St Andrews

Overview

Introduction

Also known as St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, this relatively small, picturesque old town near the Maine border and 85 mi/135 km southwest of Fredericton was founded by British Loyalists who wanted to escape the newly independent U.S. in the 1780s. Today, one of the town's main attractions is the Huntsman Aquarium, a small aquarium with a child-friendly "touch pool." The Ross Memorial Museum focuses on local history, antique furniture and Asian items.

We also recommend a visit to the St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site, which was built during the War of 1812, and to St. Andrews Gardens, a nice place for a picnic. Don't miss the quaint shops on Water Street.

A short drive across the ocean floor (at low tide) will take you to Ministers Island where you can take a tour of Sir William Van Horne's visionary 50-room home with greenhouses, windmill and tennis courts. If you’re planning an overnight stay, consider the Fairmont Algonquin Hotel, built in 1889 and known now as the Castle-by-the-Sea.

The Tides of Passamaquoddy Bay, the bay that surrounds the St. Andrews peninsula, raise water levels 28 ft/9 m or more twice a day. The transition from low to high tide takes more than six hours and 2.25 billion tons of water. The phenomena uncovers 6 sq mi/15 sq km of intertidal beach just waiting to be explored for sea creatures and historical artifacts left behind.

New River Beach Provincial Park (25 mi/40 km east of St. Andrews) is the only major sandy stretch on the Fundy shore. It offers campsites, a long saltwater beach, cliffside hiking trails and some special programs, such as guided ghost walks and an annual sand-sculpture contest. Be warned that bad weather systems often stall over this area, and a short drive to Saint John will prove it.

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