Grand Manan. I’ve been trying to get here for three summers now and it finally happened! I was not disappointed and I think it even over-delivered. :)
My friend Ashley was back in town for school and had a short window of time to explore NB before school started. We wanted to go somewhere new, so we chose Grand Manan! We had a few things planned, but mostly figured we could explore the island and end up seeing most of what we wanted to see.
We were fortunate enough to get a campsite at Hole in the Wall on their final summer offering the cliffside sites. I didn’t know this before booking, but was so happy we got the opportunity!
It actually may have been my favourite part of our whole trip! Happy and sad!
I still can’t get over that view.
And there weren’t even any ropes on the cliff edge!
Once we got our place set up, we went for pizza at Post Office Pizza and it was just as good as we’d hoped!
We also got a friendly greeting and local “lowdown” of the island free of charge from the owner - a former Bostonian turned Grand Manan’er. He said he and his family bought a house there on their second trip to the island. It certainly does take ahold of your heart.
We had a great sleep and I woke up for a bit to snap some pics of the sunrise. (I’ve heard there are some nights where a fog horn goes off all night. Thankfully our nights were clear nights!)
And then it was time for one of my favourite parts of camping - breakfast and coffee!
Does it get any better? I’m not sure that it does.
We then accidentally started driving out of our campground and turned around to do the Hole in the Wall. lol. Gotta get that pic, right?
It was really pretty, and I understand that you can actually take that trail all around the island. That’s pretty cool!
After our short hike, we went to Swallow Tail Lighthouse, which was right by our campground. It is kept up very nicely and you can go up to the top for a small fee. I hear this is a good place to watch for whales from, but we only saw seals :(
One thing I’m a sucker for is cute cafes. So, I knew the Old Well House Cafe would be a stop for sure! Apparently they just opened this summer and had a great first season. That was on our list because NRTHWRD suggested it, and I’m so glad we went.
It was so beautiful and unique and the food was delicious.
We decided to spend the rest of the day driving around the island and stopping where we wanted to stop or where we heard people say was cool.
We went south, stopped for coffee at Newton’s,
Had a pit stop at Seal Cove Beach to touch the ocean,
Saw the South Head cliffs (slightly mind-blowing),
Briefly visited Dark Harbour,
And picnicked at Stanley beach for supper!
Ashley and I are both doers, so this was a great pace for us :)
Many people suggested seeing the sunset at “The Whistle” and it was pretty cute to enjoy the sunset with about 12 other people, locals and tourists alike.
What a day. Topped off with a fire under the stars.
Since we really “conquered” most of the island on day 1, our plan was to take it easy on day 2 and revisit some favourites. We started with coffee by the fire and ocean. I can’t.
Then went to the beautiful, delicious, quaint bakery, North Head Bakery. Their baguettes are raved about and the donut and croissant I had were both delish.
There was a farmer’s market in town that day so we wandered there for a minute and then had another meal at the Old Well House before getting back on the ferry.
We were really determined to see a whale so we spent all of the return journey on the deck watching and waiting. Our only rewards were one or two whales really far away and windburn. Less than satisfactory. Lol.
Well, it’s safe to say that Grand Manan worked its way into my heart. I really, really loved our time there. It was the perfect way to end the summer. I’ll be back soon.