Ryan and I spent a weekend travelling around New Brunswick this summer, and it was really the first time we spent any length of time in this province. Usually we are only driving through it on our way from Nova Scotia to Quebec or Maine. We had planned to take the ferry from Digby, NS to Saint John, NB, as it saves quite a bit of time driving, however the remnants of a hurricane were blowing through and it was cancelled at the last minute.
I packed a picnic for the ferry ride as it was over dinner time, but instead it meant we didn't have to make any stops. Snacks are always so important when we're on a road trip. Snacks keep us happy!
Our first evening was spent in a town we love called Saint Andrews By-the-Sea. It's quaint little seaside town with lots of old historic homes.
Most of the rentals have their own little private balcony or deck area.
There's a vibrant downtown area with outdoor cafes and dining, as well as many of your typical vacation-town shops. There are also some really interesting old homes, many of which are designated, on the surrounding streets that we like to drive by. If you have time, I also recommend visiting Kingsburg Historical Gardens and browsing through Macklem House Antiques. Another highly recommended place to stay, that we haven't stayed at yet, is the Algonquin Hotel. It's an iconic, grand hotel set up on the hill. Though if you do book a room there, I've been told by a few frequenters to request the original part of the hotel.
There are also deer everywhere. I imagine it's quite an issue for residents, but as a visitor who doesn't have to maintain a flower bed or vegetable patch, it adds to the charm of the town. If your thing is stalking old homes along the water, I highly recommend driving along Joes Point Rd, near the Algonquin Golf Course. And in town, pop into Crocker Hill. It's an adorable little shop that's packed to the gills with all of the best things - chocolate creams in every flavour, fragrant soaps and the most beautiful English water cans in every colour.
We then drove North to do the Acadian Coastal Drive. We stayed right in the Historic Acadian Village, which wasn't anything like we expected, and then took the coastal drive all the way across and down towards Nova Scotia.
There are so many beautiful beaches to stop at along the way.
This is Kelly Beach.
The Irving Eco-centre was another great beach and a really beautiful facility - though in my opinion, adding cedar shakes and a weather vane to anything makes it infinitely more lovely.
And who doesn't love a good boardwalk?
As I mentioned before, the place we had booked for our second night wasn't anything like what we expected. We understood that it was a bed and breakfast near the Historic Acadian Village (Historique Village Acadien), and part of the package included admission to the grounds. When we arrived however, we discovered the that hotel we were staying in, Chateau Albert Hotel, is the actual 1907 replica hotel in the middle of the village! In fact, what we thought would have been a small historic village, made up of a few old homes and old buildings, is actually a massive 2 km circuit that shows the life of the Acadian people through history. It begins with the oldest parts depicting life in 1773, up to the newer village buildings showing life in the 1950's. It was way too much for us to do in the short time we set aside for it, so instead, we decided we would bring the boys back and spend a weekend seeing it.
The couple little buildings right near the hotel made it a really interesting place to stay. Even the hotel itself was interesting. It was kind of like staying in a museum! All around you, people show up to work in the village in period costume, and they try to keep the hotel fairly historically accurate, meaning there were only the necessary modern conveniences (no TV in the room!).
But the room... It made me smile.
It was perfectly simple, but well done. I had to give you a little tour of it!
We actually squished together and shared the double bed. I knew it was a double ahead of time, so I arranged to rent a cot for Ryan to sleep on, as I figured he'd want more space... (we're used to a king!). They do have other rooms with queen beds, but honestly, I just liked this room and bathroom too much.
Whoever did the design of the hotel did a brilliant job on so many details. Antique pieces and artwork were used throughout, and I loved the colour palette they went with.
I packed accordingly.
I also loved the simple bathroom with such timeless fixtures. Nothing grand at all, but still so classic and clean.
Can we start bringing back toilets like this? I'll never forget, my aunt had one in her house.
This is the main hallway. Again, I love the brass fixtures chosen, and matching hardware. Even the wallpaper was lovely.
There was a terrace that you could sit on that overlooked this part of the village and it made the perfect spot for breakfast in the morning.
We really look forward to returning and being able to do the whole experience. We've been studying the Acadian people in History since moving here to Nova Scotia, and really learning about them for the first time. When we return, I'll share more on the village itself, but for now, if you're planning any trips to New Brunswick this summer, I highly recommend adding these places to your itinerary!