St. John River Valley Travel Guide
Fodor's Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada
Plan Your St. John River Valley Vacation
The St. John River valley scenery is panoramic—gently rolling hills and sweeping forests, with just enough rocky gorges to keep it interesting. The native peoples (First Nations, French, English, Scots, and Danes) who live along the river ensure that its culture is equally intriguing. The St. John River forms 120 km (74 miles) of the border with Maine, then swings inland, eventually cutting through the heart of Fredericton and rolling down to the city of Saint John. Gentle hills of rich farmland and the blue sweep of the water make this a lovely area for driving. In the early 1800s the narrow wedge of land at the northern end of the valley was coveted by Québec, New Brunswick, and the United States. To settle the issue, New Brunswick governor Sir Thomas Carleton rolled dice with the governor of British North America in Québec City. Sir Thomas won—by one point. Settling the border with the Americans was more difficult; even the lumberjacks engaged in combat. Finally, in 1842, the British flag was hoisted over Madawaska County. One old-timer, tired of being asked to which country he belonged, replied, "I am a citizen of the Republic of Madawaska." So began the mythical republic, which exists today with its own flag (an eagle on a field of white) and a coat of arms.
Fodor's local writers visit every hotel we recommend. Look for our discerning Fodor's Choice picks or search by price and location.
Find the best St. John River Valley restaurants in every price category with our top picks.
Things To Do in St. John River Valley
Explore the best sights, entertainment, and shopping with our top choices and insider tips.
- $99 -- Toronto: Hourlong Facial w/Massage, Reg. $210 Zen Spa
- $39 -- Toronto: Tapas Dinner for 2 w/Wine, Reg. $70 Barsa Taberna
- $237 & up -- Calgary Folk Music Festival Packages, Reg. $393 Tourism Calgary
- $119 -- N.Y.: Niagara Riverside Mansion w/$100 in Credits Barton Hill Hotel & Spa
- $29 -- Award-Winning Dinner for 2 in Toronto, Half Off Pero Restaurant & Lounge
- $185 -- Vancouver Island Seaside Stay w/Breakfast, 30% Off Sooke Harbour House
- $18 -- Calgary Corn Maze: Day Passes incl. Games, Reg. $33 Calgary Corn Maze & Fun Farm
- $183 -- Quebec-Area 4-Bedroom Chalet, 50% Off Blueberry Lake Resort
- $138 -- Downtown Halifax Hotel w/Breakfast & Dinner, 30% Off Homewood Suites by Hilton Halifax-Downtown
- $102 -- Canada: Kananaskis Rocky Mountain Retreat, 45% Off Delta Lodge at Kananaskis
- $93 -- Quebec: Mont-Tremblant Mountaintop Suite, Half Off Cap Tremblant
- $98* & up -- Toronto: Summer Fares from Across the US, O/W Toronto Escapes
- $39 -- IMAX Tickets w/$70 Ruth's Chris Dining Credit for 2 IMAX/Ruth's Chris
- $159 -- Downtown Vancouver Hotel w/Parking, 40% Off Century Plaza Hotel & Spa
- $129 -- 4-Diamond Calgary Hotel: Weekends w/Parking Westin Calgary
- $234-$287 -- Vancouver Stanley Park Hotel w/Parking, 40% Off The Westin Bayshore Vancouver
- $157-$183 -- Downtown Toronto Hotel w/Wi-Fi & Parking The Westin Harbour Castle Toronto
- $139 -- Niagara 4-Star Getaway w/$130 in Extras, Save 50% Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview
- $39 -- Downtown Hamilton Dinner for 2, Reg. $65 Incognito Restaurant & Wine Bar
- $36 -- Toronto Dinner Cruise w/Skyline Views, 50% Off Jubilee Queen Cruise Lines
- $189 -- Vancouver All-Suite Summer Stay w/Parking, $80 Off Delta Vancouver Suites
- $39 -- Hot-Stone Massage & Facial near Toronto, 70% Off Signature Spa
- $49 -- Award-Winning Dinner for 2 in Toronto, Reg. $82 Buonanotte
- $75 -- Massage & Facial near Toronto, Reg. $140 Natura Day Spa
- $59 -- Toronto: Italian Dinner for 2, Half Off Sabatino's Ristorante
- $49 -- Toronto: Steakhouse Lunch for 2, Reg. $90 Bardi's Steak House
- $89 -- Toronto: Award-Winning Steak Dinner for 2, Reg. $163 Bardi's Steak House
- $20 -- 'Bodies Revealed' Exhibit in Niagara Falls, Reg. $35 Bodies Exhibit: Niagara Falls, Canada
- $29 -- Chocolate-Making Socials at Toronto Bars, Reg. $65 Chocolate Tales
- $25 -- Stand Up Paddleboard in Toronto, Half Off Toronto Adventures Inc.
- $25 -- Toronto: Kayak the Humber River, Half Off Toronto Adventures Inc.
- $49 -- Toronto: Canoe on Humber River, Half Off Toronto Adventures Inc.
- $79 -- Toronto: 6-Course Chef's Dinner for 2, Reg. $140 Globe Bistro
- $49 -- Toronto: Italian Dinner for 2, Reg. $102 Baldini Restaurant
- $169 -- Hilton Spa & Pool Day near Toronto, Reg. $330 eforea Spa at Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites
- $339 & up -- Canada & New England Cruises on Carnival Carnival Cruise Lines
- $3.50 & up -- Hamilton Museums thru Fall, 50% Off City of Hamilton
- $89 -- Toronto: 38th-Floor Dinner for 2 w/Views, 55% Off Toula Ristorante & Bar
- $45 -- Top-Rated Dinner for 2 near Toronto, Half Off Social Resto-Lounge
- $69 -- Toronto: Award-Winning Dinner for 2, Reg. $146 The Doctor's House
- $109 -- Drive a Ferrari at Toronto Motorsports Park, 55% Off Toronto Motorsports Park
- $49 -- Toronto: Italian Dinner for 2 w/Wine, Reg. $96 Tutto Pronto
- $59 -- Presale: Summer Whitewater Rafting in Banff, 50% Off Chinook Rafting
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