Note: This was updated as of March 6, 2022. However the events of the last couple of years have been hard on many businesses, so although I have tried my best to remove the ones that I am aware have sadly closed, there may be others who are also not operating – as always you should verify before venturing out.
Newfoundland is such a spectacular place to visit, and we are often asked by friends and colleagues about what they should plan to do there for a vacation. There are so many places and you could really spend months in Newfoundland and Labrador and still not see everything. That said, we have developed a suggested itinerary for someone taking their first tour of Newfoundland… enough for you to see its magic, and decide to keep going back for more :-).
This itinerary covers only a few of the amazing areas of this beautiful island. I hope in the future to do other itineraries covering many more areas. It also doesn’t cover all the places to stay, eat or visit – just enough to hopefully help you plan an awesome trip. For more info a great resource is the Newfoundland Tourism Website at this link.
Please note these tips were put together in response to many people asking us “where to go and what to do” in Newfoundland. It is always our pleasure to share our love for our home. We have neither taken nor give any endorsement for any of the places or companies named in here – and we give no guarantee, express or implied, as to the performance of any of the recommended places. – The only thing we guarantee is that you will love your visit to our home!
2022 has been declared a special Come Home Year by the province of Newfoundland and Labrador – with many special festivals and events happening around the province. You can find more details on Come Home Year here.
(If you find anything outdated or missing, please just comment below so I can update.)
- Overall Tips:
- If you want to see the most we recommend you fly into St. John’s and out of Deer Lake, or vice versa, that way you won’t have to drive across the island twice.
- The itinerary below is for flying into St. John’s and ending in Deer Lake. Depending on how much you want to spend in each place vs time in the car, we recommend 10-14 days for the full itinerary below.
- If you only have time to do one part of the island we think the West Coast is the best coast (even though we grew up on the East Coast). This would mean flying in and out of Deer Lake and doing Gros Morne, Twillingate and areas around there and other areas on the west coast. Although you will not get to see St. John’s or Trinity then, and that would be a shame!
- THE ABSOLUTE FIRST THING TO DO in planning your trip to NL is book your rental car, especially if you are following our recommendation of picking up on one side of the island and dropping off in the other. Rental cars are tougher to get than flights, accommodations or anything else – so book the car before your flight! And, unless you plan to stay only in the centre of St. John’s a rental car is definitely necessary when visiting Newfoundland.
- In all the places listed there is amazing hiking, with varying levels of difficulty. The All Trails website or APP on your phone will be really helpful to you in that regard.
- If you are staying in Cottages or efficiency units and plan to do some of your own cooking you may want to stock up on groceries in major centres (St. John’s, Gander, Grand Falls, Deer Lake) as selection may be limited in smaller communities.
- Booking accommodations in advance is definitely necessary – particularly in July, August and September or around the Christmas holidays.
- When to go? This is probably our most asked question and the answer of course depends on when you want to go! We enjoy July, August and September best. Icebergs (and fog!) season is best in June; whales July-August; and beautiful fall colours in late September – mid October (particularly on the West Coast of the island which has more deciduous vs evergreen forest when compared to the East Coast). Note that if you are going in the shoulder or off season you will need to check availability of some of our recommendations – some attractions, and even restaurants are only open seasonally.
- Weather in Newfoundland is always unpredictable – at best. I think it might be the place where the saying “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes” was invented. That said, when the weather does change it can be shocking. Particularly along Newfoundland’s beautiful coast, it can be a glorious summer day and then the ‘wind changes’ the fog rolls in, and the temperature can easily drop 15 degrees (celsius) or more in thirty minutes! Bring lots of layers and be prepared for anything!
Our Recommended Route:
Below is our recommended route. As you will see we have L’anse Aux Meadows included, but this is one many people omit because of the length of the drive to get there. Also if you wish to remove one other stop we would recommend removing the Greenspond area (but try not to)!
Driving distance for this route is 22 hours, if you include L’anse Aux Meadows and 14 hours if you exclude it.
Stop 1: St. John’s
Places to Stay in St. John’s:
- Murray Premises Hotel
- Battery Bluff Cottages
- The Roses Heritage Inn
- The Alt Hotel – Water side rooms have awesome views. I am told that the Top floor corner room (Room #529) has especially amazing views if you want to try and ask for that!
