Looking for the best things to do in Fredericton, New Brunswick? Here are our top suggestions for what to see and do in the capital city.
Situated on the Saint John River in New Brunswick, Fredericton is a charming city with plenty to see and do!
Known for its rich history, picturesque landscapes and warm hospitality, this charming capital city offers plenty of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. It’s a quiet city, and you wouldn’t think you’re in a capital city, but that’s life on the East Coast for you!
Explore the trails, visit a brewery or take in the historic sites. Wherever your interests lie, there are plenty of things to do in Fredericton for everyone.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something through a link,
I may make a commission – at no extra cost to you.
Please read the disclosure for more information.
21 Best Things to Do in Fredericton
With plenty of history, as well as excellent art galleries, award-winning taprooms and breweries, unique artisan markets and over 120 km of trails, Fredericton has so much to offer. Here are our top suggestions, including things to do in Fredericton with kids.
1. Shop at the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market
When: Saturdays 7 am – 1 pm
📍665 George St
Named one of the best farmers markets in Canada, the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market has been a Saturday morning tradition in the city for over 70 years.
There are over 200 stalls that sell everything from handmade crafts, art, jewelry and flowers to fresh produce and baked goods.
Enjoy a hot breakfast or pick up a snack to enjoy as you browse the market.
The samosas are highly recommended, but you’ll also find other delicious treats like baklava, which was amazing.
2. Visit Historic Garrison District
The Historic Garrison District is a National Historic Site in the heart of Downton Fredericton that recalls Fredericton’s past as a garrison town.
This area is home to Barracks Square, Officers’ Square and the Guard House, and provides a glimpse into Fredericton’s history during the late 18th and early 19th century.
Costumed guides offer free 1 hour walks through Fredericton’s historic sites while entertaining with local history and folklore. Tours start from City Hall and are available from June to October.
Here you’ll also find historic re-enactments and different festivals and events throughout the year, including the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival which runs for a week in September.
On Thursday nights from June until early September, this is also the home to the Garrison Night Market. Shop for local and imported handmade products, listen to live music and performances and sample delicious food from around the world.
3. See the Changing of the Guard
📍575 Queen St
The Officer’s Square in the Historic Garrison District is also where you’ll see the colourful Changing of the Guard, which happens twice daily at 11 am and 4 pm. In the summer months, there is an additional ceremony at 7 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Fun Fact: Fredericton was the birthplace of the Canadian Army – In 1784, Fredericton became the headquarters of the British military and remained a British Garrison until Confederation in 1867.
After Confederation, the new government established the Infantry School Corps, which was the start of the Canadian Army.
4. Visit Beaverbrook Art Gallery
📍703 Queen St.
One of Canada’s finest art museums, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery is located on the banks of the historic Saint John River.
The gallery features an impressive collection of Canadian and international artworks, with contemporary New Brunswick artists and other Canadian artists alongside renowned international artists.
One of the most famous paintings is Salvador Dali’s masterpiece Santiago El Grande, a large 4-meter tall painting that, along with three other Dali paintings is part of Beaverbrook’s permanent collection.
There are over 7000 objects in the gallery, including several large outdoor sculptures on the gallery grounds. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is also home to the oldest birchbark canoe in the world, which was crafted in Fredericton in the 1820s by the local Wolastoqiyik First Nation.
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is one of the most well-known Fredericton attractions and is a must-see when you’re visiting the city. Kids are welcome and there are programs and events specifically for kids throughout the year.
Cost: $12 adults, youth (6-16 years) $6, children under 6 free, family rate $25
5. Explore Odell Park
This gorgeous wooded park right in the heart of Fredericton is a great way to get outdoors, whether in the summer or winter months.
Boasting 333 acres of trees that have ‘never been cut’, Odell Park is home to some trees that are more than 400 years old!
There are 16km of trails winding through the forest to explore, the Fredericton Botanic Gardens (see below), a kids’ playground and a picnic area. In the winter, there’s an outdoor skating rink, a sledding hill and plenty of cross-country ski trails.
