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Things To Do In Newfoundland

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Canada Road Trip: Best Things To Do In Newfoundland

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Surround Yourself With The Colour Of Jellybean Row

Pass the colourful jellybean row houses wedged together in every space lining the sides of steep hills and hidden alleyways. Once you’ve meandered down to the working harbour of the waterfront, look towards the Narrows and imagine a time when the waters were brimming full with fishing schooners in St. John’s.

Y On George Street Newfoundland

If you want to say youve partied on the most famous street in all of Newfoundland, George Street is where youll want to go. This historic street is full of bars, pubs, nightclubs, and restaurants, all catering to different people and is definitely one of the best St Johns activities. Its also closed to traffic during the evenings, making it a great place for pedestrians. Whether youre looking for old-fashioned Newfoundland music complete with fiddles or new-age pop, theres a place for you. If youre looking to experience a true taste of Newfoundland, Id recommend going to OReillys to see if they have traditional live music on the go. If not, other places likely will. Check around and ask whos playing. When a good Newfy group gets up on stage, its an incredibly fun time. If you happen to be here in the summertime, expect mega crowds because this is one of the most fun things to do in St Johns. Bonus: You might even see famous people poking around. When we were in The Duke of Duckworth, we saw Newfoundlands Allan Doyle walk in.

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Cape St Marys Ecological Reserve

Saint Brides, NL A0B 2Z0, Canada, map

This ecological reserve is home to the most accessible seabird colony in North America so it is popular amongst birders. Youll find thousands of gulls, razorbills, black-legged kittiwakes, northern gannets, and cormorants. Beyond the birds, there are trails to explore along the dramatic coastline.

Driving Newfoundlands Discovery Trail

10 things to do in Newfoundland and Labrador

If youre already spending time in the Trinity area, DO NOT miss the chance to drive the Discovery Trail to Bonavista. This area, and especially the Cape Bonavista area around the lighthouse, is home to some of the most spectacular views in the province. Located up on a cliff, the views from the lighthouse, as well as the waves hitting the rocky shores, is truly outstanding. Youll also find old houses, pebble beaches, and lots of picturesque fishing boats. You may even see whales, icebergs, or seabirds. Actually, you will 100% see seabirds!

Theres also an incredible area called the Dungeon, where cliffs drop down into a humungous sinkhole with two seaward channels, all created from ocean erosion. For more geological fun in the area, download the Bonavista! Geological Tour app for a driving tour that highlights the geology of the region.

This is also home to where John Cabot discovered North America in 1497, hence the name of the drive. Not only is it historically significant and home to stunning views, its also home to the full-size replica of the Matthew Legacy, the ship that John Cabot arrived in. If you time your trip properly you may get to see it and step inside this historic vessel.

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Day 7 & : Twillingate

A stunning coastline, a winery that serves up wine created with iceberg water, a historical lighthouse, and scenic country roads.

Yes, Twillingate is worth an overnight!

What to See & Do: If you are visiting during the spring or early summer, Twillingate is a popular spot to take an iceberg and whale watching boat tour.

We visited in late summer and all the other tourists we talked to did not see whales on their guided tours so we decided to save our money and try later in the trip on the St. Lawrence River.

Do not miss the Long Point Lighthouse for breathtaking views of the rugged shore.

Built in 1876 for the fishermen and coastal traders that navigated the rough waters of the Atlantic, the historic landmark is one of the most photographed locations on the northeast coast of Newfoundland.

Next, hop over to the Auk Island Winery for a tasting. Not only are the names unique like Fifty Shades of Bay, Moose Joose, Kiss My Arse, and 3 Sheets in the Wind but the wines, made with local berries like partridgeberry and iceberg water, are as well.

There are so many breathtakingly beautiful hikes in Newfoundland. We kept saying over and over, we need more time!

The French Beach Walking Trail, just east of the city, is another one. The coastline trail offers epic views of a few spectacular coves and if visiting in late summer, wild blueberries bloom ripe for picking at the base of the trail.

Where to Stay:

Go Back To Viking Times At L’anse Aux Meadows National Historic Site

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978, the windswept coastal outpost of LAnse aux Meadows where Norse sailors first settled in North America has clung onto its title as the only authenticated Viking site on the continent. Located at the edge of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, it features a waterside settlement with eight timber-and-sod buildings, three replica buildings with costumed Viking-playing actors, and a three-kilometre trail that winds through the barren landscape. Theres also a superb interpretive centre where you can watch a film about Norwegian explorer and Viking champion Helge Ingstad who followed a hunch to rediscover the site in the 1960s. Be sure to visit the recreated Viking port of trade nearby to play traditional Norse games, take pottery lessons, and marvel at the Norse knarr replica of Snorri – the first ocean-going Viking merchant ship that sailed here from Greenland .

