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St. John's Holidays

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Considered by National Geographic to be one of the ‘Best Oceanside Destinations in North America’, St. John’s in Newfoundland Canada is full of amazing history and will enchant visitors with its small-town charm.

At 500 years old, St John’s is considered the oldest city in North America. The picturesque streets of Newfoundland’s capital city are dotted with rainbow-coloured buildings, and the historic harbour is perfect for people-watching and imaging life in years gone by.

The allure of Newfoundlands St John’s isn’t just its fascinating history – it is anything but a sleepy seaside town. It also has a contemporary, hip edge. A lively music scene, quirky boutiques and shops, modern art galleries and one of Canada’s largest urban parks await visitors to the city.

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Travel Guide

Things To Do in St John's

1. Explore Gros Morne National Park

This UNESCO World Heritage site is 485 million years in the making, and with 1,805 square kilometres to explore, there is plenty to discover. Thundering waterfalls, awe-striking glaciers and enormous summits await your arrival. Outdoor activities available include hiking, boating, camping and fishing.

2. Take in the View at Cape Spear

The most easterly point in North America, a visit to the Cape Spear lighthouse is one of the most iconic attractions in Newfoundland. Why not experience the unforgettable and watch the sunrise with the whole of North America stretching out in front of you? Don’t forget to keep an eye out for whales and puffins too.

3. Terra Nova National Park

Perfect for outdoor adventurers, Terra Nova National Park has something to offer in all seasons. Watch in wonder as icebergs float by in the spring, camp in the magnificent wilderness in the summer, kayak along the breath-taking coastline in the autumn and cross-country ski across the 400 square kilometre park in the winter. Terra Nova can provide countless things to do, no matter what your taste.

4. Become an Honorary New Foundlander

If you have fallen in love with St. John’s during your visit, why not become an honorary citizen? The ‘Screech-In’ ceremony involves a shot of screech, a short recitation and the kissing of a cod. Normally taking place in a pub, this is the perfect way to feel at home in this maritime province.

5. L’Anse aux Meadow National Historic Site

This site provides the perfect excursion for history buffs. Sitting on the northern tip of Newfoundland, L’Anse aux Meadow is home to the remains of an 11th Century Viking settlement. This is not only evidence of the first European presence in North America but is the only authentic trace of Viking settlement on the continent.

Places to Eat in St. John's

1. Ches’ Fish and Chips

This St. John’s staple was established over 60 years ago and has transformed into a small chain, beloved by locals and visitors alike in Newfoundland.  Don’t forget to upgrade your meal with Ches’ homemade gravy!

2. Mallards

Mallards was once a rustic cottage which has been turned into a cosy restaurant for an intimate dining experience. The menu changes daily to keep the local produce as fresh as can be. Mallards is located in the quaint Quidi Vidi, a historic fishing village just five minutes from St. John’s. Make sure you take some time to explore the sights before your meal.

3. Raymonds Restaurant

Raymonds is an award-winning restaurant located on Water Street, right in the heart of downtown St. John’s. Their innovative chefs exclusively use local produce due to the bounty of seafood and game available in the province. Reservations for this chic, high-end eatery are an absolute must.

4. Hot Dogs on George Street

If you’ve enjoyed sampling the nightlife in St. John’s, indulging in a local hot dog is the perfect end to your evening. There are countless cheap and cheerful hotdog stands along George Street, no matter what the weather.

5. Saltwaters

Located in downtown St. John’s, Saltwaters is known for its delicious fresh seafood and reasonable prices, as well as their great options for those with dietary restrictions. The small menu is always fresh and is ideal for those looking for some low-key dining.

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Top Tips for Visiting St. John's

1. Prepare for the Weather

The temperature changes very quickly in St. John’s due to its coastal location, and the province as a whole is known for experiencing heavy rainfall. Make sure you pack layers and always have a raincoat on hand!

2. Book Restaurants Early

The dining scene in St. John’s is renowned across the province due to the fresh seafood available. If there is a fine-dining restaurant or a local haunt you are desperate to try, make sure you book in advance as they are always incredibly busy.

3. Try Partridge Berries

Partridge berries are native to North America and you can find them in many delicious treats during your visit to St. John’s. Try them in a muffin in Tim Hortons – with one on almost every street corner in Canada, you will be spoiled for choice!

4. Meet the Locals

Make sure you take some time to explore the area outside St. John’s and you will be welcomed with open arms. Experience this famous Newfoundland hospitality and visit quaint villages with quirky names such as Come by Chance and Red Head’s Cove.

5. Drive the Province

The best way to experience St. John’s and beyond is by car. The journey across Newfoundland takes 12 hours end to end.  Hire a car and travel from tip to the other, stopping at leisure to enjoy the many things to see and do throughout.

If there is one thing that St. John’s is famous for, it is the hospitality that will welcome you when you arrive. The people are proud of their city and will always greet you with a smile and will delight in helping you find your way.

The city is full of panoramic viewpoints where you can truly appreciate the beauty of the province. Hike up the nearby Signal Hill – where wooden houses cling to the cliff-side – to the famed Cabot Tower. From here, you will have the most phenomenal view of the skyline, cliffs and the harbour.

If you are travelling to Atlantic Canada and want to visit a destination that is the perfect combination of a vibrant city atmosphere and small-town hospitality, St John’s is exactly what you are looking for. Our Canada Travel Specialists will be delighted to help you plan your incredible trip. You will have your own personal advisor who will tailor-make a unique holiday just for you, to best suit your requirements. Plus, with our holiday payment plans and low deposits, your dream trip has just become a reality. With direct flights, hotels and car hire, we'll cover it all, so just give us a call and get your St John's adventure started.