GETTING THERE: New Brunswick, Canada, is on Maine's northern border, about 900 miles from Washington. We drove, and took two nights to do it. (It was not only tolerable but fun, given our strategy of sightseeing along the way and stopping early at hotels with pools.) Air Canada flies from Dulles or BWI to Saint John, in the center of coastal New Brunswick, starting at about $285 round trip, via Montreal or Toronto. Proof of U.S. citizenship (passport or birth certificate) is required for travel to Canada.

GETTING AROUND: Tourism is largely concentrated along New Brunswick's eastern coast and the Bay of Fundy. Heading north from the Maine line, Highway 1 connects coastal villages, ferry connections to the Fundy islands, Saint John (the largest city), Fundy National Park and the maritime wonders of the upper bay near the Nova Scotia border. We started on Grand Manan Island, reachable by ferry from Blacks Harbour. There are up to four sailings a day in the spring, seven in the summer. Adult round-trip tickets are about $6.50, children $3, under 5 free; cars are $19. Details: 506-636-3922, www.coastaltran sport.ca.

WHERE TO STAY: On Grand Manan, the most talked-about place is the Inn at Whale Cove (506-662-3181, www.holidayjunction.com/whalecove), a well-reviewed inn and restaurant on the north end. Rooms start at $64 a night, cottages from $473 a week.

The island is also full of small, family-run guest houses and cottages. Beach Front Cottages (506-662- 3115, www.beachfront cottages.ca; rates from $425 a week), where we stayed, are perched on a bluff, overlooking the sea and the handsome village of Seal Cove.

Florentine Manor (800-665- 2271, www.sn2000.nb.ca/comp/florentine- manor-b&b), between Hopewell Cape and Fundy National Park, is a grand old shipbuilder's mansion in a rural setting. They do a mean lobster feast. Rooms begin at $60.

In St. Andrews, the epicenter of resort life is the grand Fairmont Algonquin (800- 257-7544, www.fairmont .com/algonquin), a sprawling Tudor resort overlooking the town, with rates starting at $135 in summer.

WHAT TO DO: To experience the Bay of Fundy's signature massive tides, go to Hopewell Rocks. The park offers paddling tours of the offshore rock formations at high tides, and then you walk the same ground when the 50-foot tide retreats. Admission: $4. The park opens mid-May; be sure to check the tide tables beforehand. Info: 877-734-3429, www.the hopewellrocks.ca.

In St. Andrews, the lush Kingsbrae Gardens (866- 566-8687, www.kingsbraegarden .com; $5) are worth half a day. And while whale-watching trips abound around the Bay of Fundy, the majestic gaff-rigged cutter Cory made our trip especially interesting. Rates are about $35 for adults, $24 for kids under 16. Details: 506-529-8116, www.town search.com/svcory

INFO: Tourism New Brunswick, 800-561-0123, www.tourismnew brunswick.ca.

-- Steve Hendrix