- Sheraton Hotel NL– also has some lovely views on the water side
- Jag Hotel
- Pippy Park (camping)
- And of course there are lots of others on AirBnB or Tripadvisor! Here are some AirBnB’s we’ve stayed with in St. John’s: Holly’s Place Quidi Vidi TownHouse
Things to do in St. John’s:
- The Rooms (provincial govt. museum and art gallery) – Perfect place to learn of the history of NL and see world-class art exhibits. Make sure to learn about the stunning history of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment – it is really moving to learn about them. The Rooms also has one of the best views of the downtown and harbour from an amazing café – great place for lunch.
- Signal Hill National Historic Site – great views of the city and the ocean coast. And there’s a great hike that takes you down around the front of the hill and down through the Battery (The walk has lots of stairs and is definitely weather dependent, but a fabulous view).
- Walk along the battery – at end of Duckworth Street turn right on Battery Road and look for a place to park, or just make a 10- to 15-minute walk from downtown. Follow the signs to the trail. Only do this on a nice day, the trail can be slippery and very windy on a bad day – but the view, the waves crashing below, the boats and the historical military site are all worth the walk. This is definitely a weather dependent walk, but if you get a good day you’ll never regret it.
- Cape Spear National Historic Site– most easterly point in North America, fabulous ocean views, old lighthouse, Ocean views like you’ll never see anywhere else! When you are out toward Cape Spear you can also come back through Petty Harbour and stop for lunch at Chafe’s Landing in Petty Harbour Petty Harbour is a REALLY picturesque fishing community, and Chafe’s landing has great food in a cute atmosphere. Worth a visit, but mind the tour buses.
- Quidi Vidi Village – Fishing village right in the middle of St. John’s (see Mallard Cottage in restaurants below). If the weather cooperates, walk out to the cliff (down the trail by the last house) for a beautiful view. Also, visit Quidi Vidi Brewing Co., a local craft brewing company and have a tasting tour and new tap room, they also have a ‘kitchen party’ event every Friday night in high season. Visit Quidi Vidi Plantation Craft Shops. The Quidi Vidi Brewery is also a great place to stop for a tour of to buy some of our favourite Quidi Vidi Beer.
- Drive the Irish Loop – , while on the loop visit the Colony of Avalon archeological dig , have lunch at the Ferryland Lighthouse Picnic (you need a reservation) . If you don’t do the Ferryland Lighthouse Picnic, stop for lunch in Bay Bulls (see next item). Try to make it all the way down to Calvert (about an 1 ½ from St. John’s) and make a reservation for Sullivan’s Songhouse – a great experience of live local music at Sean Sullivan’s home.
- Bay Bulls is just a 45 minute, scenic drive from St. John’s so a great stop on your way further down the Irish Loop, or just a great location for a short jaunt from St. John’s. Eat at Tongue & Cheek – a fabulous restaurant at the O’Brien’s Whale Watching tour site – make sure you try the chowder or fish and chips, and of course the house specialty “Tongues & Cheeks” (and yes this really is cod tongues and cheeks!) – and leave room for the delicious desserts! O’Brien’s Tours is also a great choice for a boat tour for whale and puffin watching .
- Middle Cove – Take a lovely drive 20 minutes outside of St. John’s to Middle Cove Beach. Beautiful rocky beach with crashing waves. Dip your foot in the Atlantic here!
- If you prefer a Guided Tour around St. Johns and area there is a new hop on hop off option, we haven’t tried it yet but it looks good and the reviews so far are great. A unique thing in Newfoundland is that many of the local cab drivers also do tours, and your hotel can arrange one – they can truly be an experience! McCarthy’s Party is also a well known tour company
- Take a short drive to Brigus area. About an hour outside the city and really pretty town. Brigus has a really fun blueberry festival if you’re there in mid August. Excuse my bias, but I think Newfoundland blueberries are the best in the world!
- Hiking: lots of great options of various degrees of length/difficulty, visit East Coast Trails for all the info.
- Johnson’s Geo Centre really cool centre built into the rocks at the base of signal hill. Great rainy day stop.
