Saint John, New Brunswick
East of Quebec City (featured in Episode 12 of this series) is the Canadian province of New Brunswick, home to the unique seaside city of Saint John, appropriately nicknamed #SaintAwesome. Sitting on the Bay of Fundy, Saint John is known for its epic tides that can reach as high as 25 feet! In fact renowned artist Sean Yoro, aka Hula, created two incredible works of art standing on a paddleboard, letting the Fundy Bay tides lift him in and out of the water. He and Mother Nature worked in tandem 12 hours a day and created magic.
Saint John has a rich history greatly influenced by the American Revolution and the Irish Potato Famine. Revolutionaries loyal to the crown settled in Saint John, Benedict Arnold called it home for four years, and thousands fled Ireland during the great famine to settle in Saint John. There are a number of museums and landmarks visitors can explore to dive deeper into Saint John’s history, starting with the Carleton Martello Tower. Built for the war of 1812 but not completed until after the war ended, Martello towers are small circular forts first built for defense purposes in the south of England during the Napoleonic Wars. The Martello Tower in Saint John is a National Historic Site and features a restored gunpowder magazine and soldiers’ barracks. A concrete fire command post was added during the Second World War, and a climb to the top of the hill will offer spectacular panoramic views of the city, the Bay, and Partridge Island.
For the outdoor enthusiast look no further than the Fundy Trail Parkway, 10 km east of the nearby town of St. Martins, ideal for exploring the Bay of Fundy coastline. The low-speed auto parkway and walking/cycling trail winds past pristine beaches, waterfalls and a shoreline molded by thousands of years of the world’s highest tides. There are countless IG moments so make sure you have plenty of time and plan on stopping often. There’s even a suspension footbridge that stretches across the clear waters of Big Salmon River. Classic Instagram moment! In the Bay of Fundy, adventure-seekers can find customized experiences and wilderness guiding. Plan on a day of adventure, culinary experiences, and outdoor education featuring the unique and awe-inspiring Bay of Fundy. Kayaking, diving, fishing, cycling and hiking are waiting for the outdoorsy type, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, one of their many experts can create a curated experience to rock your world.
When you’re ready to head downtown, head uptown. Counter-intuitive perhaps, but when in Saint John…you know what they say. Uptown is filled with boutiques, bars, art galleries and excellent restaurants with a historic waterfront as the backdrop. Browse the Saint John City Market, the oldest in Canada and a National Historic Site. Take a brewery tour or stop in one of the cafes or restaurants. Whether it’s lobster, salmon, Acadian Sturgeon or caviar, your cravings will be satisfied in a big way.
The awesome mix of history, outdoor activities, urban and food culture make #SaintAwesome a perfect pick for the adventurous spirit. Keep Saint John in mind when making plans. Summer is around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to discover and explore this beautiful city.
Photo credit: Port Saint John