What to see, do and eat in St. Andrews and the surrounding area.
1. Off Kilter Bike Tour. Take in breathtaking ocean views, learn the town's history and get some exercise as you bike to local attractions–all while wearing a custom cycling kilt. Owner Kurt Gumushel's father, a tailor, moved to St. Andrews from Turkey in the 1960s and became known for the beautiful kilts he made. He started a new trend when he made kilts for local mountain bikers a few years ago–something tourists can experience during one of Kurt's bike tours.
2. Sunbury Shores Art and Nature Centre. Art and nature are two important themes in St. Andrews and they come together in this renovated workshop/exhibition space, featuring galleries, studios for painting, printmaking, jewellery making and gorgeous view of the Bay of Fundy. Sign up for a workshop or simply tour The Water Street Gallery, which features rotating exhibitions from local artists.
3. Symbiosis Fine Art. Artist and entrepreneur Matt Watkins opened his gallery/shop four years ago and features pottery, painting, jewellery and photography created by himself and other local artists. Watkins specializes in custom jewellery (most of the jewellery in the shop is made in-house), painting, silversmithing and sculpture. (He also teaches workshops in these areas at Sunbury Shores.) Symbiosis is just one of the many beautiful boutiques along the main strip that features one-of-a-kind artwork, jewellery, gifts and more.
4. Oven Head Salmon Smokers. Debra and Joseph Thorne have owned and operated their smoked salmon business for 29 years. Specializing in smoked salmon, smoked salmon pate and smoked salmon jerky, they supply their cold-smoked salmon products to Sobeys, catering companies and local restaurants, including The Algonquin Resort. And they ship anywhere in Canada and the U.S., so if you can't make it to their shop (or if you love what you tried there), you can get it delivered straight to your front door.
5. Ossie’s Lunch. Established in 1957, this retro roadside stop offers an extensive menu featuring all the local delicacies, including fried oyster sandwiches, clams and chips and lobster rolls. Can’t choose just one? Go for the seafood platter and taste a little bit of everything.
6. New River Beach. Dip your toes in the Bay of Fundy with a stop at the scenic New River Beach Provincial Park. Boasting sandy beaches, cliffside hiking trails and tidal pools, this is a must if you're traveling during the spring or summer.
Where to stay, what to eat and do:
Grand getaway: The Algonquin Resort
This 128-year-old hotel offers a luxurious base for your seaside getaway. You'll be in good company; past guests include Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as well as former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Thanks to a recent $50-million reno, the building has been outfitted with a new fitness centre and pool, not to mention totally updated decor, yet the iconic hotel still has much of its historic charm—and, apparently, its ghosts!
Room with a view: The Rossmount Inn Hotel Restaurant & Bar
Owners Chris and Graziella Aerni have converted an old estate manor into a quaint inn, offering guests comfortable accommodations, a fullservice breakfast and scenic views of Passamaquoddy Bay and the St. Croix River. Dinner at the inn's restaurant will be a highlight—but reserve early, as it books up quickly.
Casual lunch: Niger Reef Tea House
Grab a seat on the patio and enjoy fresh homemade food, along with views of the ocean and St. Andrews Blockhouse National Historic Site of Canada, a coastal fort that dates back to the War of 1812. Fresh seafood reigns (picks include smoked salmon, quinoa-crusted crab cakes and the grilled lobster sammy), but the lamb ragout and the curried chicken sandwich are equally good.
Caffeine Fix: Honeybeans Coffee, Tea & Treats
This sweet spot on the main strip is the perfect place to grab a cuppa and the best scones in town.
Winter: Gallery tour
Duck into the galleries and boutiques along the main strip to see art, sculptures, jewellery and crafts from local artisans.
Spring: Kingsbrae Garden
The Flemer family transformed this 11-hectare estate into a series of beautiful public gardens. Don't miss the sculpture garden, which highlights two important themes in St. Andrews: nature and art.
Summer: Whale watching
Spot minke, fin and humpback whales from one of the Fundy Tide Runners Whale Watching and Nature Tours' boats.
Fall: Ministers Island
Accessible by driving across the ocean floor at low tide, the island was once the summer home of Sir William Van Horne, the former president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Tour what was once his cottage and barn, then hike or bike the island's trails.