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The most stunning views in Atlantic Canada

The most stunning views in Atlantic Canada

Water. That's the essence of Atlantic Canada -- the four provinces of Canada's far-east coast: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.


The sea surrounds these maritime communities and it was water that formed the land into dramatic peaks, valleys, cliffs, and rockscapes that sometimes feel otherworldly, but are always arrestingly beautiful. It's an emotional landscape that stirs the soul and sparks the imagination of musicians, writers, and poets. Don't miss a chance to see the most incredible views Atlantic Canada has to offer.

Miscou Island, New Brunswick

Three people on motorcycles riding towards a lighthouse on the coast of Miscou Island, New Brunswick
Miscou Island - credit: Tourism New Brunswick

A coastal Acadian island on the Gulf of St. Lawrence with 600 mostly French-speaking lobster and herring-fishing residents, MiscouExternal Link Title has spectacular beaches, sand dunes, and lagoons. But it's the view from the historic Miscou Island LighthouseExternal Link Title that dazzles visitors: swaths of peat bogs turn bright red in autumn making for stunning photos. Catch a summer singing performance at the lighthouse or hike the many trails.

The Bay of Fundy’s Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

Two sets of kayakers paddling through Hopewell Rocks, Bay of Fundy
Hopewell Rocks, Bay of Fundy - credit: Tourism New Brunswick

Between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the entire world. After you beach walk, kayak, or ride the swells with a guide, snap a picture of the Hopewell RocksExternal Link Title, nicknamed "Flowerpot Rocks" - and you'll see why.

Swallowtail Lightstation, New Brunswick

Two people taking in the view of the ocean from Swallowtail Lighthouse on Grand Manan, New Brunswick
Swallowtail Lighthouse on Grand Manan - credit: Tourism New Brunswick

There's a reason Grand Manan Island's 1860 wooden Swallowtail LightstationExternal Link Title is the most photographed in New Brunswick. Enjoy the postcard shot from the ferry or stand at the observation area for the best panorama. Then climb to the top of the grassy knoll and up the station's steep stairs for a coastline overview, stopping in at the ground floor museum on the way out.

Icebergs, Newfoundland & Labrador

Kayakers paddling among icebergs near Quirpon Island, Western Newfoundland
Quirpon Island, Western Newfoundland - credit: Linkum Tours Ltd.

Listen to the cracking rumble of 10,000-year-old enormous icebergsExternal Link Title breaking up from the deck of a boatExternal Link Title, paddle past what locals call "bergy bits" in your own kayakExternal Link Title on a guided tour, or spot them from shore. They don't call Newfoundland's coast Iceberg Alley for nothing.

Torngat Mountains Base Camp and Research Station, Newfoundland & Labrador

Aerial view of Torngat Mountains National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador
Torngat Mountains National Park, credit: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

On the Labrador Peninsula, the base campExternal Link Title of Torngat Mountains National ParkExternal Link Title is a Far North outpost in Inuit homeland. With unusually colored, 3.9-billion-year-old rocks and 7,000-year-old archaeological sites, the far-flung station affords spectacular daytime views of towering peaks, fjords, lakes, and tundra; by night, the Northern Lights. Add a polar bear- or caribou-viewing side trip to complete your voyage.

Fogo Island, Newfoundland & Labrador

Two people walking along a rocky outcrop taking in the view of the Fogo Island Inn
Fogo Island Inn - credit: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

Creatives and thinkers flock to remote Fogo Island InnExternal Link Title to find inspiration in the stunning, stark landscape. More cultural movement than luxe hotel, the inn has 29 roomsExternal Link Title, plus four off-the-grid artist studios perched on the volcanic rock of Newfoundland's largest offshore island.

Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland & Labrador

Hikers taking in the view at Gros Morne National Park, Western Brook Pond Fjord, Newfoundland and Labrador
Gros Morne National Park, Western Brook Pond Fjord, credit - Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism

The scale of Gros MorneExternal Link Title is mind boggling. And the outlook from Gros Morne MountainExternal Link Title, a nine-mile trek ascending 2,600 feet, is ethereal. Everything about this geologist's paradise is sweeping and large-scale -- framed by the distinctive, flat-rock Tablelands.

Basin Head Provincial Park, Prince Edward Island

Red lifeguard chair pictured on the beach between two grassy sand dunes at Basin Head Provincial Park
Basin Head Provincial Park, Prince Edward Island

Oceanside views anywhere on island-province PEI are lovely, especially the vast, red-sand Argyle ShoreExternal Link Title. That said, watching the churning Atlantic from the grassy dunes of Basin Head Provincial ParkExternal Link Title is particularly delightful.

A bike with a view, Prince Edward Island

Two people cycling a paved bikeway with views of the ocean on Panmure Island Provincial Park, Prince Edward Island
Panmure Island Provincial Park - credit: Tourism PEI/John Sylvester

On two wheelsExternal Link Title is the best way to take in the gentle, rolling farmland of PEI. The coastal lookouts are gorgeous and there are so many historic beacons along the way. We recommend packing a lunch and touring by bike, from lighthouse to lighthouse.

The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

Person riding a motorcycle along the coast of Cape Breton Island
Cabot Trail Bike Tour - Freewheeling Adventures, Cape Breton Island

With rugged green mountains jutting up out of the Atlantic, Cape Breton Island is a world must-see, according to Travel + LeisureExternal Link Title.External Link Title Drive the fabled 185-mile, cliff-hugging Cabot TrailExternal Link Title, but make time to cycle aroundExternal Link Title, too, taking in some quiet and the natural beauty, then picnic above windswept cliffs.

Skyline Sunset Hike, Nova Scotia

Two people cycling on a gravel path along the ocean in Cape Breton Highlands National Park
Cape Breton Island, Cape Breton Highlands National Park - credit: Nova Scotia Tourism/Wally Hayes

Of Cape Breton Highlands National ParkExternal Link Title's 26 scenic trails, the most exhilarating is the five-mile Skyline Sunset HikeExternal Link Title -- like walking on the top of the world. Amble the wooden boardwalk that winds gently down the mountainside as the sun melts into the sea.

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

View of homes and boats along the waterfront in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia
Lunenburg County, credit - Nova Scotia Tourism

From the water, 1750s-era LunenburgExternal Link Title resembles a painting, with its brightly hued houses, steepled churches, and sailboats anchored in the marina. Once a shipbuilding and rum-running hub, this quaint UNESCO World HeritageExternal Link Title town is ideal for touring on foot. Don't miss rum tasting at Ironworks DistilleryExternal Link Title.


Views are meant for lingering. So take your time in Atlantic Canada, where life feels a little slower -- and views, a lot bigger.

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