Things to do in Fortune and Grand BankBy Newfoundland & Labrador
Right at the "toe of the Boot” on the Burin Peninsula, you’ll find two of the most famous communities in the province—Fortune and Grand Bank. The area’s fishing roots go all the way back to the Indigenous people who lived on the island thousands of years before Europeans who began fishing there in the 16th century. You also will find the Grand Banks, located just off the coast, which is home to the richest fishing grounds in the world.
If you've come searching for history, culture, and stunning coastal scenery, then you've found it...and then some. Ready to explore? Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Visit the Provincial Seamen’s Museum
The attention-grabbing sail-shaped architecture of the Provincial Seamen’s Museum is one of the first things you’ll notice about this place, along with its vivid mural depicting maritime life. Inside you’ll find a whole host of nautical treasures from the land and sea, and you’ll learn about how the locals lived here from the 1800's to the mid-1900's. Starting with the ground floor, explore the tools of the inshore and offshore fisheries, including ship and sailing artifacts. On the second floor you’ll explore life on land, with objects from the museum’s agriculture and transportation collections.
See the Grand Bank Historic Waterfront & Lighthouse
Take a stroll along Grand Bank’s historic waterfront, and you’re bound to encounter some friendly locals and fishermen. It's certainly the centre of activity in town, and the locals love to chat. Looking out onto the Atlantic Ocean, many of the buildings here date back to the 1850's and were used in the salt fish trade, and combined with the lighthouse, makes for some picture-perfect photography. The lighthouse, built in 1921, has a peculiar dent on the “B” in the word “Bank”—remnants of a collision between the lighthouse and a sailing schooner many years ago.
Tour George C. Harris House
Built in 1908, the George C. Harris House is a restored Queen Anne-style merchant’s house complete with a widow’s walk. You can take a guided tour around the house to learn more about its history, visit the gift shop, and peruse the Interpretation Centre. Don’t miss the Mariner’s Memorial in the house’s beautifully manicured garden; its focal point is a life-sized female figure standing in front of a body of water representing the sea. Take a closer look at the small plaques displayed around the area (and in the water)...each one holds the name of a lost mariner.
Fortune Head Geology Centre
At the Fortune Head Geology Centre, you’ll have the chance to get up close to an extensive rock, fossil, and mineral collection, some dating back 4.5 billion years ago. You’ll also learn about the 1929 Burin Tsunami and how it left its mark on the area’s ever-changing shoreline. If you’d rather stay outdoors, ask the Centre for a guided tour of the Fortune Head Ecological Reserve, where trace fossils continue to be discovered. Who knows what you will stumble upon?
Walk the Horse Brook Walking Trail
Photo courtesy of the Town of Fortune.
The Horse Brook Walking Trail is a leisurely trek that will take you on a peaceful walk along the swiftly flowing brook, with interpretive panels along the way to point out all of the best natural highlights. If you arrange a tour through the Fortune Head Geology Centre, you might even find some fossils as you go.
When you're exploring Fortune and Grand Bank, make sure to tag your posts on Instagram with #ExploreNL and tag us @NewfoundlandLabrador. We look forward to seeing your fantastic pictures and video—there is no shortage of photo-worthy places to experience!
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