Getaway Series: Saint John New Brunswick

July 31, 2019


With its incredible mix of urban and nature adventure, Saint John, New Brunswick is the perfect spot for your next getaway. It has everything I look for in a trip from friendly locals, delicious foodie scene, arts and culture, and breathtaking views like the Bay of Fundy. This is a destination you need to visit for yourself to experience all it has to offer. You’ll quickly fall in love with this gem on the East Coast. Here’s an itinerary to help you can make the most of your time in Saint John: 

Day 1:

Food Scene

One of the first things you’ll notice about Saint John is its impressive food scene. There are over 85 bars and restaurants in a 10-block radius called the Trinity Royal Preservation District in uptown Saint John. You’ll find many of them in historic buildings. You’ll find everything from maritime cuisine, specialized bars, upscale pub fare, international cuisine and more. 

Market Square Boardwalk

The Market Square Boardwalk is the perfect spot to spend a summer night. It’s lined with patios and you can catch events here all summer long. Check what’s happening during your visit here.



Port City Royal

This restaurant is a must when you’re in Saint John. Port City Royal has such a cool atmosphere with perfect lighting to suit the ambiance. There are multiple rooms to choose from. The next thing that will stand out is their delicious food and cocktails. I was very impressed with the fish cakes and scallops! Their menu changes but if this item is on it when you visit make sure to get it. It was the ideal meal to welcome us into the city. 



Boardwalk at Sunset 

This is a favourite spot to catch a sunset. As you walk, you’ll notice the cotton candy colours that fill the sky. Along the boardwalk you’ll also find plaques where you can learn about the history of Saint John including the Great Fire of 1877. It was started when a spark fell into a bundle of hay in the vicinity that is now Market Square. It destroyed over 1612 buildings, most of which were rebuilt in stone.



Gahan House

Can’t beat ending the night with a patio. We stopped by Gahan House for a bite and brew. Outside people were enjoying the patio and inside you could choose games to play with your friends. 

Day 2:

Rogue Coffee

Start your day with some fuel at Rogue Coffee. You’ll find this coffee shop down a very instagrammable alley full of strung lights and seating. Sit outside and admire the alley as you drink your coffee. I came back to this alley a few times throughout the trip!




At the entrance to the alley, you’ll see a Salmon sculpture. It’s part of #SalmonRun, a public art installation of 23 six-foot salmon painted by New Brunswick artists and located throughout uptown. I loved seeing the different designs on each salmon and information about the specific artists. It’s a creative way to celebrate New Brunswick artists. 

Bay of Fundy

Next stop was some coastal exploration of the Bay of Fundy. It’s considered one of the 7 wonders of North America and needs to be on your bucket list for sure! You’ll want a full day to explore here. For today’s adventures, we headed to St. Martins, about a 40-minute drive from Saint John.

Kayaking in the Bay of Fundy

I had an absolute blast kayaking in the Bay of Fundy with Red Rock Adventure. Their team was so friendly and knowledgeable and I learned so many cool facts like how the powerful waves have exposed fossils. The views from the water are incredible and we were able to get to spots we wouldn’t be able to see otherwise. It’s a completely unique experience and one that makes you marvel at this Canadian wonder! There were points where the water was completely clear and turquoise. We stopped for lunch and enjoyed smoked salmon, avocado, cheese, and crackers! We kayaked to multiple sea caves during our adventure! 



Grab Lunch in St. Martins 

This is the last spot to grab a bite before the Fundy Trail Parkway. It’s a cute little coastal town with colourful buildings. We went to the Sea Caves Canteen food truck for a bite before making our way to the trail. 

Fundy Trail Parkway

I was blown away by the beauty of the Fundy Trail Parkway. To me, this is Canada’s Great Ocean Road! Every lookout was breath-taking. We spent hours exploring the parkway but we easily could have spent more. Take your time to explore the stunning lookouts and trails. You’ll wind past pristine beaches, waterfalls tumbling down ancient cliffs and a shoreline sculpted by thousands of years of the world’s highest tides. Red Rock Adventures shared that it’s a UNESCO site and is the largest stretch of untouched wilderness on the Atlantic seaboard. This is a spot that truly highlights New Brunswick’s beauty and intrigue for tourists. Before you leave, make your way over to the clear waters of Big Salmon River across the suspension footbridge. 


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Sea Caves

After the parkway, make your way back to St. Martins when the tide is low. The Bay of Fundy has the world’s highest tides so there is a significant difference between high and low tide. I was shocked at the difference of low tide. We were able to walk back to the same sea caves we kayaked to! We were able to see up close how the tide has formed the rocks. This was such a cool experience and something I’ve never done anywhere else. 


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Saint John Ale House

After a day exploring the Bay of Fundy, head back to Saint John and catch a bite on the patio of Saint John Ale House at Market Square Boardwalk. This restaurant is owned by Top Chef alumn, Jesse Vergen. They had lots of options for upscale pub food. We got the scallops, pork cutlets and SJAH fries to share. It’s a great spot to enjoy a summer night.

