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Where to go in Newfoundland

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Mar 7th, 2008, 01:42 PM
  #1
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Where to go in Newfoundland

Everyone has already been so helpful, and I have the "when" settled--17 days the end of July.

Now the "where."

I already posted a proposed schedule, but would appreciate any suggestions to narrow it down.

Arrive at St John's Airport 11 pm. Will taxi into city and pick up car following day to get unlimited mileage.

So, 3 nights, 2 full days in St John's. Thought of travelling north (Flat Rock area) one day and down towards Ferryland the second.Is the northern part scenic or walkable?

Next 3 nights in Twillingate area. Is Twillingate the "best" town to stay there? Thought of going to Fogo Island for a day. Is going just for a day worthwhile? Could we walk on ferry and wander around area that the ferry comes in or is a car necessary? Should we spend 4 nights in Twillingate?

Next 4 nights in Rocky Harbour.

Realize it's about 350 miles from Rocky Harbour to Bonavista Peninsula, but next 3 nights there.Very open to any suggestions for a town to stay there or even a preference as to which side of the peninsula. Is hiking at Terra Nova any more outstanding than areas of Bonavista?

Now we have 3 nights left....I'm thinking we may want to see more of Irish Loop area. Would you suggest that over the peninsula (don't see a name on it) between Trinity and Conception Bays?

Since we have to return the car in St John's at 10 am and our flight isn't until 6 pm, I think we may spend the last night in town so hopefully we may be able to leave our luggage at the hotel during the day as we explore on foot.

I realize I've asked a LOT of questions and everyone has their own opinions, but would love to hear any thoughts you may have.

We are hikers/walkers and on the days we're staying somewhere, we prefer to spend time doing that, especially along the shoreline, rather than driving to every tourist spot to "see everything." On our "lazy" days, sitting on a deck, sipping wine, with hopefully local cheese, and just soaking in the scenery is a mighty fine way to enjoy life!
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Mar 10th, 2008, 10:27 AM
  #2
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I hope I didn't ask too many questions that I scared everyone away. Even if you just have a comment on 1 queston, I'd love your input.

We do have reservations at Maunders in St John's for the first 3 nights and Nicolle's Cottage in Rocky Harbour. Have also decided to go with 3 nights in Twillingate.
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Mar 10th, 2008, 02:34 PM
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I'll take a stab at a couple of these.
Flatrock is a small community close enough to St. John's for commuting, but far enough to still be a recognizable "place" (it's certainly not suburban!). It has a web site (www.townofflatrock.com) and the grotto is the only attraction I'm familiar with.
Ferryland has a fascinating archaeological site, with displays & a chance to see work in progress. The drive down there is very scenic, and the area has various activities available as well: boat tours, sea kayaking, hiking (http://www.eastcoasttrail.com/ has useful info)
Twillingate is the "centre" of New World Island in the sense of having stores, hospital, etc., but New World Island isn't that large (it's connected by a causeway, so not a "real" island). If you mean, is that the best area on the northeast coast, yes, I think it's a good choice.
If you go to Fogo (or Change Island, which is smaller) on the ferry, you should take your vehicle, as the area around the ferry dock is not what people go there to see.
Terra Nova and Bonavista are quite different. The national park is a heavily-wooded, lightly-populated area for nature lovers: camping, hiking, swimming, etc. Bonavista is one of a string of small, charming villages/towns with B&Bs/craft shops/museums. Bonavista has a lighthouse, dramatic scenery, & a replica of the "Matthew", John Cabot's 1497 ship. Nearby Trinity has an exceptional local summer theatre festival (www.risingtidetheatre.com).
Where to stay depends on what you're looking for (and your budget--some places in Trinity are elegant, & priced accordingly).
Hope this helps.
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Mar 10th, 2008, 03:35 PM
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Hi Clousie,

On the Bonavists Peninsula, I would recommend superb accomodations in the town of Port Union, which is midway between Trinity and Bonavista. This is Captain Blackmore's Heritage Manor. You can view their website at www.captainblackmores.com. This is a heritage home that has been lovingly restored.

Also, as a suggestion, on the way east from Bonavista you could leave the TCH and take Route 100 south to Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve. Another possibility is Route 90 south where you'll pass the Salmonier Nature Center and then travel to St. Vincent's, where whales can usually be seen from the beach.

