Old-world architecture, dramatic coastal vistas and pastoral charm captivate visitors of Canada and New England. Predominantly influenced by the French, Canada is a vibrant kaleidoscope of culture that plays host to both cosmopolitan cities bursting with glass-panned skyscrapers and zealous hockey fans, and rugged seaside villages dominated by stunning lighthouses and expert fishermen.
New England’s historic prominence goes without saying. Legends of the storied birth of the American Revolution are retold throughout this region’s museums and brewpubs, and Paul Revere, John Hancock and other revolutionary figures are still local celebrities. New England’s extraordinary history is equaled only by its landscape, which gives way to sprawling vineyards, forested hills, beautiful craggy beaches and coastal mountains.
Guided tours are the easiest way to fully digest this region's gorgeous landscape and learn all the chapters of its history. If you have visited either Canada or New England before, you may want to bypass the prominent attractions and search for the next adventure on your own. But a tour guide is needed if you're just interested in seeing the best of the best in the least amount of time.
If you do follow a guide and have time to explore on your own before or after the tour, do some shopping, find a great restaurant and spend some time admiring local architecture. Or visit a nearby museum or art gallery.
Shore excursions in Canada and New England include:
- Canoe the sheltered waters of the Kennebecasis River in St. John.
- Fish off the Atlantic shores of Halifax, a coastline famous for coastline is famous for pirates, shipwrecks, rum running and sunsets.
- Bike the Confederation Trail in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
- Visit the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, which houses a permanent exhibition on the Titanic disaster, along with the world's largest collection of wooden artifacts.
- Attend an authentic lobster bake in Maine.
- Stop in at the old Corner Bookstore in Boston, an intimate 19th-century gathering place for poets and authors where Emerson, Hawthorne and Thoreau met.
- Sea kayak to the Frenchman bay and the Porcupine Islands in Bar Harbor, Maine.
- Raft the Jacques Cartier River in Quebec City.
- Sail past the cliffs of Newfoundland and cruise to Cape Spear, the most eastern point in North America.
- Drive along Nova Scotia’s famous Lighthouse Route to Peggy's Cove, a rugged fishing community on a coastal inlet that is characterized by wave-worn granite boulders and crashing surf.
- Discover Mount Desert Island in Bar Harbor, Maine, which is studded with coastal mountains, five lakes, streams, ponds and a glacier-carved fjord.
- Walk through the Halifax Public Gardens, a 17-acre tribute to Victorian elegance that encompasses formal gardens, duck ponds and gushing fountains.
- Tour St. John's, New Foundland, North America's oldest city.
- Visit the only walled city in North America, Quebec City, and marvel at 17th- and 18-century stone houses, military fortifications, Place Royale, the Citadel, the Norte Dame Basilica and the Parliament Building.
- Walk the famous freedom trail in Boston past Park Street Church, the Granary Burying Ground, the Old South Meeting House, the State House and Paul Revere's House.
- Travel to St. John's, Newfoundland, one of the best areas on the Atlantic coast for marine wildlife viewing, and see thousands of sea birds.
- Watch moose, black bear, whitetail deer and 50 other species of mammals in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor.
- Journey to the Gulf of Maine and look for whales, seals, harbor porpoises and eagles.
- Walk the 'Le Petit Quartier Champlain' in Quebec City, one of the finest shopping streets in North America.
- Browse through art galleries, fashionable boutiques and eclectic antique shops of the Old Port exchange, a unique district of antiquated brick and granite buildings in Portland.
- Visit the Historic Properties in Nova Scotia, a three-block 19th-century complex of wharves and privateers warehouses that has been transformed into a collection of upscale boutiques.