This summer, take a staycation and explore Charlotte County

Krisi Marples/Courier Are you a New Brunswicker who is vacationing in the province this summer? You could be eligible for rebates on your staycation.

Charlotte County – Traveling to other provinces and even to other countries may be out of the question this summer, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get away and enjoy a fun, summer vacation. Summer 2020 offers a great opportunity to see the sights in your own back yard, here in New Brunswick. Not only are there great places to see throughout the province, Charlotte County has a lot of fun and interesting places to explore as well.

If you love going to the beach, there are loads of fun things you can do, and there are so many beautiful beaches right in Charlotte County to choose from. Try your hand at beachcombing at New River Beach, or at one of the many beaches on Campobello Island.

KatieAnne Rogers, Aquarist at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre/Fundy Discovery Aquarium, said there are all kinds of marine life along the various beaches in the area, and families can have loads of fun looking for and learning about these sea animals. Some of the things you may see include sand dollars, star fish, and certain types of crabs.

“Along different parts of the Fundy Coast, you’re going to find a few different types of species,” said Rogers. “Of course, you’re going to find periwinkles and barnacles. You’re also going to find rock gunnels, they’re just a small, small fish. There are sand dollars of course, and people love to find sand dollars. You’ll find your blue mussels, and you’ll find some sponge. Some people don’t realize that sponge is actually an animal.”

Rogers said people may also find some shelled animals, including limpets, and at really low tide there is the possibility of finding sea urchins. At wharfs, you might see sea stars, the scientific name for star fish. Rogers also mentioned that there is a good chance of finding green crabs.

“You don’t so much find native rock crabs on the beach, but you will find green crabs on the beach. They are actually an invasive species.”

Another staycation option is to visit the aquarium where you can learn more about these and other marine species at the tidal pool. There is also an adventure experience, leaving from the aquarium. You can purchase a ticket and go and search the shores to find these crabs and learn about them.

Obviously, there are many other things to see and do around Charlotte County if you want to plan a staycation. There are several museums in Saint Andrews, and of course the Chocolate Museum in St. Stephen. There are loads of beautiful trails for hiking, and parks where you can picnic and enjoy time outdoors with your family. The Ganong Nature Park in St. Stephen is once again open to the public – with physical distancing guidelines in place – and you may get a glimpse of porcupines, deer, and other wildlife.

If you are planning on visiting Saint Andrews this summer, there are plenty of fun things for the whole family to take part in.

Town Clerk/Senior Administrator Paul Nopper said the parks and trails in Saint Andrews are open and available to the public, with social distancing protocols in place. People are able to walk the grounds of the court house, and they are working on re-opening the Ross Museum and Sheriff Andrews House. The Huntsman Marine Science Centre will be open to the public as well.

“I believe Minister’s Island is working on their plans to open for the season as well. They’ve been allowing people to walk the trails,” said Nopper. “Most facilities and local attractions are opening. For instance, the Blockhouse. The park will remain open, but the Blockhouse itself, because the space is too small for social distancing, we’re actually not allowing people in the Blockhouse this year but the park is open. Centennial Park is open.”

So, there is no need to leave Charlotte County this summer to enjoy a fun and exciting vacation. There are so many things to see and do, you will never get bored, and you may not even have time to do it all in one summer.

sarigreen@stcroixcourier.ca