English actor and theatre director Sir Arthur John Gielgud said, “I am all in favour of spontaneity, providing it is carefully planned and ruthlessly controlled.”
St. Andrews and the surrounding area is best experienced with a careful mix of planning and impulsive fun!
If you are planning to take advantage of a time-saving and picturesque ferry ride to reach the area – Digby, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick, for example – you will want to check the ferry schedule well in advance and make a reservation to secure your spot and avoid waiting in lines.
St. Andrews is the hub of accommodation choices for the area and you can stay any way you wish! When visiting, there are plenty of options from camping, Bed & Breakfasts, AirBnB and motels, to luxury hotel resorts and inns. But you will want to plan ahead and make advance reservations for exactly where you will lay your head down to avoid disappointment. Use the links on this site to browse all the choices and contact the accommodation providers well before your arrival.
The Bay of fundy is the only place in the province of New Brunswick to whale watch and have experiences with marine wildlife and birds such as puffins. It’s always best to book these adventures in advance – use the links on this site to browse all the choices and contact the tour operators well before your arrival.
Breakfast, Lunch and… Dinner?
St. Andrews offers a perfect combination of upscale dining and Maritime comfort food. From its range of contemporary dining experiences to traditional pubs, cafés, chocolateries, sandwich shops and breweries, there is something to tempt everybody’s taste buds. Depending on the season and the day of the week, however, dining establishments may be closed to re-stock, prep and give their teams a much-needed break. This is where a mix of spontaneity and planning is key!
With over a half-dozen coffee, pastry and breakfast establishments, the first meal of the day is an easy one to leave to chance and it’s fun to try to a few different spots during your visit.
At midday, when you return from an adventure or when your tummy tells you it’s time for lunch or a snack, it is once again easy to find lots of great choices.
In the evenings, St. Andrews foodie reputation takes over and it’s a good idea to plan ahead and make reservations, especially if you are seeking a unique experience or celebrating a special occasion. Where reservations are not possible, it’s a good idea to visit the restaurant early and get in line or on a wait list. Restaurant kitchens also close early compared to international standards, so advance planning avoids disappointment!
Days & Tides
Some events and experiences in St. Andrews and the area only occur on certain days or times.
Located downtown on the corner of King and Water Streets in Market Square, the St. Andrews Farmers’ Market is a treasured staple to the people of St. Andrews and a great stop for visitors. The seasonal seaside open-air market of 50+ vendors offers a wide variety of fresh 100% local produce, delicious ethnic foods, specialty foods, home baking and unique handcrafted gifts from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm on Thursdays from May to October, with other additional special markets throughout the year.
Ministers Island is 500 acres of history and beauty – and a must-see when visiting St. Andrews. But in order to drive across the ocean floor, explore the National Historic Site, hike the nature trails or attend a Sunday Island concert you will need to check the opening times which change daily according to the tides.
An Organic Experience
There are so many things to see and do in St. Andrews that do not require advance planning, you can easily fill a few days with fun and relaxation at your own pace.
The Huntsman Marine Science Centre Fundy Discovery Aquarium is open 7 days a week from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and you will learn about the perfectly positioned Bay of Fundy and the marine life that lives in its waters. This experience is fun for the whole family.
Also open 7 days a week from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm is Kingsbrae Garden, a multi-award winning 27-acre horticultural masterpiece located right in the heart of St. Andrews where you will see over 50,000 perennials in themed gardens, along with ponds, streams, animals and birds – and dozens of remarkable sculptures. An exciting series of seasonal events and festivals at Kingsbrae does require some advance planning, however, so check the website for dates and times.
And the great thing about the natural beauty of the area is you never have to make a reservation or get in a line to become immersed in nature while hiking the trails, walking on the beach or exploring the past with a stroll around town.