- Beaches – the bad news is there are no sandy beaches around St. John’s; the good news is it is always beach weather. The St. John’s areas beaches are actually even more beautiful in stormy weather (but cold). There are none in walking distance from St. John’s, but if you have a rental car you can go. Or you can actually ask a cab driver for a tour and they’ll take you to one of these beaches and back – but don’t let them put you on the meter, ask them for a set fee (the hotel can likely arrange this for you too). My favourite is middle cove beach, as it is a beautiful drive to get there and back. But there are many others as well, with Topsail Beach being a favourite for many – famous for it’s many bonfires people set up on a nice summer’s night. The beaches have large ‘beach rock’ shores. They have beautiful colour mixes in the rocks. If you find one with a continuous stripe all the way around it is considered to be lucky (like a Newfoundland shamrock), and if you find one with two stripes all the way around it means you are not only lucky, but lucky in love!
- Bowring Park – Beautiful park in the west end of the city. Fabulous place for a leisurely walk. Site of one of the famous Caribou Statues commemorating the Royal Newfoundland regiment (Newfoundland’s Army pre joining Canada), and a nice Peter Pan statue too.
- Quidi Vidi Charters – Right in Quidi Vidi – they take you out on a boat for about 1.5 to 2 hours, catch a box of fish and then bring you back to their deck to fillet the catch and serve you Fish & Chips – about $150 pp.
- Pubs: I am sure everyone has heard of George Street, which is a street of bars. Tons of bars, many with live music. From Dance Bars to hole-in-the-walls. You might also want to take in Shamrock city –it’s on Water Street rather than George St, but it’s a good Irish pub with live music. Erin’s Pub is on the other end of water Street but is the ‘renowned original’ St. John’s Irish Pub .
- Nonia: Local NL crafts (mostly knitting) absolutely beautiful authentic knit sweaters.
- Craft Council of Newfoundland Store – local artisanal crafts of all types (pottery, artwork, jewelry, woodcraft), adjudicated crafters. 275 Duckworth Street.
- Downhomer Shoppe or the Newfoundland Heritage Shop (practically next door to each other at 303 and 309 water street) – touristy NL items. Crafts, books, art, t-shirts, etc.
- Newfoundland Chocolate Company – Great place to pick up quick souvenir to bring back – chocolate bars with Newfoundland sayings and assorted chocolate boxes are great. This is at 166 Duckworth St.
- Cod Sounds Culinary and Outdoor Adventures: Culinary hikes and food adventures – really unique things!
- Spirit of Newfoundland Dinner Theatre: a variety of dinner theatres held regularly in a beautiful old heritage building in St. John’s. Musical, Comedy and lots of fun.
- Become an Honorary Newfoundlander: don’t forget to get “Screeched In” and become an Honorary Newfoundlander. You can do this at a number of bars around the island – Good places for this are Christian’s Bar or O’Reilly’s Pub on George Street . Only people who are true Come From Away’s (Not born in Newfoundland & Labrador) are eligible for this time honoured tradition!
- Get some Molasses Raisin Bread – my favourite thing! A slice of this toasted with butter is, in my opinion, the best NL souvenir option of all! The best option (unless you’re going to Jackson’s Arm and can get some from my Aunt Bonnie) is at Tilt House Bakery at 1124 Portugal Cove Road (about 5 minutes past the St. John’s airport turn-off). Call before you go to see if they have any available. Other places to buy it are Breens Deli or Coleman’s or Bidgood’s stores.
Where to eat in St. John’s
- St. John’s Fish Exchange – Great seafood! 351 Water St. St John’s
- Mallard Cottage – beautiful restored cottage in Quidi Vidi Gut, a fishing village right in centre of town. You need reservations for Mallard Cottage. , 8 Barrow’s Road, St. John’s. They have a great brunch too. Amazing little place, which you can follow by a quick walk around the fishing village for great water views, and potentially a tour of craft brewery Quidi Vidi Brewery.
- Merchant Tavern. Located 291 Water Street. Merchant Tavern is also owned by world renowned Chef Jeremy Charles (only chef to win Best New Restaurant in Canada from En Route Magazine twice, as well as many other awards) this is the casual little sister to the famous Raymond’s restaurant.
