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Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada: More Than An Illusion
Moncton, located in the south-eastern part of New Brunswick, Canada, has a rich history filled with industrial and agricultural success. The city is the largest census metropolitan area in New Brunswick and has the nickname of “Hub City”, largely because of its easy rail and land access to the Canadian Maritime Provinces, regions located on the Atlantic coast that also include Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. As the area’s transportation hub and one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, Moncton’s transition to community-rich interests has led the city to adopt the motto of Resurgo, meaning to rise again.
A City of Parks
Moncton has plenty to offer without leaving the city. There are many parks in Moncton and each offers a truly unique experience. One example is Centennial Park. This park has an artificial beach, a dog park, a splash park, and lighted cross-country skiing and hiking trails, as well as lawn bowling and a treetop aerial adventure course, TreeGo Moncton. This park is also home to the largest children’s playground in Greater Moncton. Another popular attraction is Riverfront Park where visitors can watch Petitcodiac River, which offers the optical illusion indicating that the river reverses directions twice a day. This park is part of the Trans Canada Trail with paths for walking, biking, and skating right along the riverfront.
The Urban Life
Moncton is a city that has festivals, shows, and concerts that take place all year-round, with offerings such as the World Wine and Food Expo, the Atlantic Dance Festival, and Symphony New Brunswick which plays at The Capitol Theatre, a fully restored 1920s-era vaudeville theatre that hosts events focused on culture and history. Other popular venues of indoor fun include The Aberdeen Cultural Centre, The Acadian Museum, Casino NB, and Moncton Coliseum, home to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Moncton Wildcats and the National Basketball League of Canada’s Moncton Miracles. To learn more about the Moncton area, visit Resurgo Place, home to the Moncton Museum and Transportation Discovery Centre, a hands-on interactive museum of history, science, and transportation. Downtown Moncton has many shops, restaurants, and markets that can make for fun afternoons spent exploring. Moncton also hosts Festival Inspire, an annual event with a focus on local arts and culture with placements of artistic murals around the downtown area.
Mysteries and More to Explore
Another optical illusion in Moncton is the world-famous Magnetic Hill. Here, cars and water on the road appear to run uphill instead of down, creating an amusing tourist attraction. You can actually drive your car down the hill, take your foot off the brake, and roll back up the hill! This natural phenomenon has been baffling tourists since the 1930s. There’s more fun to be had on this hill, though. Guests can also visit Magnetic Hill Zoo, Atlantic Canada’s largest accredited zoo with more than 600 animals. Magic Mountain is another attraction in this area, which is a water and rides park with slides, splash pads, and wave pools. There are winter sports and recreational activities at Poley Mountain in nearby Sussex. In addition to cross country trails, there are also downhill skiing and snowboard slopes. The areas around Moncton have several outdoor ice surfaces for skating, as well as snowshoeing trails and sleigh rides.
Where to Stay
Moncton offers many choices for accommodations. There are hotels, motels, cottages and more. Hotel Casino NB is the only 4.5 star stay in Moncton and has a spa, restaurant, and event centre onsite. Adventure can also be found at Magnetic Hill Winery and B & B, the only hotel in Moncton with its own tasting room onsite. While drinking a glass of wine and enjoying a local cheese tray, guests can overlook Magnetic Hill and the Bay of Fundy. If a coastal cottage is more to taste, there are many options in the Dieppe, Shediac, and Riverview areas. In addition to a hotel or motel stay, some might try the more adventurous Camper’s City and RV Resort, located just 10 minutes away from Moncton. Here, there are over 200 campsites for tents and motorhomes, as well as a heated pool, playground, and planned events like wagon rides.
The Coastal Life
New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy coast is an easy drive from Moncton and will give visitors a chance to explore Hopewell Rocks, also called Flowerpots Rocks. Hopewell Cape is the site of the most extreme tidal ranges in the world, with high tides rising up to 4-storey’s tall. Resulting tidal erosion has created rock formations which have been called one of the “Marine Wonders of the World”. This region has much to offer with museums, beaches, and hiking trails and allows for spectacular views of the bay. There’s also an interpretive centre and beach. A short 30-minutes’ drive in the other direction will find Pointe-du-Chêne, located on Shediac Bay. This is a popular summer excursion area because of Parlee Beach, the most popular saltwater swimming beach area in New Brunswick. Parlee Beach has many cottages for rent during the season, some of which are within easy walking distance of all the action.