Hope this helps.
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Mar 10th, 2008, 06:35 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions, nfldbeothuk and George. Of course, the more I read and look at websites, the more excited I'm getting about our trip. Newfoundland looks so BEAUTIFUL.

George, I took your advice and booked Captain Blackmore's. Wondering where you live in PA, as we're just a short distance across the river from Easton.

Does anyone have opinions of Captain Legacy's or Paradise B&B in Twillingate? Also looking for a nice place there for dinner to celebrate my husband's birthday.
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Mar 10th, 2008, 07:43 PM
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Hi,

I live in Bucks County, PA, really not too far from you.

I'm happy that you booked Capt. Blackmore's and I'm sure you will be pleased. Accomodations are first-rate and Garry & Shelly Blackmore do everything they can to make you feel welcome. We were there for two nights last August and fell in love with it.

Twillingate - I know on your previous posting I was sort of lukewarm on the Harbour Lights Inn. But, as "retired teacher" noted, it remains one of the best places in Twillingate. I have no knowledge of the two places you asked about and I'm at a loss to recommend a place for your special dinner. Hopefully, others can help.
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Mar 12th, 2008, 05:03 PM
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So many places, so little time... Let's begin along the Avalon Penninsula. First off, be sure to leave time to drive out to Cape Spear either at the beginning or end of your trip. There's something magical about watching the sun rise from the eastern most point on the NA continent, but if you go later in the day you might be able to observe whales playing hide n' seek with the 'whale watch' tour boats on your hike up to the lighthouse. Be sure that you don't miss the WWII battery emplacement along the way.

I think that you'd enjoy a stop at Ferryland to visit the dig there. The archeologist who discovered this site is still actively involved in its excavation and he's living a career dream that few obtain. This community was first settled by Lord Baltimore before Newfoundland winters convinced him to head further south and establish an English colony in Maryland.

Puffins, Kittiwakes, and Common Murre can be seen by taking a boat trip out of Witless Bay during nesting season when these sea birds return to lay their eggs along the rocky coastlines of off shore islands and raise their young during the summer before returning to the sea. You can also observe the Kittiwakes and Northern Gannets at the Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve as George mentioned in a previous post.

The Castle Hill NHS between Placentia and Argentia would be of interest to a military history buff.

On to Twillingate... yes, this is the 'best town' to overnight in and I really didn't intend to put doubts in your mind in a previous post. The area is geographyically interesting with many small interconnecting islands. My dining experiences in this community have consisted of church dinner theater productions (great cultural experience), a lobster boil, counter food at a small diner, and the Anchor Inn Motel & Restaurant. None of these qualify as a fine dining experience. My only recommendation would be to check with the various Inns and B&B's in town to see if they offer a dinner option.

Definately take your car on the ferry over to Fogo island and plan on spending the day. There are two hikes in the town where the ferry disembarks that you might enjoy. The first is at the Fogo Battery and the other is the Hiking Trail to Abandoned Villages that is found on Main Street where it ends at the start of the trailhead. We enjoyed driving through the small fishing villages, but found very little in the way of restaurants. Take a sack lunch or try the Chinese restaurant in Fogo if its open.

While over on the Western side of the island, I'd really encourage you to overnight in Trout River the first night so that you'll have time to explore the Visitors Center and enjoy hiking the terrain there before heading over to Rocky Harbour for the remainder of your time in Gros Morne NP.

There's a great hike just outside Trinity that I'd recommend, but the name escapes me at the moment. It's well known, however, so just inquire once you hit town.

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Mar 12th, 2008, 06:29 PM
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Hi,

Excellent recommendations from "Retired teacher". I would like to add that while in Twillingate be sure to stop at the Twillingate Museum Craft Shop across the street from St. Peter's Anglican Church. There's a small museum, but I always visit the shop to stock up on a variety of homemade jams & jellies at very cheap prices.
I've always been puzzled by the fact that Twillingate lacks first class restaurants. I agree there's nothing I would consider fine dining.

Regards
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Mar 13th, 2008, 05:12 PM
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George
Since you seem to love discussing Newfoundland, and we are pretty much in the same area, I wonder if we could meet somewhere to hear more about this wonderful sounding land. You could contact me at
jfilipsk followed by @hcrhs.k12.nj.us. The system has a strong scanner on it, so I suggest you mention Newfoundland or Fodors in the title so I can pull it out of the trash if necessary.
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