Best Things To Do in Newfoundland
Easily one of our favourite provinces to explore, Newfoundland is an incredible place to add to your Canadian bucket list. We’ve visited Newfoundland many times and from May 15th to May 27th, 2017, Newfoundland became the first part of our 150-day Canada road trip travel series. We experienced icebergs, kitchen parties, history, and gorgeous landscapes. We also experienced a mix of sun, wind, rain, fog, and cloudy weather. This is all part of visiting Canada’s most Easterly province during the month of May. However, this is when icebergs begin to make their way down the Atlantic and one of the few places in the world where you can see them in all their glory.
Newfoundland is such an incredible place to explore and is quite unique compared to the rest of Canada. We were blown away with the hospitality of the locals and by their eagerness to help us experience their great province in various ways. From the moment we touched down in St. John’s, people helped organize parties, tours, and activities all across the province, and some even took us out for dinner.
Newfoundland really is a special place and should definitely be on your traveling bucket list. Whether you’re looking for icebergs, wildlife, incredible scenery, or a joyful atmosphere, Newfoundland is the place to be.
When planning a trip, it’s always helpful to know what the best things to do are. We have a number of articles about Newfoundland on this site but this one is dedicated to showcasing some of the best things to do in the entire province, most of which have been experienced by us.
We hope you enjoy the article and we hope we inspire you to visit this wonderful province.
Things To Do in St. John’s
Not only is St. John’s the oldest English-founded city in North America, but It’s also the capital of Newfoundland. Here you’ll find Canada’s oldest street, lots of live music venues, an array of delicious restaurants, beautiful historical sites, and a very busy harbour. It’s a beautiful city and will most likely be the city you’ll fly into when visiting from abroad. There are so many things to do in St. John’s and although you may not get a chance to do them all, here’s a variety of things to choose from during your time in the windiest, cloudiness, and foggiest city in Canada.
Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours
Located right in St. John’s harbour, this is a great tour for those wanting to experience the thrill of leaving the famous harbour, visiting Cape Spear (Canada’s most Easterly point), and viewing icebergs and/or whales, depending on the season. They also operate iceberg tours in Twillingate, which is the iceberg capital of the world. After seeing the harbour from shore and from the top of Signal Hill, it was really cool to experience St. John’s harbour from a boat. They also got us really close to some icebergs!
Learn more at www.icebergquest.com.
O’Brien’s Whale and Bird Tours
If you’re after cute little puffins, this is the tour for you. Leaving from Bay Bulls (about a 30-minute drive from St. John’s) you’ll get to see icebergs and/or whales (depending on the season) and millions of puffins around the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, which is home to the largest Atlantic puffin colony in North America. For those without a car, O’Brien’s offers a pick-up service in St. John’s as well. This is one of our favourite things to do in the province, simply because we love Puffins!
Learn more at www.obriensboattours.com.
So-Full Food Tour
If you want to experience some of St. John’s culinary delights as well as a little bit of history, this is the tour for you. We visited the Newfoundland Chocolate Company, the Rocket House Cafe, Yellowbelly Brewery, O’Reilly’s Pub, and Tavola, which is owned by one of the members from the Great Big Sea.
Learn more at www.sofullfoodtours.ca.
(Note: You can also save money on this tour by purchasing the Must Do Canada Saver Card)
Boyle Waking Tour
If you want a colourful and informative historical tour, you likely won’t find a better one than Boyle’s Historical Walking Tours. His enthusiasm really adds a lot to the tour and he’ll walk you to and through some of the most important historical sites in the oldest city in North America.
Learn more at www.boyletours.com.
Cod Sounds Culinary Excursion
Due to weather, we couldn’t experience the full splendor of the foraging tour that Lori has created but we did go to her house to learn about the cooking process of wild foods such as moose, lobster, cod cheeks, mackerel, and homemade bread and jam. She even made us rhubarb tea, which was incredibly delicious. Everything was tasty and it was so interesting to learn about the art of foraging. This is one experience we would all love to do when we’re back in St. John’s. We’ve been talking about it ever since!
