Travel the WORLD Right Here in Newfoundland and Labrador
With the world locked down until who knows when, traveling outside our province of Newfoundland and Labrador is looking much less appealing. But should it really take a GLOBAL PANDEMIC to make everyone appreciate staying home this summer??
We’re Chris and Larry, two proud Newfoundlanders and avid travel bloggers at GaysAroundTheBay.com. Home grown from Mount Pearl and Burin, we LOVE travel and have lived and travelled to over 40 countries on five continents. We’ve learned so much from traveling the world but one of the biggest lessons we are happy to continue to learn is that we ALREADY have so many of the world’s wonders right here at home!
Better still, they can be seen without the hassle of going to the airport!
So what are you missing this summer if staying home? We say NOTHING because Newfoundland and Labrador’s got you covered!
Let’s make Stay Home Year 2020 a summer to remember and to help, here’s our list of the world’s most popular destinations you can give the cold shoulder because you can experience them right here at home…
1. No Way New Zealand!
New Zealand (Hobbit houses pictured) vs Newfoundland (L’Anse Aux Meadows pictured)
If you’re Lord of the Rings obsessed like Larry, maybe you’d want to visit New Zealand to see the movie-set of grass-roofed hobbit habitats. But why visit the holes of frolicking imaginary characters when you can visit an original settlement village of actual VIKINGS from over 1,000 years ago in L’Anse aux Meadows on the Great Northern Peninsula? Outside of Greenland, this is the only Viking Settlement in ALL North America! That’s a huge deal! Sorry Frodo, why don’t you cry into your second breakfast.
2. Goodbye Grand Canyon!
Grand Canyon vs Newfoundland & Labrador (Gros Morne National Park pictured)
The desert of the Grand Canyon in The States may give you the feeling of being on Mars, but did you even know that we have a desert too?? The Tablelands inside Gros Morne National Park will make you think you stepped onto a different planet. The continents of Africa and North America collided to throw up the insides of the Earth to create a geological wonder just for you. So don’t waste it!
3. I Don’t Think So Iceland!
Iceland vs Newfoundland & Labrador (Northern lights)
The Northern Lights aka Aurora Borealis, is a world wonder natural phenomenon that lights the sky in dramatic fluorescent colours at night – but it only happens amongst the most northern landscapes in the world, including Iceland, Finland, Greenland, Alaska, and also across Newfoundland and Labrador! Like stargazing on steroids, it’s a glorious show worthy of a world stage, and not everyone gets a ticket, but you do!
4. Take a Hike Hollywood!
Los Angeles (Hollywood pictured) vs Newfoundland & Labrador (Dildo pictured)
Could it even have been more perfect timing to have built up Dildo as Hollywood’s sister city at the end of last year? If you want the lowdown on why Jimmy Kimmel wanted to become the Mayor of one of our star attractions, have a read here. And if someone sees Jason Mamoa still around here shooting all his movies and TV shows, maybe let’s just keep him to ourselves this summer why don’t we? He’ll feel right at home!
5. Catch Ya Later Costa Rica!
Costa Rica (Aventura Canopy Tours pictured) vs Newfoundland & Labrador (Marble Zipline Tours pictured)
Costa Rica in Central America is known to have some of the most epic ziplining tours in the world. But when you’re flying over rivers, trees, and mountains do you even really notice you’re not in a tropical rainforest? Probably not because you have WAY bigger things to worry about! If adrenaline’s your thing, check out Marble Zip Tours in Corner Brook that’s said to be maybe the most thrilling zipline tracks in Eastern Canada.
6. Swapping Sweden!
Sweden (West Sweden pictured) vs Newfoundland & Labrador (Joe Batt’s Arm, Fogo Island pictured)
Sweden is known for many things, including its characteristically, ruggedly scenic, and architecturally appealing seaside ports and fishing villages. Wait a minute, does this sound familiar? Well it should once you swap in one of hundreds of our own coastal towns like Joe Batt’s Arm on Fogo Island that’s further equipped with a simplistic 5-star Nordic-inspired resort, the Fogo Island Inn. And hell, to many visiting from away and even some from the island, ya may as well pretend locals are speaking Swedish anyway they can be that hard to understand.
