Western Newfoundland

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Western Newfoundland - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Gros Morne National Park

    One of Newfoundland's most treasured UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this national park showcases the beauty and splendor of this part of the world. The most popular attraction in the northern portion of Gros Morne is the hike and boat tour of Western Brook Pond. While the fjord itself remains the same, recent upgrades to the trail to the boat dock have turned a once transportive stroll into a 45 minute-slog over a gravel road with no shade. Those in good shape can tackle the 16-km (10-mile) hike up Gros Morne Mountain, the second-highest peak in Newfoundland at 2,644 feet. Weather permitting, the reward for your effort is a unique Arctic landscape and spectacular views. The park's northern coast has an unusual mix of sand beaches, rock pools, and trails through tangled dwarf forests. Sunsets seen from Lobster Head Cove Lighthouse are spectacular. In season you might spot whales here, and a visit to the lighthouse museum, devoted to the history of the area, is rewarding. At the very north end of the park is the community of Cow Head, home to the Gros Morne Theatre Festival's popular summer program of theater and music. Also nearby, Shallow Bay Beach has a 3-km (2-mile) stretch of soft sand ready-made for beachcombing. Woody Point, a community of old houses and imported Lombardy poplars, is in the southern part of the park, on Route 431. Rising behind it are the Tablelands, a unique rock massif that was raised from the earth's mantle through tectonic upheaval. The Tablelands provide a remarkable exposure of mantle rock, rarely seen at the earth's surface; it's the main reason Gros Morne National Park has received UNESCO World Heritage status.

    Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: C$10
  • 2. L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site

    L'Anse aux Meadows is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Norwegian team of Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad discovered the remains of Viking settlements here in 1960. In 2021, researchers determined that the settlement had been active in 1021 AD. Parks Canada has a visitor center and has reconstructed four of the huts to give you a sense of the era and how the Vikings lived. An interpretation program introduces you to the food, clothing, and way of life of that time. The site has also turned one reconstructed hut into a very fun, interactive escape room called the Test of Tykir. 

    Rte. 436, L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0K 2X0, Canada
    709-623–2608-May–Oct.

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: From C$12, Closed Nov.–May
  • 3. Bonne Bay Marine Station

    A visit here is a must, especially for kids, who often find themselves enthralled by the touch tank, the centerpiece of the 45-minute guided aquarium tours. In addition to experiencing sea stars, crabs, algae, and other marine life firsthand, participants learn about the station's past and current research projects. Tours begin every 30 minutes.

    1 Clarke's Rd., Norris Point, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0K 3V0, Canada
    709-458–2874-in-season front desk

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $10, Closed Oct.–Apr.
  • 4. Codroy Valley

    As you travel down the Trans-Canada Highway toward Port aux Basques, Routes 406 and 407 bring you into the small Scottish communities of the Codroy Valley. Some of the most productive farms in the province are nestled in the valley against the backdrop of the Long Range Mountains, from which gales strong enough to stop traffic hurtle down to the coast. Locally known as Wreckhouse winds, they have overturned tractor trailers. The Codroy Valley is great for bird-watching, and the Grand Codroy River is ideal for kayaking. Walking trails, a golf course, and mountain hikes make the area an appealing stop for nature lovers.

    Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  • 5. Discovery Centre

    On the outskirts of Woody Point, a charming community of old houses and imported Lombardy poplars, this is the main center for interpreting the geology of Gros Morne National Park. Educational programs about natural history are conducted, and there's a craft shop. Learn about indigenous culture of the Mi'Kmaq in Newfoundland in an exhibition called Miawpukek: The Middle River. At the back of the center's parking lot is the fine Lookout Hills trail, a 5-km (3-mile) trek with outstanding views of Bonne Bay, Gros Morne Mountain, and the Tablelands.

    Rte. 431, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0K 4N0, Canada
    709-458–2417

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed early Oct.–mid-May
  • Recommended Fodor’s Video

  • 6. Green Gardens Trail

    As depicted beautifully in the movie Hold Fast (2013), this spectacular 9-km (5½-mile) round-trip hike starts at Long Pond, on Route 431, 5 km (3 miles) east of Trout River, passes through the Tablelands barrens, and descends sharply to a coastline of eroded cliffs and green meadows. Be prepared to do a bit of climbing on your return journey. A longer version of the trail includes a loop around Wallace Brook. Some parts of the cliff edges are undercut, so stick to the trail.

    Rte. 431, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  • 7. Grenfell Historic Properties

    A museum and a nearby interpretation center document the life and inspirational work of the English-born doctor Wilfred Grenfell (later Sir Wilfred), who in the early 20th century provided much-needed medical services and transformed the lives of the people of this remote land.

