7 Reasons Why A Getaway To St. John’s Should Be At The Top Of Your Bucket List
Jaw-dropping landscapes and mouthwatering food = dream vacation.
With many Canadians experiencing the travel bug, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by wanderlust. There are lots of amazing destinations across Canada, so it can be tricky to narrow down your options.
If you're seeking a hidden gem to add to your bucket list, St. John's is the site to see.
This East Coast spot won’t disappoint, from its delectable local food and beautiful accommodations to exciting activities and captivating scenery. There's always a tasty meal to enjoy and an adventure to have.
Book a stay right in the heart of St. John's at the Alt Hotel for awe-inspiring views of the St. John's Harbour and the colourful city. The hotel is home to Terre, nominated as one of Canada's Best New Restaurants 2021 by En Route Magazine.
Once you arrive, you won't be short on things to do. St. John's has it all, whether you prefer kicking back and chowing down or embarking on a journey through the great outdoors. Add these seven things to your itinerary while visiting this crown jewel of Canada.
Enjoy Some History As You Get Those Steps In
When: Open year round, visitor centre from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Address: 230 Signal Hill Road, St. John's, NL
Why You Need To Go: No trip to St. John's is complete without visiting Signal Hill National Historic Site, and it's a quick drive — or scenic walk — from your cozy hotel room.
At the city's most popular landmark, you'll learn all about the local history while taking in some breathtaking coastal Atlantic landscape. Don't forget to check out the landmark's hikes and other sights to see.
Indulge In A Scrumptious East Coast Dinner
When: Wednesday to Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Address: 125 Water St., St. John's, NL
Why You Need To Go: After exploring the area, you'll work up an appetite. And since you're in seafood central, you'd be missing out if you didn't try some in-season crab, scallops, sea urchin or lobster.
If you're feeling hungry, head to the Alt Hotel restaurant, Terre. This trendy spot prides itself on its local cuisine inspired by Newfoundland's land and sea, awesome craft cocktails and great service.
Terre uses indigenous plants in their cloudberry fritter, locally distilled rhubarb vodka in their cosmopolitan and fresh Newfoundland eggs. You can also enjoy tasty breakfast sandwiches at the café, located in the hotel lobby.
Admire The Epic Scenery & Marine Life
When: Grounds open year round, site opens June 1 to September 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Address: 1914-1930 Black Head Road, St. John's, NL
Why You Need To Go: When in the Atlantic Provinces, it's practically mandatory to visit a lighthouse. The province's Cape Spear lighthouse sits on Canada's most eastern point — you might even spot a whale or icebergs, depending on the season.
And if you’re in the mood for a beautiful hike by the ocean, you can take a stroll along the nearby East Coast Trail.
Step back in time and witness how a 19th-century light-keeping family once lived, hike the headlands, and check out historic WWII coastal-defence battery remains.
Explore The Neighbourhoods & Surrounding Areas
When: Whenever the mood strikes
Address: Quidi Vidi, Georgestown, West End, East End, The Battery, NL
Why You Need To Go: Since there's so much to see, it's worth venturing off into different neighbourhoods and experiencing what St. John’s has to offer.Stop for lunch at Waterwest in the West End or admire the colourful houses in the tiny streets of The Battery. Perhaps a visit to Quidi Vidi Brewery? Wherever the road may take you, Alt Hotel will welcome you home at the end of the day.
Shop 'Til You Drop At Local Downtown Shops
When: Monday to Tuesday and Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Address: Downtown St. Johns, NL
Why You Need To Go: Quaint streets, bricked storefronts and local eateries give St. John's its lovely small-town vibes. Take a piece of this city home with you while supporting local makers at Craft Council, Nonia and Johnny Ruth.
A short walk from your hotel, this independent boutique carries a carefully curated array of adorable art cards, fun-yet-practical homewares, sleek jewelry and stylish threads.
Take A Breath Of Fresh Ocean Air On A Boat Tour
Price: $75 per adult
When: Tours start at various times.
Address: 1 Water St., St. John's, NL
Why You Need To Go: The coastal waters are home to many creatures, and there are fun ways to connect with them. Hop aboard this boat tour and spend the day spotting humpback whales, seabirds, puffins and other Atlantic wildlife.
Choose a departure with Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours and set off into frigid waters filled with wonder.
Say Cheers Over A Pint Or Two With The Locals
Why You Need To Go: After all the excursions, it's time to sit back, relax and enjoy a brew (or non-alcoholic beverage) of choice at The Duke of Duckworth — aka The Duke.
The bar has been around for over 25 years and offers one of the province's largest selections of draught beers. Plus, they have the best fish and chips in town!
You can also visit Bannerman Brewing for a modern vibe and tasty fare. If you’re in the mood for a pub crawl, there are tons of great options in the city.
St. John's is truly a treasure that every Canadian should discover. Connect with remarkable residents and take in the stunning landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, salty ocean air and that incredible feeling of being one with nature.
With Alt Hotel St. John's as your home base, you'll likely want to extend your trip a little longer. It's hard to resist the delicious local eats and dreamy room views.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.