Get a glimpse into Canada’s colonial past
Situated along the Saint John River, Fredericton has a quaint charm you just can’t help but fall in love with. With its tree-lined banks, lovely walking trails, waterfront views and brick heritage buildings, the capital of New Brunswick will captivate you with its diverse culture and riverside beauty.
If history is your passion, you’ve come to the right place. Long before Samuel de Champlain discovered the area in the early 1600s, the Wolastoqiyik people called the Saint John River Valley their home. The French settlement of Pointe Ste-Anne (Fredericton’s predecessor) was created in 1642 at the head of the Bay of Fundy and up the Saint John River Valley. This region became known as Acadia. Although Great Britain took Acadia over in 1710, it wasn’t until the arrival of the Loyalists in 1783 that the city really started to flourish. The Loyalists were American colonists who stayed loyal to the British Crown after the American Revolution. After moving to New Brunswick, these people set out to build schools, churches, and government institutions, setting the foundation for modern day Fredericton. Christ Church Cathedral, on the banks of the St. John River, dominates the town’s skyline.
Go to the Garrison District
Experience the city’s rich history for yourself at Garrison District. Located in the heart of downtown by the Saint John River, the Garrison is home to a wealth of heritage buildings, museums and festivals. Take a walking tour through the grounds with a historically costumed guide to explore the Soldiers’ Barracks and Guard House. After, watch a re-enactment of a changing of the guard ceremony in Officers’ Square. You can also visit the Fredericton Regional Museum to learn more about the Aboriginal, Acadian, and Loyalist people or experience an interactive 5-in-1 virtual sports system at the NB Sports Hall of Fame.
Garrison District isn’t just a heritage hub. An eclectic blend of artists and musicians keep the area lively and buzzing with excitement. Several festivals, including the award-winning Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, are hosted here, while the Fredericton Outdoor Theatre offers free shows in the summer. Right beside the Garrison District, you’ll find the world-class Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Featuring a visually inspiring international art collection, this gallery is sure to leave you in awe.
Adventures on the Water
No matter where you’re staying in Fredericton, know that you’re only steps away from a park, trail or river. The Saint John River offers adventures both on and off the water. Take a stroll or cycle over 54 miles of scenic riverside trails. Or, explore the slow river by kayak, canoe or boat. For more outdoors fun, head to the Mactaquac Provincial Park to enjoy its campground, beach and multi-use trails. Take some time in Centennial Park to enjoy nature at its finest. Fredericton is also a golfer’s paradise with plenty of golf clubs and courses surrounding the city.
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