Earlier this month, I became one step closer to achieving my goal of visiting all of Canada’s provinces and territories. I partnered with Porter Escapes to go to dreamy Newfoundland.
With their Toronto to St.John’s getaway packages, Porter Escapes makes it easy to escape on a maritime adventure. My Porter Escape included airfare from Toronto to St.John’s, and 2 nights of accommodation at the lovely Sheraton Hotel. Here’s what I did during my trip!
Getting there: I flew out of the super convenient Billy Bishop Airport. With the new tunnel and a free shuttle service to the airport, it’s easier than ever to get to the airport with Porter Airlines. Our flight was very smooth, and made a couple of stops along the way to pick up more passengers. Soon we were touching down into foggy St.John’s. We rented a car to help us get around.
Where to Stay: I stayed in the downtown Sheraton Hotel. This hotel is super convenient. It’s within walking distance of popular Water Street and Duckworth Stree. Our room had a beautiful city view of St.John’s, and the bed was super comfortable. The Sheraton provided a cute set of amenities, and the room had a flat screen TV for late night binge watching of Say Yes to the Dress. 🙂
What to Eat
There was SO much good food in Newfoundland! We had such amazing food experiences. Here are 3 places that you HAVE to eat at when you visit St.John’s.
Fixed Coffee and Baking: I had possibly the best grilled cheese sandwich of my life here. It had old cheddar cheese, avocado, bacon and caramelized onions. Perfection. They also had pretty fab baked goods. 59 Harvey Road, St.John’s www.fixedcoffee.com
Mallard Cottage: This was my favourite meal of my entire trip. Tucked away in Quidi Vidi, this historical cottage specializes in local wild game, seafood & produce. We went here for dinner, but if you go for brunch they have a pretty sweet dessert cake table. The service was friendly, the food was unique and fresh, and I really liked the casual vibe. http://mallardcottage.ca
Raymond’s Restaurant: I couldn’t visit St.John’s without visiting the restaurant that’s been named one of Canada’s best restaurants. We had an impeccable meal here. I had the handmade pasta with pesto, and a delicious steak. I’m very happy that I ate here. It’s worth noting that this is quite a pricey spot, and that the menu is only available as a set menu. It was delicious though! Also? While I was here I saw George Stroumboulopoulos dining here. www.raymondsrestaurant.com
What to See
There’s so much to do in St.John’s and in the surrounding area. Here are some of my favourites.
Signal Hill: Hike (or drive) up to Signal Hill. This National Historic Site is perched on a hill, and gives you a perfect view point of the city and the Atlantic Ocean.
Cape Spear: Go and visit the most easterly point in North America and the oldest lighthouse in Newfoundland. If you spot these Parks Canada chairs, have a seat! They’re hidden in all national park sites this summer, and we found several during our trip. I would recommend that you drive to this spot, it’s 20 minutes outside of the city.
What to Do:
Jellybean Row: Wander around this hilly city and spot beautifully coloured Victorian style houses. Head to Gower street to see them!
Get on a boat! If you’re lucky, in Witless Bay you can spot icebergs, puffins and whales in one fell swoop! I went on a whale watching and bird tour with O’Brians Whale and Bird Tours. We spotted playful humpback whales and tiny puffins. Witless Bay is home to over half a million sea birds. Wow! This tour company has a van that will pick you up and drop you off in front of your hotel.
Picnic at a Lighthouse: Even the rain can’t spoil a lovely picnic like this. Ferryland lighthouse is 30 minutes away from St.John’s, and is totally worth the drive. After a short 15 minute hike, you reach the lighthouse. Here, everything (including their Oat bread and desserts) is baked up fresh at the lighthouse. It’s then packed up and delivered to your chosen picnic spot outside. I particularly enjoyed the orzo salad and chocolate ganache cake. Yum. Book early! Sells out fast in the summer. www.lighthousepicnics.ca
If you go: Pack lots of layers! Because it was July, I (foolishly) expected the weather to be about 20C. It wasn’t. The temperature fluctuated hourly, but mostly hovered around 12C until the end of our trip when it became a nice, sunny 25C. It’s true what they say, we experienced 3 seasons in one day!
When I was done exploring St.John’s, I packed my bags and headed north to Gros Morne and to see some icebergs! More to come soon. Thanks very much to Porter Escapes and Newfoundland Tourism for making my trip a blast!