Carleton Martello Tower National Historic Site (Lieu historique national de la Tour-Martello-de-Carleton)

#6 in Best Things To Do in Saint John, New Brunswick
Carleton Martello Tower National Historic Site (Lieu historique national de la Tour-Martello-de-Carleton) picture
JohnArcher/Getty Images

Key Info

454 Whipple St.

Price & Hours



Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 2.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Carleton Martello Tower is one of nine remaining Martello Towers (small defensive forts built by the British) in Canada. This particular fortress – which features a round shape and a flat roof that can accommodate mounted artillery (like other Martello Towers) – was constructed during the War of 1812. Although it was completed after the battle in 1815, the tower served as a British defensive structure until World War II.

Although the tower's interior is currently closed for renovations, recent visitors enjoyed perusing the interactive exhibits inside the National Historic Site's museum. What's more, many heaped praise on the property's stunning panoramas. For the best vistas, walk to the top of the hill.

The Carleton Martello Tower sits 3 miles southwest of uptown Saint John and 1 mile southeast of the Reversing Falls Rapids. Ample free parking is available on-site. The tower can also be reached by taking the No. 15 bus to the corner of Lancaster Avenue and Fundy Drive or Charlotte Street.

Carleton Martello Tower National Historic Site is accessible year-round, but facilities like the museum and gift shop are only open every day from mid-June to early September from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on weekdays between early September and mid-October from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There are no entrance fees while the tower is being refurbished. For more information, visit the tower's page on the Parks Canada website.

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Time to Spend
#1 Reversing Falls Rapids

Sitting just 2 miles southwest of uptown Saint John, the Reversing Falls Rapids are a must-see destination in New Brunswick. Here's what makes this natural site such an anomaly: Its gurgling whirlpools, impressive rapids and small waterfalls flow one way with the incoming tide and another with the outgoing tide. You can watch the churning water from one of several rooftop viewing areas in Fallsview and Wolastoq parks.

Although some previous travelers lamented the charge attached to viewing the rapids from the Reversing Falls Restaurant's observation deck, others were quick to recommend visiting the other platforms, which are free to access. For an adrenaline rush, consider paying for a zip lining excursion with Saint John Adventures. Zip line rates vary depending on the time of year.

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