7. Hasta La Vista Australia!
Sydney Australia beaches vs Newfoundland & Labrador (Salmon Cove pictured)
Australia is definitely beach central, but hey we’ve got sandy paradises in Newfoundland, too, with some legitimately better than many in Oz! If you visit Sandbanks Provincial Park, Northern Bay Sands, Salmon Cove, or Lumsden Beach you can get both the beachy sun and breeze AND have a much better chance of avoiding the crowds and social distancing this summer. There are far fewer animals waiting to kill you, plus, Newfoundland gets longer days than Sydney! 1.5 hours more daylight in summer and in July, 6 more hours of sun each day! So enjoy a late evening on the sands.
8. I’m Busy, Ireland
Ireland (Cliffs of Moher pictured) vs Newfoundland & Labrador (Bell Island pictured)
Ireland and Newfoundland have long been compared for their countless similarities, including their green and rugged island landscapes, Irish heritage, culture, accents, love of music, and more. Even one of Ireland’s most famous landforms, the Cliffs of Moher could be directly compared to the coastline of Bell Island. In a pinch, there’s really no reason to feel the need to “return to the motherland”. We already have our own little Ireland, right here at home.
9. Get Lost Greenland!
Greenland vs Newfoundland & Labrador
Icebergs are an absolutely stunning site to behold, even just from the coastline – and there are very few places in the world where this natural monstrosity and beauty can be witnessed. Among them included Greenland, Alaska, Iceland, Argentina, and Newfoundland! Every year Newfoundland and Labrador can see over 1,000 bergs float by our coast via Iceberg Alley, at times even bringing polar bears to our shores. We always keep fresh berg ice in our freezer for drinks! And unlike Greenland, we have yet to deal with icebergs that require emergency evacuations of whole towns, yikes! Our icebergs may have sunk Titanic, but hey if that floats (Or Sinks?) your boat, we’ve got a museum exhibit for that.
10. So Long South Africa!
Africa (Antelope pictured) vs Newfoundland & Labrador (Moose pictured)
Do we really need to travel to South Africa this year for a safari to see wildlife in their natural habitat? South Africa may have wild plains full of elephants, leopards, rhinos, hippos, etc. etc. Pffft. But in Newfoundland and Labrador we have epic marshlands and forests of moose, eagles, caribou, lynx, coyote, bears, fox, puffins, whales, seals, and some years even polar bears! Hell, sometimes you don’t even need to go past your backyard for a diverse Safari!
11. Italy, It’s Not Me, It’s You
Italy (Positano pictured) vs Newfoundland & Labrador (St. John’s pictured)
There’s a shortlist of the most colourful cities in the world and amongst the top is the Island of Burano in Venice, Italy with its brightly coloured houses. But St. John’s is a fierce competitor for top of the list with entire streets of bright rainbow painted jellybean row houses all over the city!
12. Never, Norway!
Norway vs Newfoundland & Labrador (L’Anse Amour pictured)
If you’re looking to have a moment of solitary serenity and feel the humbleness of being on the edge of the world, you don’t need to visit the Slettnes Lighthouse in Norway, one of the most isolated in the world. The Point Amour Lighthouse in southern Labrador on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean will help you find a point of clarity. Plus it’s the tallest lighthouse in the Atlantic provinces and the second tallest in Canada!
So what have we learned here?
The moral of the story is we live in one of the most beautiful, privileged, and diverse places in the world and don’t let yourself forget that!
Enjoy everything Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer and have an amazingly world-class summer that would make any world traveller jealous.
So get out there. Stay safe. Have fun. And make Stay Home Year 2020 the best summer you’ve always deserved.
Chris and LarryThe Gays Around The Bay
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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.