- Chinched Bistro: Smaller place with a small but great menu of local inspired cuisine. Mid-range pricing.
- Terre at the Alt Hotel.
- Rocket Bakery and Fresh Food: . 272 Water Street. Little bakery and café with fresh food. Only open for take out right now I think, but hopefully the cafe is opening again soon.
- Saltwater Restaurant: . 320 Water Street. Great seafood. Dinner Only (opens 5 pm)
- Hungry Heart Café: . 145 Military Road (The famous Rawlin’s Cross). Ii you are going on a walking tour of ‘old St. John’s’ this would be a great destination. Fabulous café with fresh, yummy food. And all staff are previously vulnerable or marginalized people who are being trained for re-entry into the workforce. Great food and a great cause.
- Gypsy Tea Room– Casual restaurant in the historic Murray Premises in Downtown NL, 315 Water Street.
- Blue on Water. Located at 319 Water Street. Great for brunch
- Piatto Pizzeria: . This is a really great wood-fired pizza restaurant. It is a sit-down restaurant and very good, doesn’t take reservations though, so in peak periods could be a wait.
- Adelaide Oyster House, Lively (noisy), Tapas style with great beers. Ranked on Enroute’s best new restaurants list. Only takes reservations for groups of 6 or more – so some times quite lined up. 334 Water Street.
- The Rooms Café. Rooms Art Gallery and Museum. Open for Lunch only. BEST view in St. John’s walking distance to the brier depending on the weather.
- Basho Restaurant and Lounge: Japanese and Sushi. 283 Water Street
- India Gate. Great Indian Food 286 Duckworth Street.
- Bannerman Brewing – great Brew pub and coffee house, with a great patio and pub snacks. Café in the morning, brew-pub in afternoon. Bit ‘mainland hipster’ but fun none the less,
19 -27 Fish & Chips (& Pub Food)
The great Fish and Chips Debate – the biggest argument in St. John’s – is where do you get the best Fish and Chips? First thing to know is when indulging you need to order it with ‘dressing and gravy’ the dressing is actually bread stuffing like you would put in a roast turkey. Sounds gross but it’s delicious. If you want to be like a local you say “gimme a two piece fish, chips, dressing and gravy please.” – The diet version is to order a ‘one piece’ but believe me there’s nothing diet about it! If you see “F&C” on a menu or hear someone talking about “Fee & Chee” that is fish and chips in shorthand. All F&C in NL is cod – unless it’s from some uppity chef trying to impress you!
19. Duke of Duckworth – our vote for best Fish and Chips in St. John’s is Duke of Duckworth (well except for Chafe’s Landing in Petty Harbour as described in Cape Spear Section above), which is a little pub in a laneway between Water St. and Duckworth Street. If you’ve ever seen Republic of Doyle this is the pub in the series. 325 Duckworth Street, McMurdo’s Lane.
20. Chafe’s Landing FABULOUS! In Petty Harbour (see Cape Spear listing above)
21. QVFC – Food truck in Quidi Vidi (next to Quidi Vidi Brewery). I haven’t tried it yet myself, but I am told it’s awesome!
22. O’Reilly’s Pub . 13 George Street. On famous George Street. Live Irish Music just about every night, including often Fergus O’Byrne who is one of the original members of the famous band Ryan’s Fancy.
23. Yellow Belly Brewery: . Modern style brewpub with great house beers, great atmosphere. 288 Water Street (right on the corner of George St.), fun atmosphere (somewhat loud), great fish and chips and other traditional pub fare.
24. Shamrock City. . 40 Water Street, Live music.
25. Tongue & Cheek at O’Brien’s Boat Tours in Bay Bulls. Fabulous Fish and Chips with fresh caught fish – careful the servings are huge! And you still need to leave room for the fabulous desserts.
26. Quidi Vidi Charters – Amazing experience – see listing above in things to do in St. John’s.
Stop 2: Trinity
Trinity (about 2 ½ hour drive from St. John’s) gorgeous fishing community with beautiful protected harbour and lots of restored homes. Note that there are two towns of Trinity in NL. You are looking for Trinity, Trinity Bay which is on the Discovery Trail. Make sure you’re going to the right one. Trinity is a renowned place with a lovely harbour and many amazing restored heritage homes, with terrific things to see and do – truly a spectacular place to spend a few days.
