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Best places to visit in Saint John Canada

Fort Howe National Historic Site

On a fine clear day, Fort Howe National Historic Site provides a magnificent panorama that unfolds over the shipyards, harbor, river, and town. A wooden blockhouse is a replica of one built in 1777, when the ridge was fortified and armed to guard the settlement from attack by American privateers and any other possible attacks. After the American Revolution, the fort fell into decay until the War of 1812, when it was again manned and armed until 1821.

The blockhouse is a replica. The fort, perched high on a rocky cliff, is reached from Main Street via Metcalfe Street and Magazine Street.

Cherry Brook Zoo & Vanished Kingdom

Cherry Brook Zoo is inside Rockwood Park, where the animals have plenty of room to roam, and visitors can see them in a natural setting. While it's not as large a tourist attraction as major zoos elsewhere, it has a surprising variety of animals, including some rare and endangered species. The more than 87 inhabitants represent 37 different species and range from lions and zebras to turtles and tree frogs. Highlights are the snow leopard and Siberian tiger.

The size of the zoo makes it especially approachable to children, who also enjoy the affiliated Vanished Kingdom, where visitors can step back in time with life-size replicas of extinct and endangered animals. Cherry Brook Zoo hosts a variety of seasonal events, including special features at Halloween and Christmas.

Imperial Theatre

One of the most popular things to do at night in Saint John is attend a performance or film showing in the beautiful Imperial Theatre. This century-old theater, built in 1913 as a vaudeville house, is one of the grandest buildings in the city. The Imperial Theatre has been a venue for theatrical shows, movies, and church services over the years, and now hosts a varied schedule that ranges from concerts and stage plays to classic films, comedy shows, dance, opera, and burlesque revivals.

An extensive reconstruction was completed 1994. Visitors can take a guided tour of this lovely attraction in downtown Saint John.

Prince William Street and Historic Saint John

The early settlers of Saint John were families who supported the British Crown during the American Revolution and escaped on two fleets of ships from Massachusetts. Although they shaped the early architecture and atmosphere of the city, its present character was more determined by the disastrous Great Fire of 1877 that destroyed more than 20 entire streets.

The new buildings that replaced these reflected the current styles popular at the time, giving Saint John a legacy of some of Canada's best Victorian architecture. The streets of brick townhouses also reflect the influence of the Boston architects who came here to help rebuild the city; they are reminiscent of Boston's Back Bay.

Prince William Street is a designated National Historic Site for its concentration of distinguished buildings designed and decorated in the styles of a single period. You can explore these historic neighborhoods with downloadable maps and apps detailing the Loyalist Trail, the Victorian Stroll, and the Prince William Walk. Be sure to look inside the beautiful St. John's Anglican Church, built in 1825 and a National Historic Site. It's one of the few original buildings in this area to have escaped the fire.

At the foot of King Street, near the waterfront, is Market Square, filled with sidewalk cafes and enlivened by the colorful sculptures by John Hooper. The 1867 Barbour's General Store has displays of early shop goods, as well as a combination barbershop and dental office, typical of that period.

At the top of sloping King Street is King's Square, a large park laid out in the shape of the United Kingdom flag. Amid its trees and flower beds is a two-story iron bandstand; nearby is an old Loyalist Burial Ground. A good way to see the highlights of the historic uptown is on the Shore Excursion Saint John Walking Tour, especially designed for cruise passengers who want to make the most of their one day in Saint John.

Saint John City Market

The classic old market hall is one of the few buildings to have escaped the Great Fire that swept through the city just a year after the market opened in 1876. It is thought to be the oldest continuing farmer's market in Canada, built as a year-round home to the several local open-air markets. Today a bell still rings each market day, Monday through Saturday, to signal the opening and closing of trade.

The block-long building is filled with local vendors selling everything from farm-fresh produce and the day's catch, to bread, fudge, maple syrup, and handcrafts. It's a good place to pick up souvenirs of your visit to New Brunswick.

Rockwood Park

Rockwood Park is where local residents and tourists gather year-round to enjoy the outdoors. This large park covers 2,200 acres, laced with more than 55 paths and trails for hiking and biking and featuring a freshwater lake for swimming and boating. You can fish here, or rent kayaks and canoes.

In the winter, the lake becomes a skating rink, and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on the trails is one of the favorite things to do in Saint John in the winter. This is another site for the multi-faceted Stonehammer Geopark, where the park's billion years of history show in caves, waterfalls, and its unique rock formations. In the summer, the golf course is a popular attraction for tourists.