Metro Moncton—the second largest city in Atlantic Canada (after Halifax, Nova Scotia)—is an attractive, welcoming city, with several family-friendly attractions. There is an ongoing calendar of festivals throughout the year. The World Wine and Food Expo and the annual Santa Claus Parade of Lights draw more than 100,000 people in November, as do the HubCap Comedy Festival in February and the Northrop Frye Festival, the
largest bilingual literary festival in Canada, in April. The annual outdoor summer concert at Magnetic Hill, by the likes of U2, the Rolling Stones, and the Eagles, is especially popular, while year-round entertainment is provided at the historic Capitol Theatre, the new casino’s concert hall, and smaller venues.
An agreeable, lively place, and home to two universities, Moncton is often called the Gateway to Acadia because of its equal mix of English and French and its proximity to the Acadian shore, though it also has a large Irish population and a growing Korean community. Moncton has a renovated downtown with unique shops and restaurants and such beautiful flowers that it has won national "Communities in Bloom" awards. It is also beginning to make the most of its downtown riverside, with a park and boardwalk.
The twin cities of Moncton and Dieppe—the join is almost imperceptible—are considered the shopping mecca of Atlantic Canada. Moncton’s big chain stores are mostly strung out along Mountain Road and the Trinity Power Centre, while Dieppe is home to the Champlain Place shopping mall, a good Saturday farmers’ market, and other retail opportunities.
Two natural attractions are the main draws here: the Tidal Bore and the Magnetic Hill, though you might be disappointed if you've read too much about either of them. Nevertheless, it’s worth experiencing Magnetic Hill, and the city has a program underway to restore the Tidal Bore to its former glory, diminished over the years by riverbank erosion.