5 Ways to Travel Off the Beaten Path Out West

Western Newfoundland is known for breathtaking places. A pair of UNESCO World Heritage Sites is just the beginning, in a region that includes ancient mountains, glacier-carved fjords, and hiking routes that traverse the International Appalachian Trail.

This region seems larger than life, and sometimes you simply need to travel off the beaten path to see the uniqueness of a culture. These five spots represent just a portion of the off-kilter and enriching experiences you can have in this area of the province.

Cape Ray Lightkeepers House, Cape Ray

Cape Ray Light House

Cape Ray Light House. Photo: Anne Osmond

Cape Ray’s lighthouse, and the accompanying lightkeepers house, were constructed in 1871 to protect fishers and sailors from the dangers of the rocky French shore. Visitors are not permitted in the automated lighthouse, however you can immerse yourself in the exhibits at the fascinating on-site interpretation centre. Don’t miss artifacts showcasing the Paleo-Eskimo First Nation Group, who made their home at the Cape almost 2,000 years ago. And in 1856, the first underwater telegraph cable connecting Newfoundland to North America was established here.

Mainland Cultural & Heritage Centre

Tea by the Sea at the Mainland Cultural Centre in Western Newfoundland

Enjoying Tea by the Sea at the Mainland Cultural & Heritage Centre

Home to Tea by the Sea, the Mainland Cultural & Heritage Centre overlooks the picturesque and historic Red Island. Experience the charm of this Francophone community, while you delight in local food favourites like fresh seafood chowder or ‘old fashioned’ desserts. After your meal, visit The Sisters’ Dream School Museum, showcasing the communities history, and then visit the craft shop for locally made art and crafts. 

Marble Zip Tours, Marble Mountain

Zip Lining at Marble Mountain

Ziplining at Marble Mountain

If you’re looking for a bird’s-eye view of Humber Valley and Marble Mountain, look no further than Marble Zip Tours. It features eastern Canada’s longest, tallest, and most exhilarating rides, including nine ziplines, the first of which traverses the stunning Steady Brook Falls. If soaring through the air is not your thing, take part in an ATV tour or the high ropes challenge course.

Bonne Bay Marine Station, Norris Point

Bonne Bay Marine Station

Bonne Bay Marine Station

Sea life abounds in Bonne Bay fjord, located in awe-inspiring Gros Morne National Park. Learn about the fragile marine plankton at the Bonne Bay Marine Station and get your hands wet among the sea stars, coralline algae, hermit crabs, and other curious creatures living inside the touch tank. Storyboards, underwater footage, and interactive displays will keep you up-to-date on the latest research on these vital sea critters and their habitats.

French Shore Tapestry, Conche the French Shore Tapestry on display in Conche, Newfoundland and Labrador

French Shore Tapestry. Photo: Candace Cochrane.

All 227-feet of the French Shore Tapestry is located at the French Shore Interpretation Centre in Conche. Designed by artist Jean-Claude Roy in the style of the Bayeux tapestry, and embroidered by women in the area, it tells a captivating story of the French Shore and its people.

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