6. Visit Fredericton Botanic Garden
📍10 Cameron Court, Odell Park
At the western end of Odell Park, the Fredericton Botanic Garden is home to gorgeous flower beds and woodland trails.
Wander through the garden and visit the different themed sections, which include daylilies, peonies, rhododendron and azaleas, as well as a rock garden and a pollinator garden.
While it may be smaller than other Botanic gardens, it’s still a lovely place to visit and easy to access.
The Botanic Garden is right beside the Holiday Inn where we stayed and made for a nice walk after checking in to our hotel. My kids loved trying to count the frogs in the pond!
Fun Fact: Fredericton was named “Frederickstown” after Prince Frederick, the second son of King George III.
7. Catch a Show at the Playhouse
📍686 Queen St
Given to the people of New Brunswick in 1964 by Lord Beaverbrook, the playhouse has been Fredericton’s venue for performing arts for decades.
Hosting live theatre, dance and musical performances by both local and international artists, there’s always something going on at the Playhouse.
The box office is open daily, and events change frequently so be sure to check their website for what’s on while you’re in Fredericton.
8. Relax at Wilmot Park
📍50 Woodstock Road, Fredericton
Once the Government House gardens, Wilmot Park is now a great spot for anyone to enjoy the outdoors.
With walking trails and plenty of grass to relax on, it’s a great spot to get outdoors in Fredericton.
There are also tennis and basketball courts, lawn bowling, and playgrounds, and the splash pad is a great spot for kids to cool down in the summer.
9. Enjoy the View from the Lighthouse
Located downtown overlooking the Saint John River, the lighthouse boasts one of the best views in Fredericton!
While it’s not a working lighthouse anymore, you can still climb to the top for a view over the Saint John River.
After taking in the view, enjoy an ice cream or have a drink on the patio, while enjoying some fantastic views over the river.
10. Explore the Trails
Fredericton has over 120km of trails throughout the city, including many that run along beautiful rivers.
Walk along the South Riverfront trail for views of the St. John River, or cross the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge for spectacular views of Fredericton’s downtown area.
On the north side of the Saint John River, Nashwaak Trail is a crushed gravel path that runs along an old railbed, passing through the center of Fredericton and continuing alongside the Nashwaak River.
This 8km trail is great for hiking, biking, running, or just walking. I ran part of this trail while running the Fredericton Half Marathon and it’s a scenic way to explore Fredericton outside of the downtown area.
11. Try a Craft Brew
Fredericton is known as Atlantic Canada’s Craft Brewing Capital and has the most taprooms per capita in Canada.
There are over 25 local craft alcohol producers, ranging from breweries, ciders, distilleries, meaderies and wineries.
Sample a flight at any of the numerous taprooms, or try the Fredericton Taproom Trail, which is a passport-style map highlighting 11 taprooms to try.
While I can’t drink beer, many taprooms have gluten-free options. TrailWay Brewing has an excellent Sundog Cosmo and there’s also York County Cider, which has both beer and cider on tap.
Maybee Brewing is another recommendation, and if you’re visiting Nakawic, mentioned below, Big Axe Brewing is a fantastic choice.
12. Play and Learn at Science East
📍668 Brunswick St, Fredericton
Looking for fun things to do in Fredericton with kids? Head to Science East, a unique science centre in downtown Fredericton.
Built in a former county jail, the building is also a provincial historical site and many of the exhibits are built in former jail cells.
There are three floors of engaging activities for kids, ranging from optical illusions to activities on animal life and energy production, space, and dinosaurs.
With so many interesting activities to choose from, it’s easy to spend an hour or two here.
Science East is open year-round, making it a perfect place to go when the weather is too hot or too chilly, or it’s a perfect activity for a rainy day in Fredericton.
13. Explore Hyla Nature Preserve
Just off the Gibson Trail is Hyla Nature Preserve, Canada’s first amphibian sanctuary.
Discover the seven different types of frogs that call this area home, including the Hyla, a gray tree frog that the reserve is named after.
