101 Things to Do in Newfoundland
How friggin’ cool is Newfoundland? So cool in fact, that narrowing down this list to just 101 things to do in Newfoundland was a tall order. For a somewhat isolated island hove off into the North Atlantic we have no shortage of things to keep you busy on your trip. This is far from a comprehensive list of great things to do here but these picks are my favourite things to do on the island (I might need a whole new post to cover Labrador!) and there are options for everyone in your crew, including great restaurants, cultural events, attractions, and lots and lots of nature.
Tip: keep an eye on this post as I update and tell you how you can experience everything on the list.
- Go WHALE WATCHING
Whether you choose to go out from St. John’s, Bay Bulls, Trinity, Twillingate or beyond, seeing whales frolic and play off the Newfoundland coast is always a magical experience. Humpbacks are the clowns of the sea but you may also spot orcas, fin, or minkes.
- Have a pint at the PORT REXTON BREWERY
This is arguably the first destination brewery outside of St. John’s, and one that kicked off a beer movement in the province. Try a Baycation Blonde or a T-Rex Porter while you hang out in their taproom.
- Visit SIGNAL HILL
Is there a better place for an Instagram Story than the place where the first wireless signal in the world was received? You can also get fantastic views of downtown St. John’s and Cape Spear.
- Climb GROS MORNE
Get some hiking cred by summiting the 2nd highest peak (806m) on the island. The 16km trail will take you a good 7 or 8 hours.
- Have a cultural experience at the NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR FOLK FESTIVAL
The Folk Festival is a quintessential townie summer experience. Meet friends in the beer garden or park your camp chair on the lawn at Bannerman Park and listen to some of the best folk and world music on the go.
- Have a drink on GEORGE STREET
Dubbed the Entertainment District, there’s always a time to be had on George Street in St. John’s. Pick from one of the twenty something bars that line the street. Many have live music, some every day.
- Photograph PUFFINS
Get yourself on a boat tour from Bay Bulls or take a stroll in Elliston to see these adorable, comical little birds who carry the title of being our provincial bird.
- Hike the EAST COAST TRAIL
Choose from the 25 groomed and marked hiking trails that runs along the easternmost coast in North America. Or take on the challenge of hiking them all….all 330+km of them.
- Tackle the MARBLE MOUNTAIN ZIPLINE
One of two places on the island to get your zip on – Marble Zip Tours features eastern Canada’s longest, tallest, most exhilarating zip lining rides with unparalleled views of both the Humber Valley and Marble Mountain Resort.
- Visit THE ROOMS
Whether you’re into history, art, or want to research your Newfoundland family roots, you can find it here. You can also get one of the finest views of St. John’s harbour from their cafe.
- Gaze out from JOEY’S LOOKOUT
Newfoundland’s first premier hailed from the town of Gambo and today you can stop at the lookout named for him and get a picturesque view of the town and surrounding area.
- Sink your toes in the sand at SANDBANKS PROVINCIAL PARK
Burgeo is a bit of an off-the-beaten path destination in Newfoundland but it’s home to some of the finest white sand beaches in Atlantic Canada and is definitely worth the visit.
- Ski WHITE HILLS
Spend a winter weekend in Clarenville at White Hills Resort where you can tackle one of their 27 downhill runs or glide through one of the many cross-country trails.
- Snowshoe through PIPPY PARK
Rent a set of snowshoes from the North Bank Lodge and enjoy either the gentle groomed trails of the RV park or the twisting cross-country trails around Three Pond Barrens.
- Buy a t-shirt at DILDO BREWING CO.
Looking for a conversation starter of a souvenir? Stop by the Dildo Brewing Company’s headquarters or their retail store in St. John’s and take home a shirt that’s sure to turn heads.
- Go underground at JOHNSON GEO CENTRE
On your way back down from Signal Hill, keep going down…and down…at the Johnson Geo Centre where you can actually touch the rock that sits under Signal Hill. Most of the building is underground which is a perfect place to learn about our unique geography.
- Skate around THE LOOP
The Loop, an outdoor ice skating trail, has brought new life to Bannerman Park in St. John’s during the winter months. Bring the family and enjoy a skate under the stars.
