Looking for things to do in Florenceville NB? This charming small town in the Saint John River Valley area of New Brunswick has plenty of activities to keep you busy, from scenic drives along the river, taking a day trip to Maine or just exploring the local nature and history.
Known as the “French Fry Capital of the World”, Florenceville-Bristol is home to McCain Foods, which is the largest producer of French fries in the world!
Aside from French fries, there are plenty of things to do in Florenceville-Bristol. Whether you are passing through or staying for a few days, Florenceville-Bristol is worth a stop!
Fun fact: The town was renamed Florenceville in 1855 to honour Florence Nightingale!
7 Things to Do in Florenceville-Bristol
1. Hunter Brothers Farm
The Hunter Brothers Farm is known throughout New Brunswick for their corn. In the summer, stop by their farm market for fresh produce, preserves, baking and home-made fudge. In the fall, stop by and enjoy their Fall Festival! With a sunflower field and pumpkin patch, a fantastic corn maze and wagon rides, there’s plenty to do! And kids will love the fun activities, from games and races to farm-themed slides and swings and even a zipline! Find more info on the farm, the market and the fall activities here.
2. Potato World
Potato World is an interesting museum, with hands on displays (pre-covid), antique machinery and plenty of informational signs to learn about the history and science of the humble potato. There is a guided tour or you can wander through at your own pace and learn about potato farming, processing and all aspects of potato world! After learning all about potatoes, finish the tour with some hot fries or other potato recipes at the café. There’s even a potato smoothie!
Cost: $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 under 18 (kids may be free as we were only charged for an adult)
3. Shogomoc Railway Site
Stop by the Shogomoc Railway Site and see the restored 1914 CPR train car, shop in the gift shop or just stretch your legs and let the kids play on the train-themed play equipment. There are also three other train cars on site; one is a fine dining car and the two others have been renovated to an inn. Check out the Shamrock Train Inn & Suites if you’re looking for an interesting and unique accommodation!
4. Shiktehawk Walking Trail
Following the Shiktehawk stream, this 2km trail is perfect for walking or hiking. It’s an easy, scenic trail with some bridges and steps along the trail and plenty of scenic views!
5. Laura & Andrew McCain Library & Art Gallery
Located in downtown Florenceville, the Laura & Andrew McCain Library is also home to the Art Gallery. Stop by the library and browse the books or visit the Art Gallery, which boasts the best visual arts in the St. John River Valley. Admission is free!
The Art Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10:30am to 5 pm, and 12-8pm on Thursdays.
6. Old Florenceville Bridge
While there are plenty of covered bridges in this part of New Brunswick, the Old Florenceville Bridge is unique in that it combines a wooden covered bridge with steel trusses. Unfortunately it was closed for traffic while we visited, but usually it is open and you are able to drive across the bridge to Main St and downtown Florenceville Bristol.
7. Noah’s Ark
A few kilometers outside of town, you’ll find a large replica of Noah’s Ark! This 300 foot boat was originally built for a private Bible school, but it is now operating as a senior’s home. If you’re looking for an interesting sight, it’s worth the short drive to see this large Ark in the middle of potato fields!
Where to Stay in Florenceville-Bristol
Amsterdam Inn & Suites
This brand new hotel is an excellent value! Rooms are clean and spacious and the staff was friendly and helpful. There’s also a fantastic restaurant attached to the hotel, and your stay includes a breakfast voucher at the hotel. It’s conveniently located right off the highway next to Potato World, and only a short drive into the downtown area. Whether you’re passing through or looking to spend some time in the area, it’s a great place to stay! In fact, we’ve stayed here a few times when driving through New Brunswick. Check for available accommodations here.
Shamrock Train Inn & Suites
Looking for a unique accommodation? This converted train car provides all modern conveniences with old world charm, while making for an interesting and unique stay! You can find more information on their site here.
Things to Do Around Florenceville-Bristol
While these aren’t the highest falls in New Brunswick, they are pretty impressive! Take the 1.6km walking trail along the gorge and appreciate the breathtaking views from various lookouts. Located right in the middle of town, and only a short distance off the highway, the Grand Falls Gorge is easy to access and a great spot to stop if you are driving through the area.
Driving time from Florenceville-Bristol: 50 mins
Take the short drive from Florenceville-Bristol to see the Hartland Bridge – a National Historic Site and the “Longest Covered Bridge in the World”! Like all covered bridges in New Brunswick, it’s considered a ‘kissing bridge’, from the days when horse and wagons would stop halfway across the bridge to allow for a few kisses out of sight before continuing to the other side of the bridge.
Driving time from Florenceville-Bristol: 15 mins
Nackawic is home to the World’s Largest Axe! Seven tones of steel went into this axe that stands 15m (49 ft) high and 7m (23 ft) wide, while resting on a concrete stump that’s 10m (33 ft) wide. Standing beside the Saint John River, this large axe symbolizes the importance that forestry has to this small community. Surrounding the axe, there’s also a play area, a small beach and plenty of space to stretch your legs.
Driving time from Florenceville-Bristol: 55 mins
The border to Maine is only 20 minutes away but note that once you cross into the States, even though it’s only 20 minutes away, they are in a different time zone!
Driving time from Florenceville-Bristol: 20 minutes to 2 hours
Fredericton is the capital city of New Brunswick. A little further from Florenceville-Bristol, it’s a great spot to stop and spend a few days if you are visiting New Brunswick.
Driving time from Florenceville-Bristol: 1 hour 25 minutes
While Moncton is about 3 hours from Florenceville-Bristol, we’re including it here in case you’re driving through the province or continuing on to Nova Scotia or PEI. Moncton has plenty of things to do and is definitely worth visiting for a few days. You can read more about things to do in Moncton here.
Driving time from Florenceville-Bristol: 3 hours
Hopefully you found these things to do in Florenceville-Bristol helpful! Let us know in the comments below how you enjoyed your stay!
For more family travel ideas and things to do in the East Coast of Canada, be sure to check out these posts: