Grand Manan Island

Grand Manan, the largest of the three Fundy Islands, is also the farthest from the mainland. You might see whales, seals, or the occasional puffin on the way over. Circular herring weirs dot the island's coastal waters, and fish sheds and smokehouses lie beside long wharfs that reach out to bobbing fishing boats. Place-names are evocative: Swallowtail, Southern Head, Seven Days Work, and Dark Harbour. It's easy to get around; only about 32 km (20 miles) of road lead from the lighthouse at Southern Head to the one at North Head. John James Audubon, that human encyclopedia of birds, visited the island in 1831, attracted by the more than 240 species of seabirds that nest here. The puffin may be the island's symbol, but whales are the stars. Giant finbacks, right whales, minkes, and humpbacks feed in the rich waters. With only 2,700 residents, it may seem remote and quiet, but there is plenty to do including birding, kayaking, whale-watching, and beachcombing. You can visit lighthouses, hike a heritage trail, or just hang around the busy wharves and chat with the fishermen. A day trip is possible, but you'll wish you had planned to stay at least one night.

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Fodor's Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada: With New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island & Newfoundland

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