- Talk to butterflies at the NEWFOUNDLAND INSECTARIUM
Enjoy this world-class nature museum near Deer Lake, NL that features thousands of insects, butterflies, and arachnids. Relax and watch the butterflies flutter and feed. If you wear colourful clothing, you might entice a butterfly to land on you!
- Dive the wrecks and go down a mine on BELL ISLAND
At the time of its closure, this island a short ferry ride from St. John’s, was Canada’s longest continually operating mining project. Today you can explore the underground world of miners from 1895-1966.
- Have a BOIL UP ON A BEACH
Whether you’re in the woods or on a beach, a boil-up is a classic Newfoundland experience. It’s basically an outdoor picnic. You cook up your food and boil water for tea over an open fire. Tea is a must.
- Count the ROOT CELLARS OF ELLISTON
Explore these traditional food storage cellars historically used to keep root vegetables for the winter and spring months. Elliston is considered the root cellar capital of the world. How many can you find?
- Get inspired at the WRITERS AT WOODY POINT
This annual festival of writing and music brings together artists and enthusiasts from all over the world. You never know who you’ll run into.
- Try to spot CRESSIE the lake monster in Robert’s Arm
Cressie is a legendary sea monster, similar in appearance to the Lock Ness Monster, that is said to inhabit the waters of Robert’s Arm, a small town located on the north coast of Newfoundland, Canada. It’s said to be about 30 to 60 feet long, with a long neck and humps that can be seen above the water. Some people believe that Cressie may be a surviving plesiosaur, a type of marine reptile that lived millions of years ago. There have been many reported sightings of Cressie over the years, although there is no concrete evidence to prove that the creature actually exists. Some people believe that the sightings may be due to other phenomena, such as waves, logs, or even other marine animals. Despite the lack of concrete evidence, Cressie remains a popular legend in Robert’s Arm and the surrounding area. The town even has a festival named after the sea monster, called the Cressie Festival, which takes place every year in August.
- Take in a show at the LSPU HALL
The LSPU Hall was originally built in St. John’s in 1902 as a union hall for the Longshoremen’s Protective Union, which was a labour union representing workers in the shipping and fishing industries. Over the years, the building served as a hub for the city’s labour movement and hosted numerous rallies, meetings, and cultural events, and is now a performing arts centre.
- Tour the ALE TRAIL
- Catch a salmon at INDIAN FALLS
- Be or not to be at SHAKESPEARE BY THE SEA
- Visit one CORNER OF THE FLAT EARTH in Fogo
- Enjoy the TWILLINGATE DINNER THEATRE
- Snowmobile the T’RAILWAY
- Have a bonfire on MIDDLE COVE BEACH
- Search for sea glass at GLASSY BEACH
- Go foraging with COD SOUNDS
- Run the TELY 10
Lace up your sneakers for this class 10-mile road race that takes place annually in St. John’s. Named after the local newspaper, The Telegram, which is the event’s main sponsor, the Tely 10 has been held since 1922, making it one of the oldest road races in North America.
- Watch the sunrise at CAPE SPEAR
- Pretend to be a Viking at L’ANSE AUX MEADOWS
- Treat yo’self at the FOGO ISLAND INN
- Keep your eyes out for MOOSE on the highway
- Keep your eyes out for a marten at SALMONIER NATURE PARK
- Play games of chance at the ROYAL ST. JOHN’S REGATTA
- Road trip along ICEBERG ALLEY
Make stops in St. Anthony, Twillingate, and Bonavista to follow the icebergs as they float down from Greenland every spring and summer.
- Experience TRINITY IN THE FALL
- Have a FERRYLAND LIGHTHOUSE PICNIC
- Check out the old printing press in PORT UNION
- Hike the SKERWINK TRAIL
- Go SEA KAYAKING
- Have a beach day at NORTHERN BAY SANDS
- Send a tweet from the HEART’S CONTENT CABLE STATION
Visit this historic site located in the small town of Heart’s Content. The station was built in 1866 and played a key role in the history of global communications. It was one of several stations established as part of the first successful transatlantic telegraph cable, which connected North America and Europe. The cable was laid by the Great Eastern, a massive steamship built specifically for the purpose of laying undersea cables, and it was completed on July 27, 1866. You can still see part of the cable on the beach today.
