Saint Johns is the capital city (and the largest city) of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It sits on the Avalon Peninsula and is the eastern most city in North America (excluding Greenland) and is supposedly one of the oldest cites in North America. It has a rich history, beautiful scenery, and over 100,000 people.
The Duke of Duckworth
The Duke, an English Pub, is a Saint John’s institution situated on McMurdo’s Lane (an alley) on Duckworth St. A great place for beer and fish and chips! Also, a recurring location on the Canadian TV Show “The Republic of Doyle”. Our favourite!
A park along the waterfront in Saint Johns that offers free music concerts at lunchtime during the summer and two large dog statues detailing the history of The Newfoundland and The Labrador.
Saint Johns is known for its vibrantly coloured houses of which an area called Jellybean Row is a great example. It sits along Duckworth St but in reality there are colourful houses everywhere around Saint Johns. They can’t be missed.
The Rooms Cultural Facility
The Rooms sits prominently on a hilltop in Saint Johns and can be seen from almost everywhere around the city. It is a combination cultural center, art museum, and natural history museum. There is a cafe/restaurant on the 4th floor with fabulous views over the Saint Johns waterfront. A great cultural facility to visit. We loved it there.
Quidi Vidi (pronounced Kiddy Viddy) is a neighborhood in Saint Johns which is next to Quidi Vidi Lake (where the Royal St Johns Regatta is held every year) and the Qiidi Vidy Harbour (often refered to as “The Gut”). It houses the Quidi Vidi Brewery which is the largest microbrewery in Newfoundland. It is a quaint, charming, and tightly packed area.
Signal Hill is a prominent hill overlooking Saint Johns harbour and started being used as fortifications during the mid 17th century. It is full of history and now is a Canada National Historic Site with a Visitor Center and a few walking trails with great views. Cabot Tower is located at the very top of the hill with commanding views over the harbour and out to the ocean (if it is not fogged in). Cabot Tower was where, in 1901, Guglielmo Marconi received the first trans-Atlantic wireless message. The tower now houses exhibits and a gift shop.
Cape Spear is located on the Avalon Peninsula just south of Saint Johns and has an operational lighthouse from 1836 with the current llighthouse having been built in 1955. Cape Spear is the eastern most point in North America (not including Greenland). The original lighthouse and light keepers residence are open to the public. There is also a vistors center and a gift shop.
Witless Bay is a small fishing community about 30 minutes south of Saint Johns and is home to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. The reserve consists of 4 islands where immense numbers of bird nests during the summer months. It has the largest colony of Atlantic Puffins in North America with over 260,000 pairs nesting there during the summer. There are a variety of tour companies offering boat tours not only for visiting the Reserve but for iceberg and whale viewing.