Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Five Things to Do in St. John’s, Newfoundland

A post by Scott F

St. John’s is the epitome of a little-big town. A city that, despite its size and majesty, still retains a feeling of coziness that makes visitors feel instantly welcome. While not the easiest thing to do, I managed to (sort of) narrow our experience down to a few key themes, all of which led to our exceptional experience in the heart of the Rock.

George Street

George Street holds the coveted distinction of hosting the “most bars and pubs per square foot of any street in North America.” That’s enough to cause any man to fall on their knees and exalt in Wayne’s World-type fashion, “we are not worthy!” But what really stands out about George Street is that is isn’t as touristy as one might expect. Instead you get a great mix of enthusiastic islanders and dumbstruck mainlanders all out for a good time. We found our way to O’Reilly’s Irish Newfoundland Pub where we were fortunate enough to catch a show by the outstanding Irish Descendants. Naturally, George Street is also the destination for those needing to be “screeched in” as official Newfoundlanders (Christian’s Bar does a fantastic job). Don’t look it up - just pucker up and do it.

REALLY see the Sights

Take in the incredible walk up to and around Signal Hill. There is a fantastic trail that takes you around the hill with stunning views of the city and the ocean. Take the quick drive to Cape Spear, Canada’s most easterly point, and walk the East Coast Trail that winds along the massive cliff overlooking the ocean.








Drink the Beers

Ya’ll knew I wouldn’t forget the beer. We found our way to two breweries during our time in St. John’s, and neither disappointed. Most highly recommended is the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company located on the breathtaking Quidi Vidi harbour. Don’t miss their feature brew, Iceberg, which boasts being made with 25,000 year old iceberg water. A truly refreshing lager, worth its more expensive price tag on warm summer nights. Their Eric’s Cream Ale and 1892 Traditional Ale are also solid selections.

  

YellowBelly Brewery and Public House is a great spot for some good food washed down with fresh beer made on site. St. John’s Stout is the beer to try. Delicious with hints of dark chocolate, coffee and tobacco; definitely worth a session.


Take a Drive just out of Town

The sights don’t end at the edge of town. Bell Island is a short drive a ferry crossing away. Home to a now defunct iron-ore mine, Bell Island feels a world away. Take in the mine tour; our guide was a third generation miner from Bell Island who explained the genuine hardships of life in the mine. Very humbling. Take a drive out to the lighthouse on the Island, as not to miss this:



Petty Harbour was equally worth the short drive. If you're looking for a bite to eat, try Chafe’s Landing of You Gotta Eat Here fame.




Walk

Do yourself a favour and just walk (starting at the top of the hill of course, if you know what’s good for you). The jellybean houses and views of the bay are breathtaking and need to be seen from the vast variety of vantages the city has to offer.



Travelers tip: download the Newfoundland and Labrador tourism app – it’s an valuable resource for attractions, inns, hiking routes, restaurants and a whole lot more.

Long may your jib draw. Avancez!

About the Author

Scott Fry is a content creator for Real Man Travels. He is also the site's dedicated editor and beer expert. Connect with Scott on Twitter or Instagram.

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