If you caught my Grand Manan Part One post, you’ve probably realized by now that I have a passionate love for this secluded island on our East Coast. I’ve been going to Grand Manan over the years since I was 18 and headed to university to study marine biology, dying to see whales. I know, I made a huge career pivot in my twenties ;)
It doesn’t matter where life takes me or how old I am, this island still enchants the mermaid soul in me every time and the love for my first post on my trip has been overwhelming!
So without further chit chat, here are my favorite snapshots from the rest of my weekend in Grand Manan!
One of my long standing Grand Manan traditions is to wake up early for a sunrise walk on the beach and to watch the first ferry to the mainland of the day leave the harbor at 7:30am. Saturday morning’s sunrise was particularly stunning.
There are so many beautiful B&Bs and inns on the island, but we’re fans of tradition and always look forward to returning to the charming Surfside Motel located minutes from the ferry and offering the perfect beach for that morning walk along the shore while the boats come and go. We had the chance to meet the new owner this year and as always, the experience was wonderful!
Island tip: On Saturdays, make sure to check out the Farmer’s Market right across the street or visit the church for a delicious breakfast open to island visitors!
one of the beautiful old inns on the island – this one was always my favorite to snap photos of The cliffs at Southern Head are arguably some of the best views on the island and great for spotting whales, porpoises, seals, and even bald eagles flying by! They may not be ideal for those afraid of heights, but believe me when I say, walking along their edge is exhilarating.
On your way to Southern Head, you’ll past a sign for Deep Cove on your left (or on the right side of the road if you’re heading North). It may not look like much from the road, but be sure to pull over and take the small trail down to the beach. It’s worth it for the cove which offers the perfect mix of sand & ocean and woods & lake.
If you’re cruising for antiques or looking for the perfect island crafts, Grand Manan has a number of cute boutiques to shop and artisans to discover. Of the many cool shops we went to, I absolutely loved The Cheeky Magpie – and how great is that name? You can check out all their treasures here.
Of the many harbours in Grand Manan, one of my favourites to always visit is Dark Harbour. Often completely empty, this little harbour is unique in that it’s always a little darker than the rest of the island, thanks to its huge cliffs. The windy road down into the harbour may seem to go on forever, but I promise when you’ve arrived – you’ll understand why this harbour is so enchanting.
One of the things I absolutely love about Grand Manan is their food. Sure, you don’t have any chain restaurants or fast food joints. What you do have is some of the best cooking in the Atlantic – especially if you’re a seafood lover. This was my first time eating at the Compass Rose but I’ll definitely be going back next time!
One of the best spots for sunset viewings on the island? Take Whistle Road (accessible from North Head) all the way to the end where you’ll find the perfect viewing bench and a number of locals any night of the week who’ve come out to catch nature’s show. Bonus: It’s a great place for watching whales and porpoises!
We woke up early on our last day to follow in our tradition and watch the 7:30 ferry leave, but we quickly headed up to Swallowtail lighthouse afterwards to see if we could spot some early morning whale action.
Boy, were we in for a treat!
This beautiful Minke whale swam up and down the Swallowtail point for over an hour and a half, giving us quite the show. He was so close, we could hear his blow every time he surfaced! Not to be ignored, we also watched some adorable porpoises trying to upstage the whale. To think you can sit on a bench and watch a whale in its natural habitat for hours – do you see why this place is so magical?
Leaving Grand Manan is never easy, but it’s always comforting to know it’s only a few hours away for another visit again soon. To all of the islanders that made our stay and visit so perfect – thank you for the memories!
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