- See the earth’s mantel at the TABLELANDS
- Count the birds at CAPE ST. MARY’S
- Get your Instagram shot at THE ARCHES PROVINCIAL PARK
- Learn about a lost people at the BEOTHUK INTREPRETATION CENTRE
- Have an adrenaline rush RAFTING THE EXPLOITS RIVER
- Go BERRY PICKING
- Dig into history at the COLONY OF AVALON
- Try some port at the NEWMAN WINE VAULTS
- See what life in the ’30s was like at the MOCKBEGGAR PLANTATION
- Hike the NORTH HEAD TRAIL
- Have TOUTONS for breakfast
- Tour the CARMANVILLE WETLANDS
- Wave hello to THE KYLE
- Walk the trails of GREENSPOND
- Learn about a way of life at the SEALERS INTERPRETATION CENTRE
- Sample the cake table during a MALLARD COTTAGE BRUNCH
Make it a point to get yourself to Mallard Cottage in Quidi Vidi for their weekend brunch. Not only do they serve up the most local of dishes in one of the province’s oldest wooden buildings, but they have an all you can eat cake table that needs to be seen to be believed.
- Get lost in the CORN MAZE AT LESTER FARMS
- Pretend you’re going to Hogwarts at the RAILWAY SOCIETY OF NEWFOUNDLAND HISTORIC TRAIN SITE
- Look for fossils at the MANUELS RIVER CENTRE
- Get rigged up and walk in the MUMMERS PARADE
- Be awestruck at WESTERN BROOK POND
- Take part in the TRINITY PAGENT
- Make new friends at THE GATHERING
- Get SCREECHED-IN at Christian’s Pub
- Camp AT TERRA NOVA NATIONAL PARK
- Pretend to be John Cabot on THE MATTHEW replica
- Go on a HAUNTED HIKE
Duck into back alleys and hidden squares while hearing about our supernatural past. Any city as old as St. John’s is bound to have a few ghost stories and this is the best way to hear some of the best ones.
- Have the best pizza of your life at BONAVISTA SOCIAL CLUB
- See where the Titanic’s distress call was answered at CAPE RACE
- Have a wine tasting at AUK ISLAND WINERY
- Take a selfie at JELLYBEAN ROW
- Try some local produce at the ST. JOHN’S FARMER’S MARKET
Whether you want waffles, paintings, soaps, produce, you’ll find it here every Saturday.
- Tour the mirror house at the BARBOUR HERITAGE VILLAGE
- Learn the difference between a dory and a punt at the WINTERTON BOAT MUSEUM
- Look for fairies in the tuckamore at LOBSTER COVE HEAD LIGHTHOUSE
- Find the Peter Pan statue at BOWRING PARK
- Spot some fish at THE FLUVARIUM
- Find the fairy doors at MUN BOTANICAL GARDEN
- Fill your belly at ROOTS, RANTS, AND ROAR
- Jig for COD
- Mourn Ned at RANDOM PASSAGE
- Play volleyball on the BEACHES OF EASTPORT
- Delight your taste buds with CHIPS, DRESSING & GRAVY
- Have some crisp at the BRIGUS BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL
- Hike GREEN GARDENS
- Pretend you’re in a tourism ad at the FISHING SHEDS OF CAVENDISH
- Hike 1200+ stairs to the top of the MAPLE RIDGE TRAIL
- See where the continents collided at the DOVER FAULT
- See the stars at the ICEBERG ALLEY TENT
- Join in a TRAD SESSION AT O’REILLY’S PUB
Newfoundland is chock-a-block full of traditional musicians so there’s bound to be a session on the go somewhere. Gather around the table, grab a pint, and enjoy the tunes.
- Ride the (stationary) rails at the RAILWAY COASTAL MUSEUM
- Visit the outport within city limits at THE BATTERY
- Take in a REEL DOWNTOWN MOVIE
Note: Accurate as of time of publication.
What’s the first thing you’re going to check off your Newfoundland bucket list?
