"The City on the Bay of Fundy" Top 5 Page for this destination Saint John by Jefie

Saint John Travel Guide: 113 reviews and 219 photos

In July 2008, I spent a week in Saint John to watch my nephew compete at the National Karate Championships. I had never been to Saint John before so I did try to make the most of every spare moment we had to walk around the city and try to discover a bit of its history.

Although Saint John had been a thriving little town for many decades, what really helped shape the city into what it is today was the arrival of about 14,000 Loyalists, a large group of British colonists who chose to leave the United States after the American Revolution. They came to Saint John apparently determined to create a new "Boston" - they set up a successful shipbuilding industry and developed elaborate urban plans, complete with a public garden and different public squares. Thousands of Irish immigrants also came to Saint John in the 1840s and contributed to turning the city into one of the Maritimes' leading industrial centers. However, the great fire of 1877 - and, in my opinion, the weather - forced some residents to relocate elsewhere in the country and although it is still New Brunswick's most important industrial center, Saint John doesn't exactly have the same kind of charm other Maritimes cities have.

Over the past few years, many efforts have been put into place to revamp the "uptown" part of the city, creating different historic walking tours, cleaning up the buildings, and making sure there are always plenty of activities going on around the harbour. They've been successful for the most part - although you don't have to walk too far to see some pretty run-down streets, there's enough to keep you busy for a day or two in the city, especially if you happen to be there during some of the rare fog-free days. So although I wouldn't necessarily pick Saint John as my next summer vacations spot, I did bring back plenty of good memories from my trip which I'll do my best to sum up in a few travel tips!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A lot of historic sites, and nature close at hand
  • Cons:THE FOG!!!!!
  • In a nutshell:Would have loved to see more, but couldn't handle the fog anymore!
  • Last visit to Saint John: Jul 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (15)

Comments (5)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 3, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    The arrival of 14,000 Loyalists all at once must have doubled or tripled the population.
    Good that you saw some of the sights despite the fog.

  • Aug 7, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    The 2009 rates for Cherry Brook Zoo are different than shown here: Adults - $9, Seniors-$7, Age 13-17 is $6; 3-12 is $4.50, under 3 is free and family is $23

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Aug 23, 2008 at 4:49 PM

    Isa, here is wishing you a happy birthday!! This is a great page on Saint John, but for today at least, I hope you are enjoying yourself in sunshine instead of fog! I was actually born in the place so know what you are talking about.

  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2008 at 5:22 AM

    nice page. looks like good hiking terretory.

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2008 at 2:46 AM

    Hi Isa, Despite the fog it looks like you had a good time. Now I know about St John the "fog" will keep me clear of the city.


“"Travel is fatal to narrow-mindedness"”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 4 8
Forum Rank:
0 0 1 6 6

Badges & Stats in Saint John

  • 15 Reviews
  • 31 Photos
  • 1 Forum posts
  • 1,266PageViews

Have you been to Saint John?

  Share Your Travels  

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)