The best way to take in the province is on a multi-week road trip, so find a rental car and pack your camera, our local insider Arienne Parzei reveals the province’s best experiences.
Nature lovers will be in awe as they explore Gros Morne National Park. This UNESCO world heritage site located on the western coast of Newfoundland has a variety of terrain to cross. From the barren tablelands to the lush coastal cliffs, the park has over 62mi (100km) of hiking trails to enjoy.
The biggest draw to the park is the Western Brook Pond, a 10mi (16km) long body of water that was carved during the last Ice Age.
Visitors can enjoy a 2-hour guided boat tour that travels between the towering cliffs to the base of the pond and back. Stay in one of the campgrounds or book a room in one of the many communities nestled around the park, including Rocky Harbour, Woody Point, and Norris Point.
North of Gros Morne National Park is the second UNESCO World Heritage Site found on Newfoundland, L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site. This particular site has notable historical significance, as it’s here that the first known European settlement of the New World was built.
Visitors can wander through a reconstructed Viking village and see what life would have been like over 1,000 years ago.
Newfoundland’s natural beauty and people are what set it apart from other provinces. This is the only province where icebergs make a yearly appearance. During the spring and summer months, icebergs can regularly be seen from the coast along ‘Iceberg Alley’, a stretch of area from the coast of Labrador down to the northeast coast of Newfoundland.
Hikers can tackle one of many notable trails including the East Coast Trail (linking 32 historic communities across the Avalon region), the Skerwink Trail near Port Roxton, and a section of the International Appalachian Trail.
Newfoundland is also known for its abundance of wildlife and visitors may just be lucky to see moose, puffins, and whales during their time on the island.
While the Trans-Canada Highway is the main thoroughfare that connects you from one side of the island to the other, exploring the cities and smaller communities off the highway is where Newfoundland really shines.
The capital city of St. John’s is one of the oldest cities on the continent. Here is where you’ll see North America’s first sunrise at Cape Spear National Historic Site, and walk amongst the colorful houses of Jellybean Row. You also can’t miss the opportunity to become an honorary Newfoundlander by getting ‘Screeched In’ (may or may not involve a shot of screech, a short recitation, and smooching a cod fish).
Pop into Gander and Corner Brook for a day visit, and be sure to experience the charm of the small communities of Trinity, Bonavista, Twillingate, and Fogo Island.
It’s not the easiest city to get to, requiring a flight, a ferry ride from Newfoundland, or a long drive through the remote parts of Quebec, but Labrador City is worth a visit for those who love to venture off-the-beaten path.
The two most popular activities to do in and around Labrador City is sport fishing in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter.
For the truly adventurous, make the trip up to Torngat Mountains National Park. It’s only accessible via plane from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, but the landscape is truly out of this world.
Here is where you’ll also catch the spectacular northern lights. The Inuit have called this home for thousands of years and also run the base camp, offering the opportunity to learn about their way of life first-hand.