Image of lighthouse at port - St. John's Bay, Canada
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Explore the Best Things to Do in Saint John in New Brunswick

Saint John in New Brunswick, Canada, is a captivating city nestled near the Bay of Fundy. Known for its stunning natural wonders and charming coastal atmosphere, the area offers a unique blend of maritime heritage and outdoor adventures.

Explore the Bay of Fundy, famous for having the highest tides in the world, where you can witness a dramatic rise and fall of the waters. The Fundy Trail Parkway is a scenic coastal drive that showcases breathtaking cliffs, secluded beaches, and lush forests.

Visit the historic port city of St. John, with its charming waterfront, vibrant arts scene, and fascinating historical sites, such as the Saint John City Market. Whether you’re indulging in fresh seafood, hiking along picturesque trails, or admiring the stunning coastal vistas, the Bay of Fundy region offers a captivating experience for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike.

The city boasts an impressive collection of museums, galleries, and historic sites that help tell the story of its rich past.

Of course, a visit to Saint John would only be complete with a trip to the famous Reversing Falls. This natural wonder occurs when the tides of the Bay of Fundy reverse the flow of the Saint John River. It’s a mesmerizing sight that will leave you awestruck – and maybe dizzy.

So whether you’re a history buff, a lover of nature, or just looking for a fun and friendly destination, Saint John will surely delight you. Come for the seafood, stay for the charm, and leave with memories of a lifetime.

Overview of Saint John in New Brunswick

As mentioned in the introduction, Saint John is a great place to experience the charm of Canada.

Saint John City Market

The City Market in Saint John, Canada, opened in 1876 and has stood the test of time. Surviving the Great Fire of 1877 and urban renewal, it remains a historic centerpiece and is honored as Canada’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market. The market features beautiful historic wrought iron gates crafted in 1880.

The market’s roots trace back to the Royal Charter of Saint John in 1785, which established public markets under the authority of the city’s mayor. The market’s Crest of the City of Saint John, displayed prominently at the Germain Street entrance, symbolizes the city’s proud history in fishing, forestry, shipping, and industry.

Today, the City Market stands as a testament to the city’s heritage and enduring strengths. Stop by to sample local delicacies like smoked salmon and handmade chocolates.

Fort Howe National Historic Site

One of the most famous landmarks in Saint John in New Brunswick, Fort Howe, is situated on top of a hill overlooking the city. This old fort tells how British and Canadian troops defended Saint John during the American Revolution.

Visitors can explore the grounds and tour to learn more about Fort Howe’s role in protecting Canada’s borders during turbulent times.

Outdoor Activities and Attractions 

Nestled on the Bay of Fundy shore, Saint John in New Brunswick boasts a climate characterized by mild summers and chilly winters. Saint John has four distinct seasons, offering various outdoor activities for the adventurous traveler.

Irving Nature Park

Irving Nature Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Situated on the outskirts of Saint John, it boasts a diverse array of trails and shorelines that showcase the region’s breathtaking scenery. 

The park caters to various interests such as camping, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, bird watching, and mountain biking. For a more relaxed pace, plenty of scenic picnic spots are available along the shoreline or at one of the numerous lookouts in Irving Nature Park.

Rockwood Park

Rockwood Park in Saint John, New Brunswick, is an excellent travel destination for exploring nature and outdoor activities. The park is near the stunning Bay of Fundy and spans over 2200 acres of lush forests, picturesque meadows, and glistening lakes. Visitors have various activities, including walking and biking along trails, canoeing, fishing, and swimming. Additionally, there are playgrounds scattered throughout the park to keep children entertained. 

Harbour Passage Trail 

The historic Harbour Passage Trail winds along the beautiful shoreline, offering stunning views of the Bay of Fundy and fantastic opportunities to explore Maritime culture. You will find unique shops, eateries, art galleries, and more along the way.

In addition, the Harbour Passage Trail has been home to many historical events, such as battles between British soldiers and American privateers during the War of 1812.

Saint John in New Brunswick  Reversing Rapids

Reversing Falls Rapids

At high tide, the Bay of Fundy waters pushes up against the St. John River with such force that they reverse its flow – an awe-inspiring phenomenon worth seeing. 

Twice a day, during the tidal change, the rushing waters of the Bay of Fundy collide with the flow of the Saint John River, creating this fascinating spectacle. As the tides rise, the river water is forced against the incoming tidal surge, causing a reversal of the river’s flow. This reversal leads to whirlpools, rapids, and turbulent waves that churn and crash against each other, creating an awe-inspiring sight.

