Only joining Confederation in 1949, Newfoundland is a province which marches to the beat of a different drummer. People here have a unique outlook on life, and given the remoteness of many of its communities, the overt friendliness they express makes sense. From rustic fishing villages to dramatic fjords, there’s plenty of amazing scenery too.
Before we get going talking about this province’s many highlights, though, there’s something we need to tell you about first. Cannabis is slated to become legal in Newfoundland and the rest of Canada on July 1st. Companies have been growing medical marijuana in Canada for more than a decade, so there will be plenty of bud to buy in Newfoundland on legalization day.
Just be aware that smoking it out in public is a bad idea, as amendments to relevant legislation have tied it to existing bans on tobacco smoking. Stick to puffing away on private property or in places not frequented by members of the public, and you should be fine.
Now that we have gotten that off our chests, let’s talk about all the amazing things you can see and do in Newfoundland.
Discover the mountains and fjords of Gros Morne
While fishing villages are the draw for many visitors, Newfoundland actually has its share of mountainous terrain. If you are into this, head over to the western part of the province and set up your tent in Gros Morne National Park.
With plenty of trails to walk, mountains to climb, and a massive inland fjord to explore, it is a natural treasure that is under-appreciated throughout Canada, so make sure you don’t miss seeing this park during your trip to Newfoundland.
Learn about the first European settlement in the Americas
For generations, conventional wisdom stated that Christopher Columbus was the first European to set foot in the Americas in 1492. Then, in the early 1960s, a Norwegian archaeologist couple managed to prove that the Vikings had set up a settlement at the northern end of Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula in the 10th century, shattering the record by 500 years.
The earthen houses at L’Anse Aux Meadows show how tough these early settlers were, even if their initial attempt to colonize Newfoundland ended in failure. Though it is a long drive to get there, it is well worth the time spent to get there.
Stand at the easternmost point in Canada
Want to stand in the place where the sun rises on Canada? When in St. John’s, take a side trip out to Cape Spear. At this point, you will be standing on the easternmost point of land in the country (and arguably, North America).
Here, you’ll find a lighthouse dating back to 1839, a World War II-era gun battery, and a rocky shore that regularly gets pummeled by waves. Be careful on the last point, as visitors have been swept away by rogue waves in the past.