Newfoundland and Labrador form the easternmost province of Canada. A trip to Newfoundland includes spectacular scenery, fresh seafood, abundant wildlife, national parks, and quaint coastal communities. For me, this adds up to vacation paradise! Once this Canadian Province landed on my vacation destination radar screen, it didn’t take long to start planning our Newfoundland vacation.
Newfoundland Vacation: When We Visited
We chose to go to Newfoundland in early June in order to have a chance to see both icebergs and whales. Fortunately, we saw both!
The weather, however, was a bit unexpected. We experienced several days with colder than the average temperatures. One day, it actually snowed!
But, the wind was biggest surprise. Most days, I wore a mid-weight coat for warmth and to block the wind and a headband to cover my ears.
Getting To and Around In Newfoundland
Newfoundland is an island, so we flew into St John’s International Airport. (Another option to get to Newfoundland is the ferry from Nova Scotia.) When planning our trip to Newfoundland, I discovered that there weren’t very many direct flights between the US and Newfoundland. Our flight schedule routed us through Toronto which meant we had to change planes a couple of times to get to St. John’s.
We arrived in Newfoundland in the evening and rented a car at the airport. I can’t imagine visiting Newfoundland and not having a rental car. It really is a necessity. I’d recommend not waiting until the last minute to reserve your rental car as supply is somewhat limited.
We spent our first night in Newfoundland at the Holiday Inn Express by the airport in St. John’s. It was easy to find and clean/comfortable. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again.
The following day, we stopped at Walmart to pick up some snacks and necessities and headed towards Rocky Harbour.
Our Newfoundland Vacation Itinerary
Newfoundland is home several National Parks and National Historic Sites, a historically significant city, and small fishing communities along its vast rocky coastline. The island is approximately 111,000 square kilometers (42,000 square miles) which is about the size of the state of Tennessee. With so much awesomeness to see, narrowing all of the options to create a Newfoundland itinerary can be a challenge.
In most cases, my preference in vacation itineraries is to stay longer in fewer locations rather than moving every night or two. And, when I started exploring vacation rental options for our trip to Newfoundland, I was pleasantly surprised to find several ocean front options really reasonable prices. So, it is a great place to settle in, relax, and enjoy the surroundings.
After much research, we decided to stay in 3 different locations over the two week Newfoundland vacation: Rocky Harbour, Twillingate, and St. John’s.
Gros Morne National Park (Rocky Harbour)
Rocky Harbour is surrounded by Gros Morne National Park which is what drew me to Newfoundland in the first place. Rocky Harbour is on the northwest coast of Newfoundland and is about a 7 or 8 hour drive across the island from St. John’s.
We stayed in Rocky Harbour for 6 nights, so that we’d have lots of time to explore Gros Morne National Park as well as enjoy this coastal community.
Gros Morne National Park was amazing! This Canadian National Park has great hiking, an inland fijord, and an exposed portion of the earth’s mantle… not to mention all of the wildlife! As a perfect ending to each day, we enjoyed phenomenal sunsets each evening from Rocky Harbour.
Next on our itinerary was Twillingate. This coastal community is situated along Iceberg Alley. Each year icebergs break off from the glaciers of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic and float past the coastlines of Labrador and Newfoundland. This zone is affectionately called Iceberg Alley, and Twillingate has a great seat along this parade route. We timed our visit to Newfoundland in order to see these frosty giants.
Our Newfoundland vacation itinerary included 4 nights in Twillingate. We enjoyed several of the hiking trails in the area as well an iceberg tour. As with Rocky Harbour, there were several reasonably priced vacation rental options – many with outstanding ocean views. The area has plenty of restaurants as well as a grocery store and seafood market.
After Twillingate, we headed back to St. John’s where we stayed 3 nights. There is lots to see and do in the Newfoundland’s capitol city. We experienced several historic sights in and around the city. We went whale watching, and visited the Rooms museum. For more information on visiting St John’s, check out 6 Must-See Sights in St. John’s.
Our vacation to Newfoundland was incredible! The trip far exceeded our expectations, and we’d love to go back! The people we encountered in Newfoundland were welcoming and seemed excited that we’d traveled so far to see their homeland. So, go ahead and start planning your trip to Newfoundland…. you won’t be disappointed!