Tucked into the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick’s largest city is home to Canada’s oldest indie brewery, Moosehead, stunning waterfalls and great spots for whale-watching.
1. Ultimate surf and turf
You can taste the love in the food at the East Coast Bistro. Husband-and-wife chefs Tim Muehlbauer and Kim Steele serve up comfort classics like fresh fish and apple crumble. Savour a seasonal cocktail on the back patio, and make sure you try the bacon they smoke in-house. 60 Prince William St.
2. Arts and architecture
The old library building that houses the Saint John Arts Centre is as much of a draw as the artwork inside. Check out the original mosaic flooring, the stained glass skylight and exhibits by hot New Brunswick artists. 20 Peel Plaza.
3. Luxe lather
Locals go crazy for the all-natural soaps handcrafted in New Brunswick Olivier’s. Don’t miss the vitamin E and carrot soap, nicknamed “Botox in a box.” 42 Water St.
4. Blissful buys
Step into the Feel Good Store and you’ll understand how it got its name. People come for the natural bath and body products and healthy foodstuffs, but they stay for the ambience, getting comfy with a coffee on couches at the back. 89 Germain St.
Stuart McLean, host of CBC’s Vinyl Café, says Backstreet Records is one of Canada’s best music shops — and he’s right. For 32 years patrons have come here to score great finds. Feel free to ask about rarer items on the wall behind the cash; they’re for sale too! 124 Germain St.
6. Personality pub
The Saint John Ale House is a pub with character, thanks to larger-than-life owner Peter Stoddart. He’s an ambassador of microbrewed beers, including Moosehead, so fresh the kegs last only four days. Get acquainted with his shenanigans before you visit on his video blog. P.S. When warm weather hits, the waterfront patio is the place to be. 1 Market Square.
7. Design fix
Just over the Throughway you’ll find the latest project of local entrepreneur Judith Mackin: Tuck Studio, an interiors boutique packed with ethically produced contemporary Canadian and Scandinavian design. Mackin curates the selection housed on the ground floor of her modern home. 40 Autumn St.