This picturesque N.B. town is Canada's top travel spot, according to USA Today
Published Sunday, June 25, 2017 9:47PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, June 25, 2017 11:09PM EDT
Sorry, Banff. Don’t take it personally, Montreal. You’re still beautiful, Niagara.
A small New Brunswick town with fewer than 2,000 residents beat out some of Canada’s best-known attractions to be named the number one place to visit in the country, according to USA Today.
The publication asked travel writers and experts to nominate some of the best destinations in Canada. The list included 20 towns and cities from coast to coast, including Tofino, Whistler, Toronto and Charlottetown.
The top picks were then handed over to online readers, who voted on their favourite travel hotspots.
In the end, St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, N.B. earned the top spot.
The news came as a surprise to the town’s mayor.
“I still didn’t think that we’d be in the same league with places like Banff and Vancouver and Quebec City,” Mayor Doug Naish told CTV Atlantic.
“It’s just still sinking in, I think, for a lot of us.”
The mayor says the unexpected accolade is an honour, but the community of 1,800 people needs to start gearing up for a possible influx of tourists.
“Some of us – me particularly – are just a little worried that although we want a lot more people to come and visit us, we don’t want 50,000 more people showing up on the same day,” he said. “It’s a great problem to have.”
The quaint community is dotted with more than 280 historic buildings built before 1880. Tucked beside the ocean, St. Andrews is a perfect launching pad for an afternoon of whale watching or a day trip to the nearby Bay of Fundy.
Locals say they’re delighted by the news, but they don’t want to attract too much attention.
“We only want a little bit of it to get out, because this will overpopulate in a heartbeat because it is so wonderful,” one man said.
The top ten travel spots, according to USA Today voters, are:
10. Banff, Alta.
9. Niagara, Ont.
8. Ottawa, Ont.
7. Canmore, Alta.
6. Montreal, Que.
5. St. John’s, N.L.
4. Saskatoon, Sask.
3. Lunenburg, N.S.
2. Quebec City, Que.
1. St. Andrews, N.B.
Others destinations to crack the list included Calgary, Charlottetown, Tofino, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, Whitehorse, Winnipeg and Yellowknife.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown