Situated a short drive from the Northumberland Strait, Moncton is the largest city in New Brunswick, delivering a blend of urban attractions and natural vistas. Perched along the Petitcodiac River, and boasting a charming historic downtown area, Moncton can feel as cosy as a small town but with the nightlife and energy of a metropolis.
When looking for things to do in Moncton, start at the centre of town on Main Street, at Bore View Park. Twice a day, visitors will be able to catch the tidal bore, which happens when the Bay of Fundy's rising tide meets the area's Petitcodiac River, causing a thundering swell. Just a few blocks away, Riverfront Park offers a skateboard park, playground and connection to Trans Canada Trail, a major multi-use pathway that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
For more outdoor activities, head northeast of downtown to Magnetic Hill, an area with several Moncton attractions, including Magic Mountain Waterpark, an expansive park with a lazy river ride, enclosed water slides and a straight-down slide known as The Kamikaze. Next to the park is Magnetic Hill Zoo, a 40-acre space with over 400 animals, ranging from zebras to jaguars and barn owls.
Just a few minutes south of the zoo is Casino New Brunswick, the province's first full-service casino. The Vegas-style layout includes slot machines and table games like poker, blackjack and roulette. An on-site hotel and spa, as well as a pub-style restaurant, make the casino a popular destination.
Back on Main Street, other lively charms draw visitors, including Capitol Theatre, the province's oldest theatre building. Giving a nod to the region's history with sumptuous Art Deco-style interiors, the theatre features a rich array of performances, including live music, contemporary dance and children's programs.
All along historic Main Street are restaurants and bars, showcasing the diverse population of Moncton and offering a wealth of cuisines. Within just a few blocks are Tajmahal Flavour of India, the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse and Mexicali Rosa's. Nightclubs are in full swing after dinner, and popular choices are Oxygen Complex and Rouge, both near Main Street.
After exploring downtown Moncton attractions, head east for the short drive to the Northumberland Strait, where Confederation Bridge connects the mainland to lovely Prince Edward Island. Particularly popular in the summer, this long stretch of coastline boasts a number of charming seaside villages.
To the south of Moncton is the Bay of Fundy, separating New Brunswick from Nova Scotia. Along the drive to the bay, stop at Caledonia Gorge, a breathtaking sight that is a favourite for local hikers. For longer hikes, a good destination is further south, at Fundy National Park. It sports rugged coastlines along the bay, 25 waterfalls and numerous hiking trails winding through forests and bogs.
Whether braving The Kamikaze's vertical drop or dancing to DJ-driven tunes at Rouge, travellers will find plenty of things to do in Moncton. The city's wealth of attractions and proximity to coastlines make it a favourite for New Brunswick travel.