A Guide To Campobello Island
Campobello Island wasn’t a destination I’d originally intended to visit this year, but what a lovely surprise it was. When I found myself in St Andrews-by-the-Sea, a visit to this beautiful island was sat firmly on my itinerary. I had little prior knowledge of Campobello Island, actually none at all. But it turned out to be a highlight of my trip although I have to say, if I had not have had the excursion arranged for me, I might have been a bit confused so this guide is for anyone considering spending a day, or perhaps longer on Campobello Island.
Where Is Campobello Island?
Campobello Island is an island within the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Due to its highway connection (route 774) with Maine, many people assume it’s in the USA but this is not the case, although it almost was. In the War of 1812 between Britain and the new United States, the British Navy captured several of the islands just off the coast of Maine. Peace negotiations in 1817 saw these islands returned to the US. In return the United States gave up claims to the islands in the Bay of Fundy which included Campobello.
How To Get To Campobello Island From New Brunswick
If you’re visiting Campobello Island from New Brunswick, you’ll need to catch the seasonal ferry service. For tourists, it’s possible to book onto a tour of Campobello, where you’ll hop aboard one of the whale watching boats, who can drop you off at Campobello en route to the whales. I would recommend booking a tour in advance in order to arrange transport.
Can You Drive To Campobello Island?
From Canada, it’s not possible to drive to Campobello Island, but if you’re visiting from the US, then you can drive route 774 which connects Maine directly to the island. Here you will have to cross the border, be sure to look into restrictions and requirements. There are strict policies in place when it comes to items you can take in and out.
What Is There To Do On Campobello Island?
Campobello Island is an area of natural beauty, so don’t except any malls or flashy restaurants here. The island is a hikers paradise, with routes still being created everyday to encourage visitors to explore the beauty of Campobello. As well as hiking, you can take a visit to Franklin D. Roosevelts old summer house. This is now property of both the US and Canadian government, and has a National Park status. You can enjoy a tour of the home, and even take a peep into the room where the ex-US president came down with Polio and spent a long summer overcoming the illness. There are many key spots on the island, so it’s best to explore via car if possible. Some of the viewing points offer a great opportunity to spot whales in the distance!
Top sights and things to do on Campobello Island include:
- Mulholland Point Lighthouse
- Roosevelt Summerhouse
- Hubbard Cottage
- Old Sow Whirlpool
- Head Harbour Light-station (amazing views around here – we also saw a whale!)
If you want to explore Campobello Island, I would recommend booking an island tour with resident, Peter. We spent around 3-4 hours exploring the island and learning all about the history.
Where Is There To Stay On Campobello Island?
Accommodation on the island was a question I posed to Peter, and unlike St Andrews, you won’t find a resort competing with the Algonquin. Instead, accommodation on Campobello is largely made up of chalets, holiday home rentals (many people snap up the affordable housing to rent out) and camping. There is one motel and an inn but no hotels so to speak. I do think the island would benefit from a family-friendly resort, it’s a beautiful place and one that deserves way more attention.
Where Can I Camp On Campobello Island?
I’d say camping is actually the best option over the summer months, with so many breathtaking scenic spots, you can get a true taste of the island. I noticed quite a few camper vans and tents just ‘put up’ not sure if that’s allowed or not, but if you’re looking for a Campsite on Campobello Island with toilets and facilities Herring Cove is your best bet.
- Electricity on site
- Big Rig Access
- Pull-Thru Sites
- Pets Allowed
- Tents Allowed
- NO water or Wifi (but hey, why do you need internet when you have nature?)
Where Is There To Eat On Campobello Island?
Campobello Island isn’t the kind of place you head to for nightlife and restaurants, so be sure to pack your own supplies. There are however a small scattering of eateries including a few seafood restaurants and cafes including…
- Family Fisheries Restaurant
- Herring Cove Restaurant
- The Porch at Friars Bay
- The Pier on the Waterfront
- The Prince Café
If you do happen to visit the Roosevelt summer home, which I imagine is likely if you’re heading to Campobello, there is a café on site which serves up sandwiches and salads in a cosy canteen-style room overlooking the water. For groceries, there is a convenience store on the island selling essentials (bread etc..not sure how well they do for dairy-free milks though!).
Are Dogs Allowed On Campobello Island?
Absolutely! I saw many furry friends enjoying walkies on the island, it’s a very dog friendly place and the Herring Cove campsite also allows dogs.
What Time Zone Is Campobello Island?
There was a little confusion over the time zone in Campobello within a group of visiting Americans who had made their way over from Maine and accidentally missed their tour booking at the Roosevelt summer house – oops! Campobello Island is on Atlantic Time.
How Big Is Campobello Island?
Campobello Island is 39.67KM² with a permanent population of 872 (accurate as of 2016!).
Hopefully this guide has helped with what to do, where to stay and things to see in Campobello Island. It’s a beautiful place, and if you’re planning a trip to either Maine or New Brunswick, you simply must plan a visit!