Sep 18th, 2004, 06:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 347

Thank you all for your guidance. These months of planning have been great fun becaues of your many recommendations and "reading assignments". So, now I need...please - review my plans and please recommendations / feedback! Please!

Calling Air Canada was not a good experience. I had earned an Air Canada Companion Certificate - the operator immediately told me I would not want to use it, and quoted me a price $1959.09 (U.S. Dollars) - to use the certificate I could not book on line. By using the operator I could use the certificate but the flights I wanted were not available and although I could fly out of my area airport, there were absolutely no scheduled flight on a return flight... this has me very nervous-- I asked her if I booked on line, I could get the flights, and she told me, "there is never a guarantee the flights exist" - so may I just say I am very nervous, but went on line and booked my flight from New Jersey to Toronto to St. John's. (reverse route back)
I arrive on a Thursday (1:00 pm ) here is my first decision - I have not yet booked lodging for my first 3 days (Thurs-Sunday) I was looking at Witt's Inn but I have not had feedback and so I am considering the Fairmount. I end my visit with 2 nights at the Fairmount-- I thought it might be nice to start at a friendly B&B, gather advice and local suggestions... what do you folks suggest?
I thought after settling in we could explore Signal Hill, perhaps the Geo Centre, Cape Pine, the next day (first full day)(a Friday) explore Cape Spear, Maddox Cove, Petty Harbor, Quidi Village, Beigus, Goulds - Kilbride (I was thinking that would be a full morning) then the afternoon, Middle Cove - Pouch Cove, Logy Bay, Middle Cove, Outer Cove, Torbay, Flat Rock, Portgal Cove, Paradise and Conception Bay.
who wants to join us for
drinks that night?
Saturday - my plan was to head out to : Brigus, Harbour Grace, Salmon Cove, Perry's Cove, Bay De Verde, Grates Cove, Old Perlican, Winterton, Heart's Desire / Delight, Spaniard's Bay, Bay Roberts and Dildo.
Sunday I have as our travel day to Trinity. I had planned to stay at Fisher's Loft however they will not be open, finding a place was not easy in the Trinity area however, I have rented a house through Trinitybight. This will be my husband's actual birthday, and if you remember in my original post this is his dream trip, a winter photography outing in Newfoundland.
So arriving on a Sunday to Port Rexton, we will have until Wednesday to explore Trinity and Bonavista. (ideas / recommendations???)
OK, this this is where I get a little crazy, I am thinking when we leave Port Rexton we drive to Grand Bank,(I was looking at the Inn by the Sea) spend the night, the next day (Thursday) drive to Dildo(I was thinking of Inn by the Bay) and from Dildo explore the Irish Loop in 2 days by dividing the travel as : Whitbournse-Dunville, Placenita, Ship Cove, Gooseberry Cove, St. Bride, Cape St. Mary's, Point Lance, Branch (rt 92) Colinet up 81 back to Dildo-- the next day from Dildo back through Colinet, St. Catherine's, Harricott, Mt. Carmel, Salmonier, Admiral's Beach, St. Vincent's, Peter's River, St. Shotts, Trespassey, Cape Race, Feryland, to Witless Bay and rt 10 to St. John's followed by our last 2 nights at the Fairmount.
Saturday Morning I have planned for some time at the Spa at the Monasery, we return to the US on Sunday--
OK, I can take it, feedback, please.Suggestions too!
Thank you!
jtp is offline  
Sep 19th, 2004, 02:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
Hi jtp, sounds like you've been doing a lot of planning! As suggested previously, if you want a great B&B in St.John's, The Roses is great. Patrick is a great host and full of knowledge about the area. We have stayed there 3 times and love it. The location is great for walking downtown.
Now about the part of your itinerary wherd you go 'nuts'. I really have to say that basing yourself in Dildo to do the Irish loop doesn't make too much sense. It's too far away from the Irish Loop and you'd waste too much time backtracking. ALso you say you'd spend one day around to St Bride's and St. Mary's and then the next day doing the Irish Loop. I really think you'd be better off taking the 2 days right on the Irish Loop and staying somewhere around the Loop. So the first night , stay at Witless Bay instead of Dildo, and then maybe around Trepassy or St. Mary's. Also, with winter conditions, I wonder if you'd be able to get out to Cape RAce. It's a pretty rough and remote road at the best of times.
Good luck.
kodi is offline  
Sep 19th, 2004, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 734
If you stay in Witless Bay, Elaine's B andB by the Sea is wonderful {don't know if it's open in Jan.} Ask for the "Blue Room", which offers a magnificent view of the bay, and whales, in season.
Molly2 is offline  
Sep 19th, 2004, 05:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,057
My first thought on seeing this itinerary is to suggest that you be prepared to adapt to whatever winter offers you and not be too firmly tied to a particulat plan. About the Cape Race road. I have driven the first few km twice. In July it was quite rough. In January it was nicely graded snow and easy to drive.
Gavin is offline  
Sep 19th, 2004, 07:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 347
Great Feedback, thankyou! Tomorrow I will rework that Irish Lopp piece.
As for arrival, an Inn or the hotel?
jtp is offline  
Sep 20th, 2004, 02:01 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 8
Hello, thought I'd put my (2) cents in....