Learn more at www.codsounds.ca.
Getting Screeched-in at Christian’s Bar
Ask anyone in St, John’s where you should get Screeched-in and they’ll tell you Christian’s. This quaint little pub is home to the best screech-in performance in the city! I don’t want to give away too much but if you want more of a performance to add to the experience, this is the place to do it. There are two shows done by two different people. The event takes place nightly at 5 PM and 11 PM. This is an iconic tradition and one of the top things to do in Newfoundland.
Located on George Street.
O’Reilly’s Irish Newfoundland Pub
We must have visited this place at least five times during our short time in St. John’s. It’s a great place for live music (especially Thursdays and Friday’s from our experience) and also home to a very tasty Newfoundland Chowder. We also had rabbit pie, which was AWESOME! More than anything though, it’s a great place to dance to Newfoundland music in the middle of George Street. Ask my dad!
This is probably the first vegan restaurant I have ever eaten at but I am so happy we found this place. The owner is from Macau, China and absolutely loves Newfoundland. He might just be the friendliest person I’ve ever met and just a pure joy to be around. He believes in good vibes, which is why he chooses vegan. No harm to any living thing. Even if you love meat like me, his food is excellent and he is a great guy to meet. Try the lotus paste buns. Mmmm.
Located at 250 Duckworth Street.
The Luxus Boutique Hotel and Lounge
If you’re looking for luxurious Newfoundland hotels, we spent a whopping six nights at the Luxus Hotel on Water Street. We were thrilled that they offered to host us for such a long time and blown away by the quality of the hotel. We had views of the harbour, two bedrooms, a MASSIVE flat-screen TV, a rain shower, a bidet toilet, and so much space to work with. The staff at the Luxus were so incredibly friendly and they even brought us out to the Yellowbelly Brewery for dinner one night, which is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, one of their friends invited us to their heritage house and made us tacos for dinner! It’s moments like these that we’ll never forget. In fact, you’ll see them in the video! We had such a great time at the Luxus and can’t wait to go back.
Learn more at www.theluxus.ca.
Things To Do in Trinity Newfoundland
Trinity is one of the prettiest old towns in Newfoundland. It’s one of those towns you see on a postcard and know you have to visit one day. The town even has an active blacksmith as well as numerous historical buildings, quaint accommodation, and the oldest cemetery in all of Canada. If you want to see small-town Newfoundland, definitely go to Trinity.
If you’re looking to get out on a boat and look for some big marine life, this is your chance. Dolphins, porpoises, seals, bluefin tuna, basking sharks, and majestic whales such as humpbacks, fin, sperm, and minke are just some of the incredible creatures you might see on their thrilling three-hour whale watching tour. But that’s not all, you may also see eagles, puffins, gannets, and more!
Learn more at www.trinityecotours.com.
Artisan Inn and Twine Loft Restaurant
I truly can’t imagine a better place to stay not only in Trinity but in the entire province. This place is gorgeous and is the perfect way to step back in time. At Artisan Inn, you get your own house! Ours, which was built in the 1800s, felt like a dollhouse with its cute little rooms and antique furniture. This is the type of accommodation that actually adds to the experience. They also serve gourmet food in the evening at Twine Loft Restaurant as well as a delicious breakfast in the morning.
Learn more at www.trinityvacations.com.
Bonavista Social Club
This popular and new restaurant is located in the small community of Upper Amherst Cove on the Bonavista Peninsula. Since visiting Bonavista itself should be high on your list, you might as well stop here to fill your tummy. Here you’ll find delicious food made with local ingredients as well as the only commercial wood-fired bread oven in all of Newfoundland. We had fresh pasta, lamb, wood-fired pizza, a moose burger, and their delicious partridgeberry bread pudding.
Learn more at www.bonavistasocialclub.com.
Port Rexton Brewery
This new brewery, located just minutes from Trinity, is all the rage in Newfoundland. So many people recommended it to us that we had to stop by. We’re thankful we did. We had a tour followed by a tasting of their four popular beers. I love how each brew is so different that even the alcohol levels change. It’s really like a high-quality homebrew. I’m not usually a fan of dark beers but their porter was very delicious.
