Romancing the Baccalieu Trail
To a citizen of Newfoundland and Labrador, there is nothing as beautiful as a cod fish. Perhaps that is why you’ll be able to find a different, perhaps more conventional, form of beauty on the Baccalieu Trail (deriving its name from the Portuguese word for cod). And that is the beauty of love! Just a 30-minute drive from the province’s largest city of St. John’s, this scenic drive winds through picture-perfect towns and stunning landscapes, making it the ideal place to lose yourself with your love on a romantic getaway.
Love always begins with Cupid. Funny enough, the Town of Cupids was the first English settlement in Canada. Of course the mythical cherub and the very real town have something else in common: romance! Tucked away on Burnt Head Loop is Cupids Haven
, and notably, their honeymoon suite. Get your tickets to one of Perchance Theatre’s
Shakespearean plays (we suggest something lighter, such as their production of Merry Wives of Windsor in the 2014 season). Add a candlelit dinner at Skipper Ben’s
, and you have yourself quite the date night.
Brigus is a picturesque spot, evoking the traditions of the settlers' home villages. European-inspired architecture lines the winding roads, and gardens are full of vibrant foliage. Every summer, thousands travel from near and far to celebrate the humble blueberry. The three-day Blueberry Festival includes dancing, music, parades, crafts, and plenty of traditional food.
As one of the oldest towns in the province, Harbour Grace has a history filled with heroes, pirates, adventures, and more. However, one is more inclined for a slower pace when one sees the Rose Manor Inn. A bed and breakfast befitting the town’s name, the seaside gardens are the perfect setting for an afternoon tea and quiet conversation.
North of Cupids, as far north as you can get on the Baccalieu Trail, you’ll find Grates Cove. Secluded and seemingly on the end of the Earth, it is the least-likeliest place you would find a romance for the ages. But here you’ll find Grates Cove Studios, the product of the love of Terrence and Courtney Howell. Terrence, the artist, and Courtney, the chef, met in South Korea, and their love has propelled them across the world, bringing them here to Terrence’s home. The menu of the café reflects their love story: Newfoundland-Cajun hybrid cuisine as an integration of their separate heritages, Korean BBQ to represent where they met, sushi because… well… they really like sushi. Take one of their meals out above the community, and explore the rock wall gardens upon the Grates Cove barrens, providing scenery worthy of Wuthering Heights.
The Three Hearts
Heart’s Content, Heart’s Desire, and Heart’s Delight are three communities in a row, telling a love story in their names alone. And Heart’s Content is no stranger to making connections, being where North America and Europe first became entwined via the telegraph cable. We recommend whiling away the hours, watching the spring icebergs from Heart’s Content Lighthouse. In Heart’s Delight (and in the nearby community of Whiteway), you’ll find the beautiful cottages of Ocean Delight, overlooking Trinity Bay, providing one of the best sunsets in the province.
In the sleepy town of Green’s Harbour, just up the hill from the ocean, you’ll find a Tudor-style mansion tucked away in the woods. Doctor’s House Inn & Spa is a couple’s paradise, with immaculately kept grounds, quiet walking paths to steal kisses, an amazing executive chef in Chris Chafe, and beautifully appointed rooms. It has also quickly become the destination of choice for weddings, and how could it not with their newly renovated amazing barn facility? What began as love in Cupids could surely take the next step with marriage in Green’s Harbour.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Newfoundlanders and Labradorians get to rediscover home this year, and we welcomed our Maritime neighbours on July 3. Call or connect with operators / venues before you go, as details on the website may be modified by COVID-19. Future travellers from elsewhere, please keep dreaming and check back for travel updates.