East coast getaway: Our New Brunswick road trip

by W. Andrew Powell
Algonquin Resort

Give me the open road, a reliable car, and some time with my family, and I’m a very happy guy, especially when I get to drive to the east coast for a little time away.

I grew up in New Brunswick, and I absolutely love a bit of vacation time to explore along any coast, so it was frankly a treat to get back to spend time with my family out there, and enjoy the scenery.

Driving from Toronto is a long trek, but I love it, and there are a lot of places to stop along the way. We also managed to rent a Ford Expedition Max for the trip from National Car rental, and that made the whole trip a lot easier.

I drove the Expedition last summer, and once again it was a great drive thanks to the great mileage, and all of the space in the backseat, and in the trunk for luggage. The SUV has a lot of features that basically help keep everyone happy on longer trips, but most of all I’d say the vehicle is just overall very comfortable, even on a longer drive.

We didn’t drive the whole way in one go, so we stopped over night in Quebec to break up the trip, and then arrived in Saint John for a few days before heading to one of New Brunswick’s most beautiful towns: St. Andrews By-The-Sea.

King’s Square in Uptown Saint John
King’s Square in Uptown Saint John

Saint John is a surprising city, and it has only gotten better with age, thanks to the fact that the core of the city, called the Uptown, has been turning into a food and drink haven in the province. Old buildings are being converted into restaurants, cafes, and bars, and they’re serving some of the provinces very impressive craft beers, wines, and cuisine.

The city is also central to a lot of experiences along the Fundy coast, and within the city or less than an hour away, you can explore the Irving Nature Park, Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark, the beautiful town of St. Martins, the Reversing Rapids, and one of my favourite places, King’s Square and the Saint John City Market.

We went hiking in the Irving Nature Park, walked around Uptown Saint John and bought goodies from the market (I always have to buy some dulse from Slocum & Ferris), and I spent a little time trying some NB brews at a couple of bars Uptown.

And then there was St. Andrews By-The-Sea. We only had three days there, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve been in the quaint, beautiful town, but it was a major highlight of the trip. We loved the town, and especially all of the nearby beaches.

We stayed in the best hotel in the province, the Algonquin Resort, and between the food, the atmosphere, the views, and the relaxing mood there, it was really hard to leave.

The Algonquin Resort at dusk
The Algonquin Resort at dusk

The resort has two pools, a spa, an excellent restaurant and a bar, the most perfectly comfortable rooms, and a front lawn that has fire pits and games. Not to mention they also have two dogs to welcome everyone, Bentley and Sydney.

There’s a lot to talk about for both Saint John and St. Andrews, so I’m working on a road trip story, a story on each destination, and I also shot a lot of photos, videos, and drone footage as well. For now though, I just had to say that if you’re still thinking about going somewhere this summer, New Brunswick is a wonderful destination, especially if you want to get outdoors and enjoy the sun, the views, and the food and drink.

Stay tuned next week for some of the first pieces on the trip, and otherwise check out some of my social posts below for some highlights from the road trip, and you can watch my Instagram Stories too. We also stopped in Quebec City, and Upper Canada Village on the way back, so I’m working on stories about those destinations as well.

Looking for more travel stories? Visit our Canadian Travel Guide for ideas across the country.

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