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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Vacation Destination: Saint John, NB

Those of you who have read this blog before know I tend to focus on travel.  I decided to keep in that theme this week, although my destination is more of a "staycation" destination for me because it is my hometown of Saint John, NB.  

Uptown Saint John


My work schedule, and the fact that we're continuing to do some work on my house, have made it pretty likely I won't get out for much in the way of travel this summer, so I've decided to "play tourist" in my own city.  There's lots to see and do here, so I will be doing this through a series of posts.

Given that I have readers from different regions/countries that may not be familiar with Saint John, I thought I would give some basic information about the city.

Saint John is located in the South of New Brunswick, a Canadian province on the East Coast - our borders connect to the provinces of Quebec and Nova Scotia, and we're connected by a bridge to Prince Edward Island.  We also border the State of Maine (US).  So you can drive here with relative ease from many areas, but we also have our own Saint John Airport (YSJ), and have some other international airports within driving distance such as Moncton (YQM) and Halifax (YHZ).

Today I'm going to highlight Harbour Passage, a waterfront walking trail in Saint John.  There is no cost to access Harbour Passage.

Harbour Passage follows the waterfront of Saint John Harbour


Harbour Passage can be as easy or challenging of a walk as you would like to make it.  Currently it stretches from our two cruise ship terminals all the way over to the world famous Reversing Falls.   There are several "natural breaks" along the way if you don't quite want to walk the entire distance.  Please note that this is the length at the time of publication, there are some talks of expanding the path, so the path may be longer, but it's well marked, so you will know if it expands beyond the areas I mention.  

One of the many information panels along Harbour Passage.


There are a few hotels located close to Harbour Passage, and there is parking area for those travelling there by car (if you care using Google Maps - if you search HMCS Brunswicker, Chesley Drive, Saint John, the parking is located in behind that building).  

The path is not hard to find as the pavement is red.  There are signs near most of the entrances, and there are many information panels along the path to tell you about the area.

The red concrete is the "signature" of Harbour Passage.


Not only is there a lot of history along Harbour Passage, but the panoramic views of the harbour are breathtaking.  Not to mention you can experience the highest tides in the world!  I will mention that to get the full effect of the tides, it's best to go once during high tide, and once during low tide.  As a general reference, the tide changes about every 12 hours, but it's gradual, not instantaneous, so you can visit and then return later to experience the difference.

Saint John Harbour

View of Uptown Saint John from Harbour Passage.


The path is fairly flat, except for a hill if you are heading to Reversing Falls.  You will often see people walking, running, roller blading, skateboarding and riding their bikes along Harbour Passage, any of those methods of transportation are welcome!   It's also "dog friendly" provided your pooch is on a leash, and please pick up after your furry friend!  

My daughter enjoying a bike ride on Harbour Passage.

There is lots of green space along the way, as well as benches to sit, so there are lots of places to have a picnic if you so wish.

There's also several sculptures along the route, each has a small plaque or description near them, so be sure to check those out!

Can you spot my little girl in this sculpture? 

There are also a few areas that kids will find interesting, including my daugther's favourite section.  Under the Harbour Bridge, that passes directly over a section of Harbour Passage, there is a small part of the path that takes you out to the water.  It's a prime spot for looking for seals.  We spot them frequently out in the water (they don't come on shore, but they do sometimes swim close).  There is a small play area for kids here with information panels about some of the marine life.






Be prepared for a day of activity, nature and history along Harbour Passage in Saint John, NB.

Have you been to Harbour Passage before?  What did you think?  Any tips you would like to share?  Feel free to share in the comments below, or join me on social media!

Stay tuned for more on my featured vacation destination (or "staycation") Saint John, NB!

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2 comments:

  1. It looks so pretty there. Staycations can be alot of fun. Besides that, you can sleep in your own bed at night. I hope you enjoyed this. God Bless

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    1. Thank you! I think sometimes we don't always appreciate what our own city/town has to offer, so this was a great opportunity to check out some local attractions.
      Thanks for reading!

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