’t visit Maine without trying a lobster roll (or three). They’re truly some of the best eats you’ll find in the east! Up in Canada, Prince Edward Island is world famous for its oysters. Seafood lovers can sample these salty mollusks in nearby cities like Halifax.

9. Anglers in action: If eating seafood makes you want to catch your own, you’re in luck! There are tons of great fishing options throughout New England. Smallmouth bass, trout, and salmon draw fishermen and women to Maine, and striped bass can be caught near the beaches and estuaries in Nova Scotia.

Fortifications have been on Citadel Hill in Halifax since 1749.

10. Historic Forts: Halifax’s Fort George is a famous star-shaped National Historic Site atop Citadel Hill. It gives sweeping views of the surrounding city and harbour. Further south, Fort Gorges in Portland, Maine beckons visitors to the middle of the Fore River. Adventurers can kayak out to the two-story, 19th-century fort to take a tour.