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Grand Manan Island

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!

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It actually may have been my favourite part of our whole trip! Happy and sad!

I still can’t get over that view.

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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!

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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!)

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And then it was time for one of my favourite parts of camping - breakfast and coffee!

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Does it get any better? I’m not sure that it does.

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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?

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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 :(

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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.

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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,

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Had a pit stop at Seal Cove Beach to touch the ocean,

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Saw the South Head cliffs (slightly mind-blowing),

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Briefly visited Dark Harbour,

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And picnicked at Stanley beach for supper!

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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.

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What a day. Topped off with a fire under the stars.

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DAY 2

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.

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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.

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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.

Love,

Laura

Miramichi Treehouse Resort

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*This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own! :) 

 

What a great way to kick off the summer! 

I was so excited to check out these unique accommodations and they did not disappoint. My sister and I headed up to the 'chi on Friday and were so happy to see a bear run across the road on the way! It was so cute! Jenn kindly greeted us when we arrived, gave us a rundown and we were on our way! 

We unpacked our car (which is always so full - I always overpack), claimed our bunks and planned to relax on the deck.

I was pleasantly surprised to have a mini suspension bridge that joined our little treehouse and the deck. 

And a tree coming up in the middle of it - so neat! 

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This trip ended being quite entertaining. This best ones always are, right? :) We were warmly greeted by New Brunswick's provincial bird, the mosquito! (FYI: our provincial bird is actually the black-capped chickadee :) ). Our desire to stay on the deck would have to wait! We hopped in the car and headed to town for mosquito repellant! Once we got our citronella candle, we enjoyed some time on the deck before it got dark. This was that night that the temperature dropped about 20 degrees from night to morning. We were sweating to death when we got there and then it was cold in the morning! That's Canada for you. 

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We headed inside for device time, uh, I mean, movie time! 

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It was so nice to wake up to this view! I loved sleeping with the birds in the trees! 

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And one of my favourite parts about camping/glamping is coffee and breakfast!! Yum. 

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I can't wait to go back again! 

 

The details? Book your treehouse here

There are different options for amenities, so pay close attention when booking yours to get what you want/need. We stayed in the "Carriage" treehouse, which had an outlet, mini fridge, and 2 piece bathroom. It was a nice balance of camping and glamour. :) 

The campground also has a fun park for the kiddos and a really nice pool: 

Here are a couple more "bare bones" shots of our place and a couple other treehouses that look super cool! 

Hope you can make it here this summer! They book up quickly, so make your plans! 

Chance Harbour Nature Spa

I had my eye on this place for quite a while before finally experiencing it myself a few weekends ago now. We know New Brunswick has a lot to offer, but a lot of our hidden gems are "summer only" spots, so I was excited to check out a place that's sweet no matter what season it is! Besides, is it really a polar bear dip if it's not in the winter? :) 

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Two of my "couple friends" had been there about a year ago and spoke highly of it so they let me tag along this time! We now have two new members of the polar dip club!

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So, the whole spa operates to provide thermal therapy. As they say on their website, this therapy is not very well-known in western society, but it boasts many health benefits and is just fun! 

They recommend a certain pattern for your therapy going from hot to cold to hot, and so on. You can do the recommended pattern or just build your own adventure. We really like the sauna and the hot pool and the bucket of ice cold water! But more on that later. You can find out more about the health benefits and pattern here

We went on a brisk -7 winter day, but there wasn't much snow as we've had such a weird winter (for the third winter in a row)! We brought our own bath robes, but you can also rent some there if you don't have your own. It is recommended to wear shoes that can get wet as you're in and out of water all day. I wore flip flops and I didn't get too cold going from place to place. Rubber boots were a little more cumbersome, so I'd recommend the sandals.

We started off admiring the Bay of Fundy in the beautiful sauna.

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And then once we started sweating, we cooled off with the bucket of freezing fresh water! 

