Your Eastern Journey Starts Here
The eastern region is packed with adventure - from the Burin Peninsula, teeming with communities as unique as the dialects within, to the Bonavista Peninsula, where John Cabot landed in 1497. Visit the picturesque town of Trinity, dive into history in Grand Bank at the Seamen's Museum or hop the ferry to a little piece of France, just 20 kilometres away.
Day 1 - Stories & Shorelines
The Bonavista Peninsula - craggy rolling coastlines scattered with rocks sculpted by the ocean and time - is a geographic work of art not to be missed. Clarenville, on Route 1, is a natural gateway to the Discovery Trail and its panorama of scenery, historic sites, and coastal towns and villages.It's also the perfect place to nestle in at night as you explore the peninsula on a series of day trips.
Go for an afternoon venture to gorgeous Trinity. Decorated with a fine collection of historic buildings and homes, the town is best explored on foot. Join Rising Tide's New Founde Lande Trinity Pageant, a comedic walking tour of the town and a trip into the province's outrageous history. Follow the actors and meander the hilly streets, tucked-away alleys, and notable buildings, all while delving into the history of the town and its significance to the province.
Step back in time at the Green Family Forge and witness the legacy of six generations of blacksmiths. The Forge turns out items for various craft shops around town, so you can take a piece of the past home with you. In the evening, grab a tasty bite at one of the local eateries before taking in a night of drama and comedy at the Rising Tide Theatre on the wharf.
Day 2 - New Bonaventure
Film fans should head out to New Bonaventure to visit the set of Random Passage, a miniseries depicting one woman's struggle to survive in early outport life. While in the area, hop on a boat tour and explore the coast while keeping an eye out for whales and seabirds. Hiking fans will fall in love with the magnificent Skerwink Trail in Trinity East, an award-winning 5.3-kilometre hike that encircles Skerwink Head.
Day 3 - Root Cellar Capital of the World
Leap back in history to the summer of 1497, when John Cabot sighted Bonavista (Oh Happy Sight). At the tip of the peninsula, this town has been synonymous with the fishing industry for centuries. In the harbour, step inside a full-size floating replica of Cabot's ship, The Matthew and imagine how the explorer might have felt on his epic voyage to North America. Explore the Ryan Premises National Historic Site, then drive to Cape Bonavista Provincial Historic Site to admire the lighthouse. From the top, you may catch a glimpse of 10,000-year-old icebergs that pass by here every year.
Visit Elliston - the root cellar capital of the world. Before refrigeration and electricity came to rural communities, root cellars kept food from freezing in the winter and spoiling in the summer. Have a look as you wander around the hills - there are over 100 still in working condition. Continue on to the friendliest colony of puffins on the island. Tame, but full of excitement, you'll be able to get within feet of these adorable birds.
Day 4 - Tickle your Taste Buds
Take a morning drive down Route 230 to 235 and tour the small traditional villages south of Bonavista like Tickle Cove, Plate Cove and Sweet Bay. For lunch, make reservations at the Bonavista Social Club restaurant in Upper Amherst Cove. Operated by a husband and wife team, the restaurant works with local suppliers to provide a unique food experience. A wood-fired, bread oven is the centrepiece of the open kitchen in a building restored by the family.
Spend the rest of the day unwinding on the stunning golf course between Princeton and Summerville.
Day 5 - The Burin Peninsula
The Burin Peninsula, affectionately referred to as "the boot", comprises dozens of coastal communities that have depended on the fishery for centuries. The area is rich in history, culture, and tradition; meander along the peninsula and visit places like Bay L'Argent, Rushoon and Spanish Room.
Route 221 winds on to Burin, which is built along a series of high cliffs and sheltered coves, and was once a haven for pirates and privateers. In the 1760s, Captain James Cook charted these shorelines and kept a lookout for rum-runners from a perch that still bears his name - Cook's Lookout. Visit the Oldest Colony Trust exhibits 19th-century artwork of Burin. If you're visiting during the summer, stick around for some knee-bouncing, head-bobbing musical entertainment at the local festivals and events.
Day 6 - Coastal Heritage
Today start out for St. Lawrence and visit the Miner’s Museum. Examine various tools used by workers and appreciate the striking images of the mining industry.
In Grand Bank, the cool waters from the Labrador Current mix with the warm Gulf Stream, creating the perfect nursery for fish, and thus the perfect location for a friendly fishing community. Stop by the Seamen's Museum and explore artifacts from land and sea.
Nearby Fortune is the site of the Fortune Head Ecological Reserve. It's here that the world's best examples of 540-million-year-old marine fossils are preserved. They mark the boundary between the pre-Cambrian and Cambrian geological eras. Tours begin at the Interpretation Centre.
Finish the day at Frenchman's Cove Provincial Park, complete with 51 hectares of luscious habitat, a pebble beach, and a 9-hole golf course. Nearby Garnish has an excellent view over Fortune Bay, with Brunette Island and the Connaigre Peninsula off in the distance.