    4 Maraval Rd., St. Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0K 4S0, Canada
    709-454–4010

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: C$10, Closed Sat.–Sun. Oct.–June
  • 8. Gros Morne Visitor's Centre

    A good launching-off point for your Gros Morne visit. The thoughtful displays and videos about the park make this a good place to familiarize yourself with the park and what it has to offer.

    Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0K 4N0, Canada
    709-458–2417

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Nov.--Apr., See website for full list of service operation dates.
  • 9. J. T. Cheeseman Provincial Park

    If you are using the Port aux Basques ferry, this park is 10 km (6 miles) from the port and makes a good first or last stop, particularly if you're on a camping trip. Rich in natural flora, this is a nesting site for the piping plover. One of the hiking trails leads to waterfalls on Little Barachois River; another, with views of Table Mountain, includes fitness stations. The long, sandy Cape Ray Beach is good for swimming and sunbathing—its day-use area has picnic tables and fireplaces, and there are about a hundred campsites.

    Trans-Canada Hwy. (Rte. 1), Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0N 1C0, Canada
    709-695–7222

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed mid-Sept.–mid-May
  • 10. Long Range Mountains

    Stretching all the way from the southwest coast to the Northern Peninsula, a distance of about 400 km (250 miles), the Long Range Mountains form the northernmost extent of the Appalachian Mountains. Their highest point, southwest of Corner Brook, is 2,670 feet, and the range encompasses the Gros Morne National Park and several provincial parks. Jacques Cartier, who saw them in 1534 as he was exploring the area on behalf of France, noted that their shape reminded him of the long, rectangular-shaped farm buildings of his home village in France. Among the mountains, small villages are interspersed with rivers teeming with salmon and trout.

    Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  • 11. Newfoundland Emporium

    This store is crammed from wall to wall with Newfoundland-related stuff—reputedly more than 16,000 items. The three-level store is full of books (including rare ones by Newfoundlanders and about Newfoundland, as well as volumes about ships and sailing), art, crafts, music, antique furniture, and collectibles.

    11 Broadway, Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, A2H 4C2, Canada
    709-634–9376
  • 12. Newfoundland Insectarium

    An intriguing collection of live and preserved insects, spiders, and scorpions from six temperate zones is housed here, and there's a glass beehive with 10,000 honeybees. The verdant greenhouse is home to hundreds of live tropical butterflies. A walking trail leads through woodland to the Humber River and Rocky Brook—you have a good chance of spotting beavers and muskrats from the viewing deck. Check out the gift shop, which sometimes stocks lollipops with edible dried scorpions inside. Picnic tables provide a nice spot to stretch and rest. The insectarium is a one-minute drive off the Trans-Canada Highway at Deer Lake; turn north onto Route 430, also signed here as Bonne Bay Road.

    2 Bonne Bay Rd., Reidville, Newfoundland and Labrador, A8A 2V1, Canada
    709-635–4545

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: C$14, Closed mid-Oct.–mid-May
  • 13. Norstead Viking Village

    Two kilometers (1 mile) east of L'Anse aux Meadows is Norstead, a reconstruction of an 11th-century Viking port, with a chieftain's hall, church, and ax-throwing area. Interpreters in period dress answer questions as they go about their Viking business (albeit in sneakers). A highlight is the Snorri, a reconstructed viking knarr that sailed from Greenland to L'anse Aux Meadows in 1997, re-creating Leif Eriksson's voyage.

    263 L'Anse aux Meadows, St. Lunaire-Griquet, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0K 2X0, Canada
    709-623–2828

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: C$12, Closed Oct.–May
  • 14. Port au Port Peninsula

    A slender isthmus tethers this peninsula to the west coast. About 20 tiny communities retain a French and First Nations heritage, but other than that it's largely undeveloped, with a wilderness interior and a rocky coastline. There are superb ocean views from Cape St. George, and some rewarding hiking trails.

    Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  • 15. The Arches Provincial Park and Port au Choix National Historic Site

    The Arches are a geological curiosity; the park contains rock formations made millions of years ago by wave action and undersea currents. The succession of caves through a bed of dolomite was later raised above sea level by tectonic upheaval. This is a good place to stop for a picnic. The Port au Choix National Historic Site is 97 km (60 miles) farther north. The remains of Maritime Archaic and Dorset people have been found along this coast between the Arches Provincial Park and L’Anse aux Meadows, and this site has an interesting interpretation center with exhibits about what's been uncovered to date. Archaeologists digging in the area uncovered an ancient village. Ask at the center for directions to it.

    Rte. 430, Portland Creek, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0K 4G0, Canada
    709-637–2040-Arches Provincial Park off-season

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: C$8 for historic site, Closed Oct.–May

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