New Brunswick, Canada Travel Guide
Over Memorial Day Weekend, we had the pleasure of changing things up a bit and heading north for the long weekend thanks to the Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT). For the longest time, we've been dying to get up to this beautiful corner of the world, and we jumped at the chance to see if for ourselves.
My grandparents loved their summer trips to the Maritimes, and they always talked so fondly of the area - so I was beyond excited to uncover it and experience for myself. My grandfather passed away last August, so it was extra special to see some of the places that meant so much to him.
Our first stop was the little magical area of St. Andrew's by the Sea. It's a charming seaside town where time seems to stand still. People greet each other on the street and catch up on the day's happenings over coffee in the morning or at one of the cozy restaurants at night. We were only there for a couple days, but we saw so many of the same smiling faces during our stay, we almost felt like a local by the time we left.
We visited before the season really started to get into swing in St. Andrews, but we kind of loved having the place to ourselves a bit (although it was by no means empty). We really lucked out with the weather during our stay, so we soaked up the salt air and sunshine with smiles on our faces, just like the locals.
The town itself kind of has a New England seaside town vibe, but with a Canadian twist - which makes it so incredibly charming. The people are beyond wonderful, and the seafood can't be matched. We ate like kings during our stay.
The Gables: A darling little restaurant with great seats on the harbor, this casual spot is a great place to grab a lobster roll or some amazing PEI mussels while watching the tide roll in and out.
Harbour Front Restaurant: Another great seafood spot (but they have something for everyone), with a cozy atmosphere inside and great outdoor seating for those warmer days.
Honeybeans Cafe: We loved this little spot - and so does the rest of St. Andrews! Try their Fundy Fog if you are a fan of tea, and if you are a fan of yummy treats - try any of their delicious breakfast eats. You won't regret it!
Braxton's in The Algonquin: The restaurant in this gorgeous seaside hotel is not just a great place to grab a night cap, but it also serves up some delicious eats!
Savour at the Garden: The loveliest of lunch spots, this beautiful eatery overlooking the lovely landscapes of Kingsbrae Gardens is an experience in itself.
Minister's Island: We loved our trip out to Minister's Island. Driving over on the ocean floor (pay attention to the tides!), visiting the gorgeous Van Horne estate, and just experiencing the true feeling of this summer estate, was really such a highlight.
Kingsbrae Gardens: As someone who truly appreciates a garden, this was a must stop for me. And although everything was a tad too early to be fully in bloom, the property is really so incredibly lovely - and comes complete with lamas roaming the grounds!
Whale Watching: Our tour happened to get cancelled because there wasn't enough people to go out (probably due to being so early in the season), but next time we are up this way we most definitely will be taking a trip out to see the whales this area is known for.
St. Andrew’s Lighthouse: We love a lighthouse, so popping by to see St. Andrew's beauty before we left was a must.
The beautiful Algonquin Resort came highly recommended to us as we were researching the area, and we were so excited to check it our for ourselves. It's such a grand hotel that really rises above the entire town - you can see it from almost everywhere! It has such a rich history, and although it's been recently restored, that old-world vibe still runs through the property.
Our next stop on our tour of New Brunswick, was a big change of pace from St. Andrews. Saint John is a very industrial city with a bustling food scene. It's gritty yet still has that Canadian charm. It's getting the reputation for being the place in New Brunswick for craft beers and good eats, so it's a great place to spend a day if that's up your alley.
Our travels had us arriving on a Sunday, and a lot of the bigger things were closed (they still observe a quieter Sunday up in this region - which I love - so make sure to plan accordingly if there are certain things you want to see!), but it was still so interesting to explore the streets of Saint John after being in St. Andrews.
Kings Square: The sweet little center of "Uptown" Saint John (which is actually more like their downtown), it's a lovely place to sit and plan your game plan for attacking the city.
Reversing Falls: The tides in this region were so incredibly fascinating. So catching the reversing falls when the tides are doing there thing should not be missed!
Barbour's General Store: A little slice of history in the center of Saint John, I loved seeing all the treasures from days past.
Saint John City Market: This was closed on the day we were there (Sunday), but it would definitely be a spot on my list for future trips.
Before we said our final farewell to Canada, we had to pass through one of the legendary Fundy isles. Our originally plan was to pass through Deer Island to get to Campobello and then down through Maine, but the ferry services weren't running this early in the year. So definitely pay attention to ferry schedules (and tides!) when planning your trip.
The Maritimes are known for their extreme tides, and were were fascinated by the during out entire stay - but it wasn't until we were here that we realized how intense they can really be. We happened to get to the lighthouse at low tide, so we were able to walk on the ocean floor to get a better view - but you really have to time this perfectly. The tide comes in at 5ft per hour! So if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, you'll be camping out on these rocks for hours (or even worse!). It really is so humbling.
After our trip to Campobello, it was time to make the drive back to Rhode Island. We stopped by West Quoddy Head lighthouse on our way home (the most eastern point of the continental United States), before saying goodbye to this one-of-a-kind trip! Until next time, Canada!
PHOTOGRAPHY: ABBY CAPALBO
This trip and post was sponsored by ACAT, but all opinions are my own. Thank you so much for the support!