Places to Stay in Trinity:
- Artisan Inn , beautiful Inn, also has vacation homes and a wonderful restaurant the Twine Loft.
- Eriksen Premises
- Fishers Loft (actually in Port Rexton, next town) – beautiful Inn with great restaurant
- Ada’s place, hosted by the wonderful artist Elizabeth Burry.
- Rosewood Suites
- Compass B&B
- Goose Cove Retreat – an amazing place to stay if you’re travelling with a group.
- You can also stay a little further afield in Bonavista (about 45 minutes further along the same highway as Trinity and another beautiful town). Bonavista has a beautiful waterfront and is full of history – it is believed to be where John Cabot landed when he first landed in North America in 1497! Here are some choices in Bonavista:
Things to Do in Trinity:
Trinity Pageant by Rising Tide Theatre – Trinity Pageant wonderful outdoor play reenacting life in NL fishing village (requires walking through the town following the actors. Trinity Festival will also have various plays, they also have an awesome dinner theatre twice a week.
Trinity Historical walking tour with Kevin Toope, (2 hours), meet at Kevin’s House, Clinch’s lane, Phone: 709-464-3723. Meet and everyone can go, no advance booking required.
Hiking– The Skerwink Trail! must do!
Other hiking: http://www.hikediscovery.com/index.html
Boat tour on a zodiac! https://www.seaofwhales.com/
Various Museums in Trinity – there are a number of museums throughout the town
Day Trip to Bonavista:
Combine the following for a lovely day trip from Trinity to Elliston to Upper Amherst cove to Bonavista. The total drive is only about an hour each way, but it’s a beautiful coastal drive with lots to do.
Elliston Sealers Memorial – beautiful museum and statue commemorating one of NL’s great disasters. Very well done (approx. 30 min drive from Trinity).
Elliston is also a great place to see Newfoundland’s famous Puffins. Puffins are usually in the area May through September, but the viewing early in the season is usually more dependable. It is known as the closest land viewing of Puffins on the island. Elliston has also declared itself the “Root Cellar Capital of the World” and the root cellars located throughout the town are actually really cool to see as you walk around.
Bonavista Social Club – NOTE: Bonavista Social Club is apparently closed for 2022 season. in Upper Amherst Cove. Lovely place for lunch, best pizza on the planet!
Bonavista town – the town of Bonavista has a beautiful harbour, and lovely museums (Check out the Ryan Premises and MockBeggar Plantation), and many restored houses to see.
When in Bonavista visit The Dungeons Provincial Park. Really pretty hiking that takes you to some wonderful sea caves. The entrance to the park is near the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse which is also really pretty.
Where to eat in Trinity Area
Eriksen Premises: http://mytrinityexperience.com/eriksen-premises/
Two Whales Coffee Shop (Port Rexton, next town over Great food!) www.twowhales.com
Bonavista Social Club (Upper Amherst Cove) http://bonavistasocialclub.com/
Fishers Loft http://fishersloft.com/
Mifflin’s Tea Room, Bonavista http://mifflins-tea-room.business.site/
Port Rexton Brewing http://www.portrextonbrewing.com/
Stop 3: Greenspond/Newtown/Wesleyville (New-Wes-Valley)
Places to Stay in Greenspond/Newtown
The Old salt BoxCo – great old Salt Box Homes restored into amazing vacation homes in a few towns, including Greenspond and Musgrave Harbour.
Sprindrift by the Sea in Musgrave Harbour http://www.spindriftbythesea.com/index.php
Audrey’s Tickle Bliss (heritage home at Barbour Historic Site in Newtown) http://www.barbour-site.com/accommodations/
Things to Do in Greenspond/Newtown/Wesleyville (New-Wes-Valley):
Basically if you drive in any direction you will have a beautiful drive, with lots of places to stop, get out and enjoy the amazing coast. Greenspond to Carmanville is particularly a great drive to see icebergs in season.