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January 30th, 2019 at 12:11 am (#)
Just a few more:
Hike to the Paradise River hydroelectric dam, one of only three arched dams in North America
Visit the 365 islands of Placentia Bay
Get Hooked on matmaking at the Livyer’s Lot Economuseum
Keep an eye out for smugglers and privateers from Captain Cook’s lookout
Learn the story behind the Echoes of Valour memorial
Explore the town that connects tsunamis, dories and Al Capone
Take a day trip to France
Discover how the Yugoslav pavilion came to Grand Bank
Learn about our erratic history
January 30th, 2019 at 10:04 am (#)
See where they filmed The Shipping News in Old Bonaventure, Coleman’s Point, and Trinity. The whale tours out of Trinity take you around these places. Also, Take a boat tour to British Harbour and Irelend’s Eye! Rugged Beauty boat tour took us to these places. So many eagles and whales!
February 6th, 2019 at 1:57 pm (#)
Fairy Door Tours at Pippy Park is a wonderful nature adventure for families and kids!
February 8th, 2019 at 2:14 pm (#)
On The Burin Peninsula alone and that’s just what I can think of.
102… Meet Elvis the Ghost Lobster. 1 in 100 million at WERC in Lord’s Cove
103… View the sites of the 1929 tsunami, See the Memorial in Port Aux Bras
104.. Play Golf by the sea at Frenchman’s Cove Golf course
105. Step back in time and view the fossils at Fortune Head
106. Have your pic taken with a wholly mammoth at Fortune Head Ecological Center
107… Take a walk in paradise at Sandy Cove Beach Lord’s Cove
108.. Watch true NFLDers make hay and plant gardens the old fashioned way
109.. Take a ride out to the Lawn Bay Ecological Reserve and see The only nesting place of the Manx Shear water in North America
110…. Have a true NFLD mug up at The Pantry in Lord’s Cove.
111… Hike the Shore, see whales, seals, rare birds
112. See the seals frolic at the Seal Colony off Sandy Cove Point. They live there all year :)
113…. Talk to any local on the Burin Pen and hear the stories of the ages. We all love to yarn
114. Stay a night under the stars at Kilmory Resort. Bring your fly fishing gear it’s a salmon river.
115… Hike up Piper’s Hole and view the old bridge. BEAUTIFUL in Fall
116… Head out the highway to Grand Le Pierre & Terrenceville.. See the Fiords.
117… Step back in time and take a visit to Woody Island. You won’t be disappointed
118… Visit the animals out in Jean De Baie. You never know you may get a kiss from a LLama
119…Take the turn in St Bernards and the beauty will take your breath away
120… Take in an outdoor Dance at Grand Bank Day. It’s Wiked on the Wharf.
121. Get the history of the Grand Bank Seamans Museum. Get up close and personal with genuine artifacts.
122… Take in the Marystown Heritage Museum.
123…. Take in an event at St. Gabriels Hall. The building it’self is worth seeing.
124… Attend Canada Day celebrations, they are always fun in any community on the BP.
125…See a soccer game at the soccer capital in NFLD…St. Lawrence
126…. Take a hike up Captain Cooks Look out, You never know you may see an ancient pirate ship or a smuggler
127…Visit Smugglers Cove in Port Aux Bras. Fine dining at it’s best and the venue speaks for it’self
128… Visit old Burin, where you may be met by the town crier
129… Take a ATV Train ride at Golden Sands.
130… Walk the pond trail in Lewin’s Cove
131… Take your camera and just go in any direction, you won’t be disappointed
132… Take a trip down memory lane at Vernon’s Automobile Museum i, Swift Current
133… Take your time coming up the BUrin Peninsula, you never know when you could see a caribou or moose.
134… Stand in awe at Chambers Cove, St Lawrence.
135… See the Echo’s of Valor memorial and take a hiking tour to learn the story of the Truxton & Pollux.
136… Pretend your climbing Mount Everest but instead your climbing Cape Rouge in St. Lawrence. Make sure to write your name down if you get to the top.
137…. Off Roading at it’s best in any direction
138… Find out how Al Capone has ties to Point May.
139… Visit Turpin’s Island in Lt St. Lawrence and see when Sir Richard Clarke Landed
140… The Miners Museum in St. Lawrence is a must. Read the heart breaking story of the miners of the past.
141… Take a stroll up The Brook in Lawn, Strip off and go for a swim under the falls.
142…. Visit the Museum in Lawn where they will tell you the stories of the town.
143… Learn the story of The Trail of Hero’s. How young men from Lawn who raised the alarm to a naval disaster
144. .. Visit the resettled community of Round About. Lots of ghost stories about that place.
