It’s CRAZY to say that I spent LESS THAN A DAY in Canada and then came back to the United States by the afternoon. If you follow me on Instagram (follow me @_thepinkchickadee!), I shared on my stories a few weeks back about my drive going across the United States-Canada border (more on that down below!) with my Papa and dog Rosie. We, then, were whisked away to enjoy the literally drop dead gorgeous Canadian highways, before landing in our destination of the capital city of the New Brunswick province – Fredericton.
SO, to get across the border of Canada, you have to have a passport that will not expire within 6 months upon entry into Canada or any country for that matter, fill out the Go Canada questionnaire to list out your destination(s) that you’re going to while in Canada, COVID-19 vaccination records, and everything ready to go when you get to the border patrol. You can ALSO bring dogs with you!!! To bring a dog into Canada, you need their updated vaccination records which you can usually get from the vet (we did for Rosie!). Papa and I were staying at our family’s homestead in Houlton, Maine – a small town located at the VERYYY end of I-95 and right by the United States-Canadian border. Getting across the United States-Canada border was pretty easy: we simply drove up to the United States/Canada Customs building window, were greeted by a Border Patrol Guard, showed our needed documents/answered a few questions about belongings that we were bringing in with us, and then went on our way. We didn’t even have to get out of the car, which was super easy and makes the process of going in/out of Canada for the day a much much much easier process than it could have been, when compared to landing in a foreign country’s airport and going through the Customs process in that country (case in point: Customs usually lasts at least an hour in both United States’ and United Kingdom’s airports). Overall, driving into Canada was a much more simplified process than I have experienced in the past!
AND, alas, we were in Canada!!! Fredericton is about an hour from the United States-Canada border. The highways in Canada were absolutely STUNNING as they were super well-kept and there were drop dead gorgeous pine trees, lakes, and islands filled with pine trees lining the roads. New Brunswick is a Canadian province that is rather rural, well at least the part that we were in, so the more pine trees the better! We enjoyed the Canadian countryside – I guess?! – for sure!!!
Now, Fredericton, New Brunswick is the historical capital city of the New Brunswick province of Canada and sits on the St. John River. New Brunswick, along with Quebec, is one of a few Canadian provinces that speak both English and French. You will, indeed, see signs in both English and French on the New Brunswick highways just like you would in Quebec. Fredericton has a population of around 60,000 people which is tiny compared to the Washington, DC area where I reside yet huge for the province of New Brunswick (especially the area that we were in). There was sooooo much historical charm in Fredericton, even just driving through the streets.
When we arrived in Fredericton, I felt a bit like I was in Europe – not going to lie here – the streets felt very European and there were folks speaking both English and French. Papa and I personally didn’t have any MAJOR plans on what we wanted to do, as we decided to go on a whim. That all being said, we enjoyed the downtown streets while there. The City Hall was located right by where we had parked and paid homage to the nation of Canada, province of New Brunswick, and displayed their love and pride for the LGBTQ+ community. There was A LOT of LGBTQ+ pride signs, streets, stickers, attire, and much more around town in Fredericton – what a BEAUTIFUL THING! At the same time, the town had a lot of gorgeous historical and Victorian-inspired buildings. For being a rather small city, Fredericton felt like such a multi-cultural melting pot. I went into Urban Almanac – a cute little cafe that brews in-house – and got lavender flavored iced coffee. I got to talk to some of the locals there and they were SO SWEET. Above all else, along with its charming history and culture, the people of Fredericton are simply super kind.
Personally, I really enjoyed Fredericton. It was really fun getting to explore this gorgeous town with Papa and Rosie and *finally* have it feel like Fall there, too. We wore our raincoats there and weren’t hot either (!!!). I would love to explore more hidden Canadian gems, too, such as St. Andrews, New Brunswick and Ottawa, Canada and Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Fredricton truly is off the beaten path yet a gem to yet be uncovered for all to see.
XOXO – Katie <3