It’s no exaggeration: St. John’s is truly a city like no other. Perched on the edge of the continent, Newfoundland and Labrador’s lively, captivating capital is North America’s most easterly city and one of its oldest, founded in 1583.
Here, stunning scenery and legendary hospitality combine, where the wit and warmth of the people appeal as much as the surroundings. Popular sites include St. John’s dramatic harbour, the granite cliffs, and colourful downtown row houses known as Jellybean Row.
For a good orientation (and dreamy views), drive or walk up Signal Hill National Historic Site to gaze out over the city and the Atlantic Ocean. While there, visit Cabot Tower and walk seaside trails carved into the rugged terrain. Downtown, meander along the waterfront, maybe booking a harbour cruise, browsing trendy and traditional shops, and exploring the city’s hilly, narrow streets—some so old they grew (with quirky little alleys and laneways) rather than being planned.
Famous for its music scene and saucy humour, this port city is also a foodie mecca with an increasing number of world-class restaurants. Delicious, too, are the traditional Newfoundland dishes, such as toutons, fish and brewis, fish cakes, and cod tongues. For Instagram-worthy views, do visit The Rooms, the provincial art gallery, archives and museum. Or wake early to see the sun rise first at Cape Spear National Historic Site, North America’s most easterly point.
Other hotspots? The Johnson Geo Centre, all about earth sciences on Signal Hill; George Street’s world-famous bar strip; and picturesque Quidi Vidi, a fishing outport in the midst of the city.
ESSENTIAL TO BRING BACK: Handcrafted iceberg water-based soaps (oh my!), sea salt bath bombs, and artisanal skincare products from East Coast Glow.