Top 14 Things to Do in Newfoundland & Labrador

by Emese Graham
colourful houses along jelly bean row in st johns newfoundland

For a place that teeters on the continent’s edge, Newfoundland & Labrador’s world-famous friendliness sure is magnetic. Canada’s easternmost province is unmistakably special. With transcendent national parks, quintessential seaside dining, and offbeat Atlantic life, it’s no wonder travellers can’t stay away.

If you want to experience Newfoundland for yourself, but you’re not sure where to start, browse through our Flighties’ recommendations for culture, nature, and adventure.

Our Favourite Things to Do in Newfoundland & Labrador

Planning post-pandemic travel can be confusing. That’s why our Travel Experts will walk you through the best timing for your trip, based on the safety regulations that local communities across the province are upholding.

Don’t worry, Newfoundland & Labrador will stay where they’re to ‘til you comes where they’re at. For now, let’s dream of tomorrow’s vacations together!

Culture

colourful houses sitting on snowy hill in newfoundland and labrador

1. Dig In!

Take a walk down Duckworth or Water Street in St. John’s, and virtually any telephone pole will have a sign pointing you in the direction of some live music and a pint. Make sure your island visit includes some local craft ales (like Quidi Vidi or Bootleg Brew) and oceanfresh fare.

2. Meet Vikings at L’Anse aux Meadow

These boglands hide an impressive UNESCO World Heritage site – the only confirmed archaeological remnants of a Norse presence in North America. Bring the kids and explore the Viking camp with interpreters who bring history to life.

3. Explore St John’s

Colour-popping houses along Jelly Bean Row are just the beginning. Spend a day exploring Newfoundland & Labrador’s capital, from Signal Hill and Cabot Tower to Cape Spear Lighthouse and everything in between. Blink and you’ll miss something!

4. Catch a Show

Theatre Newfoundland Labrador is one of a kind. Since 1979, the grassroots theatre has been bringing truly local productions to its Gros Morne Theatre Festival stage in Cow Head. With indigenous, islander, and Labradorian stars of all ages shining brightly every season, catching a show is a must.

5. Take a Short Ferry Ride to France

Europe is closer than you think. Take the ferry out of Fortune, exchange your Canadian dollars for Euros, and spend some time exploring Saint-Pierre & Miquelon, a French territory. Museums, heritage sites, and, of course, creperies await!

Nature

travellers go hiking on cabot tower track in newfoundland

6. Go Wildlife Watching

Timing is everything. Luckily for visitors to Newfoundland and Labrador, the seasons line up just right for the perfect hat trick. Whether you’re in Southern Labrador, Twillingate, or Witless Bay, there’s a sweet spot for viewing wild puffins, whales, and icebergs all at the same time (early July, late-June, and early-June, respectively). Bring your camera!

7. Hike Gros Morne Park

Find your footing amongst Newfoundland’s famous freshwater fjords (say that five times fast). There’s absolutely no doubt as to how Gros Morne earned its UNESCO World Heritage Site title. Every hike to the summit, every trek through the Tablelands, every SUP adventure proves it again and again.

8. Overnight in Torngat National Park

Until you’ve seen Torngat National Park through the lens of Inuit culture, you haven’t really seen it. At Base Camp, share meals and stories with research teams, elders and youth from the Nunatsiavut and Nunavik communities, and fellow travellers. Then, make your way by foot, boat, or helicopter through Torngat’s gorgeous landmarks.

9. Meet Some Bugs

Stop by the edge of Deer Lake for a couple of hours at The Newfoundland Insectarium, a quirky attraction that’s made quite a name for itself. Whether you fancy yourself a lover of creepy-crawlies or not, the resident butterflies, beetles, and other multi-legged beings are guaranteed to make your trip interesting.

10. Watch the First Sun Rise in North America

The early bird catches the continent’s first glimpses of daylight at Cape Spear. After a magical seaside sunrise, you can follow the East Coast Trail for a picturesque 15.4-kilometre hike between Blackhead and Maddox Cove. All before your night-owl travel buddies manage to roll out of bed.

Adventure

diver explores sunken ship in newfoundland

11. Go Spelunking

The Corner Brook limestone caves provide a view of Newfoundland & Labrador that few get to see. Squeeze into a wetsuit and brave the caves, following an expert guide through underground streams and tight spots.

12. Go Skiing

Don’t forget to pack your snow pants! Canada’s piece of the Appalachian Mountain range gives you a chance to ski and snowboard to your heart’s content. Marble Mountain in Corner Brook offers 39 runs for adventurers of all experience levels. And if you’d rather stay warm and toasty, The Knotty Pine Lounge does après ski the right way with food, drinks, and live music.

13. Brave the Rapids

Whether you’re “riding the bull” on an Exploits River rafting trip or enjoying an afternoon of scenic sea kayaking, Newfoundland’s waters do not disappoint. Boat tours and rentals abound, so take advantage!

14. Go Shipwreck Diving

Newfoundland & Labrador’s best-kept secret might be the estimated 8,000 shipwrecks dotting the coastline. Guided diving expeditions bring you face to face with historic WWII ships, surreal marine life, and 10,000-year-old icebergs, too.

Keep “home” at the top of your travel wish list! For tips on how to scratch your travel itch as Canada and the world re-opens, ask an Expert or stay tuned for more inspiration.

 


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