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Trinity And The Bonavista Peninsula

After about three hours of driving, youâll reach Trinity, which is one of the prettiest old towns in Newfoundland. Trinity is steeped in history, full of historic buildings that have been preserved since the 18th century.

Skerwink Trail: Trinity is a great place for outdoor adventures. One of the best hikes there is the Skerwink Trail, a 4.7-kilometer loop with beautiful coastal views. Itâs also an excellent place to go whale watching in the summertime, when the worldâs largest population of humpback whales make their way to the coast of Newfoundland to feed.

Bonavista: If you have the time, take the Discovery Trail from Trinity further down the coast to Bonavista. There you can visit Dungeon Provincial Park, where you can see a collapsed sea cave. Another place worth checking out nearby is Elliston, which is one of the best places to see puffins in Newfoundland.

How To Get To Newfoundland

Newfoundland Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in ST. JOHN’S

Since Newfoundland is an island, you either have to take a ferry here from Sydney, Nova Scotia, or fly in. The main international airport is in St. Johnâs on the east coast, but there is also a smaller airport on the west coast in Deer Lake . There are two overnight ferry options, an 8-hour ferry which takes you to Port aux Basques on the west coast, or a 16-hour ferry that takes you to Argentia on the east coast. The latter only runs during summer.

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Red Bay National Historic Site

The icy-cold Labrador current flows through the 17 kilometer-wide Strait of Belle Isle, which separates Labrador from Newfoundland, and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Since the 16th century, southern Labrador had been the summer fishing grounds of fishermen and whalers arriving from Europe and Newfoundland.

At Red Bay National Historic Site, the remains of Basque whaling boats have been recovered. An interpretive center pieces together the historical clues.

Official site:

Top 10 Things To Do In Newfoundland And Labrador

Its all rainbow-coloured wooden houses clinging to cliffsides, hike-worthy landscapes, and outstanding national parks in Canada’s easternmost province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Add to the mix historic towns and villages, 11,000 miles of craggy coastline, and a rich Viking history, and its easy to see the appeal of this wanderers paradise. Here are the top 10 things to do in the place known as The Rock.

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Dine At One Of Canadas Top Restaurants

It may be a small city but St. Johns is home to two of the top 100 restaurants in Canada. Visit one of these while in St. Johns for an incredible dining experience. Raymonds is a fine-dining restaurant located on Water Street. It was even featured on Anthony Bourdains Parts Unknown. Be prepared for a hefty bill though this is one of the most expensive places to eat in the city.

Address: 95 Water St.

For a more affordable experience, head to Mallard Cottage in Quidi Vidi. This cozy cottage-turned-restaurants offers local sourced seasonal meals. The menu changes daily, which you can check online. I highly recommend coming here for brunch, but you may want to make a reservation in advance.

Address: 8 Barrows Rd.

You could also join a St. Johns Food and Wine tour, where youll dine at multiple restaurants across downtown.

Day : Port Aux Basques

101 Things to Do in Newfoundland

If you take the daytime ferry youll be arriving in Port aux Basques between 6:00 and 7:00 pm and will have to go through customs so for the first night we dont recommend you drive too far.

So instead of rushing out and trying to beat twilight, once you debark, kick off your Newfoundland travel with a short yet spectacular sunset hike.

Be aware one of the many unique things about Newfoundland is that it has its own time zone. Once you arrive on the mainland, youll be a half-hour ahead of Atlantic Canada.

What to See & Do: A delightful introduction to the island is the Grand Bay West Walking Trail. The easy hike starts out on a boardwalk overlooking the beach and a quiet bay then continues to multiple platforms overlooking the ocean.

There are wildflowers, swaying green grass, an old barn, sandy coves, and is the perfect spot to catch a sunset.

Where to Eat & Drink: After a long day, Seashore Restaurant with its friendly service, ocean view, and big portions is the right place for dinner. On the menu, youll find Newfoundland local dishes, seafood, and sandwiches.

Where to Stay: If you like your privacy, book at St. Christophers Hotel for a spacious and clean hotel room.

For a more unique experience, B& B Starboard Guest House is a fantastic option.

Those looking for a free camping site, stay in the lot at Grand Bay West. It has two clean bathrooms that stay open all night and you wont be bothered.

