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Moncton makes a claim that it's the crossroads of the Maritimes, and it hasn't been bashful about using this lucky geographic position (it is at the crossing of several major highways) to promote itself as a regional business hub. As a result, the majority of downtown's hotels and restaurants here cater to people in suits, rather than travelers, at least on the weekdays. But there is some life here; take a walk down Main Street at night or on a weekend, and you'll spot spiky hairdos, flannel, skateboards, and other youthful fashion accouterments.

For families, Moncton offers a decent way station if you're traveling with kids. A concentration of family-friendly attractions, including Magnetic Hill and Crystal Palace, offer entertaining -- if somewhat pricey -- ways to fill an idle afternoon.