Want to know what one of the BEST parts about living in Atlantic Canada in the summer is?
When everyone you know seems to be talking about how the whales this year are just ALL over the Bay of Fundy – you can easily book a last minute day or overnight trip to get in on the action.
After hearing that the humpback whales were all up in the Bay of Fundy this summer, it took me all of five minutes to make some calls, book a tour, a night at my favorite resort – the Algonquin – and call my mother to let her know we were heading to St. Andrews for a girl’s trip to hang out with some whales.
Living in New Brunswick has its perks, folks!
If you’re thinking about visiting St. Andrews in the summer month or fall months – whale watching is AWESOME until the end of October, people! – here’s how we squeezed in a ton of fun into an overnight trip!
BOOK A WHALE WATCHING TRIP
We asked around and heard that the Fundy Tide Runners zodiac whale watching tours was one of the best companies and all I can say is: YES, YES, YES!
I’ve been on A LOT of whale watching tours over the years and this was definitely one of the best tours I’ve ever been on in terms of sightings. While we didn’t get to see any humpback performing a triple-breach – we saw one showing off his tail when we got out to sea which was pretty awesome.
And of course, we saw SO many beautiful finbacks and minkes.
Photos will NEVER do the whales justice in my opinion, so I put together a little video montage of some of those moments that take your breath away.
And hey – how awesome are these floatation suits?
TREAT YOURSELF TO A NIGHT AT THE ALGONQUIN RESORT
As you may know – I LOVE the Algonquin Resort and had blogged about it earlier this year after Dan and I stayed there for our anniversary in November. It’s wild to me to think that I spent over thirty years of my life DREAMING of experiencing it one day and now, it’s become a bit of a go-to for our East Coast getaways. Getting to squeeze in a visit and stay this summer was a treat!
If you EVER have a chance to go stay at the Algonquin in the summer – make sure to take advantage of the outdoor pool. It is HEAVENLY!
And on a summer morning, I definitely recommend having breakfast on their open verandah. It’s absolutely beautiful, light, and airy and you can’t help but feel a little bit like you’ve gone back in time.
DINE AT THE CLAM DIGGER
While St. Andrews has plenty of options for a delicious dinner, we had our hearts set on checking out the famous Clam Digger for some fried clams. When I published my Best Fried Clams post earlier this summer, SO many of you mentioned the Clam Digger in St. Andrews and these clams did not disappoint. It’s a roadside stop with no indoor dining, only picnic tables, but oh em gee – it’s worth it. But don’t wait too late to go – they close promptly at 8:00pm nightly.
VISIT THE KINGSBRAE GARDENS
The Kingsbrae gardens were on my 2017 Summer Bucket List, so I was very excited to check them out this summer. They are BEAUTIFUL and well worth the admission fee, so don’t let that stop you.
And even if gardens aren’t quite you’re thing – did I mention there are RIDICULOUSLY CUTE ANIMALS? There are llamas and goats and bumblebees and birds and they do a LLAMA PARADE which is basically as incredible and awesome as it sounds.
EXPERIENCE MINISTER’S ISLAND
Our last stop before heading back home was a not-to-be-missed visit to Minister’s Island – accessible ONLY by driving across the ocean floor at low tide. Which yes, means you need to get back before high tide and can only access certain times of day.
Make sure to stop and see the horses when you first get on the island if they’re around!
On Minister’s Island, you’ll find Sir William Van Horne’s Estate, which again – is not to be missed. The main home was built in 1891 and trust me when I say, this is the neatest piece of history to explore.
There is a $10 per person entrance fee to access the island but this gets you into all properties on the island associated with the Van Horne Estate.
At the house, you can choose to do a guided tour or explore at your own pace. We only had an hour to do the island because of the tides, so we opted for exploring the house on our own but I’m sure the tour is fantastic if you have the chance to do it.
Whatever you do, MAKE SURE to walk down to the water to check out the incredible bath house! Built in 1912, the Bathhouse is built from red sandstone blasted from the beach below. The tide fills in a man-made outdoor salt-water pool in the rocks, which I can only imagine how cool that would have been to swim in back in the day.
For more details on visiting Minister’s Island, click here.
If you’ve never visited St. Andrews by the Sea, have always dreamed of staying at the Algonquin, or you’ve just GOT to see some whales before the season is over – what are you waiting for? Fall is such a beautiful time to explore our province and Atlantic Canada – book your visit now!