Last Updated on September 3, 2023
When Beth Norwood was a little girl in Saint John, New Brunswick, her grandfather rented a cottage in St. Martins on the Bay of Fundy. Little could she have known how much it would impact her life. There were five cottages overlooking the harbor and her family had so much fun that her grandfather purchased them all. When his daughters married, they each got one to begin their married lives.
Beth’s family moved to New York and Massachusetts for her father’s job. She eventually married Paul Winkle, and they settled in Florida where he grew up. He was the vice president of an international travel planning company, and she kept busy running a publishing company and a wedding planning service.
However, she never forgot those fun-filled summers on the Bay of Fundy.
One day, Norwood and Winkle heard the Tidal Watch Inn in St. Martins was for sale. It was originally built in 1890 by the Skillen family when St. Martins was a thriving shipbuilding town. The house burned to the ground in the spring of 1900, and the Skillens recreated it exactly as it had been built.
Several shipbuilding families owned it before it became the Quaco Inn and later the Tidal Watch Inn. The Winkles bought it and renamed it The Beach Street Inn. Now they help visitors experience the magic and fun Norwood and her family enjoyed during those idyllic summers on the Bay of Fundy.
Suites at the Beach Street Inn
Norwood and Winkle bought the house in 2021 and renovated it, keeping the character of the original house intact. There are 14 rooms that comprise the Mansion and two other buildings—the original Carriage House and Gables, which the previous owners added in 1990.
The suites in the Mansion are named after shipbuilding families and the ones in the Carriage House and Gables are named after ships built in St. Martins. Each has its own unique style and a view of the garden or the ocean.
My husband and I stayed in the Skillen Suite on the third floor of the Mansion. It’s decorated in green and creamy yellow and has a bay window that provides a view of the garden and the Bay of Fundy. After a long day of traveling, we appreciated the queen-size bed with luxury linens and the waterfall shower in the bathroom.
The Bradshaw Suite is also on the third floor of the Mansion and is a perfect hideaway for small families or couples who want more space. It has a king-size bed, a full bath with a waterfall shower, and a living room with a sofa that converts into a queen-size bed. Its location at the front of the third floor provides an expansive view of The Bay of Fundy.
The Carson and Moran Suites are situated on the second floor of the Mansion. The Carson Suite features a king-size bed, living area, a bathroom with a waterfall shower and a garden view. The Moran Suite features a queen-size bed, living area, a bathroom and likewise sports a waterfall shower and a bay view
The Harmony Suite in Gable features a plush king-size bed with premium linens, a full bath with a Whirlpool tub and a fireplace you can curl up beside while enjoying beautiful views of the bay.
There are two suites in the Carriage House—the Patriot and Crown Prince. If you’re looking for plenty of space to spread out, the Crown Prince is perfect since it includes a king-sized bed and a large living area. The spacious bathroom features a double Whirlpool bathtub and a private deck overlooking the Bay of Fundy.
With two four-posted twin beds, the Patriot is perfect for friends traveling together or families who need a separate room for their kids. Its full bath features a whirlpool tub and shower, and it has a small private deck that overlooks the garden.
Food and Drink at the Beach Street Inn
Breakfast is served in the airy sunroom from 8:00 to 10:30 am. The standard breakfast included with all rooms consists of a croissant, meats and cheeses, assorted fruits, juice and coffee or tea. You can also order specialties off the menu such as Eggs Benedict and delicious Blueberry Pancakes made with locally sourced blueberries (Yum!).
New Brunswick is known for its seafood and you don’t have to leave the Beach Street Inn to savor it. Periwinkles, the onsite restaurant, features mouth-watering seafood direct from the Bay of Fundy.
Many visitors enjoy a drink or happy hour at Henry’s Bar, also onsite. Then they relax at their table inside or under the stars while Chef Nick Shaw works his magic.
A few of his specialties include Beach Street Mussels–locally sourced mussels steamed in a broth of white wine, butter, garlic, tomatoes, and onions. Scallop lovers will rave about their bacon-wrapped scallops–fresh scallops blanketed in a strip of bacon and drizzled with New Brunswick maple syrup. Since we love all types of seafood, we tried the Seafood Newburg consisting of lobster, shrimp and scallops baked in a mouth-watering lobster velouté topped with puffed pastry.
Weddings and Honeymoons
Since Beth is a professional wedding planner, it’s no surprise the Beach Street Inn offers complete wedding and honeymoon packages for both large and small affairs.
Couples provide the officiant, photographer, alcohol and insurance, and the Beach Street Inn takes care of the rest, including decorations, tables and chairs, flowers, catering, cake, entertainment, set up and tear down.
All packages include the services of a professional wedding planner and event coordinator so the couple can enjoy their day and focus on their guests.
Activities in St. Martins
Plan to stay a few days in St. Martins because there are plenty of local activities to keep you busy. The St. Martin Sea Caves, the Quaco Museum and the Fundy Trail Parkway are just a few of these entertaining places.
The Bay of Fundy has two high and two low tides each day, each about six hours apart.
In the morning, we explored the caves by kayak with Bay of Fundy Adventures. In the afternoon, we walked on the beach and into some of the caves that were underwater just a few hours earlier. Bay of Fundy Adventures is a half-mile drive from the Beach Street Inn on Main Street, located just before the Vaughn Creek Covered Bridge.
Since we’re both history lovers, we thoroughly enjoyed the Quaco Museum on Main Street, around the corner from the Beach Street Inn. It looks tiny from the outside, but don’t be fooled. It’s packed full of history about the shipbuilding industry that used to dominate St. Martin. I was surprised to learn that many women married to sea captains sailed with their husbands, even when pregnant. The museum model of the captain’s cabin included a medical kit in case he needed to deliver his new son or daughter while at sea.
You’ll want to allow an entire day to drive the Fundy Trail Parkway. There are 21 lookout points and 15 observation decks where you can enjoy the jaw-dropping coastal scenery. Four waterfalls are close to the parkway or easy to reach by taking a short hike. There’s also an abundance of hiking trails of varying lengths and abilities.
To get to the western entrance of the Fundy Trail Parkway from St. Martins, go west on Main Street for about 1-1/2 miles. Turn right at the lighthouse and cross the bridge onto Big Salmon River Road. Drive for about 2-1/2 miles until you see a fork in the road. Veer right onto Little Beach Road and continue straight for about 3 miles.
Are you planning a trip to New Brunswick or live in the Maritimes and need to get away from it all? The Beach Street Inn is the perfect place to host a wedding or family reunion or plan a romantic weekend getaway or girls’ weekend.