SAINT ANDREWS – A few years ago, the Town of Saint Andrews was named as one of the best places to visit in Canada by USA Today. Now, the town has received another accolade, with Travel & Leisure Magazine naming it one of the top 12 small towns to visit in Canada.

“A 30-minute drive from the border crossing between Calais, Maine, and St. Stephen, New Brunswick, St. Andrews-by-the-Sea is a perfect stop on the way to Canada’s iconic Fundy National Park. Cute restaurants like Char and Chowder and The Clam Digger serve up fresh fried clams, burgers, and seafood. For a truly unique experience, drive your car to the historic Ministers Island — only accessible via the sandbar that appears at low tide,” reads the Travel & Leisure article.

Mayor Brad Henderson said it is an honour to receive such recognition, particularly during a pandemic when visiting travel writers are rare.

“We are fortunate,” said Henderson. “This one was Travel & Leisure that recognized us. It’s certainly an honour. To see that Travel & Leisure Magazine is keeping us top of mind, whether it be a time for people to visit now or hopefully in the near future, just to keep the conversation going about Saint Andrews as a wonderful tourist destination. It means a lot to us as a community for the residents who are very proud, and also the businesses could use the support.”

Pandemic or not, Henderson said it has been a great year for tourism in Saint Andrews, as was last year, even though the Canada/U.S. land border remains closed. He said no small town should take for granted that people are going to want to visit in the future, and is thankful for articles such as the ones in Travel & Leisure and USA Today that help put Saint Andrews on the world map.

“It’s definitely an honour for the community to be featured for being such a beautiful town that we are,” said Henderson. “We look forward to hopefully hearing many more of these. These articles get international attention, and certainly national. Whenever you’re featured that way, it makes people circle the map and say ‘I’m planning on going to the East Coast and this is a community I might want to check out’.”

Henderson said many local businesses have marketing plans that involve tourism, citing the Algonquin Resort. He said this is one of many organizations that spends a “significant amount of money attracting people” to Saint Andrews. He also mentioned the tourism accommodation levee board that, through Explore Saint Andrews, is helping spread the word about Saint Andrews being a top tourism destination.

And it would appear not only do these articles help increase tourism, they also bring new residents to the area. Henderson said there have been examples of people who read the USA Today article, came to Saint Andrews to check out the area, and then decided to move here.

“I talked to the owners of the Montague Rose,” said Henderson. “They bought the bed and breakfast and operate a business here. They heard of Saint Andrews through that particular promotion in that USA Today article. For people to look at these top 12 towns, not only to visit, but some people actually take it as an opportunity to come and visit to potentially move. It’s tourism but it also attracts residents.”

If you would like to read the Travel & Leisure article that mentions Saint Andrews, you can find it here.

sarigreen@stcroixcourier.ca