Saint John, New Brunswick, also known as "Port City," has some of the highest tides in the world. It's situated where the mouth of the mighty St. John River meets the Bay of Fundy. The funnel-shaped dip in the Atlantic coastline creates tides of up to 55 ft/17 m twice a day. At high tide, the water in the harbor rises an average of 28 ft/9 m and forces the St. John River to flow backward.
But Saint John has much more to offer than a simple maritime vacation. Rich in historic architecture, its Trinity Royal area boasts some of the best-preserved, ornate Victorian-era architecture anywhere. Intricately carved fruits and flowers festoon grand brick buildings, and stone gargoyles stare down from the windows of the historic business district.
The rich tapestry of the past unfolds in Saint John, the oldest incorporated city in Canada. Partridge Island in Saint John Harbour is Canada's Ellis Island, the first quarantine station for immigrants making their way into the country. As many as 2,000 people died there in the latter part of the 19th century. The site, although now closed to visitors, can be seen from shore.
Saint John is also a treasure trove of eco-attractions—from Hopewell Rocks, where you can actually walk on the ocean floor, to parks and beaches inhabited by hundreds of wildlife species. Saint John also boasts the Reversing Falls, a phenomenon created by the awesome force of the changing tide twice a day. Famous for its fog days, or "nature's air-conditioning," it's the perfect place to escape from the heat of summer.
As one of the largest cities in New Brunswick, Saint John is also an international port destination with a bustling marketplace. Boutiques, family-owned businesses and local artisans thrive there. We love the internal pedway system (called the Inside Connection) that connects the waterfront to the entire uptown core.
In recent years, Saint John has experienced an ecological awakening. A clean harbor, newly planted trees and pathways through parks comprise the first phase of a vast waterfront redevelopment that promises to put the Saint John harbor firmly on the cruising map.
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