August 17 2010 by Bryson Forbes
The four smallest provinces--New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island--comprise the backbone of Canada's East Coast. This region, which is also referred to as Atlantic Canada, is home to just under 2.5 million people or approximately eight percent of our country's population. In this case, however, the adage that "good things come in small packages" is definitely appropriate.
The east coast of Canada has lots to offer, starting with its people. Generally regarded as the friendliest, most hospitable and down-to-earth folk in Canada, east coasters are ready and waiting for your arrival. Probably the most dramatic example occurred in the hours and days after September 11th when the region became refuge for thousands of stranded travelers. Gander, Newfoundland was the most notable, and you can read more about it in this article in which Tom Brokaw recaps the citizens' incredible hospitality.
Not only will the people charm you, but the food they create will have you begging for more. Seafood lovers, in particular, will be in heaven with dozens of fresh and tasty creations available. Even if you can't make it to the east coast, check out some great recipes at Salt Scapes, a magazine dedicated to the area. My personal favourite is lobster brewbaker--a signature dish at the Five Fisherman Restaurant and Grill in Halifax.
If that weren't enough, Atlantic Canada's plethora of things to do will keep you as entertained as you want. A few highlights of things to check out include:
- The Cabot Trail in Lunenburg - home of the Bluenose
- Halifax Harbour and Peggy's Cove
- The Bay of Fundy
- The Irving Eco-Centre
- Cape Spear - the easternmost point in Canada and the red shores of Prince Edward Island (PEI)
And if you're looking for a place to stay along the way, Best Western has a number of beautiful and unique properties in every province. If you can get two nights in before August 15th, you can earn a free night's stay. Either way, be sure to check the current Best Western Rewards promotions that may apply.
The East Coast has a special place in my heart; my dad is from Halifax and as a child, our family often made the drive from Ottawa. I feel so lucky to have spent so much time here. If you've never been, you must add Atlantic Canada to your bucket list.