Signal Hill

Signal Hill, St. John’s, NL

This past summer, I traveled through the Canadian Maritimes with my wife and her parents. It was my first time to this part of our “Homeland”, and it deepened my appreciation for the country of my birth.

There were many highlights, with St. John’s, Newfoundland being close to the top. We didn’t have a lot of time, but managed a handful of sights with the help of a family friend who served as our guide.

If you are planning a trip, here’s a list of 10 sights worth your time:

1. Signal Hill National Historic Site: This site offers stunning views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. You can also visit the Cabot Tower, which was built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Cabot’s discovery of Newfoundland.
2. The Rooms: A museum dedicated to the history, art, and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador. It features exhibits on everything from the province’s natural history to its role in the world wars.
3. Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site: located at the easternmost point in North America, this lighthouse offers breathtaking views of the ocean. You can also explore the historic lighthouse and learn about its role in maritime history.
4. Quidi Vidi: a charming fishing village located just a few minutes from downtown St. John’s. It’s a great place to explore on foot, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and galleries to discover. (see cover photo)
5. George Street: famous for its nightlife, with dozens of bars and pubs to choose from. It’s also home to the George Street Festival, a week-long celebration of music and culture that takes place every August.
6. Johnson GEO CENTRE: dedicated to “all things science,” this facility is located in a former mine and features exhibits on everything from geology to space exploration. It’s a great place to visit with kids.
7. Bannerman Park: located in the heart of St. John’s and featuring walking trails, a duck pond, and plenty of green space. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
8. Newfoundland Chocolate Company: local chocolate shop offering a wide variety of delicious treats, including truffles, bars, and hot chocolate. Tours of the factory are available where you can learn how chocolate is made.
9. East Coast Trail: running along the coast of Newfoundland and offering stunning views of the ocean and the rugged coastline. It’s a great place to hike, bike, or just take a leisurely stroll.
10. St. John’s Farmers’ Market: held every Saturday, featuring a wide variety of local produce, crafts, and baked goods. It’s a great place to sample some of the best food that Newfoundland has to offer.

It’s hard for me to pick out a favorite, but if stretched for time like we were, I would recommend the Signal Hill Lighthouse, Cape Spear, the Quidi Vidi fishing village, and a stroll down George Street and through the compact downtown area. And if you’re more adventurous, you might even try George Street after dark when the real action kicks in.