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We then rushed to the hot pool to get warm again, which was also nice and relaxing. I liked that it was nestled up in the trees. :) 

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The "cold option" closest to the hot pool was the waterfall. We did meander over, but access is a little more difficult in the winter. I sat in the waterfall for a second before rushing back to the hot pool. 

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It was nice to be able to see another New Brunswick waterfall while I was there! 

From there, we finished off our first "round" in the steam room. This area is quite small and only fits about 5 or so people. It was a little too steamy for me, but it was my friend's favourite spot! 

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We spent most of the day trying to decide if we were going to brave the Bay of Fundy for the Polar Dip! Mark and I worked up the courage, and Lindsay was our photographer. :) 

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This is clearly BEFORE I froze my butt off! 

It was SOOO cold!! We RAN to the sauna to warm up again. 

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Like a beacon in the night. 

Humans do weird things.

They also have their Polar Bear Cafe where they offer drinks and healthy snacks.

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Or, you can bring your own lunch and enjoy it by the fire. 

We had a really fun day at the spa and it was a really nice winter adventure! I'll definitely be back. 

I'll leave you with my favourite capture of the day! 

The Goutte d'Ô

I know my posts this summer have focused a lot on the Fundy coastal region, but I couldn't help but share the experience I had this past week. 

You may have seen our National Parks have been trying out some new accommodation options. This summer in Point Wolfe Campground (in Fundy) they were piloting the Goutte d'O. 

It was as cool as it looks! When staying in Point Wolfe a couple weeks ago, my friends and I were saying how it seemed like something out of The Hunger Games through the woods. 

I stayed in the Goutte d'Ô with another friend on Thursday night. It was a little late in the year so a little cold, and definitely private! I think there were only one or two other humans in the campground. 

It's a pretty neat setup. There's a futon that can sleep two people and a hammock that can sleep one short adult or a couple of kids. The weight restriction is 385 lbs., I believe! 

I slept up there until 5:30 when I went for my early morning bathroom break. I had a pretty good sleep, but it did hurt my back a little bit. But it's hard to beat waking up to a view like this: 

And eating your classic breakfast in your own "private" campground. 

It rained on our second day there, so we spent some time playing games and just soaking in the sweet space. 

I highly recommend checking it out! It's 70$ a night and is open until Oct 10 for this year. It's not heated so you'll have to wear lots of layers. Or, put it on your bucket list for next summer! 

For more information, or to book, check it out here.

STAY IN A YURT!

I thought it would make sense for my first blog post to be in my favourite place - Fundy National Park. This visit re-ignited my love for it too!

I've wanted to try a yurt since they opened in Headquarters a few years back. My stay was everything I had hoped for when I first peeked through the windows back then. Where it was so early in the summer it was great to have the option to play games inside and sleep in a heated space. I will also admit that it was nice to not have to set up a tent after getting back from a good hike. :) 

Who doesn't love bunk beds?! I called the top bunk and the festivities began. I went with a couple of friends and after enjoying some Fundy Take-Out, we laughed our heads off playing Anomia, roasted some 'mallows, ate way too much, and cast lots to see who would be taking me to the bathroom in the middle of the night. 

The yurt can sleep up to 5 people (I'd say 3 comfortably). There's a double mat on the bottom of the bunk beds, a single on the top, and a futon that turns into a double bed. It is heated and has solar powered lights. One thing that I missed as a "glamper" was power for phones, etc. Not sure if I should admit that or not . . . 

With views like this . . .

And breakfast here . . . 

How could you not have an amazing stay?! 

 Thanks Lauren, for keeping us nourished. 

Thanks Lauren, for keeping us nourished. 

 

Book your yurt here.

Tip - if you look at the details of each yurt/Otentik when you book, it will tell you if it's a "scenic" site or not! This was Yurt 2. 

Notes: 

Headquarters only has "community" fire pits. If you're looking for a personal fire pit, you should check out Chignecto. 

The yurts have their own "cookhouse" very close with a wood stove. 

Each yurt has a picnic table, deck, deck chairs, and a charcoal BBQ.