Fredericton / Blog / 201712 / 36 hours in Fredericton.

36 hours in Fredericton.

36 Hours in Fredericton

So you’ve got 36 hours in Fredericton.  Whether you’ve come for a reunion with friends from University, a fun staycation or are taking advantage of the (relatively) new expanded direct flight options from Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto – welcome! 

Fredericton is the perfect destination if you want to eat well, wander through a scenic city, explore trails and drink with abandon. It’s ideal if you want to spend a bit of time exploring cute shops, want to see good design and interesting architecture. If you want to find the type of establishment that encourages a sense of ease, the kind of ease that turns a quick lunch into an afternoon of lounging, sipping and easy conversation.

Over the past few years, Fredericton has been shaking off its quiet, government town persona.  The three post secondary institutions and growing population of food and drink enthusiasts mean that you’re just as likely to find a full bar or resto on a Wednesday, stumble into a margarita Monday, or a Tuesday Tequila Throwdown through the week.  But for the purposes of this ideal 36 hours, I’m imagining you’re rolling in hot for happy hour on Friday.

5:00pm Friday – As a bubbly enthusiast –I can attest it’s hard to find bubbles by the glass but not so in Fredericton!  Whether you’re looking for a glass of Champagne, a hard to find big red or an easy drinking white, Corked Wine Bar is a must for happy hour.  It’s also a great place to meet friends and catch up in a quieter cozy environment before empty stomachs and light heads necessitate a meal.

7:00pm FridayBrewbakers is a Fredericton institution and rightly so.  It might have a reputation for being more formal, but its shaken off any remnants of a stiff reputation.  The staff are pros, the atmosphere lively, the food is always fabulous, the wine list extensive, and the chefs are always able to accommodate diet specifications.  Enjoy the open kitchen environment or grab a snug booth in the bar area. 

10:00pm Friday – After Brewbakers, journey to their downstairs neighbour the King Street Alehouse.  Head back to the bar and pull up a stool.  By the name, you might be inclined to order one of the many local beers of the menu, but let me let you in on a little secret.  Their bartenders make some of the best cocktails in the city.  If you haven’t had your fill of bubbles – order the French 75.  (They’ll know I sent you).  If you’re looking for something more dessert-esq – they make a fabulous Old Fashion. 

12:00am – If you’re going for it – head down the street to the Capital Complex.  Its Fredericton’s premier live music location.  The Wilser’s Room is the perfect bohemian lounge with its vintage chesterfields and swings.  You’ll always find a live act downstairs and you’ll easily find a cab (or a burrito, poutine or pizza…should the need arise) when you’re ready to head to bed.

Saturday AM – a weekend in Fredericton is absolutely not complete without a Saturday morning pilgrimage to the Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market.  Get your fresh squeezed orange juice, and then explore one of Canada’s best farmer’s markets.  Yes, the samosas line is ridiculous... but it moves *relatively* fast (and is worth it!).

Saturday Post Market – How ambitious are you feeling? Fredericton has some great yoga and pilates studios, like Moksha Yoga and Precision Pilates, but if you’re not feeling that, at least take a wander along our world class trail system or our fabulous city parks – Odell and Killarney.

Saturday – Lunch – a favorite stop for us for lunch on Saturday’s is the Abbey Café and Gallery.  An awesome place for vegetarians and vegans, it also makes burritos, paninis and hot bowls that everyone will love.  Plus, it shares its home with Fredericton’s first Cider House – Red Rover Cider. This time of year – grab a fall or fire cider to go with your roasted veg panini.

1:00pm – You could grab a coffee and dessert at the Abbey – but if you’re anything like me, you want to turn this day into a café/bar/restaurant crawl.  Head down Queen Street to the Chess Piece to grab an espresso and a too gorgeous to eat pastry to fuel your afternoon of shopping. 

Chess Piece Cafe Fredericton

1:30pm – Time to shop!
Whether you’re shopping for clothes, home décor, or local gifts to take home, Fredericton Downtown has you covered.  Modern General is bringing Queen Street West to downtown Fredericton. Between Reimagine Designs, Urban Almanac, Scandi Modern and Room to Remember, we've got homewares, furniture and gifts TOTALLY covered.

Wasted Fashion has just opened their fabulous new store, and right across the street from Wasted Fashion is Eloise,  Elle Mio and Room 2 Remember (they have a great clothing shop now too). Around the corner is Bellwether (a new vintage store), Robert Simmonds, Peter Roberts, Envy, and Radical Edge.  Just down the street is the pop up turned full time Tilleul.

All price points, all styles, covered.  Looking for something more comfortable – a little unknown fact is that Dynamic Fitness Studio carries Lululemon and Moksha Yoga carries a few lines of hot yoga friendly clothing too.

3:30pm – Once you’re shopped out – and feeling a little thirsty, it’s time for our favorite Fredericton weekend activity.  I think the secret may be out, but our craft breweries are on fire. Not only is their beer FAR superior to anything Budweiser has ever made, but the atmosphere at the Breweries is awesome. Graystone is an obvious favorite, but Trailway and Picaroons are worth the trek across the river, as are Maybees (out the Lincoln trail towards the airport) and Grimross (up the hill).  If you’re visiting in the summer, rent a bike (and helmet) from Savages and do your own self guided bike and beer tour. 

7:00pm – If you haven’t made the potentially rookie mistake of stuffing yourself at one of the amazing Fredericton food trucks that often park at the Fredericton breweries (Gastronomes, Monks and Jonesy, or Milda’s) it’s time for supper.  I’ve got some suggestions.  If you’re now thinking small bites based on the foodtruck incident – I insist upon 11th Mile. They are doing tapas like Fredericton…actually New Brunswick.. has never seen before.  And the cocktails…be still my heart. 

If you’re looking for a mix of small and big plates, great cocktails and local beer – 540 Kitchen and Bar is where you need to head.  If you responsibly waited for dinner and are suddenly craving homemade Italian – Moco has you covered.  All offer great ambiance, friendly fun and professional bar tenders, servers and chefs and will accommodate vegans and special diets beautifully and without notice by the way.  But be prepared to sit at the bar if you show up without reservations. 

Sunday mornings are made for late starts.  Our favorite Sunday morning spot is Isaac’s Way.  But if you can’t make it much beyond your hotel, the Crowne and Delta have both elevated their dining games.  All three options can provide some delicious vegan breakfast options… and mimosas and ceasars…if it’s that kinda morning.

If that hearty breakfast has given you a second wind – rent a kayak and explore the Saint John River, jump in the car and head out to the beautiful provincial park Mactaquac for a morning hike on some beautifully maintained trails, or take it easier by checking out the world class galleries in downtown Fredericton.  An obvious starting point is the newly redesigned and expanded Beaverbrook Art Gallery (which we’re all pretty proud of) and then hop across the street to Gallery 78.  Finish off down Queen Street at the Queen Street Art Gallery.

We’re pretty proud of our little city and hope you have a fabulous visit. 

 

 

Lindsay Bowman is a small town New Brunswicker that spent the requisite 10 years going to school and working out west before returning to Fredericton.   She’s a proud STU Alumni, a Fredericton business owner, an advocate for science, a lover of the arts and mad for a well made artisanal cocktail.  Lindsay spends entirely too much on denim, craft beer, books, and throw pillows. She seems to find a way to work into every introduction that she’s an Ironman Triathlon finisher AND a vegan.   She and husband Paul are pretty jazzed to make Fredericton their home and playground along with their two huge dogs and growing heard of adopted CARMA cats.