Newfoundland and Labrador, the northernmost of Canada's Maritime Provinces, offer a mix of dramatic landscapes, unique cities, and friendly people. With its own time zone, a half hour ahead of Ontario and New York City, the province officially called Newfoundland and Labrador marches to its own beat. Searching for glaciers, following in the footsteps on European explorers, and so much more are waiting in this one-of-a-kind locale.
When it you add it all together, you get a land that stretches from the Atlantic coast (and the most eastern point in North America) to Quebec. The majority of this land is contained on the mainland, which is properly called Labrador Canada, while the bulk of the population lives on the island of Newfoundland. The capital city is located on the southern tip of the island and is the starting point for many adventures. St. John's, which should not be confused with Saint John, New Brunswick, would feel right at home in Ireland, which is actually closer to this city than Chicago.
Many people begin their explorations of Newfoundland Canada when they take a cruise to the port of Saint John's. A wide array of tour companies offer itineraries that hop from island to island. You'll notice a remarkable difference from the flat green spaces of Prince Edward Island to the craggy cliffs and dramatic landscapes of Newfoundland Canada. Away from the cruise terminal, you'll find find mix of pubs and restaurants not duplicated elsewhere, surrounded by interesting boutiques and art galleries.
Outside of the nightlife, there's a long list of interesting places to explore in Saint John's, the very same coast attracted the Vikings, explorer John Cabot, and Portuguese fisherman over the centuries. The viking settlement at L'Anse Aux Meadows is home to living history demonstrations and archaeological sites that date before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. The eastern reach of North America has been carefully preserved as the Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site. Along with the dramatic cliffs and rocky shoreline, you'll find the oldest remaining lighthouse in the entire province and plentiful hiking trails.
The nearby Signal Hill historic site played a vital role in the creation of modern communications when Marconi sent wireless signals across the Atlantic in 1901. Even before that, soldiers guarded this space overlooking the coast, serving as the protectors of Newfoundland Canada. Today this history is kept alive by the military drill demonstrations performed by the Signal Hill Tattoo and Parks Canada interpreters. You can also see the historic sites on sightseeing cruises. Whale watching excursions are especially popular as are iceberg tours in the spring and early summer.
If you're looking for adventure, consider making a trip to the other half of the Newfoundland and Labrador province. Sparsely populated, you'll find wide-open landscapes and small villages home to authentic, welcoming people throughout Labrador Canada. In the spring and fall, it's not unusual to see the northern lights dancing above, while all through the year, the stars are simply spectacular without the distraction of light pollution.
Newfoundland and Labrador
In the winter, Labrador Canada is a wide-open land where the caribou often outnumber the residents and tourists put together. Snowmobiles are some of the best ways to get around, but cross-country skis and dogsleds work too. Many cozy cabins and wilderness lodges will provide you a warm and comfortable place to stay as the snow falls outside.