Hopscotch Whiskey Bar

Next up we stopped by Hopscotch Whisky Bar. If you’re a whiskey lover, this bar is a must in Saint John. It’s the only whiskey bar in Saint John and has a super intimate space. They have an impressive menu with over 150 whiskeys! I got their bourbon & basil cocktail, super refreshing. 

Day 3:

Irving Nature Park

On the City’s west side you can experience the scenic winding coastal road and nature trails on the shores of the Bay of Fundy at Irving Nature Park. We walked along the ‘seal trail.’ It was a beautiful walk through the forest and offered incredible views of the beach. On our way out we were lucky to spot a deer in the trees. You can also enjoy views from multiple observation decks and take a walk along the boardwalk through the saltwater marsh.




We worked up quite an appetite after Irving Nature Park so headed for lunch at VEGolution. This restaurant had a cute seating area and a delicious menu! It offers a fun mix of culinary and comfort food that’s all vegetarian.Their menu changes frequently but if the haloumi and smoked sweet potato fries are offered, make sure to get them! 

Saint John City Market

Next door to VEGolution is the Saint John City Market, the oldest continuous market in North America. It’s been open 6 days a week since 1876. It withstood the Great Fire of 1877 that burned much of the city around it. You’ll find everything from country vendors, craftspeople, souvenirs, treats and more. It’s always fun to walk through markets and check out the local vendors. The first thing that caught my eye was the caramel cannoli from The Baking Stone. On our way out,  I couldn’t leave without trying the s’mores mocha latte from Java Moose

Exploring Uptown

I took my coffee to go and we explored uptown. Near the City Market, you’ll find King’s Square, a lovely park with a fountain in the middle. From there we walked to Princess/Canterbury to see this new mural from Dodo Ose, a graffiti artist and fine art painter. You’ll find plenty of murals in Saint John. I also loved seeing all the old buildings lining the street. This was also a great opportunity to enjoy the arts and culture scene of Saint John. There are plenty of galleries where you can celebrate local art. Sarah Jones Gallery focuses on painting, sculpture and installation-based work by contemporary Atlantic Canadian artists. Handworks Gallery is a local artisan showcase of fine art, craft, and jewellery. 


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Reversing Rapids

The reversing rapids are a unique natural phenomenon that’s created by the collision of powerful tides of the Bay of Fundy and Saint John River. You’ll see nature’s tug of war before your eyes as the tides collide. If you time it just right, you can watch the Bay of Fundy’s monstrously high tide reverse the flow of the mighty Saint John River.

Five and Dime

You’ll find vinyl records and microbrews at Five and Dime in Saint John. The Elton John tunes pulled me into this spot in uptown Saint John. It was just steps from the giant moon of the bazaar making it a perfect spot to grab a drink. 

Happinez Wine Bar

You’ll find this wine bar tucked away in uptown Saint John. If you’re a wine lover you’ll want to stop by here. Do a wine and cheese pairing or take one of their international flights where you can try different wines from all over the world. 

Where to Stay

We stayed at the Hilton across from Market Square. This was an ideal location for our stay. Everything was easily accessible and within minutes from our hotel. 

Who To Bring With You

Saint John truly has something for everyone and every traveler type. Whether you want to bring your partner for a romantic getaway or make it a family vacation, you can easily tailor your vacation for both. It’s also a great spot for business with its impressive lineup of restaurants and team bonding activities. No matter who you’re with you’re sure to fall in love with this gem of the East Coast! 


As soon as I returned from this trip I was raving about Saint John to all my friends. I encourage you to discover all that is has to offer for yourself!  From the amazing restaurants, the beauty of the Bay of Fundy and friendly locals, you’re sure to have a trip you won’t forget! 


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Thank you to Discover Saint John for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.  I’m so grateful to be able to experience this incredible city and share it with you. I hope it inspires your own travels and adventures in Saint John or #SaintAwesome as they like to call it. ? 

Content updated to reflect 2020 itinerary changes.

The inspiration for Little Miss Ottawa is my love for travel. When I visit a new city I always try and see and do as much as I can. This made me think, why aren’t I doing this at home? This started my adventures as Little Miss Ottawa and my conscious effort to see Ottawa through travelers’ eyes.

Hope you enjoy following my adventures through my photos ?

-Julia Weber

Land acknowledgement

The Saint John Region is situated on the traditional and unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik, Mi’Kmaq, and Peskotomuhkati Nations. This territory is covered by Peace and Friendship Treaties signed with the British Crown in the 1700s. The treaties did not surrender the territory and resources, but recognized Wolastoqiyik, Mi’Kmaq, and Peskotomuhkati title, and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations.

Envision Saint John: The Regional Growth Agency pays respect to the elders, past and present, and descendants of this land, and is committed to moving forward in the spirit of truth, collaboration, and reconciliation.