The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare, four nights' accommodations, and a rental car, from $1,156 per person—plus taxes of about $206.
When: Through Oct. 13, 2008 (the closing date for Hopewell Rocks).
Gateways: Atlanta, Boston, New York; add $79 for Chicago; $108 for L.A.; $158 for Miami; additional cities available.
The fine print: A midsize automatic-rental car with unlimited mileage for four days and admission to Hopewell Rocks and Kingsbrae Garden are included. Hotel and rental-car taxes add up to $78 per person. Air taxes and fuel surcharges are an additional $128. The package does not include any meals. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $588 ($520 plus a 13 percent tax). Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book by: No deadline; based on availability.
Contact: Maxxim Vacations, 800/567-6666, maxximvacations.com.
Why it's a deal: According to a recent search on Kayak, the lowest round-trip fares between New York and Moncton in, say, mid-August start from $441 (Continental). For an additional $715, not including taxes, or about $179 a night, Maxxim covers four nights' accommodations, a rental car, and admission fees to Kingsbrae Garden and Hopewell Rocks.
Trip details: The four-night Fundy Getaway package includes round-trip airfare on a United Airlines/Air Canada carrier; four nights' accommodations divided between Moncton, St. John, and St. Andrews; and a rental car for tooling around the area.
The road trip begins in Moncton, Westmorland County, where you'll spend the first night at the downtown Delta . Moncton is known for its dramatic tidal bore, a phenomenon that reverses the flow of the Petitcodiac River twice a day. You can watch as the riverbed empties and then fills from various vantage points at Riverfront Park.
There are plenty of other things to do in this area. About an hour north, Kouchibouguac National Park—a maze of salt marshes, rivers, lagoons, sand dunes, and forests—is perfect for hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming in the summer. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tobogganing are the main draws come winter.
If you have time to spare, you could go on a shopping spree at Champlain Place (a shopping mall with over 160 stores); visit the adjacent indoor amusement park, Crystal Palace; or try to unravel the mystery of Magnetic Hill, an optical illusion that has baffled curious visitors for over 100 years.
Next, you'll drive about 100 miles southwest to St. John, on the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the St. John River. One of the city's must-see attractions is the Reversing Falls, a natural phenomenon that causes the river's water to rise up to 14.5 feet above sea level, forcing the current upstream when the tide becomes higher than the river.
Other attractions include the historic St. John City Market in the heart of the city; the Loyalist House, which survived the Great Fire of 1877; or the Trinity Royal Heritage Preservation Area, which is best explored by trolley. You'll stay overnight at the uptown Delta Brunswick hotel above the Brunswick Square shopping complex.
Leaving St. John, drive about 65 miles to St. Andrews on Passamaquoddy Bay in the southwest of New Brunswick. The small seaside resort town, founded in 1783, has maintained much of its historic character. You'll stay the night at the Tudor-style Fairmont Algonquin, which balances old-world charm and modern comforts.
From St. Andrews, drive the 160 miles back to Moncton, where you'll spend the last night of your trip at either the Delta Beauséjour, the Ramada Plaza Crystal Palace, or the Rodd Park House Inn.
The package includes entrance tickets to New Brunswick's Hopewell Rocks, flowerpot rock formations at Hopewell Cape near Moncton. Here you can also walk on the ocean floor at low tide and later watch the water rise up to 50 feet during high tide. You'll also receive complementary admission to Kingsbrae Garden in St. Andrews.
If you'd like to spend more time in the area, Maxxim offers a similar package for six nights (two nights each in Moncton, St. John, and St. Andrews), starting from $1,413; add $178 for an eight-night package, which includes two nights each in Moncton and St. Andrews and four nights divided between Alma, St. John,
Annapolis Royal, and Wolfville.