Marked trails lead through the reserve, keep an eye out for beavers along the way too!
14. Killarney Lake Park
📍1600 St Mary’s Street
This gorgeous park has a freshwater lake with a great sandy beach, which is supervised in the summer months.
Swim and relax, it’s the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon.
There are also 20 km of walking trails that circle the lake, and during the winter, these trails are groomed for cross-country skiing and walking.
Things to Do Near Fredericton
15. Go Tubing on the Nashwaak River
📍1575 Rte 148, Durham Bridge NB
A great way to spend a summer day is to float down the Nashwaak River on an inflatable tube!
Nashwaak Tubing, the original Nashwaak tubing company, offers different packages, either shorter 1-1.5 hour runs or longer 3-5 hour trips.
Choose from regular inner tubes or vinyl tubes that come with backrests and bottoms, and a shuttle upriver is included in the package.
Relax and take in the scenery as you float down the beautiful Nashwaak River.
**Open May to early September
16. Kings Landing
📍5804 NB-102, Prince William NB
Step back in time and experience life in the 19th century at Kings Landing.
This living history museum is just outside Fredericton and offers a glimpse into life in the area throughout the 19th century.
With over 70 historic buildings, farm animals and costumed staff, you’ll learn about New Brunswick’s 19th century history and what life was like in the Central Saint John River Valley during that time.
17. Treego Mactaquac
📍1439 Route 105 Hwy, Mactaquac NB
For those with a sense of adventure, Treego Mactaquac is a perfect way to get outdoors.
Safely secured with a harness, navigate through the various aerial adventure courses and zip-line through the tree canopy.
Their self-guided courses allow you to choose how far and how fast you go, depending on your endurance and confidence. It’s a fun time for both kids and adults!
Cost: Adults, $38, Children 7-10 years $23, Youth aged 11 – 17 years, $32, weight and height limits do apply. Open late May to mid-October.
18. Mactaquac Provincial Park
📍1256 NB-105, Mactaquac NB
Spend the day outdoors at Mactaquac Provincial Park. There are plenty of walking trails, including an accessible one, as well as a golf course and a freshwater beach to cool off and relax at.
There’s also a campground if you wish to camp overnight.
Nearby is the impressive Mactaquac Dam, which spans the Saint John River and provides hydroelectric power to the area.
📍152 Otis Drive, Nackawic, NB
Located 30 minutes from Downtown Fredericton is the town of Nackawic, home to the World’s Biggest Axe.
Standing at an impressive height of 15 meters (49 feet) high and weighing an incredible 55 tonnes, this popular landmark pays tribute to the region’s proud logging heritage.
Snap a photo beside this huge axe, then dip your toes in the water at the sand beach or visit the Big Axe Brewery, which is one of the craft breweries highlighted on the Fredericton TapRoom Trail.
20. Gateway Wetland Trails
📍 1 Gateway Dr, Oromocto, NB
Located just outside of Fredericton, this reserve has lovely nature trails on a boardwalk over wetlands and through the forest.
The kilometre-long trail has a choice of two loops, and covered houses or structures along the trails, providing lookout spots over the wetlands.
There are several carvings along the way, such as a beaver and bear, that are fun and informative for kids.
21. Dari Delite
📍2180 Lincoln Road, Lincoln
Head to nearby Lincoln for a cool treat at Dari Delite.
This beloved local ice cream stand has been serving up homemade frozen treats for decades.
Whether you opt for a soft-serve cone – they have twist flavour as well – or an old-fashioned ice cream sundae, complete with a cherry on top, Dari Delight has something to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Where to Stay in Fredericton
Fredericton has three main areas for accommodations: the North Side, Downtown, and near the highway. Staying downtown allows easy access to most of the attractions and historical sites while staying near the highway is convenient for those driving into Fredericton.
4.5⭐ 8.2/10 on Booking
Located on the waterfront, the Delta Fredericton is a 4.5 star hotel that combines stunning views with luxurious amenities.