Barbour Living Heritage Museum – FABULOUS place to visit. A number of restored traditional buildings, fabulous way to get a feeling for traditional fishing life in NL. One of my favourite places to go. And make sure to book in to the dinner theatre if you are going to be there on a Wednesday night in August. Also check into other programming such as cooking experiences etc. http://www.barbour-site.com/
Bonavista North Museum + Gallery in Wesleyville. Currently under reconstruction so showing closed for now – but is currently being totally redone and I imagine will be reopened for summer 2022. Here’s a story on the renovation – looks beautiful doesn’t it?
Great Beaches along this shore – We love the beach at Windmill Bight Provincial Park in Lumsden, and the beaches in Musgrave Harbour. Sandy Beaches are rare in NL so make sure to enjoy these while you are in the area.
Places to eat in Greenspond/Newtown (New-Wes-Valley):
Ida’s place Tea Room in Greenspond https://www.facebook.com/teahouse22/
Old Shoppe Restaurant Barbour Living Heritage Museum
Stop 4: Twillingate
Places to Stay in Twillingate
The following website has all the best accommodations www.Twillingate.com. Any of the accommodations are fine.
“Above the Tickle” and “Amber Retreat” are both restored homes, you would have them to yourself. Very nice. My next choice would be the Anchor Inn Hotel and Suites. We stayed there and it was clean and lovely. They have lovely two bedroom kitchenette suites. Ask for ocean view suite. The Inn is also fine, but I think it can be noisy as they have a great restaurant/bar there.
The Old salt BoxCo – great old Salt Box Homes restored into amazing vacation homes in a few towns, including Twillingate.
Sunshine Inn – Four star hotel with ocean views.
Harbour Lights Inn – Beautiful Restored heritage Inn and cute cottages on the water.
Things to Do in Twillingate
Basically if you drive in any direction for Twillingate you will have a beautiful drive, with lots of places to stop, get out and enjoy the amazing coast. Here’s a site with some suggested trips http://stayintwillingate.com/tag/day-trips/
In Twillingate itself you should drive out to the lighthouse, it’s beautiful.
The Split Peas, This is a singing troupe, which does a show at night at the old Orange Lodge, 118 Main Street, Twillingate. The show is entertaining – but the Toutons with homemade jam served on the break are awesome!
A must do experience in Twillingate is Dinner on the Beach with Experience Twillingate.
From Twillingate you can take a day trip over to Fogo Island. But remember there is a ferry to get to Fogo Island, so you’ll want to check the schedule closely and there can be a line-up to get on the ferry so you need to get there early. You can also overnight on Fogo Island if you want, and there are lots of AirBnbs, BnB’s and also homes from The Old Salt BoxCo. Or, of course if you really, really splurge for a once in a lifetime experience, you can stay at the world renowned Fogo Island Inn.
For ferry schedule to Fogo Island visit http://www.tw.gov.nl.ca/ferryservices/schedules/c_fogo.html
Places to eat in Twillingate:
You will want to be careful to avoid the ‘deep-fried’ only diners! Here are some great options:
- Georgie’s Restaurant at the Anchor Inn
- Canvas Cove Bistro on the Iceberq Quest tours premises
- Addy’s Restaurant – you need to dig on the menu to avoid the deepfryer. but the fish (and Moose Soup) are excellent.
- There is also a Foodland supermarket, so you might want to cook for yourself too if you get a kitchenette or house rental.
- Dinner on the Beach with Experience Twillingate
- For a great seafood/lobster meal go to Doyle Sansome & Sons. Or, if you want to cook your own you can pick up fresh seafood and lobster at Waterside Fish Market.
Stop 5 Gros Morne – the one you’ve been dreaming about from those tourism commercials!!
Places to stay in Gros Morne area
- Bonne Bay Inn & Seaside Suites in Woody Point. Woody Point is beautiful. Darlene Thomas owns Bonne Bay Inn and Seaside Suites.
- Meeting Hill Cottages, Rocky Harbour, nice cottages, 2 bedrooms and a kitchen. 170 Main Street North, Rocky Harbour, NL
- Neddie’s Harbour Inn, Norris Point.
- Alderbed Cottages, Rocky Harbour
Camping at the National Park of course. http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/nl/grosmorne/index.aspx.
