Destination: St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
When we visited: August 2007
Why to go:
St. John’s is the capital city of what is arguably the most unique area in North America. Newfoundlanders are justifiably proud of their gorgeous province and their unique customs.
What to see:
Jelly Bean row, a series of unique and colourful homes, is one of the most photographed images in the city.
“The Rooms” is home to both a museum and art gallery, with a beautiful collection and lovely view of the harbour. (If your visit works up an appetite, treat yourself to one of their cherry white chocolate cookies.)
Signal Hill was the site of the first transatlantic wireless broadcast, received by Guglielmo Marconi. But more than that, it’s a gorgeous walk. We took the circular trail for stunning views of the ocean and surrounding area.
And if you’re traveling with kids, don’t miss the Fluvarium. It’s a museum connected with Memorial University, and the lowest level looks straight into the river.
Where to stay:
Leaside Manor Heritage Inn was a lovely bed and breakfast just a five minute drive from most of the sights. Breakfasts were delicious (I should mention that breakfast service was quite slow, although after checking out tripadvisor.com, where this inn receives a #1 ranking in St. John’s, I’m guessing they’ve got those issues ironed out.)
Where to eat:
We had two favourite restaurants in St. John’s. Ches’s Fish and Chips is a St. John’s institution; this year they’re celebrating their 60th anniversary. Unsurprisingly, we opted for the fish and chips for lunch, although you could also order shrimp, scallops or chicken. Ches’s serves good, basic food in a fun atmosphere.
Blue on Water was also great, but a totally different experience. We ate at this lovely restaurant twice, because our first brunch there was so outstanding. The banana pancakes were to die for, and Andrew said his omelet was one of the best he’s had. We got a side order of traditional Newfoundland toutons (essentially fried bread dough).