Enjoy a comfortable stay in the spacious rooms and suites, while admiring views of the Saint John River from the suites.
The hotel features a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and a full-service spa.
Its central location and proximity to local attractions make the Delta Fredericton an excellent choice for business travellers or families.
4⭐ 7.9/10 on Booking
As one of the oldest hotels in Fredericton, the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook offers a unique blend of modern comfort with historic elegance and charm.
Located in the heart of Fredericton, the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook is within walking distance of shops, restaurants and cultural attractions, making it an ideal choice for those who want to be in the center of Fredericton.
4⭐ 8.5/10 on Booking
For travellers seeking a comfortable and affordable stay, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites is an excellent option.
An indoor pool and hot tub, plus comfortable rooms and a free buffet breakfast make this a good choice for your time in Fredericton.
Conveniently located near the TransCanada Highway, and only a few minutes’ drive from Regent Mall or Queen’s Square in the downtown area, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites is a great choice for those looking to explore Fredericton on a budget.
How to Get to Fredericton
Fredericton is conveniently located just off the TransCanada in central New Brunswick. It makes for a great road trip destination on the East Coast, from cities in both Canada and the United States.
If you’re planning a road trip to the East Coast, Fredericton is a good stopping point along the way!
From the United States, Fredericton is only 90 minutes from the Calais, Maine border and 60 minutes from the Houlton, Maine border.
Other Driving Times: Montreal (8 hours), Halifax (4 hours), Quebec City (5.5 hours), Boston, Massachusetts (7 hours), Bangor, Maine (3 hours).
Fredericton also has an international airport, which offers daily flights through Air Canada, Porter, Sunwing and Lynx Air. Rental cars are available to rent at the airport, or taxis are available to take you to Downton Fredericton.
Tips for Parking in Fredericton
If you are driving to Fredericton, be sure to pick up your free parking pass!
Passes are valid at municipal parking meters and the City Hall Parking lot. Out-of-province license plates are able to get a parking pass that’s valid for 3 days, New Brunswick plates can receive a 1-day parking pass.
There’s a limit of 1 pass per license plate and/or driver’s license. Available May to October from City Hall Visitor Info Centre, or Parking Services from November to May.
RV’s are able to park at the Upper Queen St lot for free – day use only, no overnight parking.
FAQ’s: Visiting Fredericton
Absolutely, Fredericton is definitely worth visiting! With its rich history and culture, natural beauty and plenty of outdoor opportunities, it’s a charming city and there are plenty of things to do in Fredericton for everyone.
While you could definitely stay longer and explore more of the area, spending 2 or 3 days in Fredericton is sufficient. There area plenty of things to do in Fredericton in the downtown area that would take a full day or two, but if you have the time, spending another few days would allow you to do more activities and see other areas of the capital region.
Honestly, anytime is the best time to visit Fredericton! There’s plenty to do year-round and each season brings different activities and experiences.
Summer is a great time to visit Fredericton, as the weather is warm with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F), and there are plenty of outdoor activities to do, both on the river and in the city.
Fall offers picturesque fall colours and crisp autumn air that’s perfect for hiking, exploring parks and scenic drives.
Winter brings a blanket of snow and is an ideal time for winter sports, such as skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and ice skating. Temperatures range from -4°C to -13°C, although it can get a bit colder than that!
READY TO TRAVEL? USE OUR FAVOURITE RESOURCES
Accommodations: Booking.com | Hotels.com | Expedia
Rental Car: Discover Cars
Travel Insurance: SafetyWing
Tours and Activities: Viator | Get Your Guide
Final Thoughts: Best Things to Do in Fredericton
With a unique balance of history, natural beauty, culture and warm hospitality, Fredericton is a fantastic place to visit in New Brunswick.
No matter your interests, there are plenty of things to do in Fredericton, from art galleries and historical sites to outdoor adventures and craft breweries.
Whether you’re staying for a day or a week, Fredericton’s charm and range of attractions make it a truly worthwhile destination to discover.