Photo Story | Newfoundland and Labrador

Ten of the Best Places to Visit in Newfoundland and Labrador

© Dennis Minty

Thinking of travelling to Newfoundland and Labrador? Find out more about ten of our favourite places in this special province, featuring fascinating historical sites, charming towns, and huge, sweeping nature. But be warned—once you arrive, it will be hard to tear yourself away!
St Johns Avalon colourful houses

© Michelle Valberg

1. St. John’s

As the provincial capital and an easy access point for many visitors, don’t skip out on your chance to explore St. John’s to its fullest. This colourful city boasts a flourishing arts scene, gourmet restaurants, great outdoor activities, and fun local haunts. The must-sees and must-dos include hiking up to Signal Hill, paying a visit to the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, taking in an exhibit at The Rooms art gallery and museum, visiting the Johnson GEO centre, or simply strolling the streets of the old downtown.

Eclipse channel torngats

© Jen Derbach

2. Torngat Mountains National Park

Along the upper reaches of northern Labrador, Torngat Mountains National Park is a gem—but it’s also one of the least visited parts of the country. If you’re willing to venture off the beaten path, plenty of treasures await you, including the chance to witness both polar and black bears, incredible Inuit living history, and stunning geology—the tallest mountains in mainland Canada east of the Rockies live here.

L Anse aux Meadows actor sitting

© Rob Poulton

3. L’Anse aux Meadows

Step back in time to captivating L’Anse aux Meadows, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Historic Site of Canada. This is the only confirmed Norse archaeological site in North America, and you can soak up fascinating Viking history as you wander through the immersive, living museum. Stop in at the visitors’ centre before you head for the reconstructed sod buildings and watch the professional reenactors demonstrate what life was like here a millennium ago.

Conche Newfoundland boats

© Dennis Minty

4. Conche

Just one of dozens of Newfoundland communities brimming with small-town charm, picturesque Conche is not to be missed. Nestled along Newfoundland’s French Coast, the main attraction is found in the town’s interpretation centre: a 227-foot hand-stitched tapestry illustrating the region’s history. If you’re lucky enough to be invited over for a scoff and a scuff by one of the locals, don’t miss the chance. Looking for more spots with the same sweet vibe? Try Trinity Bight along the Bonavista Peninsula or maybe even out-of-the-way Francois (pronounced “Fran-sway”) on the south shore.

Western Brook Pond Gros Morne Newfoundland

© Dennis Minty

5. Gros Morne National Park

Get ready for the hike of your life at Gros Morne—both a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of few places on the planet that geologists can study Earth’s upper mantle at its surface, but even if you’re not a rock lover, you’ll love what this park has to offer. There’s babbling brooks, rushing waterfalls, photogenic tuckamore trees, and more. The nearby towns of Trout River and Woody Point are sure to delight you, too.

Red Bay Basque ship replica

© Rob Poulton

6. Red Bay

If you’re a history buff, you won’t want to miss fascinating Red Bay in Labrador, just across the Strait of Belle Isle. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Historic Site to learn more about the intrepid Basque mariners who first journeyed here circa 1520, lured by the region’s plentiful opportunities for whaling. This significant cultural connection was nearly lost until the 1970s, when historian Selma Barkham re-discovered archival documents linking the Basques to Terra Nova (Newfoundland and Labrador).

Fogo Island inn Newfoundland

© Ron Hann

7. Fogo Island

Joe Batt’s Arm is home to the sleek, Scandinavian-inspired Fogo Island Inn, known the world over by those who love a luxurious stay and a gourmet meal. Go for a guided walk with the island’s visiting geologist-in-residence, take an art workshop, or get your binoculars ready for spotting birds and whales. You could also hike the trail to Brimstone Head, claimed to be one of the literal four corners of the world by the Flat Earth Society.

Wunderstrand Labrador beach pine trees

© Dennis Minty

8. Wunderstrands

This stretch of sandy beach is as close as Labrador’s rugged coastline gets to a tropical paradise, and on a clear blue day you might almost imagine you’ve been transported to another latitude. Wiggle your toes in the chilly seawater, search for wildlife amongst the east coast boreal forest, and admire the stunning landscape, part of the Akami-Uapishkᵁ-KakKasuak-Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve. The name Wunderstrands comes from the Viking sagas, but it’s also known locally as Porcupine Strand.

Terra nova hikers

© Dennis Minty

9. Terra Nova National Park

Enjoy a hike or a paddle at Canada’s easternmost national park for a rugged backcountry experience just a couple hours’ drive from St. John’s. Along with the extensive trail system and craggy coastline, the park also hosts an open-air theatre nestled amongst the lush forest. Comb the beaches to find hermit crabs, starfish, and other tidewater wonders, or bring your binoculars for excellent terrestrial and avian wildlife spotting.

Battle Harbour scenery DM

© Dennis Minty

10. Battle Harbour

Take an intrepid journey to Battle Harbour, a winding nine-mile boat ride from the nearest community of Mary's Harbour. Now operated by the Battle Harbour Historic Trust, this living museum was a bustling fishery, until the 1992 cod moratorium shuttered the once-thriving hub. The charming accommodations, delicious restaurant, and beautiful scenery are a welcome reward for those willing to make the journey to learn more about this quintessential history of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Colourful boats and wooden shacks Saint Pierre

© Dennis Minty

Bonus: Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

Did you know you can visit France without ever leaving North America? Though technically not part of the province, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, an official territory of the French Republic, is an easy ferry ride away from Fortune, Newfoundland. Enjoy some fresh French cheese, baguette, or chocolate croissants while you stroll the colourful city streets and soak up this delightful slice of Europe on the western coast of the Atlantic.