Sounds like a great winter trip!
The only thing that might hamper your schedule is the weather, but deal
with that as it comes.

I think you have a very well laid out plan. The Signal Hill day sounds like fun,
also the Geo Centre, they have a new Titanic theme that is really cool.

I think your idea of exploring the towns surronding St' Johns is a good idea.
Beautiful little places you can go, Pouch Cove, Middle Cove, now there are a couple
places that you can just sit back, and soak in the rugged beauty. On a windy, rough day,

The Irish Loop can be done in a day, but two, is perfect. Lots to do and see, and it's a bit
of driving, with a little more time allowed for winter driving.

Trinity is a must. There is a beautiful 4 star B&B there, can't remember it's name off hand,
very nice, and a great host. (sorry can't remember the name)

Staying in St. John's there is a couple of spots. The Fairmount is a nice hotel, and the Delta.
If your looking for a B&B, there is one place I would suggest. It's in Portugal Cove, and about ten
minutes from the airport. The Beach House. They have cottage type rooms and beautiful suites.
Jaccuzi/fireplace/sattv/highspeed hookup(for us computer freaks) and its right on the water.
It's an amazing place, with can't help you enough, hosts. I have the website if you want it.

The Spa at the Monastary will delight you. A great way to end the trip!

Sounds like fun. Enjoy
Travelmann2 is offline  
Sep 20th, 2004, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 694
You certainly will not be able to do Cape Pine the same day you are in St. John's - Cape Pine is near Trepassey.

Chances of actually getting out to Cape St. Mary's in January are not at all good. The road has no winter maintenance, and even if you did get out there the visitor centre will be closed and all of the nesting seabirds will be many months gone.

Staying in Dildo and doing the Irish Loop in 2 days will give you a LOT of driving on roads that might be snow covered , ice covered or impassable.

Sorry to be negative, but are you SURE you know what you are getting into?
Have you been to Newfoundland or similar places previously in winter?

Best of luck.

gannetmusic is offline  
Sep 20th, 2004, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 416
Another vote for Elaine's B & B in Witless Bay. We stayed there for a couple of nights about 4 years ago. They arranged a sea kayaking trip for my husband which he fondly remembers. Very very nice people, great accomodations and a view that is heaven sent!
canuckuphereathome is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 05:53 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2
I would rate your chances of getting out to Cape Race as slim as well if it has snowed. I am pretty sure that it is not maintained in the winter past the first few kilometers. Its a 20 km rough gravel road with no residences on it.

You seem to have alot packed into 3 days. As others have mentioned you won't get to half of it if there is snow on the road. Winter snow removal in Newfoundland leaves a lot to be desired. Plus most of the roads you will be travelling are winding two lane rural roads along the coast. They will be very exposed.

Even on a good summer day driving the Irish Loop without stopping takes about 3 hours.

I wish you luck in your trip but don't expect to see much open here for tourists. Interpretative places will all be closed, with the exception of Signal Hill.

My suggestion for flying would be to use either WestJet ( or CanJet ( Both fly from LaGuardia-Toronto-St. John's.

An alternative is Continental which flys direct from Newark-St. John's return daily.
scoulter is offline  
Sep 21st, 2004, 07:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 319
I enthusiastically second the recommendation for The Beach House in Portugal Cove. The oceanfront setting is fantastic, the accommodations are immaculate and the prices very reasonable. Our unit was like a suite, with a full kitchen, dining table, and a PC. It's quiet and relaxing. Having visited in June, I can't comment on winter conditions, but it's a beautiful province with unbelievably kind and helpful people.
sluggo is offline  

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