Unless you’re new around these waters, you know how madly in love I am with the charming seaside town of St. Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick.
Ever since I was a little girl, I was absolutely fascinated by the famous Algonquin Hotel and every other magical part of this sleepy coastal town. But it wasn’t until 2017 that I finally got to stay at the hotel when Dan and I celebrated our second anniversary. (Of course, it lived up to all of my expectations.)
Since then, we just keep coming back.
From anniversary trips to girl’s whale watching getaways—I refuse to stay anywhere else when visiting St. Andrews. So it should come as no surprise that last year, Dan and I chose St. Andrews and the Algonquin Hotel as the venue for our East Coast wedding.
Of course, a global pandemic meant postponing our August 2020 wedding to 2021. And because I like to focus on the positives, this just gave us a whole extra year to plan and to book plenty more visits to the hotel and town to daydream about our new special day.
Here’s a little behind the scenes look at our visit in September!
Thursday in St. Andrews
If you’re curious, St. Andrews, New Brunswick is about 2.5 hours from Moncton and 1 hour if you’re leaving from Saint John. Its close proximity is one of the many reasons it’s become our go-to for a romantic weekend away.
We sailed into St. Andrews around dinner, and were thrilled that the rain had held off so that we could take in the views from our private patio. If you’re looking to splurge, I highly recommend booking yourself an Algonquin Patio room as the views are spectacular and you get a lovely outdoor terrace to enjoy all to yourself.
We were also welcomed with a beautiful bouquet of flowers from our wedding florist, Peony & Pear, just waiting for us in our room thanks to our hotel wedding & events planner, Kate. It was the perfect way to kick off a weekend dedicated to spending time together and re-planning our wedding.
Sunsets on the Wharf
Our stomachs were grumbling, but we couldn’t resist the lure of a walk in the town before heading to Braxton’s for dinner at the resort. We drooled over real estate, said hello to countless deer, and caught an absolutely stunning sunset down on the wharf before heading back to the hotel.
Dinner at Braxton’s on the Resort
Not only does the Algonquin boast a stunning property and an indoor and outdoor pool; its dining options are so good, you really don’t have to leave the hotel if you don’t want to. This is why on our first night, we chose to eat downstairs at Braxton’s Restaurant.
We got a cozy corner table for two—shout out to the Algonquin team for being great about observing social distancing in the restaurants—and ordered so much good food including these delicious Oysters Rockefeller.
Friday in St. Andrews
I woke up the next morning to Honeybeans coffee in bed (I have a pretty amazing fiance, you guys) and after checking in on clients, we headed out for the day. It was a little rainy, to which I excitedly declared: “Rain? Oh well, I guess we’ll have to go to the Aquarium then!” 😉
The Huntsman Marine Aquarium
It’s pretty hard for me to visit St. Andrews and not stop by the Huntsman Marine Aquarium. And while it was a little different this time around due to covid-19 restrictions (masks are required at all times in the aquarium), we still had a fantastic time with the sea creatures and seals—and almost had the entire aquarium to ourselves. Which meant plenty of one-on-one time with the two seals that call Huntsman home. (Another perk of travelling off-season!)
If you’re visiting St. Andrews for the first time and love sea life, the aquarium is a must! You can easily go through the entire aquarium in 30-60 minutes.
While you can’t touch the creatures in the touch tank at the moment, make sure to say hello to the skates! They are the CUTEST and are so friendly. (Even if you’re unable to rub their bellies this year.)
Let’s go Antiquing
I wouldn’t say we’re experienced antique shoppers, but there’s just something about popping into antique shops and vintage boutiques in towns like St. Andrews that makes a trip extra special.
We couldn’t resist stopping at the Macklem House Antiques & Collectibles on our way back from the aquarium. We got all kinds of ideas for wedding decor and picked up a nautical antique for our Cape Cod home!
The Blockhouse at High Tide
Next on our Friday agenda was a visit to the Blockhouse. It was initially a wedding ceremony option, but again, due to all things 2020, it never reopened this year so there was just too much uncertainty to really consider it as an option for our 2021 wedding date. (Fret not! We booked something even better!)
The Blockhouse being closed didn’t stop us from checking out the shore where we’ll be taking wedding photos next year and saying hello to some gulls.
Lunch at Seasons By-The-Sea Bistro
For lunch, we had the most—and I can’t stress this enough—DELICIOUS meal at Seasons By-The-Sea Bistro right on the waterfront and oh em gee. It was absolutely divine.
We opted for the tomato bruschetta soup of the day, a smoked salmon sandwich and a lobster roll for lunch. Nom Nom!
Sunsets on the Wharf Part Deux
We really do plan all of our trips around catching the sunset in St. Andrews, so unsurprisingly—after a relaxing afternoon at the hotel snacking on some tasty treats from McGuire Chocolate Company—we headed back down to the waterfront for sunset. And wow, did this one ever deliver!
It was such a gorgeous evening with a beautiful low tide. And naturally, I spent much of the sunset daydreaming over real estate and my dream to own a property there one day.
We finished the evening with dinner at Harbour Front Restaurant, before heading back to the hotel for a night cap.
Saturday in St. Andrews
On our last day, an early morning trip to Honeybeans for a salted mariner latte and their fresh, hot cinnamon buns was a MUST! Followed by a meeting at the Algonquin with Kate to sit down and talk all things wedding! I can’t wait to share more with you!
After our meeting, we squeezed in a few more minutes on our patio in the sun before it was time to checkout. It always pains me to leave, especially on such a gorgeous day—but we know we’ll be back soon.
Lunch on the Ocean, Twice
Remember I said that you simply have got to try Seasons By-The-Sea Bistro? It was so good, we went back again for lunch on Saturday.
The weather was absolutely perfect which meant we could sit on the patio with blankets they provided and enjoy the ocean views with our lunch. This time around, I ordered their bacon and scallop flatbread and it was to die for/
Trust me when I say, you need to add Seasons By-The-Sea Bistro to your itinerary for any trip to St. Andrews.
Eating Our Weight in Chocolate & Treats
I mentioned McGuire Chocolate Company earlier; they’re another small business in town that I can’t say enough good things about. We ate our weight in their chocolate and cookies on Friday, and on Saturday we had to stop by to try their highly recommended ice cream. It did NOT disappoint.
If you stop by, make sure to ask them about their cat Hank. He’s the best.
Another season of island hopping and coastal adventures might be coming to an end but it should come as no surprise that Dan and I will happily return to this charming seaside town any time of year. In fact, we are already heading back again in November for our anniversary—FIVE YEARS, OMG!—with big goals to do more wedding planning and eating copious amounts of delicious food at some of the town’s best restaurants.
(Oh and more chocolate. All the chocolate.)
Have you stayed at the Algonquin Hotel? What do you love most about the resort and this picture-perfect town? Leave a comment to let me know or DM me on my shell phone 🐚