Ten things to check out in St. John’s this summer

Planning a trip to St. John’s? There’s so much to see and do it can be hard to figure out where to start. Here’s our list of ten things you should put on your visit-to-St. John’s bucket list. Stay tuned for more suggestions throughout the summer; there’s never a shortage of adventure and excitement in our beautiful city!

1) Signal Hill is St. John’s most famous historical landmark so you can’t miss it. It has a captivating view of the Narrows, the harbour, and the city. The hiking trails offer a beautiful view of the natural landscape and the Atlantic Ocean. The trails explore the entire hill and connect down to the Battery. Cabot Tower (the site of the first trans-Atlantic wireless message) sits atop Signal Hill and is open to explore from 9 a.m.- 7 p.m.

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Cabot Tower and Signal Hill

2) Cape Spear is the most easterly point in North America. Tours are given of the 180-year-old lighthouse that is filled with historical artifacts to demonstrate the lighthouse keeper’s way of life.  There are beautiful hiking trails that run along the coastline and allow you to explore the natural environment of Newfoundland. Cape Spear is located 12 km southeast of St. John’s.

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The lighthouse at Cape Spear

3) The East Coast Trail offers many adventurous hiking trails that explore the local wilderness and beautiful coastline communities of Newfoundland. The trails run 265 km north and south of St. John’s. These trails are a great way to explore the province’s natural landscape and learn more about the coastal communities’ cultures. The East Coast Trail can be accessed from various points in and around St. John’s including Fort Amherst, Cape Spear, Signal Hill, Logy Bay, Torbay, and Quidi Vidi Village.

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The East Coast Trail offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean

4) The Rooms is an art gallery and museum that displays Newfoundland’s culture and history through local artists. The Rooms is a great way to learn about Newfoundland through exhibits showcasing cultural and historical artifacts. The Rooms Café is a great place to refuel with Newfoundland and Labrador’s traditional meals. The café has a stunning view of the city and St. John’s harbour. Both The Rooms and the Rooms Café are open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

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It’s easy to spot The Rooms thanks to its unique architecture

5) Bannerman Park contains beautiful gardens and walking trails right in downtown St. John’s. It was created in 1864 and reflects a beautiful British park design. It is a great place for the whole family to go for a picnic and enjoy the sunshine.

6) Pippy Park is a wilderness park close to Memorial University. There are camp sites, a golf course, and hiking trails. At the top of the hill there is a look out point with a view over much of the city. Pippy Park offers year-round activities including ski and snowshoe rentals.

7) The Suncor Energy Fluvarium is a family-friendly exhibit that allows you to explore the natural habitats in rivers and lakes. Glass windows let you peer into the water to see the natural vegetation and fish swimming by. The Fluvarium is close to Memorial University’s campus and there are walking trails that connect the campus and the Fluvarium to Pippy Park.  The Fluvarium is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

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The Suncor Energy Fluvarium is located just five minutes from Memorial University

8) Yellowbelly Brewery is a local restaurant and brewery that is  housed in one of the oldest buildings in North America. Tours are given of the brewery where you can see how they make their locally-brewed beer. Yellowbelly is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

9) Quidi Vidi Village is a unique coastal community near St. John’s that used to be a fishing community. The village is very beautiful with brightly-coloured houses built extremely close to the water. Quidi Vidi also has a brewery that is open Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The brewery is open for tours and beer tasting so make sure you stop by to try some local beer!

10) George Street is an infamous part of downtown St. John’s. The street is filled with bars, restaurants, and pubs. Some restaurants are even open 24 hours. The street is at its busiest from midnight to as early as 6 a.m. Many festivals are held from on George Street including George Street Festival in early August and Mardi Gras in October for Halloween. George Street is said to have the highest number of bars per square foot in the world; what better place to wrap up a day of exploring St. John’s!

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