145. So many Bakeapples grow in our area that residents of Lord’;s Cove are sometimes called Bakeapples
146… Sandy Cove Family Fun Day Aug 10th is a day not to be missed. Games, music, fireworks, bonfire and an over all “do your heart Good” kind of day.
147… Take a walk out the shore to the Crows Head in Lord’s Cove. Learn why there is a small grotto of the Blessed Virgin there.
148…See sea creatures up close and personal at the touch tanks (WERC ) Lord’s Cove. See what it feels like to hold a sea cucumber, feed the salmon and so much more
149… Take a swim in Taylors Bay Brook. A favorite of the locals. p.s Great Salmon fishing too.
150… See the house the tidal Wave moved in Taylors Bay.
151… You won’t believe your eyes when you see Point Aux Gaul Strand. Stop and check for sand dollars. always some on the go
152…Visit the Lamaline Heritage House, see the house as it was way back when.
153… See The only full collection of Dories made by Otto Kelland in the museum in Lamaline.
154… Did you know the song “Let me fish of Cape St. Mary’s
‘ was written by a man from Lamaline?
155… Take a walk out back of Allan’s Island, see the lighthouse and war Bunkers.
156…Take the ATV Trail and go!!!!! Boil up, go trouting, do whatever your senses tell you
157…Ask the locals about the age old art of Smuggling from France.
158… Did you know you could visit France about an hour away?? St. Pierre et Miquelon by Ferry from Fortune
159… Stop for a spell at the park outside Point May. Gaze at the islands, have a picnic
160…. Visit the church in Collin’s Cove Burin. One of the oldest Pipe Organs on the go
161… Take a trip out through Epworth, charming community, then hike out to the resettled community of Corbin
162… If your looking for a ride in a boat, walk down to any wharf on the BP and someone is sure to be able to help ya out
163… Visit the quaint little local shops. Never knows what you’d find.
164… Looking for crafts, Knitted goods, hooked rugs etc etc. Look no further some of the best artisans are located here on the Burin Peninsula.
165… Have a picnic in Fortune at the boat shaped stop over. Always a favorite for kids
166… Step back in time at the George C Harris House in Grand Bank
167… Stop for a piece of cheesecake at Sharons Nook. It’s a favorite
168… Stay a night at some of the local B&B’s former Merchant homes that will blow your mind with beauty
169…Stop By Nan & Pops Shop/ The Pantry The Cellar in Lord’s Cove. Phyllis will meet you with a hug and you leave with a new best friend.
170….Visit the Grotto on Lamaline Island. So pretty. stop and say a prayer. we can all use a few of those
171… The RV Park at Horse Brooke in Fortune is a great place to find fossils, berry pick and what every your imagination can come up with
172…Take a stroll on the wharf in Fortune. See The Oar House..lol
173…Stay a night at Abbie’s Garden on the Grand Bank highway, pick a daffodil to remember someone.
174….Take the ferry from Bay L’argent and go across the bay to Recontre East
175… Drive out to Petite Forte and take the ferry to the isolated community of South East Bight. No cars there.
176…Drive out the little community of Grand Beach, stop have a yarn and enjoy the view. beware of traffic jams caused by ducks.
177…Frenchman’s Cove provincial park is a lovely break from civilization. pitch a tent under the stars, become one with nature
178…See all the lobster boats and pots at the wharf in Garnish. be weary of green crab..lol
179…Take one of the many hiking trails between Garnish and Frenchman’s Cove. Views to take your breath away.
180. Hop on your ATV and take the Point Rosie Trail. Said to be outstanding.
181 Start in Marystown and you can drive what we call The Boot. Great Sunday drive. AKA the loop. one side of the peninsula to the other.
182…. Visit the Eco Trail in Winterland.
183… Go beachcombing.
April 12th, 2021 at 7:33 pm (#)
We would like to invite the author to come and do an article on Green Bay South so it can be included from this point on as a promoted area of the province in articles about tourism. Please bring your suitcase of ideas with you when you come to Bumblebee Bight Inn and Brewery in Pilley’s Island – from here we can tour around, encourage you to take photos and experience the 100 things to do right here. You could describe it and encourage others to feel the magic and the rhythms of the ocean on the daily lives of these communities that cling to the interconnected islands of Green Bay South. ( an area that this article completly missed)
Hope to connect with you soon.