Planning to visit Newfoundland? This gem of an island has so much to offer, from stunning landscapes to friendly locals and unique traditions. But before you hit the road, a little bit of preparation goes a long way in making the most of your trip. Here are some insider tips to ensure that your journey to this charming destination is both pleasant and memorable! Get ready to fall in love with the charm and beauty of this unique Canadian province!
For the People Person
Newfoundlanders are renowned for their hospitality and warmth, so don’t be taken aback if a few friendly faces stop for a chat. Embrace the charm and get acquainted with the locals – you never know, they might just offer you a hot cuppa!
If you are uncomfortable with strangers calling you ‘My Ducky‘, ‘My Trout‘ or ‘My Love‘, be prepared. I know a story about a lady who was laughed out of a restaurant when she tried to give the waitress some lip about being ‘too forward’.
The culture is rich: Newfoundland has a unique and vibrant culture with a rich history of music, storytelling, and theatre. Take in a traditional Newfoundland “kitchen party”, (which happens in sheds more often than in kitchens nowadays) or catch a performance at one of the province’s many festivals.
Check out the Crow Nest: Officers Club on a storyteller’s night, to experience recitations and poetry of the locals in the area. Newfoundlanders are theatrical people, born orators – like our patron saint of Rants, Rick Mercer.
As Newfoundlanders, our roots trace back to England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, mostly. We could have inherited the best from each: the flavours of French cuisine, the captivating Scottish charm, the refined manners of the English, and the lively spirit of the Irish. Instead, we got the Scottish cuisine, the French Manners, the English Teeth and the Irish … well, let’s just say we’ve embraced their fondness for a good ol’ pint.
Newfoundland’s cuisine is a fascinating mix of traditional dishes from around the world. Some are rooted in the lean times, like fish and brewis (pronounced like ‘Brus’), toutons (pronounced like ‘Tow’in’) and cod tongues. Others, like Lobscouse (pronounced ‘lob-scow-se’), hail from its Scandinavian roots. You’ll also find modern twists on seafood and local ingredients. During your visit, rediscover your foodie curiosity and indulge in the tasty local specialties.
It’s worth doing some research beforehand as finding these unique delicacies isn’t as simple as walking into any restaurant. Don’t get your hopes up for Seal Flipper Pie, as it’s definitely not something you’ll find on your average menu!
PRO TIP: At times, us lazy locals satiate our soul food cravings at Biggoods, for calling Nan yet again for her recipe is simply out of the question. The shop stocks a range of items that leave expats yearning, but I’m still eagerly waiting for the delectable Molasses Partridgeberry Tart to hit the shelves.
Plan for travel time: Newfoundland is a vast province, where travelling between destinations can take longer than anticipated. It is important to allow extra time for unforeseen circumstances to avoid any unexpected delays. Plan effectively to make the most of your trip.
Be aware that spring and summer are seasons when there tends to be a lot of construction and roadwork happening. Keep that in mind as you make your plans.
- Then … there are potholes.
For clarity when seeking directions, precision is key. If your destination is the picturesque Chance Cove, it’s worth specifying which one (they’re both worth visiting, by the way). And with four Round Harbours and three Freshwaters in the vicinity, ambiguity can easily arise. While Black Duck Cove encompasses multiple entries to navigate, Halfway Point is aptly named, with a singular route to follow.
The names themselves create quite the conundrum- Tilting vs Tilton, Hare Bay vs Air Bay, Marquise vs Margaree. Such spelling discrepancies can surely lead to confusion!
When asking for directions, mention the area, for instance:
“Hi, I’m trying to get to Epworth, just north of Burin, should I turn left?
When planning your trip, make sure to check the location on Google Maps. You might stumble upon a great restaurant in the town of Goose Cove, known for its Famous Seal Flipper Pie. But as there might be several places with that name, it’s best to double-check.
Whilst travelling in Newfoundland, it’s best to avoid using Apple Maps. It tends to be unreliable and will most likely lead you to Embree every time. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Embree, you might not have any reservations there. Therefore, it might be wise to consider an alternative.
With its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality, Newfoundland is truly a hidden gem in Canada’s east. From hiking along rugged coastlines to sampling traditional cuisine and immersing yourself in history, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this charming province. And no matter where you go or what you do, you’re sure to leave Newfoundland with a newfound appreciation for its unique culture and the warmth of its people. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Newfoundland adventure today!