Also tons of other accommodations in Rocky Harbour, Bonne Bay, Norris Point, Cow Head, Neddies Harbour etc. available through AirBnb or Expedia.
Things to do in Gros Morne area
- Great website with current events: visitgrosmorne.com
- Lovely towns all around there. Rocky Harbour, Norris Point, Woody Point, Cow Head. All have lovely trails and beautiful scenery
- State of Art Theatre in Cow Head, home to the Gros Morne Theatre Festival , wonderful theatre all summer long
- Dr. Henry N. Payne Community Museum and Craft Shop in Cow Head
- Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse in Gros Morne Park
- Tablelands walk – fairly level, maybe 30 mins each way. Guided by the national park guides.
- Gros Morne summit hike – the famous hike to the top of Gros Morne. It is a long, full day, strenuous hike – but totally worth it if you are able.
- The boat tour of Western Brook Pond (the fjord) this is beautiful bontours.ca or you can get info via national parks. There is a 40 min walk in from the parking lot. It’s fairly level and on a boardwalk, so a comfortable walk if your mom and dad can do it.
- You can get all the info on what’s happening in the park at the visitors centre as you enter the park http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/nl/grosmorne/index.aspx
- Sea Kayaking/ Hiking tours http://grosmorneadventures.com
- Humber River Off-Grid Tours (in Deer Lake), glamping, kayaking tours and more with exceptional guide Ashley.
- If you are there at the right time the Lobster Fest or Gros Morne Fall Festival
Places to eat in Gros Morne
Main thing to note for Gros Morne is to get your groceries in Deer Lake BEFORE you drive up to Gros Morne. There are grocery stores in Gros Morne where you can get staples, but fresh meats and vegetables are in very short supply and only get delivered up the coast once a week.
With respect to restaurants, again, it takes some work to avoid the deep fryer. And some of the restaurants have strange closing days. But there are definitely gems to be had. Here are some of our favourites:
Chanterelles (at Sugar Hill Inn): http://sugarhillinn.ca/cuisine/ Main St, Norris Point
Java Jacks restaurant Rocky Harbour, http://javajacks.ca/
Parson’s Rocky Harbour Restaurant
The Old Loft, Woody Point
The Black Spruce Norris Point at Neddies Harbour Inn (more expensive, really good) https://theblackspruce.ca
Stop 6? L’anse Aux Meadows (Viking Landing Excursion)
**Note about L’anse aux Meadows*** Many people love to go to L’Anse aux Meadows to see the Viking Landing. One of the most debated points in Newfoundland is whether this is ‘worth the drive’. Personally our family loves to visit there so I recommend it, but it is a 5-hour drive each way North of Gros Morne, so an additional overnight trip, and the only thing to see there is the Viking Landing and a surprisingly exceptional restaurant The Norseman. If you do go make sure to take the coastal highway drive rather than the Main highway, as the views along the drive are amazing too.
Places to stay in L’anse aux Meadows
- Valhalla Lodge (BnB, and Guest Home cottages) http://www.valhalla-lodge.com/valhalla/
- Jenny’s Runestone House (B&B), Jennifer_stpierre@hotmail.com, 8 main road L’Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland A0K 2X0, http://www.jennysrunestonehouse.ca/ Phone: 1 (709) 623-2811.
- Viking Village B&B: http://www.vikingvillage.ca/
Places to eat in L’anse aux Meadows
There is a really exceptional high quality restaurant in L’anse aux meadows with some of the best seafood you’ll have. Pricey though. The Norseman: http://www.valhalla-lodge.com/restaurant.htm
Good, Fresh food at The daily Catch, 112 Ship’s Cove Road, St. Lunaire-Griquet., 709-623-2295
The Weather / What to Wear: Many places use the saying “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes” but in my opinion NL must have invented it. You can truly have 4 (or more) seasons in a day and because of that even the weather network and environment Canada forecasts can’t fully prepare you. When the wind turns around in the North Atlantic, the weather in St. John’s can change in minutes. So it really is a place to layer and be prepared.
No matter what time of year you are visiting you will want to have a good rain and wind barrier layer, and comfortable boots with a non-slip sole just in case the weather turns nasty.
