St. John's

St. John's

St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland & Labrador located on Canada’s Atlantic Coast is one of the oldest cities in North America.

As the oldest and most easterly city in North America, this is where heritage lives. Melded with culture, history, and personality, St. John’s has survived two World Wars, five centuries, countless hardships and triumphs. It’s become a rare, old city full of character, experience and charisma, with a contemporary, sophisticated edge.

Wander down the narrow, criss-crossing streets carved by horse and carriage over 100 years ago. Pass the colourful jellybean row houses wedged together in every space lining the sides of steep hills and hidden alleyways. Once you’ve meandered down to the working harbour of the waterfront, look towards the Narrows and imagine a time when the waters were brimming full with fishing schooners.

Visit Quidi Vidi, our charming village-within-a-city, which still embodies the spirit of an old fishing out-port. Then, hike up nearby Signal Hill through the famous Battery, where tiny wooden homes still cling valiantly to cliff-sides ravaged by ocean waves. The unmistakable, iconic Cabot Tower guards the top of Signal Hill, where military men guarded our shores throughout the 1700s and 1800s.

Signal Hill National Historic Site Stand atop Signal Hill and let your soul be stirred by the crack of muskets and the roar of cannon fire. Discover the story of how British and French soldiers battled fiercely to control this strategic location. Explore the iconic Cabot Tower and experience a view of St. John’s and the North Atlantic that is truly spectacular.

The Rooms Immerse yourself in our culture at Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest public cultural space. It’s the place where it all comes together – our history, heritage and artistic expression. The Rooms unites the Provincial Archives, Art Gallery and Museum. A place for people, The Rooms is a portal to the many stories our province has to tell. Soaring into the skyline of historic St. John’s, The Rooms combines twenty-first century technology with a striking visual reference to our past.

Iceberg Viewing When it comes to viewing icebergs, Newfoundland is one of the best places in the world. On a sunny day, view these 10,000-year-old glacial giants from many points along the northern and eastern coasts – in every shape and size. With colours ranging from snow-white to the deepest aquamarine. The IcebergFinder.com map below shows icebergs that were recently detected around Newfoundland and Labrador. Some icebergs have been detected by satellite and some have been reported by tourism operators.

Island Touring St John’s serves as a start point for island touring around Newfoundland and Labrador, with beautiful scenic routes offering you colourful sights of multi-coloured homes to quaint fishing villages and stunning coastal scenery. You can tour the island in your own rental car or join one the escorted coach tours who can show you the very best of the island has to offer.

Shopping Take a stroll down any main street of any town across Newfoundland and Labrador and you’re bound to find something that’s one of a kind. For the past 500 years, we’ve used our inventiveness and curiosity to create the most unique arts and crafts – everything from fine art to hooked rugs to elegant stoneware pottery that reflects the land and sea that surrounds us.

Dining There are pubs, restaurants, and coffee shops throughout the downtown area, some hidden inside alleys, some spilling onto the sidewalks. There is certainly no shortage of places to dine in St John’s. For a good night out head to George Street: located in downtown St. John’s is two blocks of bars, pubs, restaurants – and nothing else. It’s the centre of the entertainment district and its unique reputation has spread far and wide. It has inspired songs and stories, and has been a magnet for musicians and their fans for decades. Everyone from Ron Hynes to Great Big Sea and Blue Rodeo has played here, either in the clubs and pubs or outside on the main stage for one of the street’s two annual festivals.

St John’s and around Newfoundland you’ll find festivals and events in honour of music, food, fish, film, theatre, and crafts. Not to mention workshops, seminars, walking tours, and open performances that will educate and entertain.

Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Festival: Late June Wreckhouse Jazz & Blues presents one of the fastest growing cultural events in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Wreckhouse International Jazz & Blues Festival, which sees Jazz, Blues and World music exposed to and integrated into Newfoundland’s already unique, vibrant and nationally recognized musical community.

St John’s Days: June for 3 days during Summer Solstice A celebration of the city’s birthday, historical open houses and great cultural demonstrations. Many free-admission events!

St John’s Time: End July – Mid August Four major festivals, George Street Festival, Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, Downtown Buskers Festival and the Royal St. John’s Regatta are celebrated each year for 10 days starting at the end of July.

Shakespeare by the Sea Festival: Early July – Mid August The whole world’s a stage with the Shakespeare By The Sea Festival! For over two centuries, this company presents energetic and engaging outdoor performances of Shakespeare.

Ranging from mildly surprising to downright unpredictable, it can be as spontaneous as the people you’ll meet along the way. Thanks to the temperate marine climate, you won’t have to contend with extreme temperatures either. St. John’s, the capital city, enjoys the third mildest winter in Canada, and comfortable cool-to-warm summers.

For the island of Newfoundland, the average summer temperature is 16°C (61°F) while the average winter temperature hovers around 0°C (32°F). In Labrador, the winter climate is somewhat harsher, but temperatures can top 25°C (77°F) during the short but pleasant summers.

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Newfoundland Discovery

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Explore the main highlights of Newfoundland including St. John's, Twillingate, Trinity Bay, the Northern Peninsula and Gros Morne National Park.

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