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Things To Do In St Johns

Not only is St. Johns the oldest English-founded city in North America, but Its also the capital of Newfoundland. Here youll find Canadas oldest street, lots of live music venues, an array of delicious restaurants, beautiful historical sites, and a very busy harbour. Its a beautiful city and will most likely be the city youll fly into when visiting from abroad. There are so many things to do in St. Johns and although you may not get a chance to do them all, heres a variety of things to choose from during your time in the windiest, cloudiest, and foggiest city in Canada.

Where To Stay In St Johns

Alt Hotel St. Johns: When possible, we always recommend staying in a hotel that actually adds to the experience and the Alt Hotel in St. Johns is one of them. Located right by the harbour, we highly recommend getting a room with a view. Theres nothing quite like pressing a button on the wall next to your bed and having a curtain raise to the ceiling to unviel one of the best views in the city. From here, you can walk almost anywhere you need to go, including all the way up to Cabot Tower or over to Georges Street for a party. The Alt Hotel has everything you need, including comfortable beds, spacious rooms, underground parking, in-room Nespresso machines, flat-screen TVs, modern decor, and a really cool lobby with a pool table, cafe, and one of the top restaurants in the city.

Best Western Plus St. Johns Airport Hotel and Suites: If you need to stay out by the airport, then the best hotel is the Best Western. It opened in late 2018 and is very beautiful. The lobby is one of the nicest weve seen, they have a great pool and hot tub, and they have a pretty good restaurant on-site as well. The breakfast is big and free, and the parking is ample.

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How To Get To St Johns Newfoundland

There are multiple ways to get to St. Johns depending on your mode of transportation. The city can be reached by car from anywhere in the province with a well maintained main highway, the Trans Canada Highway, that connects major spots in the province. If driving through the Maritimes there is a year-round ferry that departs from Sydney, Nova Scotia and docks in Port aux Basques, which still requires driving to St. Johns.

The most common way to get to St. Johns is by flying with direct flights from many cities in Canada and the UK.

Top Things To Do In Newfoundland

Things to do in Newfoundland & Labrador (documentary)

The best things to do are listed below going from east to west, but you could also do this itinerary in reverse if youâre coming in on the ferry to Port aux Basques.

While planning your trip, itâs important to remember that Newfoundland is a big province and takes 10 non-stop hours to drive across. To give everything in this itinerary justice would take two to three weeks, so if you have a shorter time frame just pick the regions that appeal to you most:

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Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve

NL-10, Portugal Cove South, NL A0A 4B0, Canada, map

This is the newest UNESCO World Heritage Site and was designated because its one of the most significant fossil sites in the world. There are fossils of the oldest, large complex multicellular life-forms found anywhere on Earth, known as Ediacara biota. They can be found in other parts of the world, but the sheer number and variety found at Mistaken Point is significant.

Why Travel To Newfoundland & Labrador

For me, the first reason to travel to Newfoundland & Labrador is that its somewhat off the beaten track. Canada is not exactly an unusual country for UK travellers to head to, but few seem to make it beyond the big cities. But if youre looking for a break from the norm, and a little adventure, it will definitely deliver.

Its wonderful to discover somewhere a bit different, and Newfoundland & Labrador certainly has features that mark it out as unique. Each year it has visitors from pods of whales to massive icebergs that can float so close that locals can collect small pieces of iceberg ice from the shore to take home.

The seas off of the province see the worlds largest population of humpback whale in late spring and early summer, when you can see them during their migration.

Then lets talk about the locals because they for me, really did make my time there. Newfoundlanders are friendly beyond compare, and their charming accent formed a rich chorus that added much colour to my visit. They also have a fascinating culture which they will happily share from legendary tales, to ugly sticks and unusual foods.

Newfoundland & Labrador also has a long and colourful history, while the capital, St. Johns overflows with a vibrant cultural scene, attracting musicians, artists, writers and dancers from Canada and across the globe.

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Visit Signal Hill National Historic Site

Did you know that St. Johns is the oldest English-founded city in all of North America. Well, Signal Hill Newfoundland is the place that protected it from intruders. Here youll get to see sweeping views of the coastline and the city, as well as the many canons that stood guard. But heres another incredible fact this is where Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901. Take a moment to go inside Cabot Tower and walk the trails that lead to the historic fortifications at Queens Battery Barracks. Each season brings different delights. In the spring you might see icebergs, and in the summer, you might see whales!

Wild Gros Morne Trout River Boat Tour

The Top 10 Things to Do in St. John

During our last visit to Newfoundland in 2019, we jumped on a new boat tour with Wild Gros Morne. This happens on Little Trout River Pond near the beautiful village of Trout River. They take you up the pond and to the backside of the Tablelands. This tour is done in a Zodiac and offers incredible views and insight into the 500-million-year history of the area.

Learn more at wildgrosmorne.com.

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