I always think there’s something so soothing about being surrounded by water making an island vacation the ideal Travel Therapy pick when you’re looking to relax and restore your peace of mind.
So how do you pick your island or islands? If you’ve always gone tropical in the past I suggest shaking things up a bit, getting away from the crowds and trying something completely different that’s off the usual travel radar.
One of my favorite island escapes is exploring New Brunswick, Canada’s beautiful unspoiled Bay of Fundy Islands. If you haven’t heard about these islands yet here’s why you should. The bay itself is pretty amazing boasting the highest tides in the world and the Fundy Islands are equally impressive in their own peaceful and escapist way.
Add in friendly and affordable with cute bed and breakfasts, inns and campgrounds, and easy access from the U.S., and you’ll quickly see why the Fundy Islands need to get on your radar fast.
For this Travel Therapy trip I picked three islands to explore starting with the largest island in the Bay of Fundy, Grand Manan that was voted by Reader’s Digest as one of the world’s seven best small islands—- and it’s easy to see why!
With three charming light houses, beautiful beaches and dramatic hiking trails that run right along majestic cliffs, Grand Manan is a place where you can inhale fresh air and exhale stress.
For my trip I stayed at the very special Inn at Whale Cove Cottages where the original house was built in 1816 and has three rooms and there are five lovely cottages that have incredible views of the Bay of Fundy. Laura Buckley, the owner, is also one of the best chefs on the island so a meal at the Inn is a real treat. Don’t miss trying her mouthwatering Lobster Risotto it’s incredible and a favorite with the locals.
Insider tip, for the best sunset shots on Grand Manan head to Long Eddy Point Lighthouse—affectionately called “The Whistle” where you’ll also find some hiking trails tucked away in the cliffs overlooking the bay.
For my second island hopping stop I picked tiny Deer Island where the folks at Seascape Kayaking have unforgettable outdoor trips that fit every skill level. Gliding across the water, surrounded by natural beauty is an ideal way to appreciate and connect with the sensational scenery. After you’ve worked up an appetite head to 45th Parallel where they serve up a tasty Lobster Roll and fried clams.
After Deer Island I was off to picturesque Campobello Island where a highlight is the Roosevelt Campobello International Park where you can visit President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s beloved Canadian vacation home. You can do a self-guided tour throughout FDR’s home and get a true sense of what island life was like for the President and his family. Admission is free.
Campobello also has the beautiful Herring Cove Provincial Park with everything from pretty beaches to very affordable camp sites that start at just $25 a night. There’s also a challenging nine-hole Golf Course that plays right along the water. For a meal try Family Fisheries specializing in local seafood and homemade desserts like raspberry pie.
I also appreciate how island hopping in the Bay of Fundy is so easy, thanks to New Brunswick’s extensive ferry system. To get to Campobello Island you can take a ferry from Maine or just drive across a bridge. No wonder Canada and the U.S., are promoting ‘two nation vacations’.
When you’re looking to stock up on special local treats for your island hopping ferry trips stop by Wolfhead Smokers for fantastic smoked salmon and Roland’s Sea Vegetables for some unique edible seaweed nibbles called Dulse.
Also don’t miss one of my favorite stops, the famous Ganong’s Chocolates where they invented the very first Valentine’s Day heart box and there’s a cool factory tour you can take to learn more. Ganong continues to impress today with yummy caramels, truffles and peanut butter cups.
Travel Therapy Favorite Picks on Grand Manan Island
The Inn at Whale Cove Cottages
Long Eddy Lighthouse “The Whistle”
Southwest Head Lighthouse
The Grand Manan Museum