10 Things You Should Do on Your Vacation to Newfoundland & Labrador
1. Take a deep breath
Breathe in. Breathe out. That should (and likely will be) the first thing you do when you step foot on the province’s soil. And immediately you will notice something different. A lack of smog and smoke will hit you as your lungs fill with refreshing clean air. The smell alone is almost indescribable, although some have tried with words like “home”, “ocean breeze”, and “salt water joy”. Even on the mauziest of days, when the fog crawls in and the rain beats down, you’ll be taken aback by the freshness and clarity of the air. If only you could bottle it up and take it home with you.
2. Talk to a local
The people of Newfoundland & Labrador are undeniably the province’s biggest tourism asset. Warm, friendly, welcoming, and uncomplicated, the people here are known for their natural creativity and penchant for the unusual. Don’t be surprised if a stranger stops you to ask about your day, or if you’re invited in for a cup of tea and a yarn or two. In a place where the language is as unique as the people who speak it, you’ll be sure to leave with a renewed appreciation for the art of conversation.
3. Eat fish and chips
Newfoundland & Labrador is famous for its incredible fish and chips, with many restaurants serving cod fresh from the water. The capital city of St. John’s, described as going through a culinary renaissance, features a variety of restaurants with menu items ranging from the traditional fish and chips to more modern interpretations of cod. Wherever you go, you’ll be sure to be immersed in the flavourings of fresh and local ingredients.
4. Take a hike
With 29,000km of pristine coastline and over 200 hiking and walking trails, it’s no wonder that Newfoundland & Labrador is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. From backcountry treks to coastal trails to urban walks, you will find yourself exploring coastlines, lighthouses, abandoned communities, sea stacks, and beaches, all while spotting seabirds, whales and icebergs along the way.
5. Head for the water
Newfoundland & Labrador has a rich history shaped by the sea. It seems fitting, then, to experience this place from the open water. There is no shortage of activities for those that want to get their feet wet, with a variety of boat, kayak, snorkel, and dive tours across the province. All you have to do is bring your sea legs and a sense of adventure.
6. Go star gazing
Look up, look way up, and be prepared for nature’s greatest light show. Because Newfoundland & Labrador is a place free from not only air but also light pollution. Here you will be amazed by a spectacle of stars like no other, and in many parts of the province you can experience natural phenomenon like the Northern Lights (aurora borealis).
7. Immerse yourself
Through history, heritage, music, art, language, architecture, and folklore, Newfoundland & Labrador’s rich culture links its past with its present. But to truly experience the culture of this place, you should immerse yourself in the many opportunities to live like those who have gone before. From Raleigh Fishing Village to Broom Point Heritage Tours to the Barbour Living Heritage Village, allow yourself to step back in time, learn the traditions of the province’s fishery, and enjoy the rugged ocean scenery.
8. Buy something handmade
Newfoundland & Labrador is home to some of the country’s finest artists. Characterized by creativity, curiosity, and a deep connection to the land and sea, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are known for their unique arts and crafts. From hooked rugs to quilts to Labradorite to fine art, everything around here is a work of art. A piece of advice - you can’t go to Newfoundland and Labrador and leave without a hand knit pair of wool socks, vamps, or mitts.
9. Take in a local festival
From community suppers to folk music concerts to berry, hiking, food, and iceberg festivals, there is no shortage of reasons to celebrate in Newfoundland & Labrador. Before you start your adventure, make sure you check out the listings of festivals and events throughout the province.
With the fast-paced nature of today’s world, there is no better place to slow down and unplug than Newfoundland & Labrador. Don’t forget to take a moment (or two, or three) to take it all in. Turn off your phone, sit back, relax, and enjoy the sound of stillness and the rugged beauty that surrounds you.