I would use this to get around: Wheels + Feet. Downtown Fredericton is where the action is and it’s basically a flat grid, perfect for cruising around town on a fixie or a longboard. If you do happen to drive, you can almost always find free parking on one of the downtown residential streets. After 6pm and all weekend long parking is free absolutely everywhere.
I would stay here: I lived in Fredericton for over a decade so, truth be told, I’d probably stay with friends. If I were you, however, I’d hit the Delta Fredericton. It sits on the bank of the extremely good-looking Saint John River and has everything you’d ever crave in a swanky hotel; including a top-notch spa, outdoor poolside bar and a dude that plays piano in the lobby sometimes. People get married there, graduations happen in the adjacent conference centre and when bigwigs roll through town, this is where they stay.
I would eat here: Depends on what you’re after. Pub food? Easy. The King Street Ale House has whatever you want, but better. Fine dining without having to change your pants or wear a tie? Simple. Head to the Blue Door. Greek? Good choice. Dimitris is the best in town. Lunch? Sure. The Palate nails it every time. Classic upscale dinner with your parents? No problem. Brewbakers is about as special-occasion as Fredericton gets.
I would drink here: If it’s sunny and warm Fredericton has the best patio scene, maybe in all of Canada. It also has one of the best happy hour scenes. A champion of both is the Lunar Rogue. It’s a beautifully stereotypical brass rail pub with a whiskey selection that will make your head spin… literally. (Get it? Because you’ll be so drunk. Ahhhhh, the wit!) Warning: If you’re not there by 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, you won’t get a seat and you’ll really feel like you’re missing out on tons of fun. (Because you are.) Later in the evening, I’d head to the Capital Complex. It’s a combination of three different bars, each with a bit of a different feel, but all with good times on tap and tons of character. My favourite of the Complex bars is Wilser’s Room, the most casual and laid-back of the three. No matter where you drink though, make sure your glass is full of Picaroons, a local brewery that stands among the country’s very best. They have a Brewtique (so clever) where you can buy steins, growlers and other paraphernalia to bring home with you once you fall in love with them and their beer. (Side note: Did you guys know how to spell paraphernalia before you read that last sentence? I had to Google it and it’s the most surprised I’ve been in a long time.)
I would do this: Walk. Fredericton has so many great parks and trails. Odell is a classic, full of old growth and generally beautiful nature. There is also a walking bridge that takes you to the north side of town and back again. It’s a pretty stroll or bike ride, and just about mandatory for self-portraits or cute couple photos. I’d also head to the Boyce Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. Go on an empty stomach because there is so much variety and the food is way better than it should be for such a small city. It’s a serious social scene mid-morning on a Saturday as well – the kind of place where, if you lived in Fredericton, you could be sure to run into your ex-boyfriend, hairdresser and estranged landlord all in one go. Finally, I’ll let you in on a little nugget of local wisdom: There is a boutique on York Street that looks like an exotic jewelry store but is actually also the best coffee shop in town. The store is called Paradise Imports and the little espresso bar in the back is called Jonnie Java’s. Pop your head in and chat with Jonnie and Nancy. They are even more of a treat than the ass-kicking coffee they serve.
I wouldn’t do this: Go uptown. Up the hill along Prospect Street and towards the Trans-Canada Highway there’s nothing but malls and big box stores. I’m not a fan and would definitely stick to the downtown core if I were you.