Barracks Fine Craft Shops – unique finds in the heart of Fredericton

Barracks Fine Craft shopsIn the heart of downtown Fredericton lies the Soldier’s Barracks, built in the 1820’s to house British Soldiers. Every summer this historic building is home to the Barracks Fine Craft Shops and hosts an eclectic selection of artists works, making it one of the best spots in town to pick up handmade, unique gifts. (If you’re here Saturday morning, definitely check out the Farmer’s Market as well).

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The Dunes Studio Gallery & Café: a soothing escape in Brackley Beach, PEI

Gardens at the Dunes Studio Gallery & CafeAt the intersection of beauty and deliciousness, wonderful things happen. The Dunes Studio Gallery & Café, with its stunning gardens, locally crafted art, pottery, and jewelry, and intriguing café offerings made it onto my must-do list over two years ago. Unfortunately our 2013 trip to Prince Edward Island wasn’t quite long enough to squeeze it in, and it took two years for us to get back to the island. The Dunes was worth the wait. Continue reading

Moxon’s Country Pumpkin

Feeding the goats at Moxon's Country PumpkinMe: “Do you want to go to the Country Pumpkin?”

Amelia: “YEAH!”

A farmer’s market may seem like an odd thing to cover on a travel blog, but Fredericton has a habit of making a destination out of their markets, and Moxon’s Country Pumpkin is no exception.

If you live in Freddy Beach and have kids under 10, you probably already know about the Country Pumpkin. I’m willing to bet that you come here a couple of times a month (during the not-freezing months, at least) just because it’s the easiest way to entertain the kids while you pick up a few groceries.

But if you’re a tourist, this place is worth a stop too. It’s actually my favourite kind of tourist stop – original, local, and perplexing (after all, who thinks: “Hey, you know what would make people buy more carrots? A peacock!”)

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Best Coast Coffee Gallery

Beast Coast Coffee Gallery in Broad Cove, Nova ScotiaOn Highway 331 between Liverpool and Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, there’s a tiny community called Broad Cove. We drive through it often when exploring the scenic South Shore, and every time we pass the Best Coast Coffee Gallery I say – out loud – “we’ve got to check that place out sometime.”

After a morning run on Crescent Beach last week, Gary pronounced that it was finally “sometime”. Running on the beach is hard work, and neither of us had eaten yet (although I was still full from the previous night’s Lobster Linguini at Magnolia’s Grill in Lunenburg, to be honest).

The Best Coast Coffee Gallery’s traditional building with its quintessentially South Shore decorations (brightly coloured Adirondack chairs are to the South Shore what flying the US flag in your yard is to Maine) just looks like a friendly place to stop. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes at NovaScotian Crystal

NovaScotian Crystal showroomWatching the craftsmen at NovaScotian Crystal take material from molten goop to a sparkling piece of fine crystal is mesmerizing. When the weather allows they open up the door to the glassworks and you can see these master craftsmen at work right from the boardwalk.

Ever since the shop opened up on the Halifax waterfront in 1996, I’ve made a point to stop and watch the spinning, shiny, hypnotic process every time I’m there when the doors are open. It’s one of the iconic images of the Halifax waterfront for me.

So when Larissa Law, NovaScotian Crystal’s Marketing & PR Coordinator, offered to give me a behind-the-scenes tour I didn’t just jump at the chance – I drove 826 kms round trip to make it happen. Continue reading