Welcome to Canada’s oldest seaside resort town, established in 1783. This small town is just a short drive away from my childhood house. Whenever I am home, I always try to stop into St. Andrews. These are my 3 favourite things to do in St. Andrews, NB when you visit:
- Eat as much seafood as you can! All the restaurants have a selection of seafood on their menu, including the local pizza place.
- Walk on the beach or stroll down the wharf. The air is fresh and the views are spectacular!
- Go off the beaten path. There are many different hiking trails to choose from in the surrounding area. Each trail features New Brunswick’s nature at its best!
On my most recent short trip back home, I squeezed in a few activities. Keep reading to discover some of my favourite places to eat, beach strolls, and two local hiking trails.
Seafood by the Seashore & Other Delicious Meals!
Located right beside the town square, this is one of the few local pubs in town. It was a windy day so we sat inside instead of on the patio facing the water. They have a great seafood selection on the menu with a gluten-free menu available by request. I ordered a lobster roll with no fries. The roll came out and I was happy to see that they served it up in a classic hot dog bun stuffed with tons of lobster. Every bite was seafood heaven!
This popular little roadside take-out spot is in Chamcook, just on your way into town. I grew up going to place often as a kid. The white building with its iconic red roof was just a 1-minute drive away from my grandmother’s house. When I was little, I would always make up reasons of why we needed to stop for an ice cream or a fish platter. The way they prepare their food has not changed since then. Everything they serve is fresh, cooked from scratch, and locally sourced. It is one of the few places where you can get fresh fries cut from New Brunswick potatoes. Their hamburgers are made from fresh ground beef bought from a nearby butcher. The scallops come from the Bay of Fundy. They only fish they serve is haddock, my favourite kind!
I walked up to the ordering window and paid for my fish burger platter and Dad’s fish & chips. I did not have to wait long before my number was called out over the speakers. We got our food to take home, but they have many red picnic tables if you want to stay there and eat. I was so excited about my meal I taste-tested some of my fries in the truck. Their fries are fresh and crispy. The fish burger had two generous pieces of fish on it and tangy tartar sauce. The fish had a good ratio of batter to fish. This place is a roadside must on your way into St. Andrews.
The main attraction is their sandwich station where you can order traditional sandwiches, subs, and croissants. They have freshly made bread to go and everything is reasonably priced. Just order at the sandwich station counter, grab your sandwich and take a seat. You tally up your bill and pay at the front counter on your way out. I got a multi-grain croissant BLT and a strawberry shortcake for dessert. Once we got our food, I headed towards the back deck where there are a few tables set up facing the water. It was a perfect mix of wind and sun.
Whenever I am home and craving coffee, I head into town. This little café serves up hot and iced coffees. They have been keeping the locals caffeinated for the last 10 years and were the first place to craft speciality coffees in the local area. One hot afternoon after strolling on the beach, I headed there and ordered up an Iced Mochaccino with fresh whipped cream to keep me cool.
Local Restaurant Patio Tip: If you are looking to eat right beside the water visit The Gables Restaurant patio.
Enjoy the breeze from the Bay!
St. Andrews Wharf
We took a walk down the wharf that extends out in the harbour. The tide was down and the wind was up. I love visiting during low tide to spy on what sea creatures are hiding just under the water’s edge in the shade. This time around we found some starfish on the landing dock. My cousin’s job makes her very familiar with the ocean and she used her expertise to carefully get a starfish that we could take a closer look at. They do not mind it as long as they are not out of the water for too long. We took a couple of photos then put them back where we found them.
Please Note: I only recommend doing this if you know how to do it safely for you and the starfish. Please be aware of the dangers of the ocean – Do not fall in. Be respectful of the sea life – Always treat sea life with care, do not harm them in any way.
Local Tip: If you want to have a look at the local sea life in a controlled environment, I highly recommend the Jolly Breeze, a tall ship whale watching tour. Not only do they take you travelling on the bay searching for whales, they have a touch tank with many different types of sea creatures on the boat. If you are looking for a larger touch tank, visit the local Huntsman Aquarium.
Right along Water Street close to the Wharf are two beautiful photo-worthy murals. One is on the side of Cockburn’s Corner Drug Store and the other is across the street on the Home Hardware building. Of course, I had to stop and get a quick photo in front of them!
Beachcombing near the Bar Road
No trip to St. Andrews is complete without a walk along the water. With the Passamaquoddy Bay surrounding the town on almost all sides, walkable beaches are just about everywhere. I like to visit Bar Road for my beachcombing. It is located right beside Ministers Island and when the tide is down you can watch as the cars drive across the ocean floor over to the island. This beach is very rocky and you never know what you will find; green beach glass, red rocks, and an assortment of seashells.
Explore the local trails
The local area has so many trails to hike. With my small amount of time, I only explored two of them with my cousins. Both trails are short hikes with a bit of driving to get to them.
This is just off the main highway on Kerr’s road. The only place you can park is on the side of the road. You should be able to see a sign from the road. The trail is well maintained and marked with pink and orange ribbons. We walked through lush woods, with a good amount of shade and moss growing through the forest. Big boulders brought here by the glaciers sit along the trail. Bug spray is a must in this shady humid atmosphere! The short walk runs parallel to the highway. This is my favourite local waterfall. It is only little but very easy to explore along the sides and up top. It’s a great spot to take photos.
Just off Stillwater Road, this trail starts as a 4-wheeler trail then branches off into the woods. There are not any markers but you can hear the river from the trail. We came out by a small waterfall with a large flat rock surrounded by wildflowers, perfect for picnics. This freshwater river leads into the salt water basin below. If you walk farther down you can get to the larger waterfall. We enjoyed relaxing by the river, watched the frogs play, and did not explore further down.
Note: This link here to more information on how to find this place. We entered on the trail close to where this website has “Woods Road Trail” marked.
Click the map below to find all these spots on Google Maps
PS – Looking for a place to stay in St. Andrews? My favourite place is The Picket Fence Motel. They have the cutest rooms and the owner is super nice and helpful!
Have you visited beautiful St. Andrews by the sea before? If so, what are your favourite places to explore there? Let me know in the comments below or tweet at me here.