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Our Newfoundland Itinerary--suggestions?

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We have planned a 17-day trip to Newfoundland this July with another couple. We've visited before, but they have not, so our trip will include places and sights that we have seen and those that we have not. Our flights, accommodation, and rental car are booked, so I don't need recommendations there, but I would be interested in things to see and do that others who live in or who have visited this beautiful province might suggest.

Here's our itinerary in outline:

Days 1-3: Arrive and visit St. John's and vicinity

Days 4-6: Trinity (Port Rexton)

Days 7-8: Twillingate

Days 9-10: Gros Morne (Woody Point)

Days 11-13: Cape Onion (The Tickle Inn, of course)

Day 14: Cape Onion to L'Anse au Clair, Labrador

Day 15: L'Anse au Clair to Port aux Choix

Day 16: Port aux Choix to Deer Lake

Day 17: Fly home from Deer Lake

We'll be in St. John's for July 1st, so we hope to be up on Signal Hill at 6AM to mark Canada Day, and later attend the ceremonies at the War Memorial. We'll also take in the festivities on George Street at some point.

There's more to see and do in St. John's and the Avalon that we possibily have time for, but we thought that we might visit Cape Spear and Petty Harbour and then on to Witless Bay for a cruise to see the birds and whales. We've not seen The Rooms yet, so that might be a good foul weather alternative. I'd also like to stop at Quidi Vidi for a short visit.

En route to Trinity we might stop in Brigus, especially because of the Bartlett commemoration, although we'll be too early for the arrival of the ship. Any other suggestions for stops en route?

We've been to Trinity before, and want to take a trip again with Peter Beamish to visit the whales. We'd also like to walk the Skerwink Trail and visit the Random Passages site at New Bonaventure. If we can squeeze in a return visit to Bonavista we'll probably do so. Although we're staying at the Fisher's Loft, we probably won't take all our meals there, so any dining suggestions would be welcome.

Enroute to Twillingate, we thought that we'd leave the TCH at Gambo and follow the Kittiwake coast. Is this worth the extra time, or should we go by the shortest route from Gander? In Twillingate, we'd like to take a boat tour to see the icebergs (if our timing is right). I'd also like to visit Fogo Island, but I don't think we have the time.

We've visited Gros Morne Park before and have stayed in both Rocky Harbour and Norris Point, so we thought we'd try the south side this time. Although we've taken the tour on Western Brook Pond, our friends haven't, so we'll probably do it again. However, is the Trout River Pond tour almost as scenic and would it be a suitable alternative?

We fell in love with the Tickle Inn on our last trip and are looking forward to our return. We'll certainly go back to L'Anse aux Meadows, and hope to see the Burnt Cape Reserve. Anything else we might add? (We've been to St. Anthony before).

The trip across to Labrador is mainly to see Red Bay, but any other recommendations would be welcome. Unfortunately, Battle Harbour will have to wait for another time.

Port aux Choix is a return visit, and we're particularly looking forward to the fresh shrimp at the Anchor Café

I'd welcome your thoughts on places along our route where we might have a chance to hear some traditional music. In the end, I know that we won't get in all we hope to see and do, but that will just be the incentive for a return visit. .

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