Learn more at www.portrextonbrewing.com.
Things To Do in Twillingate, Newfoundland
Known as the iceberg capital of the world, this is the place to come if you want to see icebergs. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate with our visit and the ice, wind, and rain didn’t allow us to go out on the big boats. However, we did get to go out on a smaller boat, which allowed us to stand on some of the pack-ice, which was lining the harbour. In addition, our lovely guesthouse threw us a kitchen party, which brought out the real Newfoundland vibe and introduced us to some local musicians. The town itself is quaint and beautiful and I certainly hope to visit it again one day.
Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours
If you want to see icebergs, this is the tour to go with. Due to weather, we couldn’t go with them in Twillingate but we did do an iceberg tour with them from St. John’s and it was excellent. We will definitely be back one day to try them out in the iceberg capital of the world!
Learn more at www.icebergquest.com.
This is a new harbour-view seafood restaurant in Twillingate. Our hosts recommended that we try the Cod au Gratin and it did not disappoint. Who would have thought that cod and cheese could go together so well but it was incredibly delicious! We finished up with chocolate cake and ice cream. If you want seafood, this is the place to go!
Located at 128 Main Street.
All Season’s Bed & Breakfast
I’m so happy we found this lovely bed & breakfast, which is run by Mark and Ruby. Each room has its own ensuite and the gourmet breakfast is delicious! Mark and Ruby are such lovely hosts and the kitchen party they organized for us was so much fun. It’s one of the highlights of our two weeks in Newfoundland! The Bed & Breakfast has great views of the harbour as well and they are very knowledgeable about Twillingate. We only stayed for two nights and we can’t wait to return.
Learn more at www.allseasonsbb.com.
Things To Do in Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park is one of the most beautiful national parks in all of Canada and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to it being a rare example of the process of the continental drift. The park is filled with landlocked fjords, exposed mantle, cliffs, waterfalls, coastline, and tons of wildlife, including moose, bald eagles, whales, and caribou. If I had to pick one place in all of Newfoundland to explore, this would be it.
Blackawton Boat Tours
Located in Woody Point near Trout River, this is your chance to get out on Bonne Bay and see some whales! Not only did we see various whales breach the water, but we also saw bald eagles and seals. Taking a boat tour is one of the top things to do in Newfoundland. Bonne Bay is gorgeous and if you want to see wildlife and get out on the water, this is the tour for you.
Learn more at www.blackawtonboattours.com.
Western Brook Pond Boat Tour
If you’re looking to get up close and personal with the most famous postcard image of Gros Morne National Park, this is the tour for you. There’s only one company that operates the tour and they take you right inside the fjord, giving you an opportunity to see beautiful scenery and waterfalls.
Wow, this place serves up delicious seafood right next to the beach. There’s something special about eating fresh fish with views of the ocean. A bucket of mussels, fresh cod, and a cold pint of Iceberg beer? Sign me up! If you’re not staying in Trout River (note: you should be), It’s worth driving all the way just to eat here. Excellent.
Learn more at www.grosmorne.com/listing/seaside-deli-dairy-bar/
Sheppard’s Bed & Breakfast
Located in Trout River (a must-see town just outside of the park), this is the place to be! Situated on their own big parcel of land on top of a mountain overlooking Trout River, you’ll find beautiful accommodation with incredible 360-degree views of the area. Doris and Tom even sang us a song when we arrived. When in Newfoundland, bed & breakfasts are the best place to sleep and this is one that should be high on your list!
Learn more at www.sheppardsbandb.com.
Things To Do in Newfoundland
As you can see, we crammed a lot of incredible experiences into our short two weeks and yet, we only scratched the surface of this amazing province. This list above is just to give you a quick taste of what we experienced during our trip to Newfoundland and to learn about the people and businesses that made up our video above.
For more things to do in Newfoundland, check out these articles below:
- Things to Do in St John’s
- Hiking in Gros Morne National Park
- Driving the Viking Trail
- Newfoundland’s Iceberg Festival
- St. Pierre and Miquelon
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