The East Coast Music Awards are back in New Brunswick this year for 5 days of non-stop musical entertainment. Saint John hosts the show and its popular East Coast Music Week on April 26-30 with concerts, showcases, and signature events taking over the city.
Restaurants, music venues, and bars are gearing up for the bash and visitors can expect a panoply of no-holds-barred East Coast entertainment. Here’s how to make the most of the festivities with 36 hours in Saint John.
Day 1: Get Acquainted
Afternoon: Uptown Saint John + Culinary Walking Tour
In Saint John downtown is actually uptown, where you’ll find a tantalizing mix of old-meets-new. Historical architecture houses bars, markets, breweries, art galleries, and cool shops in a maze of walkable streets. Browse through local wares then meet up with the folks at Uncorked Tours for a history lesson-cum-culinary tour. (Tour departs at 1:30)
Evening: Dinner at Port City Royal + Drinks at Hopscotch
The city will be abuzz all weekend and you’ll want to be in the heart of it. Hit up Port City Royal for dinner – it’s one of Canada’s hottest restaurants – and follow it up with cocktails at Hopscotch Whiskey Bar before hitting the town.
Day 2: Recover & Discover
Morning: Saint John City Market
First things first: Head to the Saint John City Market for a fresh cup of joe at Java Moose or tea from the Infusion Tearoom. Stick around for breakfast, too - this popular spot is the oldest market in North America with plenty of offerings to mend any overindulging from the night before.
Afternoon: Harbour Passage Trail + Reversing Rapids
Walk off breakfast along the Harbour Passage Trail. The series of interconnected walkways, lookouts and heritage sites links uptown Saint John with the Reversing Rapids. If you time it just right, you’ll get a chance to watch nature’s tug-of-war when the massive Bay of Fundy tides reverse the flow of the Saint John River.
Evening: Market Square + Music Mayhem
Kick off night two with local food and brews at Saint John Ale House on Market Square, made famous by Top Chef Canada finalist Jesse Vergen. From there, ticket holders to the ECMA Big Ticket event have a short walk to the show. For revelers looking for the local vibe, ECMA-related events are happening all around town.
Day 3: Takin' It Easy
Morning: Sunday Brunch
Slow things down a little... treat yourself leisurely Sunday brunch. Saint John’s got plenty of spots to try out the local take on crêpes and eggs benny (or caesars and mimosas if you’re so inclined). Try Britt’s Pub & Eatery, Cask & Kettle, or Ryan Duffy’s.
Afternoon: New Brunswick Museum
Every city has its “gotta do’s,” and the New Brunswick Museum is at the top of the checklist for Saint John. Go on a geological trip through time while discovering the fascinating marine life of the Bay of Fundy. There’s even a Hall of Great Whales with a full-size North Atlantic right whale. (Psst... come back this summer to catch ‘em in real life).
Or plan your own adventure right now at