Travel Tips Visiting Saint John, New Brunswick

The historically significant town of Saint John, New Brunswick was established in 1785, and its culture includes influences by the early Irish immigrants and native Maliseet tribes. A 165-mile drive northeast of Bangor, Maine, this charming Canadian port is located where the St. John River enters the Bay of Fundy. The bay is famous for its abundant marine wildlife and the highest tides in the world. Another natural wonder of the area is the Reversing Falls, which occur when high tide comes into the bay and temporarily reverses the flow of the St. John River.

Visitors to Saint John will be fascinated by the magnificent Bay of Fundy and the opportunity to see sharks and whales swimming in their natural habitat. Many species of sharks such as mako, basking sharks, great white, and tiger sharks swim in this marine haven. Whales are also attracted to the diverse feeding environment. Baleen whales, blue whales, orca, and humpback are some of the species that have been seen traveling through the waterway. Another spectacular natural resource is the Fundy National Park of Canada--a scenic wonderland of mountains, valleys and rivers. This wilderness preserve offers protection to several endangered species including the Atlantic salmon, and its forests contain stands of rare red spruce, with one tree reported to be over 400 years old.

The cuisine of this region is rich with fresh seafood and ethnic influences. In the central part of town are a number of fine restaurants including Billy’s Seafood Company with a variety of fresh catches and steaks, and Turn of the Tide, located in the St. John Hilton Hotel. For a European menu visitors can try Beatty & The Beastro. All are conveniently located, and have a variety of price ranges and daily specials.

Accommodations range from campgrounds and cottages to exclusive hotels on the waterfront. For camp lodgings on the waterfront, Hardings Point Campground Inc. is an option with fully serviced sites, wheelchair accessible, and near beach and hiking trails. For luxurious surroundings, visitors can stay at the Homeport Historic B & B, an eco-friendly lodging with a Canadian five-star rating. This restored shipbuilder’s mansion, located on Douglas Avenue, has amenities such as whirlpool, full gourmet breakfast and water view. In the heart of St John is the well appointed Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites, with smoke-free rooms, continental breakfast and an indoor pool. This hotel is close to the Reversing Rapids, a local beach, and Harbor Passage Trail.

Saint John’s unique environment gives visitors a chance to see Atlantic Ocean in full force along a rugged, beautiful coastline teeming with wildlife. This is nature at its most unforgettable.