The intensity and appearance of the Reversing Falls vary depending on the tidal cycle, with the strongest and most dramatic currents occurring during the highest tides. Visitors can witness this incredible spectacle from various viewpoints, including parks, walkways, and even from a suspension bridge that spans the gorge.

The Reversing Falls serve as a reminder of the immense power and beauty of nature.

Cultural Experiences 

New Brunswick Museum

New Brunswick Museum, located on Market Square in downtown Saint John, is a great way to learn about the province’s history and culture. The museum houses collections of artifacts related to natural science, culture, and Indigenous peoples. It also features exhibitions highlighting artworks from around the world. Stop here to participate in interactive activities, such as hands-on workshops led by artists and experts or guided tours with knowledgeable staff. 

Saint John is also home to numerous galleries and independent shops showcasing unique handcrafted items from local artisans. These include Union Street Art Gallery, featuring pieces from over 150 Canadian artists, Island Blue Print Company, and Atlantic News & Gifts, perfect for souvenirs and gifts. 

Saint John’s Old Imperial Theatre

The Old Imperial Theatre is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. It’s a beautifully restored building with eye-catching neo-classical architecture. The theatre hosts an array of shows throughout the year, from music concerts to plays and comedy nights. Located in Uptown Saint John, it’s well worth a visit for visitors who want to experience a bit of culture during their stay. 

Where to Eat in St. John, New Brunswick

Saint John Ale House

For a fantastic night out in Saint John, New Brunswick, look no further than the Saint John Ale House. A wide selection of beers and ales handcrafted on-site and delicious home-style pub meals are available here. The feeling is warm and inviting, with brick walls and dark woods creating a cozy corner to enjoy drinks and dinner. Make sure you visit during live music nights or trivia Tuesdays for added fun! 

Grannan’s Seafood Restaurant

Grannan’s Seafood Restaurant is located on the waterfront in uptown Saint John. It is an excellent place for traditional maritime cuisine and admiring the views along Market Street. 

Places To Stay in St. John

When planning a trip to Saint John, consider this beautiful city’s many places to stay. Saint John has a variety of local Hotels and motels, from budget-friendly options to luxurious five-star accommodations. There are VRBO properties for those who prefer an independent stay. 

Saint John is a beautiful city in New Brunswick that offers visitors a wide range of accommodation options. 

Delta Hotels by Marriott Saint John

The Delta Hotels by Mariott is located in the heart of the city. It is a luxurious five-star hotel with elegant rooms, suites, and striking views of the city skyline and harbor. The hotel includes amenities like a fitness center, an indoor pool, and an on-site restaurant serving delicious cuisine.

Hilton Saint John

The Hilton Saint John is an excellent choice for a comfortable and convenient stay. This four-star hotel offers spacious rooms and suites with modern amenities, including flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and complimentary Wi-Fi. 

Château Saint John Hotel & Suites

Nestled in the heart of Uptown Saint John, the Château Saint John Hotel & Suites is a boutique hotel that offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The hotel features stylish rooms and suites with luxurious amenities, including pillow-top mattresses, flat-screen TVs, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The on-site restaurant serves delicious local cuisine.

Hampton Inn & Suites Saint John

The Hampton Inn & Suites Saint John is a budget-friendly hotel with comfortable rooms and suites with modern amenities, including flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and complimentary Wi-Fi. 

Homeport Historic Bed & Breakfast Inn

The Homeport Historic Bed & Breakfast Inn is a charming choice for travelers who prefer a more unique and historic stay. This 1858 heritage property offers cozy rooms with antique furnishings and modern amenities, including complimentary Wi-Fi. The inn also features a beautiful garden and an on-site restaurant serving delicious breakfasts.

For travelers looking for unique experiences, camping is an affordable option. Go to one of the nearby national parks or among the several campgrounds near the city. 

For something different, why not travel in an RV? This choice will allow you to explore Saint John at your own pace and provide easy access to attractions and sites outside the city limits. 

Whatever type of accommodation you choose, there’s no shortage of places to stay.

In Conclusion

Saint John, New Brunswick, is an excellent destination for tourists and travelers exploring culture, history, and nature. With an array of activities available, there’s something for everyone to enjoy – from visiting top landmarks such as the Reversing Falls Rapids to exploring hidden gems like Rockwood Park.

There are ample accommodation options depending on your budget, plus easy access by plane or car. So experience Saint John in all its glory and make some unforgettable memories!

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