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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