We continue our road trip in New Brunswick by exploring the cities of Saint John and Saint Andrews. 2 English-speaking towns bathed by the Bay of Fundy in the south of the province. 2 styles, 2 atmospheres but great discoveries in prospect in Saint John and Saint Andrews!
Visit charming Saint John
The city of Saint John is often overlooked by visitors on a roadtrip in New Brunswick. At best, it serves as a supply point during the Bay of Fundy stage. To avoid spending too much time in the car and since the sun was with us, we decided to take a few hours to walk around the city.
We find a pay per hour parking lot at the entrance to town that can accommodate our RV at Union and Maint Street intersection. We decide to join the Saint John City Market. These are the oldest commercial halls in the city. They are open every day with local producers.
We continue our crossing towards King Park and its fountain kiosk which is the joy of children who come to enjoy the water on this sunny day.
Then we decide to just walk through downtown Saint John to discover the pretty houses in the street blocks between Princess Street, Duke Street and Canterbury Street. We discover Grannan Street a bit by chance between Canterbury and Germain Street. Its small alleys, lounges bars and coxy cafes give it a little village feel in the city. Finally, we descend King Street to Market Square Wharf towards the lighthouse before following the Harbor Passage Trail.
Finally, to better understand the extent of the Saint John, we take height at Fort Howe which overlooks the city with its illuminated letters. An excellent free spot for a break.
We resume our journey to Saint Andrews without stopping at Reversing Falls. Indeed, we have read several comments which indicate that the price is disproportionate to what we are able to see in the water. We prefer to ignore it.
Discover Saint Andrews in New Brunswick
We arrive in Saint Andrews in the early afternoon. We are surprisingly surprised by the spirit of a small holiday village that reigns there. Many people stroll in the Water Street shopping street: restaurants, ice cream, confectionery, decoration or clothing stores. We feel that the tourist attraction is very present.
After looking for a place to park our RV (all the parking lots in the city are free, but many refuse RVs and the prohibition signs are numerous), we set off to explore Water Street and the harbor with all the small boats. moored in the bay. Although it is low tide, the view is really splendid on the water and the surroundings. We will be able to see the number of very large houses with breathtaking views of the water but also all the B & Bs which offer very beautiful terraces.
But if we came to Saint Andrews, it is especially for one of the flagship activities of this small coastal village: the excursions to see the whales.
How to see whales from Saint Andrews?
Saint Andrews is undoubtedly the main departure point for cruises to meet whales in New Brunswick. Moreover, several companies share this juicy market for boat tours in the bay. They are all located on the edge of the pontoon, in a small street in the city.
After our cruise to Les Escoumins which allowed us to see very large whales very closely, this time we chose to go by zodiac.
It’s with the company Fundy Tide Runners ($ 78) that we ship. With 9 other people in a medium-sized zodiac. Although the weather is pretty good that day, we are all equipped with red flotation suits (safety issue). Real astronauts ready for adventure!
Our experience with Fundy Tide Runners
The tour lasts about 2 hours but the advantage of the zodiac is its power and therefore its ability to quickly reach areas to see whales. The boat is very stable and there is very little chance of getting sick.
We start by reaching one of the seal’s favorite spots. There will only be a few of them enjoying the sun on their rock or playing in the water, but the main thing for us is to be able to see them.
The ride continues to another spot known for its whales. 2 or 3 other boats are in the vicinity. The captains communicate regularly to give each other the positions of the last sharks spotted. We will eventually attend several whale shows. One of which will approach within 20m of the boat before plunging back quietly. They are Milky Whales, one of the smallest whales in the bay at 10m long.
After nearly 1 hour 30 minutes on the water as close as possible to the whales, it’s time to head straight back to the port at full throttle.
We are delighted to have been able to see seals and whales. Like all animals in their natural environment, it is never guaranteed to come across them. On the other hand, we believe that exits from Tadoussac or Les Escoumins allow you to see them better and for longer.
Where to sleep in Saint John and Saint Andrews?
In Saint John
- Chateau Saint John : The quality standards of the Wyndham group that we take pleasure in rediscovering after a day of discovery. Queen rooms with private bathroom, wifi and breakfast from $ 140 per night with free cancellation.
- Mahogany Manor Bed & Breakfast : Located in a restored 1905 house, this traveler-favorite B&B offers Queen rooms with private bathrooms, wifi and breakfast starting at $ 142 per night with free cancellation.
- Homeport Historic B&B : We appreciate the historic house that hosts this B&B without forgetting its superb view of the city from the terrace. Queen rooms with private bathroom, wifi and breakfast from $ 143 per night with free cancellation.
In Saint Andrews
- The Algonquin Resort : “Let yourself be pampered like a star while enjoying the exclusive service of The Algonquin Resort”. Queen room with private bathroom, wifi and 2 swimming pools from $ 248 per night with free cancellation.
- Seaside Beach Resort : crush on the multiple terraces to take full eyes in front of the rising tides. Queen bed studio with bathroom, air conditioning, wifi, balcony and kitchen from $ 170 per night.
- Treadwell Inn : a building typical of the region, a breathtaking view and Queen rooms with private bathroom and breakfast from $ 223 per night with free cancellation.
With our autonomous RV, we chose to sleep in the parking lot of the Historic Site of the Island of Sainte Croix north of Saint Andrews. This is a free site, attached to Parc Canada. No barrier or sign prohibiting staying overnight. The site is very quiet, the sunset is fabulous and we were alone on the scene. A real good plan to sleep very close to Saint Andrews.