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East Coast Holidays / Travel

A New Brunswick Christmas in St. Andrews by the Sea

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in New Brunswick and trust me when I say, it’s even more wonderful enjoying Christmas in St. Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick.

Everyone knows how much I absolutely love the seaside town of St. Andrews and it was an absolute dream come true to get married there this summer. I’m still swooning.

But after visiting for our anniversary back in November 2020 and seeing a sneak peek of the town coming to life for the holidays, I knew we had to go back this December to really experience Christmas in St. Andrews.

And it did not disappoint!

Here’s a look at our weekend in St. Andrews for the holidays!

The Algonquin Resort & Hotel at Christmas

The Algonquin Resort & Hotel in St.Andrews By The Sea at Christmas with a light dusting of snow

The world-renowned Algonquin Resort & Hotel is magical anytime of year, but it was everything I dreamed it would be with Christmas decor and lights at night. With the roaring fireplaces in the lobby, the holiday cheer and Christmas trees throughout, you’re not only going to feel a pinch like Kevin McAllister staying at the Plaza Hotel in Home Alone 2—you’re going to find yourself reaching a whole new level of holiday spirit!

Crystal Richard of East Coast Mermaid enjoying the fire and holiday decorations at The Algonquin Resort & Hotel at Christmas

We hadn’t been back to the hotel since the wedding, so it was extra special to return as husband and wife. We also stayed in the same junior suite we were in for the wedding, which brought a whole wave of extra special memories and feelings to the trip.

Crystal Richard of East Coast Mermaid standing by a wreath on the sign for The Algonquin Resort & Hotel at Christmas

We also enjoyed an absolutely delicious and romantic dinner in front of one of the roaring fires on Friday night and split the Seafood Platter from Braxton’s. Paired with a Caesar, it was the perfect way to end our first night at the hotel!

Seafood Platter from Braxton's enjoyed by the fire.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Christmas tree made of buoys in downtown St. Andrews

It was snowing when we arrived on Friday and I was thrilled that I’d get to see St. Andrews with snow! Walking downtown along Water Street and checking out the shops was made even more sweet with the fresh dusting of snow and all of the beautiful holiday decor like the Christmas tree made of buoys!

Christmas decorations around the shops in St. Andrews by the sea.
Crystal Richard outside of a shop covered in Christmas Decorations in St. Andrews by the sea.

A Cozy Visit to McGuire Chocolate Company

One of our favourite shops to visit in St. Andrews is McGuire Chocolate Company. We’re pretty obsessed with everything they make and sell, and the owners Mark and Victoria have become great friends over the last year!

This time, I was extra excited to try their famous Boozy Eggnog which is the perfect festive drink to sip after some Christmas shopping on Water Street!

Crystal Richard enjoying some boozy eggnog at McGuire Chocolate Company

And if you’re visiting downtown or walking by McGuire’s, keep an eye out for Hank or Tam Tam, the two brand spokes-cats for the company who are often seen in the alley behind the shop or, in our case, dashing through the snow!

Tam Tam, representative of McGuire's Chocolate Company, dashing through the snow downtown.

The Gingerbread House Competition

There were many reasons why I was extra keen on heading to St. Andrews in December and one of those reasons was their annual Gingerbread House competition! A number of stores on Water Street featured beautiful gingerbread creations and you can vote on your favourites!

I mean, how absolutely stunning is this one featured at the Leather House?

Gingerbread train around a Christmas tree featured at The Leather House in St.Andrews

The European Christmas Night Market

Another big perk to Christmas in St. Andrews is their European Christmas Night Market in the Square each night that we were in town. We were able to shop from the sweetest vendors, listen to live music and get into the holiday spirit.

And of course, take in more of the stunning holiday lights downtown!

Coastal Christmas Tree decorated in downtown St. Andrews at the night market.
Decorations around the night market at St. Andrews by the sea.
Decorations around the night market at St. Andrews by the sea.

Dining and Exploring the Kennedy Inn

Given how much time we spend in St. Andrews, sometimes it’s hard for us to find new things to try or explore on our visits. But this time around we stopped by the Kennedy Inn for dinner—and it just so happened to be my first time!

Crystal Richard of East Coast Mermaid outside of the Kennedy Inn in St. Andrews by the sea

We sampled their new menu and I had a delicious Shepherd’s Pie which hit the spot for a cozy December evening meal. It was also very cool to learn about the history of the hotel—it was built in 1881 and is considered Canada’s oldest summer hotel.

See the Christmas Lights Around Town

After dinner one evening, we decided to take a spin around the block downtown to see St. Andrews homes all lit up for Santa’s arrival. We just so happened to stumble upon the most GORGEOUS exterior illumination display I’ve ever seen around these waters and of course, I had to share! The photos really don’t even do it justice!

Homes in St. Andrews all lit up for Santa's arrival
Homes in St. Andrews all lit up for Santa's arrival

The Christmas Market at the Algonquin

Our weekend was already pretty perfect but ending it with a festive Christmas Market right inside the Algonquin Hotel was the candy cane on top! It was made even better by the fact that our friends and wedding florists Peony & Pear were selling their stunning Christmas bouquets!

And you can bet I came home with more than one!

Florists Peony & Pear selling their stunning Christmas bouquets
Crystal Richard holding a Peony & Pear bouquet.

I can’t even begin to describe how magical our weekend truly was and needless to say, I think it will definitely become a new holiday tradition for the two of us! ❤️

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