June 22, 2010 / 3:17 PM / 9 years ago

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in St. John's, Newfoundland

St. John’s, Newfoundland (Reuters Life!) - As the oldest and most easterly city in North America, St. John’s is a city with a harbor carved out of 500-year-old rock and downtown streets filled with multi-colored houses.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors to get the most out of a 48-hour visit to the charming location.


6:00 p.m. - Start your visit with Newfoundland cuisine at the Bacalao Restaurant. Order a Jiggs Dinner Cabbage Rolls, which is salted beef, carrots, turnips and potatoes rolled in a cabbage leaf, or a Cod’s Tongue Salad as an appetizer. Bacalao, which means salt cod in the Mediterranean, offers a daily salt cod dish. The restaurant also serves local wines made from blueberry and partridgeberries.

9:00 p.m. - Stroll to the cobblestoned George Street where traffic is closed to vehicles in the evenings. The street boasts the most bars per square foot in North America. The Trapper John’s pub welcomes visitors to Newfoundland with a “screech-in” ceremony which involves drinking a shot of Screech, or rum, which is a traditional mainstay of the Newfoundland diet, and kissing a toy puffin.


9:00 a.m. - Begin the day with a hike along the Outer Battery to Signal Hill which has scenic views of St. John’s and the ocean. Signal Hill is known for being the location where Guiglielmo Marconi received the first wireless message in 1901. It was also a harbor defense site for St. John’s from the 18th century to the World War Two.

Noon - Visit The Rooms for the art gallery, museum and provincial archives. Its architecture was designed to imitate fishing rooms where families would gather to process their catch. The gallery features local and international artists such as the photographer, Edward Burtynsky. The Rooms Cafe offers a scenic view overlooking St. John’s.

3 p.m. - Walk and shop along the St. John’s Waterfront. Historic buildings, coves, wall plaques and parks help tell the story of the city since its discovery by John Cabot in 1497.

7 p.m. - Enjoy a beer brewed on-site at the Yellowbelly Brewery in a historic building that survived the Great St. John’s fire in 1892. The gastro-pub offers recipes for beer-focused dishes such as Pale Ale mini-donuts or St. John’s Stout Glazed Pork Tenderloin.

10 p.m. - Listen to folk or local music at The Ship, a cornerstone of St. John’s nightlife.


10 a.m. - Hike on a trail at the Cape Spear National Historic Site, the most easterly point in North America. The oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland is located here. Icebergs, seabirds and whales can be seen here with whale-watching being popular from mid-June to August.

1 p.m. - Visit The Fluvarium, a freshwater interpretation center and the only public one of its kind in North America. Visitors can look through windows facing the Nagle’s Hill Brook which features Brook and Brown trout.

4 p.m. - Walk through Quidi Vidi Village, a fishing village. Visit Mallard Cottage, a historic house or take a tour of the Quidi Vidi Brewery.

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