Lot’s of places in the world offer a chance to catch a glimpse of a whale, but in Newfoundland you can see hundreds of whales before even getting on the water. With thousands of whales visiting coastal Newfoundland to feed and have babies each summer, it’s easy to see humpback whales, mikie whales, and even orcas (lovingly referred to as killer whales). Marine biologists come here from all over the world to conduct whale specific research and learn more about these large ocean mammals. One of the best paces to do this is just 30 min from St. John’s in the Witless Bay Marine Ecological Reserve where you can join a relaxed boat tour through humpback whale feeding grounds or get up close and personal on a whale watching and paddleboarding adventure.
2: Explore St. John’s
The City of St. John’s is the oldest city in North America and Newfoundland is the youngest Province to join the Canadian Confederation, making it no wonder why the culture and heritage in so distinct and well preserved. You can do a lot during a day trip to St. John’s, like visiting Signal Hill to spot icebergs and pick blueberries, explore the colorful architecture of the city center, and wetting your whistle on the world famous George Street, home to the largest concentration of pubs on any street in Canada.
3: The Room’s Museum and Archives
Even if you’re not a museum aficionado, you’re going to have a great time at The Rooms. Easy to spot along the St. John’s skyline, the museum is the hyper-modern glass building next to the Cathedral overlooking the St. John’s downtown core. Aside from having world class exhibitions by top artists in all mediums from all around the world, The Room’s also has a permanent Beothuk and natural history exhibit complete with a giant squid and real whale skeleton. The rooms also has a cafe on the upper level sporting what we consider to be the best view of the downtown core.
4: Witless Bay Marine Ecological Reserve
If you’re on the East Coast there’s no excuse for missing this globally significant marine park, famous for puffins, humpback, orca, and minkie whales alongside migratory seabirds you won’t find anywhere else. The town of Mobile is located in the middle of the Witless Bay Eco Reserve and offers fantastic seaside rooms with outdoor hot tubs overlooking humpback whale feeding grounds. Spending at least two nights will give you a chance to take in a marine tour and explore the coastal attractions without feeling rushed.
5: East Coast Trail
If you can walk, there’s an East Coast Trail section that’s perfect for you. From easy to expert, Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail offers accessible walks to world class vistas along with multi-day backcountry adventures. If you’re looking for a day trip, hiking from Mobile Bay to Tinker’s Point is an easy adventure and great introductory hike. Bauline to Lamanche Suspension Bridge is another hike that offers consistent coastal views, a suspension bridge crossing a canyon, and a walk through the historical village of Lamanche.
6: Fork Restaurant
Let’s face it, food is a big part of visiting any place. Trying local cuisine is a great way to familiarize yourself with local culture while spending time with family and friends. The Fork Restaurant specializes in high-quality traditional Newfoundland food made from the freshest seasonal ingredients. We’re not just talking fish and chips either. Try a forager’s meal where everything is made from ingredients foraged from the local forest and coastline, or sea duck with micro greens and rice. If you’re a foodie, or just plain love food, Fork Restaurant is the place for you.
7: Tor’s Cove Fairy Door Walk
Join Tina White of Fairydoortours.com for a magical fairy lore walk about while exploring a coastal village and surrounding area with a local story teller and certified fairyologist. See some of the most photographed salt box homes in Newfoundland, learn about the little people, and take in the beauty of the islands that dot the coastline on this easy walk.
The Micro Brewery scene has exploded in Eastern Newfoundland. Places like Baccalieu Trail, Landwash, and Dildo Brewing Company offer unique brews like the the Dildo Sour, New England IPA, and classic Blonde Ale. Enjoy your brew at the brewery or fill and few growlers and take it with you.
9: Cannabis Dispensary
Visit one of the many marijuana dispensaries in St. John’s for the very best in legal cannabis flowers, extracts, clothing, and accessories. You’ll find this especially interesting if your visiting from a prohibition country or curious to experience how Canadians are navigating this newly opened marketplace.
10: Chill Out for a Day
It’s easy to jam pack your visit to Eastern Newfoundland, so be sure to give yourself at least one down day. Find an outdoor hot tub with a great view, relax with your favorite beverage, and take a moment to appreciate where you are. It might end up being the best day of your entire Newfoundland vacation.
Whale House Guest House offers luxury boutique private suites with outdoor hot tubs overlooking humpback whale feeding grounds. Located next to the east coast trail in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, just 30 min from downtown St. John’s.