Three Days Around St. John’s

The capital is home to a vibrant nightlife, amazing food, and the bright houses of Jellybean Row. The port city is a charming mix of old and new, and you’ll have no trouble filling your days – whether you stay around town or take a day trip to see the sights nearby.

Day 1 - Downtown St. John’s

While the oldest section of St. John’s is an enjoyable day out any route you take, you may want to start atop the hill, and make your way down to the harbourfront. Standing guard over downtown you’ll find the city’s architectural siblings – The Rooms and The Basilica Cathedral. Stretched out below are the winding, sometimes crooked streets, filled with colourful houses – some hundreds of years old – mixed with modern buildings and small parks.

Stop for lunch at one of the many cafés and pubs in the area, perhaps to fortify yourself with a pint of the local brew. Stroll along two of the oldest streets in North America, Duckworth Street and Water Street, and visit the shops and galleries that line them.

After dropping your treasures at your accommodations, head out for an evening of fine dining and rollicking entertainment. The city has become a culinary hot spot, with award-winning chefs and restaurants creatively mixing the traditional and the modern into something altogether new. And George Street is up to all hours, with clubs and pubs showcasing the musical talent that our province is justifiably famous for.

Day 2 - Quidi Vidi and Signal Hill

Start your day in the quiet of Quidi Vidi, our charming village-within-a-city, which still embodies the spirit of an old fishing outport. You’ll pass Mallard Cottage, an historic structure that is now home to one of the city’s most celebrated restaurants. Check out Quidi Vidi Brewery, notable for their Iceberg beer (made with real icebergs), and head to the Quidi Vidi Plantation, a collection of small studios highlighting emerging local artists.

Then, hike up nearby Signal Hill through the famous Battery, where tiny wooden homes still cling valiantly to cliffsides ravaged by ocean waves. The unmistakable, iconic Cabot Tower guards the top of Signal Hill National Historic Site, where military men guarded our shores throughout the 1700s and 1800s. Here, Marconi famously received his first transmission across the Atlantic in 1901. Look out over the cliffs and watch the city's harbour and captivating skyline spread out before you.

Day 3 - Road Trip to Cape Spear and Petty Harbour

You’ll have to get up early to catch the sunrise at Cape Spear Lighthouse, one of our many National Historic Sites, but it’s a trip worth making. This is the first sunrise in North America, at the most easterly point of land on the continent.

It’s also a stop on the East Coast Trail, a network of 26 hiking and walking paths that cover 300 kilometres of our rugged and breathtaking coastline. Head north and return to the city, or look southward to Maddox Cove, Petty Harbour, and beyond.

Whether you hike or drive, Petty Harbour is a charming spot to rest a while. Visit the Mini Aquarium, go ziplining, or learn to fish in a traditional dory. And you can get lunch at local favourite Chafe’s Landing, home of some of the best fish and chips around.