All restaurants are pretty much come as you are – you can dress as you like, but don’t worry if you only have casual clothes – nobody will turn you away or snub you for being too casual.
Additional Tourist Information
St. John’s Tourism Web Site: https://destinationstjohns.com/
Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism Web site: http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/
The locals & Their Language: Newfoundlanders are a hospitable crowd and they will all love to have you visit. Feel free to ask anyone for help or directions – they’ll all want to help.
I thought you’d enjoy some local language tips – as the people don’t come with sub-titles ;-). Just one word of advice… two words you should never use are ‘Newfie’ and “b’y”. Newfie because many Newfoundlanders find it offensive. Many don’t of course, and you will hear lots of Newfoundlanders refer to themselves as such. But just as many find it highly offensive and there is no way to predict who feels which way. It really is one of those words that you can only get away with saying about yourself – so if you’re not one, better to not use the word at all.
B’y is not the same in terms of potentially offending anyone, I just recommend you don’t use it because almost no one who is not from Newfoundland can use it in the right context and with the right accent – and the locals will truly cringe if you try to use it!
Newfoundland – is pronounced nothing like it spells. The emphasis is on the LAND. So it rhymes with “UnderSTAND”, and “place so GRAND”. Both the first and last d’s are soft, and the found is kind of half way between fun and fin. In any case – you will have lots of tutors, as everyone there will make it their life’s mission to help you say it correctly.
Newfoundland and Labrador is one province, but rarely referred to together.
Newfoundland is part of Atlantic Canada, but not the Maritimes, I don’t recommend referring to anyone as a Maritimer or saying you are in the Maritimes – they might just send you back on the next boat.
Don’t worry about jaywalking, it is a way of life in Newfoundland and the cars will usually stop to let you cross. But if you’re not paying attention they may ‘Barmp’ their horn at you.
Some other words and phrases to know:
Baymen – someone from anywhere in Newfoundland except St. John’s
Best Kind! – Great!
Birch Broom in the fits – disheveled
Buddy – Anybody you can’t remember the name of
Cinch – this is something that is easy or quick. Don’t worry I’ll be up to Mile One in a cinch.
Crooked – if someone says you’re crooked, don’t worry it just means your grumpy.
Come from Away – Someone not born in Newfoundland
Contrary means the same thing as Crooked, but only if pronounced con-TRAIR-ee.
Dark & Dirty – the famous drink of Newfoundlanders, Rum & Cola always with Dark Rum and usually with Pepsi!
Double Dark and Dirty – Double rum and Pepsi
Douse – soak with water. Sopping – really wet. “It’s pouring out. I got doused with water and now I’m Sopping Wet.”
Go on b’y! – You sure?
Go on wich ya! – You’re lying or joking
Fine Day on the Clothes or Fine Day on the Paint– nice weather
Get a rise out of – (No it’s not dirty) it means someone is responding to teasing. “Sorry ‘bout that, I was only saying it to get a rise out of ya”
God Bless your cotton socks! – Thank you
Gut Founded – Hungry
Havin a time! – Partying
Havin a scoff! – Eating
Havin a scuff! – Dancing
I dies at you! – You’re funny
Jumpin’ Dyin! – Good Grief
Lard jumpin dyin! – F*ck
Lassy – Molasses. This is THE Newfoundland Syrup. You’ll see it served on the most amazing things.
Lord Tunderin! – Good Grief
Luh! – Look There! and also I told you so.
Me ducky, Me Love, or Me Darling – term of endearment, but used with complete strangers!
N’ar one – none
Now the Once or The Once – soon
Ow’s ya gettin on b’y? – How are you doing (to a male)
Ow’s ya getting on maid? – how are you doing (to a femaleProper Ting B’y – you’re doing the right thing, that’s the right idea
Stay where you’re to til I comes where you’re at – you stay there until I get there.
The once – very soon. “You go on ahead, I’ll be there da once”
Thingamabob or chummy – anything you can’t remember the name of!
Townie – Someone from St. John’s
Whadda ya at? – How are you doing?
Where you longs too? – Where are you from?
Who’s your father? Or “Who owns you”? – Where are you from and how did you get to be here
Wicked – Really Great
Yes b’y! – Yes
You don’t say? – You sure?