There are few places in the world like Newfoundland. I thought so on my first trip here four years ago and, after two years of living here, I am sure of it and, you know what? Different is oh. So. Good.
Over the last couple of years, Matthew and I have been exploring the Island as much as possible and we fell in love so many times. With landscapes, with salty ocean air and, mostly, with people who, despite NL’s bad rep for grey weather, seem to make their own sunshine with their niceness alone. Here are our favourite things to do when we want our hearts to be stolen by Newfoundland (yet again).
From St. John’s, the day trip possibilities are almost endless. It is possible to find hidden gems and incredible treasures whether you drive just a few minutes or a couple of hours out of St. John’s. One of our favourite day trips is the drive around the Baccalieu Coastal Drive (with a mandatory stop at the beautiful Newfoundland Distillery Company). About an hour out of town, the area is biologically very diverse and simply stunning. Bring a picnic and hiking shoes… you never know when you will want to just stop driving and explore by foot!
Walk to Quidi Vidi Village
A great way to discover St. John’s is to take a walk to Quidi Vidi. There is something really magical about watching the streets and landscape transform as you walk, to become this quaint and charming historical fishing community. While you’re there, have brunch at Mallard Cottage, go see our friends Modjul Design and Wooly Tops at the Plantation, a craft-based business incubator where you can buy Newfoundland-made products. End your day with a beer and live music at the Quidi Vidi Brewery Tap Room, and you got yourself a perfect day!
(Don’t feel like walking back up hill? The taxi trip back from Quidi Vidi to downtown is about $10)
Have a fire on the beach
Rare are the beaches on the East Coast of Newfoundland that offer warm and inviting waters to dip your toes in. So instead of swimming in the ocean, we like to have fires by it. On any given day, if you drive to Middle Cove our Outer Cove beaches, to name a few, you will always find groups of friends and families having a fire together – and often boiling some fresh seafood on it.
It’s not a secret – Newfoundlanders love their beer, and day drinking here is an art form we call day boiling. Whenever there is a nice afternoon, you can find us drinking a delicious local beer or cocktail in friends’ yards or in the many cool bars and patios in town. The perfect circuit, if you ask me? Start your day with a drink and a bite to eat on our Terre patio overlooking the Narrows, then walk to Bannerman Brewery . Sit on their awesome patio or in their beautiful tap room and taste one of our finest local beers before heading across the street to Bar Brewdock The new kid on the street offers a selection of beers from the best breweries on the island, so you can taste the best Newfoundland has to offer. Finally, no day boil would be complete without an early supper and some cocktails at Toslow, a city favourite, located a few steps from both Bannerman and Brewdock.
Go on a boat
I never ever (ever) get tired of going on boat trips here. Whether it’s with your group only, to fish or to explore the beautiful Bell Island area with the lovely guys at Saltwater Society or on a bigger boat (we recommend O’Briens and Iceberg Quest to go watch icebergs, puffins and whales, you will never be disappointed with a day spent on our beautiful waters.
While there are so many more beautiful and truly extraordinary things to do in Newfoundland (stay tuned for more blog posts!), this is a great start to plan your trip or staycation in and around St. John’s.
We hope to welcome you soon!